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March 27, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion men's tennis team (6-8, 1-2) returns home this weekend with four matches over the course of three days. First up, Penn State will meet Minnesota (3 p.m.) and Lehigh (7 p.m.) on Friday. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions are slated to take on Iowa (10 a.m.) and St. Bonaventure (3 p.m.).
This weekend will put a cap on six-straight home matches for Penn State. The Lions will look to rebound from a pair of tough losses against No. 48 Wisconsin (4-3) and No. 14 Michigan (5-2). Penn State has kicked off the 2008 season with 11 of its first 14 matches against ranked opponents. The Nittany Lions notched ranked victories over then-No. 68 Northwestern (7-0), then-No. 21 Alabama (4-3) and then-No. 35 Boise State (4-1).
Junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and Michael James (Clifton, Va.) have gotten off to a blistering hot start as a doubles team during the dual match season this spring. Lynch and James, who are ranked 34th in the ITA doubles rankings, take a perfect 10-0 doubles record into this weekend's action. The duo knocked off the 21st-ranked Michigan duo of Jason Jung and Mike Sroczynski in their last outing to remain perfect.
Junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) is playing some of the best tennis of his collegiate career. After notching a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Alabama's Mathieu Thibaudeau, Slagter picked up a pair of impressive victories over two talented freshmen last weekend. The Lion junior handed Wisconsin's Marek Michalicka his first loss of the dual season on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-3. One day, later Slagter outlasted Michigan rookie phenom Jason Jung by a score of 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (4). He is now 8-7 on the year and 5-4 in duals. Slagter owns a 57-27 career record.
Minnesota comes into the weekend with 10 losses in its last 11 outings. Nevertheless, the 2-12 overall record is not indicative of Minnesota's talent level. The Golden Gophers recorded a 4-3 victory over then-No. 38 William & Mary back on March 2. Minnesota also battled Indiana to a 4-3 decision in its last outing.
The No. 46-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes bring a 9-4 record into this weekend. Iowa will travel to Michigan on Friday before the clash with the Nittany Lions on Sunday. Iowa is 1-1 in Big Ten play. They opened the spring with a 4-3 triumph over Indiana. In their second Big Ten bout, the Hawkeyes fell to No. 2 Ohio State, 7-0. The Hawkeyes are coming off a pair of victories over No. 67 San Diego (4-1) and No. 72 Middle Tennessee State (4-2).
Penn State heads out on the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten matches. The Nittany Lions will travel to Champaign on April 5 to take on Illinois in a noon match. Penn State will cap off the weekend with a noon match against Purdue in West Lafayette on April 6.