Nittany Lion Tennis Sweeps Michigan State, 7-0, in Home Finale
April 12, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 47-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (14-9, 5-3) finished off its home schedule with a dominating 7-0 victory over 73rd-ranked Michigan State (11-11, 0-8) on Saturday afternoon at Sarni Tennis Center.
Penn State scored an early 1-0 lead with a doubles sweep. When the match moved to singles action, the Nittany Lions posted a pair of quick straight sets victories at the bottom two slots in the lineup. Junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) then clinched the match for the Lions with a straight sets victory at No. 3. From there, the Lions scored three three-set wins to secure the 7-0 sweep of the Spartans, marking Penn State's second Big Ten shutout of the season.
"It was nice way to finish our home matches, and it was good to have all three seniors win on senior day," said head coach Todd Doebler. "We played a good match. We are now going to need a good week of preparation to get ready for Ohio State and Indiana."
Penn State's No. 1 doubles team of senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) struck first in the match with an 8-3 victory over Michigan State's Alex Forger and Billy Gardner. James and Lynch, who are ranked 23rd in the nation, dropped an early break and trailed 3-1. Nevertheless, the Lion team registered back-to-back service breaks from the Spartan team, and went on to notch seven-straight games to score the match, 8-3. James and Lynch improve to 14-1 on the season in dual action.
The Nittany Lion team of senior James Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga.) and freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) clinched the doubles point for Penn State with an 8-4 triumph against the Spartan duo of Nick Rinks and Tyler Sauerbrey in the No. 3 match. Dwyer and Bourchier jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead and went on to serve out the match, 8-4. The Lion tandem is now 10-5 overall this season.
Junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and senior Chris Sherman (Edina, Minn.), who was making his final appearance at Sarni Tennis Center, capped off the Penn State sweep with a tight 9-8 (7) tie-break victory at No. 2. Slagter and Sherman own a 5-2 record in dual matches.
With the Lions leading 1-0 after the doubles sweep, the match moved into singles action. Dwyer handed the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead in the match with a convincing straight-sets victory in the No. 5 singles match against Michigan State's Clark Richardson. The Lion senior trailed 3-2 early in the first, but went on to record 10 of the final 11 games of the match to score the No.5 point for the Lions (6-4, 6-0). The match marked Dwyer's final showing at home for his Nittany Lion. He is 70-27 overall at Penn State.
Sophomore Guillaume St-Maurice (St-Eustache, Quebec) posted a straight-sets victory over Scott Rasmussen of Michigan State in the No. 6 bout, which put the Lions up by a 3-0 margin in the overall match. St-Maurice notched the first by a score of 6-4. He then scored the final four games of the second set to secure the victory (6-2). St-Maurice has now won five consecutive singles bouts. He is 10-3 in dual action this spring, including 6-1 in the Big Ten.
Lynch tallied the match-clinching point with a straight-sets victory over Allare in the No. 3 bout. The Lion southpaw scored a service break in the sixth game of the first to take a 4-2 edge. From there, Lynch rolled to the first set, 6-3. In the second, he secured a 5-2 lead, but Allare fought his way to a service break and set the score at 5-4 with a service hold. However, Lynch picked up his 26th victory of the season with a hold, 6-4. He is 26-8 overall and 15-5 in dual action this spring.
With the match decided, the Nittany Lions scored three clutch three-set victories to manage the 7-0 victory. At No. 1 James, who is ranked 63rd in the ITA singles rankings, took a one-set lead with a 6-2 victory against Rinks. Nevertheless, Rinks, who is ranked 105th in the nation, rallied in the second (6-4) to set the score at one set apiece. James came storming back in the third by taking a quick 4-1 lead on his way to a 6-2 victory in the decisive set, which capped off his Nittany Lion career at Sarni Tennis Center. The Nittany Lion senior is now 106-37 overall at Penn State and 25-12 this season.
Bourchier dropped a first-set tiebreaker to Monich (7-6 (6)), but rallied to knot the score at one-set all with a 6-4 win in the second. With the overall match already decided, the two players headed into a super-tiebreaker. Monich jumped all over Bourchier early in the super-breaker, scoring a 5-1 lead at the changeover. However, the Lion rookie scored five-straight points to set the score at 6-5. From there, Bourchier served to a 10-7 victory in the breaker, which handed the Lions a 6-0 lead in the overall match. He is now 11-7 in duals and 6-2 in Big Ten matches this spring. Bourchier has won his last seven singles outings.
The last match on court featured Slagter and Forger in the No. 2 bout. Slagter found himself up a set after a 6-1 triumph in the first. He held a 6-4 lead in second-set tiebreaker, but Monich tallied five of the next six points in the breaker (9-7) to square the match at one set each. In the super tiebreaker, Slagter took a 4-1 lead on his way to the victory, which solidified the Penn State sweep. Slagter is 9-6 in duals this spring and 5-2 in Big Ten play.
The Nittany Lions closed out their home schedule with a 10-2 record. Penn State has now won eight of its last nine matches heading into the final weekend of Big Ten play. The Michigan State victory marks Penn State's third consecutive 7-0 sweep.
Penn State will finish off its regular season next weekend with a pair of critical Big Ten road matches. The Nittany Lions will first travel to No. 2 Ohio State on April 19 for a noon match with the conference-leading Buckeyes. One day later, Penn State will take on Indiana in Bloomington at noon.
Final Score: #47 Penn State 7, #73 Michigan State 0