April 20, 2012
Ann Arbor, Mich. -
The Penn State men's tennis team (11-12, 1-9) dropped its sixth-straight Big Ten match to the Michigan Wolverines (16-5, 9-1) Friday afternoon, 6-1. Senior Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) made an impact in his return after missing four consecutive weekends, teaming with sophomore Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) to pick up a first doubles victory for the Nittany Lions. Bader also earned Penn State's lone victory of the afternoon in third singles.
The Nittany Lions fought hard in three thrilling doubles matches, but could not quite pull out the first point of the day. Senior Taylor Cohen (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) opened in second doubles by forcing a breaker. Michigan's Barrett Franks and Alex Buzzi put it away in the breaker though, earning a 9-8 (2) win. Lee and Bader then improved to 12-1 on the season and 4-0 against ranked opponents with a 9-7 win in No. 1 doubles over No. 22 Evan King and Shaun Bernstein.
It came down to freshman Tomas Hanzlik (Prague, Czech Republic) and junior C.J. Griffin (Portland, Mich.) on court three then. The duo battled back and forth with Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu, eventually heading to a breaker with the score knotted at 8-8. Hanzlik and Griffin could not over Michigan's attack though, falling 8-6 in the breaker and giving the first point to Michigan.
Bader responded immediately for the Nittany Lions, though. The standout sophomore dominated from start to finish, en route to a 6-0, 6-3 victory in third singles, which evened the match at 1-1. Zhu countered for Michigan quickly, defeating Cohen 6-3, 6-2 and giving the Wolverines a lead they would never relinquish.
From there, Griffin fell to Buzzi (6-3, 6-1) in sixth singles and Welnetz dropped his No.5 bout to Franks, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to seal the match for Michigan. Lee then dropped his first singles match since returning, 6-4, 6-2, to No. 8 Evan King. Finally, Hanzlik fell to Petrone, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 to give Michigan its sixth point of the afternoon.
Penn State will wrap up the regular season on Sunday, April 22 when they return home to the Sarni Tennis Center to take on the No. 64 Michigan State Spartans at noon.
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#21 Michigan 6, Penn State 1:
No. 1 - #31 Jason Lee/Russell Bader (PSU) def. #22 Evan King/Shaun Bernstein (UM), 9-7
No. 2 -- Barrett Franks/Alex Buzzi (UM) def. Taylor Cohen/Bryan Welnetz (PSU), 9-8 (2)
No. 3 -- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (UM) def. Tomas Hanzlik/C.J. Griffin (PSU), 9-8 (6)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
No. 1 -- No. 8 Evan King (UM) def. Jason Lee (PSU), 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 -- Alex Petrone (UM) def. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 -- Russell Bader (PSU) def. Shaun Bernstein (UM), 6-0, 6-3
No. 4 -- Michael Zhu (UM) def. Taylor Cohen (PSU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 -- Barrett Franks (UM) def. Bryan Welnetz (PSU), 7-6 (5), 6-4
No. 6 -- Alex Buzzi (UM) def. C.J. Griffin (PSU), 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 4, 6, 5, 1, 2