Penn State Men's Tennis Travels to Blue Gray Tournament
Feb. 23, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team (6-3) will travel to Montgomery, Ala. this weekend for the annual Blue Gray Tournament. The Nittany Lions will kick off the weekend against the No. 26 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-4) Friday at 4:30 p.m.
"We are very excited to be heading to Montgomery to compete again in the prestigious Blue Gray Tournament," said Coach Todd Doebler. "This tournament always brings some of the best teams in the country to the event and this year is no different. We will need to be ready to compete at a very high level for all three days."
Last weekend, Penn State dropped a tough match to No. 30 Virginia Tech (7-4), 4-3. After taking the doubles point, junior Jason Lee (Sydney, Australia) defeated Patrick Daciek (6-3, 6-0) in second singles to give the Nittany Lions a 2-0 lead. From there Virginia Tech rallied to win four straight singles to clinch the match before junior Chris Hasyn (Lansdale, Pa.) took fifth singles (5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-3) and the final point.
Senior Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) looks to continue his quest to become the Penn State career doubles victories leader this weekend. With three doubles matches for the taking this weekend at the Blue Gray Tournament, Bourchier could tie the current record of 73 doubles victories. Bourchier is 12-4 in doubles action this season and is 10-3 when partnered with Lee. Additionally, Bourchier is 12-6 in singles play.
Lee enters the weekend with 12-5 singles record this season, including winning eight of his last 10 matches, as well as posting an 11-6 mark in doubles matches. Hasyn has come on strong for the Nittany Lions recently, posting seven victories in his last 10 outings. He now boasts an 8-6 record in singles matches for the season.
This weekend, the Nittany Lions enter the 60th edition of the prestigious Blue Gray Tournament. The tournament only invited individuals for the first 30 years of existence. For the past 30 years, since switching to a team tournament format, some of the most prestigious competition has been invited annually, including Florida, Georgia, USC, Illinois, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, and hometown teams Alabama and Auburn. Seven Grand Slam singles finalists have competed in the Blue Gray Tournament during their collegiate years, including James Blake.
This year's field will pit the Nittany Lions against fierce competition, including Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, Boise State, Notre Dame, Pepperdine and Texas Tech.
Penn State will open the draw against No. 26 Notre Dame Friday afternoon. Led by head coach Bob Bayliss, the Irish are 7-4 on the season, including victories over No. 24 Oklahoma, No. 29 North Carolina and No. 40 Wisconsin. Junior Casey Watt, who is currently the ITA No. 77 singles player, leads the Irish attack with 11 victories out of the first singles position this season. Notre Dame also boasts two ranked doubles pairings. Tyler Davis and Stephen Havens are currently No. 28 in the ITA ranking and are 10-7 on the season. The No. 51 doubles team of Niall Fitzgerald and Spencer Talmadge are 15-8 together this season in the second doubles position.
The Nittany Lions will continue the Blue Gray Tournament Saturday Feb. 26 against either No. 32 Alabama or No 21 Pepperdine based on the result of the Notre Dame match. The tournament will conclude with a third and final match Sunday. Penn State will then return home to open Big Ten play against No. 4 Ohio State Friday, March 4.