No. 24 Nittany Lions Defeat No. 70 Badgers, 5-2

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Senior Russell Bader


Senior Russell Bader

April 4, 2014

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MADISON, Wisc. - The No. 24 Penn State men's tennis team extended their win streak to five matches on Friday as they defeated No. 70 Wisconsin, 5-2. The Nittany Lions swept the doubles matches and won x singles matches. Penn State improved to 18-2 overall and 5-1 in the Big Ten. The Badgers fell to 9-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

Penn State now has eight wins this spring over Top 75 teams, tying the program high, set in 2008. They also topped the program high, set in 2007, for road wins against ranked teams with their fourth time this spring.

"I can't stress how hard it is to win a Big Ten match on the road," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "Anytime you come on the road in the Big Ten, they're going to give them you're best shot, especially us coming highly ranked and we have a good record in the Big Ten."

"The guys fought hard today. It wasn't our best tennis, but Wisconsin played really well and gave us a very difficult match and pushed us on every court, especially at No. 1 and No. 6 singles. Hopefully this got us prepared for a really tough match on Sunday against Minnesota."

The Nittany Lions earned their fourth doubles sweep of the 2014 campaign. They have won the doubles point in 18 of their 20 matches.

At the top doubles spot, Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) and Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) earned an 8-5 win against the Badgers' Jakhongir Jalalov and Oskar Wikberg. The Penn State duo, ranked 28th in the nation, improved to 13-4 this spring and 4-1 in conference play.

Michael Reilly (Raleigh, N.C.) and Chris Young (Sydney, Australia) paired up for an 8-4 victory against Wisconsin's Alexander Kokorev and Petr Satral. The Nittany Lion pair, ranked 54th in the ITA Poll, remained undefeated and improved to 11-0 in dual matches.

At No. 3 doubles, Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) and Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) combined for the first time this spring. The duo knocked off the Badgers' Eliott Sprecher and Michael Sinha, 8-3. They improved to 5-0 overall while picking up their first dual match win.

Bader matched up at No. 2 singles against Wisconsin's Alexander Kokorev. The senior earned a 6-4, 6-4 win to move to 16-4 this spring and 22-8 overall.

With his win, Bader tied Ryan Berger (2003-07) for fifth place on the all-time wins list at Penn State. Bader now has 90 career wins.

Freshman Alex Fennell (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) met the Badgers' Petr Satral in the No. 3 singles match. Satral took the first set, 6-4, but Fennell bounced back with his own 6-4 win in the second set. In the deciding set, Fennell came out on top, 7-5. He moved to 13-7 this spring.

The sophomore, Barry, competed against Jakhongir Jalalov at the No. 4 singles position. Barry won the first set, 6-2, and followed that up with another 6-2 win in the second set. With his win, Penn State clinched the match point. He improved to 13-2 this spring and 22-6 overall.

Fellow sophomore Trkulja took on the Badgers' Sprecher at No. 5 singles. Trkulja picked up a straight set win, 6-3, 6-1. He moved to 10-9 this spring and 18-13 overall.

Stakhovsky entered the weekend with a five-match win streak at No. 1 singles and met the Badgers' Oskar Wikberg. In the first set, Wikberg won 6-4. In the second set, Wikberg continued his momentum with a 6-2 win. Stakhovsky fell to 15-3 this spring.

Reilly, a junior, earned his second straight start at No. 6 singles, this time facing Wisconsin's Sinha. However, Sinha won 6-3, 6-3. Reilly dropped to 3-4 this spring.

"Credit to Wisconsin for putting up a great fight in singles," said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. "We played very well in certain positions but had a difficult time in others. Doubles came through again today to help take some pressure off of singles. Great job by Matt to clinch and Russell came through with a solid win. Always great to win a Big Ten match on the road."

The Nittany Lions travel to No. 51 Minnesota on Sunday for a 1 p.m. start. The Gophers are 9-8 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten. They lost, 5-2, to No. 1 Ohio State on Friday.

Please check back to GoPSUSports.com throughout the weekend for more coverage of the Penn State men's tennis team. Updates are also available on our Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN, pages.

Doubles:

1. #28 Bader/Stakhovsky(PSU) def. Jalalov/Wikberg(Wisc), 8-5.

2. #54 Reilly/Young(PSU) def. Kokorev/Satral(Wisc), 8-4.

3. Barry/Trkulja(PSU) def. Sinha/Sprecher(Wisc), 8-3.

Order of Finish: 1,3,2

Singles:

1. Oskar Wikberg(Wisc) def. #50 Leo Stakhovsky(PSU), 6-4, 6-2.

2. Russell Bader(PSU) def. Alexander Kokorev(Wisc), 6-4, 6-4.

3. Alex Fennell(PSU) def. Petr Satral(Wisc), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

4. Matt Barry(PSU) def. Jakhongir Jalalov(Wisc), 6-2, 6-2.

5. Roman Trkulja(PSU) def. Eliott Sprecher(Wisc), 6-3, 6-1.

6. Michael Sinha(Wisc) def. Michael Reilly(PSU), 6-3, 6-3.

Order of Finish: 2,5,6,4,1,3


 

 

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