Men's Tennis Up to 34 in Latest ITA Poll
Feb. 25, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team jumped up nine spots to No. 34 in the ITA Poll on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions tied their highest ranking in school history. Sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) moved up to No. 50 in the ITA Singles Poll.
Penn State equaled the highest ranking in school history. They have reached 34 twice in school history with the latest coming on February 26, 2008. The Nittany Lions reached the NCAA Tournament that spring.
The Nittany Lions are off to their best start in school history after knocking off Penn, 5-2, this past weekend. Penn State is now 10-0, bettering the start by the 1992 team that won nine-straight matches to begin the season.
"As I told the players, this is just the beginning," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "We are just getting started. Enjoy the ride there will be ups and downs along the way to our ultimate goal of going deep into the NCAA Tournament."
"We have the talent. We have the belief. Now we just need to control our emotions under pressure and see where that takes us," added Zinn.
Penn State is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten. They take on the other undefeated team, No. 1 Ohio State(15-0), this Sunday in Columbus. The Nittany Lions will look to break the Buckeyes' 181-home match win streak.
"People around the country are now seeing how tough the Big Ten is in tennis," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "It will be a real test to see how far we have come since the early Fall, when we started competing."
Leo Stakhovsky moved up this week to 50th in the ITA Singles Poll. The sophomore is 9-0 this spring while competing in the top singles spot for Penn State. Stakhovsky has won all nine matches in straight-sets.
Stakhovsky has defeated two ranked opponents this spring, Virginia Tech's Amerigo Contini, ranked 26th, and VCU's Alexis Heugas, ranked 73rd.
No. 50 is the highest a Nittany Lion has been ranked since Michael James reached 41st on February 20, 2008.
Senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) dropped out of the rankings this week despite a 10-0 record this spring. Bader has also won 13-straight matches, dating back to the Fall. Bader was ranked 119th in the singles poll on February 11.
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