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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion men's tennis team traveled to Princeton for the Ivy Plus Invitational this weekend. After a very successful weekend in New Jersey, the Penn State men's tennis team concluded competition this afternoon with three titles.
After three days of competition, the blue and white had two singles players and a doubles pair all reach the finals of their respective flights. Junior Constant De La Bassetiere (Reims, France) and sophomore Christian Lakoseljac (Ontario, Canada) each won their singles draw. Lakoseljac and De La Bassetiere also combined to make it to the finals of their doubles draw, coming away with the title.
We have played this tournament the last 5 years because of the quality of the competition and the ability to get great matches for 3 straight days," said head coach Jeff Zinn. "It didn't disappoint and we came ready to play from the first ball struck on Friday. Constant and Christian played flawlessly throughout the weekend. They beat some really tough competition and ranked players along the way to the finals and championship match."
The tournament began on Friday and freshman Alp Sentay (Izmar Turkey) and sophomore Christos Antonopoulos (Athens, Greece) were defeated in a tough doubles match, falling 8-6 to Virginia Tech's Feliksas Sakalauskas and Chase Bernstine.
The No. 18 ranked doubles tandem of De La Bassetiere and Lakoseljac defeated Cornell's Jacob Hanson and Lev Kazakov 8-1 in their first doubles match of the weekend. Later that day, the duo defeated Columbia's Jack Mingjie Lin and Jackie Tang 8-5. On the final day of play, Lakoseljac and De La Bassetiere won their doubles draw after defeating Harvard's Kenny Tao and Lucas Koelle in a tough 8-7 match.
The Nittany Lions also had a successful weekend in the singles draw.
Sentay had a tough first match in his draw and was defeated by Columbia's Timothy Wang 6-7, 7-4, 6-1. Sophomore Antonopoulos had a tough start to his match, but defeated Dartmouth's Dan Martin 6-7, 3-7, 6-3, 6-2. In his second match, Antonopoulos defeated Columbia's Austen Huang 6-4, 6-4. In the semi-final round the Lion fell as Florida's Andres Andrade defeated Antonopoulos 7-5, 6-2.
"Christos and Alp also played very well with Christos bringing home the 3rd place trophy in his respective draw," said Coach Zinn. "He had a very tough semifinal match against a player from the University of Florida that could have gone either way. He bounced back today and beat a very tough Brown player for 3rd place. Alp won his last 2 singles matches in his first collegiate tournament."
Lakoseljac defeated Penn's Josh Pompan 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) in the opening round. On the next day of competition, Lakoseljac took down Cornell's Pietro Rimondini 6-0, 6-2. In the semi-final round of his draw, Lakoseljac defeated No. 94 Dylan King of Yale University 6-2, 6-1. To conclude a successful weekend for the sophomore, Lakoseljac won his draw 7-5, 6-2 after defeating Florida's Jordan Belga.
No. 118 De La Bassetiere kicked off his draw by defeating Penn's Kyle Mautner 7-6, 4-7, 6-4. De La Bassetiere defeated Virginia Tech's Jason Kros 6-2, 6-3 in the second round. In the semi-final round of the tournament, De La Bassetiere overcame a first game loss and defeated No. 73 Jackie Tang 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 of Columbia University. On the last day of play, De La Bassetiere won his draw after defeating Princeton's Ryan Seggerman 6-4, 6-3.
"You can't ask for anything better than taking home three main draw wins in the top flights," said associate head coach Paul Tobin. "Constant and Christian were on fire in both singles and doubles winning their flights. Christos and Alp had some tough early round matches that could have gone in either direction. This was Alps first college match format and he needs to get more comfortable in the deuce points. Alp has been coming off about 4 months without a competitive match so he just needs more matches under his belt before he feels comfortable."
The Nittany Lion's next action will be September 30-October 2 at the ITA All-Americans in Tulsa, Okla.
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