Nittany Lion Tennis Falls to Illinois in Quarterfinals of Big Ten Tournament, 4-0
April 24, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Following a nice 4-0 victory over Purdue in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday, the Penn State men's tennis team was eliminated from competition in a 4-0 loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday.
Illinois out-battled the Nittany Lions in doubles action to earn the point after winning in the No. 1 and 2 bouts, both by close scores of 8-6. The Illini dominated singles competition, winning matches in the No. 3, 4 and 5 bouts.
In doubles action, senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) were downed by the 24th-ranked doubles pairing of Dennis Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse, 8-6. Slagter and Lee held a 5-4 lead, but the Illini tandem won four of the final five games to win the match.
From there, the doubles point was clinched when No. 38 Marek Czerwinski and Marc Spicijaric defeated junior Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.) and sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) in the No. 2 bout. Gormley and Bourchier trailed 5-3 eight games in, but fought back to tie it back up at five. Just as the Lions had the momentum, Illinois won three of the next four games to give the Illini a 1-0 advantage early in the match.
With the doubles point already decided, senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) had their match come to an end, leading 6-5 over Illinois' Meedo El Tabakh and Roy Kalmanovich. Lynch and St-Maurice trailed 5-1, but won the next five games to take the lead before doubles play ended.
Illinois took its 1-0 lead into singles action. In the No. 3 bout, Lee lost a tough match to the 38th-ranked Nevolo in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. The Illini earned its third point in the No. 4 matchup when Marek Czerwinski defeated Bourchier, 6-1, 6-3. Illinois had a 3-0 lead.
The match was clinched when Abe Souza defeated St-Maurice in the No. 5 bout, 6-2, 6-4. St-Maurice had leads of 1-0 in the first set and 2-1 in the second set. However, Souza was too tough to handle, as the Nittany Lion junior was never able to hold on.
With the match decided, Slagter gave the 50th-ranked Kalmanovich a nice battle. The senior captain dominated Kalmanovich in the first set with a 6-1 victory. Kalmanovich answered in the second set, edging Slagter 6-4, tying the match at one set a-piece before singles play concluded.
Lynch fought hard in his match with Spicijaric in the No. 1 bout. The senior lost the first set, 6-2, and was up 5-4 in the second set before play ended. Additionally, Gormley lost his first set to El Tabakh on court No. 6, 7-6 (4).
Penn State finishes the season 14-13 with a 4-6 record in Big Ten competition.
Final Score: #14 Illinois 4 def. #54 Penn State 0