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April 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 24 Penn State men's tennis sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) has been named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Stakhovsky has won the award three times this spring.
The sophomore earned 6-2, 6-2 wins in both of his matches this past weekend, with both wins coming against Top 40 singles opponents.
Stakhovsky is the first Penn State player to win Player of the Week three times in one season and just the second Nittany Lions to win it three times in their career. Michael James earned the honor twice in 2007 and once in 2008.
The Kiev, Ukraine native is also the first Penn State player to win the award in back-to-back weeks since Malcolm Scatliffe won it on March 23 and March 31, 2004.
Stakhovsky, ranked 50th in the ITA Poll, knocked off No. 10 Illinois' 9th-ranked Jared Hiltzik on Friday to help Penn State to a 4-3 win. Hiltzik is the highest ranked opponent that Stakhovsky has defeated this spring.
In Sunday's match, Stakhovsky defeated No. 28 Northwestern's 37th-ranked Raleigh Smith to help the Nittany Lions collect another 4-3 win.
The Kiev, Ukraine native now has six wins this spring over ranked opponents and an overall mark of 15-2. He has a five-match win streak entering this weekend.
Stakhovsky paired up with Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) in an 8-5 victory against Northwestern's top doubles team, Smith and Sam Shropshire, to help Penn State clinch the doubles point.
The Penn State duo, ranked 28th in the ITA Doubles Poll, is 12-4 this spring with two wins against ranked opponents.
The Nittany Lions dropped one spot in the ITA Poll this week to 24th in the nation. They travel to No. 70 Wisconsin on Friday for a 6 p.m. start. On Sunday, they head to No. 51 Minnesota for a 1 p.m. match.
Please check back to GoPSUSports.com throughout the week for more coverage of the Penn State men's tennis team. Fans can also follow the team on Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN.