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Jan. 17, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team opens spring play this weekend as they welcome three teams to Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions will face #40 N.C. State on Saturday at Noon. They will then face #69 Cornell and Cleveland State in a Sunday doubleheader. The Cornell match will start at noon and Cleveland State will follow at 5:00 p.m. The matches will be played at the Indoor Tennis Facility.
The Nittany Lions return eight members from last year's squad, including junior Russell Bader(Austin, Texas), sophomore Tomas Hanzlik(Prague, Czech Republic), and senior Bryan Welnetz(Laredo, Texas). Two freshman were also added to the mix in Matt Barry(Lido Beach, N.Y.) and Roman Trkulja(Toronto, Canada).
Barry led the team with 12 wins this fall, including a win in the consolation final at Big Ten Indoors and an appearance in the draw final at the Farnsworth/Princeton Invitational. Welnetz went 7-5 with wins at the ITA All-American Championships, ITA Atlantic Regional, and the USTA Clay Court Invitational.
N.C. State enters the season opener ranked 40th in the preseason ITA Poll. Sophomore Austin Powell led the Wolfpack with nine wins this fall, while junior Sean Weber went 3-2 against ranked opponents.
N.C. State leads the all-time series 3-0, including a 6-1 win in Raleigh last year.
Cornell also earned preseason honors, coming in 69th in the ITA Poll. Junior Spencer Clark won 11 matches this fall to lead the Big Red. Sophomores Sam Fleck and Quoc-Daniel Nguyen went 10-1 this fall as a doubles team.
With a 26-11 record, Cornell leads the all-time series. The Nittany Lions defeated them 5-2 last year at Cornell.
The Nittany Lions will meet Cleveland State for the first time on Sunday. Junior Matt Ford and freshman Joe VanMeter, who both picked up eight wins this fall, lead the Vikings. In doubles, sophomores Niklas Jonsson and Ali Shabib combined to go 11-2.
GoPSUSports.com will have full coverage throughout the weekend. Fans can also follow the action on Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN.