April 13, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The Penn State men's tennis team (11-10, 1-7) fought valiantly in a 5-2 loss to the No. 46 Northwestern Wildcats (13-7, 6-2) on a gorgeous Friday afternoon at the Sarni Tennis Center. Senior co-captain Taylor Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.) and sophomore Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) attempted to bring the Nittany Lions back in singles play, earning clutch victories, but it was not enough for the Lions.
Penn State opened up slowly in doubles action, but quickly rebounded, setting up an exciting race for the first point. Junior C.J. Griffin (Portland, Mich.) and red-shirt junior Christopher Hasyn (Lansdale, Pa.) dropped the second doubles bout, 8-1, giving Northwestern an early advantage. Cohen and freshman Tomas Hanzlik (Prague, Czech Republic) responded immediately though, nabbing an 8-6 victory on court three against Sidarth Balaji and Tobias Reitz. Finally, Bader and junior Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) rallied from a 7-5 deficit to even their first doubles bout against Josh Graves and Spencer Wolf at 7-7. Graves and Wolf then ran off two straight points to clinch the first point for Northwestern.
After dropping the opening point, Griffin opened singles play with a quick loss (6-1, 6-0) to give Northwestern a 2-0 lead. Following Griffin's loss, Cohen took on the challenge of bringing the Nittany Lions back as he has so many times this season. The senior co-captain breezed through Raleigh Smith's contest on cue (6-3, 6-3) to give Penn State its first point of the day.
Then, it was Bader's turn against No. 107 Wolf. Wolf took an early first-set lead, but Bader would not be denied. The sophomore rallied and finished the set on top, 6-3. Bader then rolled his way through the second set, earning a 6-0 victory for his first win of the season against a ranked opponent.
After evening the match at 2-2, Northwestern took over the match for good. Hanzlik battled through injuries but ultimately fell in first singles, 6-3, 6-3, giving Northwestern a 3-2 lead. Then, Hasyn came from behind to earn a 7-6 (5) first set victory on court five against Alex Pasareanu. Parareanu won the next two sets though, 6-3 and 6-1, to clinch the match for Northwestern. Finally, after winning the first set, 6-4, Welnetz dropped his final two sets against Balaji (6-1, 7-5) to conclude the action.
Penn State will continue its alumni weekend festivities with an 11 a.m. first serve against the No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini on Sunday, April 15. Admission is free and pizza will be provided for all fans in attendance.
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#46 Northwestern 5, Penn State 2:
1. Josh Graves/Spencer Wolf (NW) def. Russell Bader/Bryan Welnetz (PSU) 9-7
2. Raleigh Smith/Alex Pasareanu (NW) def. C.J. Griffin/Christopher Hasyn (PSU) 8-1
3. Taylor Cohen/Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) def. Sidarth Balaji/Tobias Reitz (NW) 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Josh Graves (NW) def. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Russell Bader (PSU) def. #107 Spencer Wolf (NW) 6-3, 6-0
3. Taylor Cohen (PSU) def. Raleigh Smith (NW) 6-3, 6-3
4. Sidarth Balaji (NW) def. Bryan Welnetz (PSU) 4-6, 6-1, 7-5
5. Alex Pasareanu (NW) def. Christopher Hasyn (PSU) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-1
6. Chris Jackman (NW) def. C.J. Griffin (PSU) 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 3, 2, 1, 5, 4