Nittany Lion Tennis Set for Doubleheader to Open Home Schedule on Saturday
Jan. 25, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Coming off a disappointing 5-2 loss at No. 12 Notre Dame on Sunday, the 40th-ranked Penn State men's tennis team will open its 2008 home schedule on Saturday with a doubleheader on tap at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. Penn State will first meet Binghamton at 10 a.m., followed by a bout with St. Joe's at 3 p.m.
Head coach Todd Doebler will kick off his second home season this weekend. The Nittany Lions went 10-3 last season at home, including 9-2 at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center.
"We are excited to get back on court after a tough loss at Notre Dame," said Doebler. "Binghamton will be a much better team than they have been in the past. Coach Cohen has done a great job bringing in some talented players, and he will have the team prepared for tomorrow. In the second match, I fully expect St. Joe's to be a much improved team over the fall. They always play hard with a lot of energy. From our standpoint, we are really looking forward to seeing how we compete as a team. We expect that our guys will be highly motivated to play both matches."
Junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) brings a 12-3 mark into the weekend, and has been the hottest player for Penn State this season. Lynch opened the spring campaign with a straight sets victory at the No. 4 spot at 12th-ranked Notre Dame. Lynch gave Penn State its first point in the match with a victory over Stephen Havens, 6-3, 6-2.
The Lion junior went 6-2 in duals last season after missing much of the spring with a collarbone injury. He owns a 47-15 overall singles record for his Penn State career. In all, he has won seven of his last nine dual outings. Lynch possesses a 29-8 overall record over the last two seasons.
Joining Lynch in the win column last week at Notre Dame was sophomore Ryan Gormley (Las Vegas, Nev.). Gormley knocked off Notre Dame's David Anderson in three sets (6-4, 3-6, 1-0(8)) to give Penn State its second point. The sophomore is 8-4 on the year, and owns a 16-6 career record in dual matches.
Senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.), who is ranked 51st in the ITA national rankings, opened his spring season with a 6-1, 7-5 setback against No. 11 Brett Helgeson of Notre Dame. James is 15-5 on the year. The Virginia native headed into the 2008 season on the brink of the 100 career victory plateau. James carries a 96-30 overall record into the weekend.
Led by head coach Adam Cohen, the Binghamton Bearcats enter the season after notching a talented recruiting class. The class includes Arnav Jain, who was ranked as high as 229 on the ITF junior tour, and Gregoire Berner. Senior Faisal Mohamed and junior Sebastian Dietz serve as the primary threats at the top of the lineup. Mohamed, who is ranked 20th in the regional rankings, went 8-3 during the fall, and advanced the Round of 16 at the ITA Northeast Regional Tournament. Dietz is ranked 28th in the region after going 9-6 in the fall. Alex Dobrin and Moshe Levy will also play a role for Binghamton this spring. The Bearcats went 9-11 last season.
The Hawks enter the season with senior Jarrett Chirico and juniors Pat Adams and Phil Bayliss occupying the slots in the upper half of the lineup. Chirico scored 15 victories at the No. 1 spot last spring. The Hawks went 10-10 last spring. Penn State faced off with St. Joe's in the first round of the ECAC Championships at Columbia University on Manhattan in September. The Lions jumped on the Hawks early, and scored a clean sweep (7-0). Despite resting four of its starters, Penn State managed to knock off the Hawks in straight sets at all six singles spots.
Penn State will head out on to the road for five consecutive matches beginning next week when the Lions travel to Virginia Tech on Sat., Feb. 2 at noon. Penn State will then head to Ithaca, N.Y., for a 1 p.m. match on Feb. 9 at Cornell. Following the bout with the Big Red, the Nittany Lions will travel to the ITA Intercollegiate Indoor Team Championships in Seattle.