Nittany Lion Men's Tennis Pounds Purdue, 6-1
April 6, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 43-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (11-9, 4-3) lost a tight doubles point, but stormed to six straight-sets victories in the singles lineup to oust Purdue (8-10, 2-4) by a score of 6-1 at Schwartz Tennis Center on Sunday.
Purdue scored a pair of tiebreaker victories in doubles action to clinch a hard-fought doubles point. However, Penn State bounced back in a big way when the match moved into singles action, as the Nittany Lions posted a clean sweep without dropping a set. The win over Purdue marked just the fourth time in Penn State's last 42 matches where it has lost the doubles point and gone on to win the match.
Penn State's team of senior James Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga.) and freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) gave the Lions an early advantage in doubles with a 9-7 victory of Purdue's Jose Fuenmayor and Eric Ramos in the No. 3 match. Dwyer and Bourchier are now 8-5 as a team this season.
From there, the Boilermakers picked up two clutch 9-8 victories at Nos. 1 and 2 in doubles lineup to secure the point. Penn State's No. 1 doubles team of senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) suffered its first loss of the season in a tight 9-8 setback at the hands of the Boilermaker duo of Branko Kuzmanovic and P.J. Rose. James and Lynch, who are ranked 23rd in the nation, fall to 13-1 on the season.
Purdue then clinched the doubles point with a 9-8 victory at the No. 2 spot. Slavko Bijelica and Griff Nienberg ousted the Lion duo of junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and senior Chris Sherman (Edina, Minn.).
Momentum quickly shifted when the two teams headed into singles action. Slagter got Penn State on the board with a dominating straight-sets victory over Bijelica at the No. 2 spot. The Lion junior took a one-set lead with a 6-3 victory in the first. Slagter then cruised to a 6-1 win in the second to seal the point for the Lions. He is now 10-9 on the year in singles play.
James, who is ranked 63rd in the ITA singles poll, rebounded from a disappointing loss on Saturday with a convincing victory over Kuzmanovic in the No. 1 match. The Nittany Lion senior ousted Kuzmanovic by a score of 6-2, 6-3, handing Penn State a 2-1 lead in the overall match. James is now 24-12 on the year.
The Nittany Lions took a 3-1 lead after Dwyer downed Ramos by a score of 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 5 singles match. Dwyer has now won eight of his last 11 singles outings. He owns a 5-2 record in Big Ten play this spring.
Lynch clinched the overall match victory for Penn State with a straight-sets victory at the No. 3 spot. The Lion southpaw snagged a one-set lead over Rose with a 6-4 triumph. The two battled in the second, with Lynch clinching the victory with a 6-4 win in the set. He improves to 23-8 overall, including a 12-5 mark in duals.
With the match clinched for the Nittany Lions, Penn State added victories at Nos. 4 and 6 in the singles lineup. At No. 4, Lion rookie Bourchier downed Nienberg in straight-sets by a score of 7-5, 6-4. He is 19-11 overall in his first season at Penn State.
Sophomore Guillaume St-Maurice (St-Eustache, Quebec) secured the singles sweep with a 6-2, 7-6 victory over Paul Foley at the No. 6 spot. St-Maurice owns a 7-3 overall mark this season, including a 5-1 record in Big Ten duals.
Penn State now returns home for three consecutive matches this week to close out its 2008 home schedule. First up, the Nittany Lions will meet Bucknell (5 p.m.) and Bloomsburg (7:30 p.m.) on Wednesday. The Nittany Lions will then take on Michigan State on Saturday (noon) to cap off the home season. All matches will be played at Sarni Tennis Center and admission is free.
Final Score: #43 Penn State 6, #74 Purdue 1