Nittany Lion Tennis To Host Mid-Week Doubleheader Against Bucknell and Bloomsburg
April 8, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a weekend split on the road, the 47th-ranked Penn State men's tennis team (11-9, 4-3) returns home for a rare mid-week doubleheader against Bucknell (8-6) and Bloomsburg (10-3) on Wednesday at Sarni Tennis Center. Due to the forecast of rain, both matches have been moved up. The Lions will first meet the Bison at 2 p.m., followed by a 5:30 p.m. match with the Huskies.
Penn State comes into the match having won five of its last six outings. The Nittany Lions currently sit 4-3 in conference matches with three Big Ten bouts remaining. Penn State is 4-0 this spring in non-conference matches at home.
Second-year head coach Todd Doebler will be facing off against his alma mater and former head coach when the Nittany Lions play Bloomsburg. He excelled on the court during his playing career with the Huskies under head coach Marty Coyne. Doebler, a 1996 graduate, won the conference doubles and team championships in 1994 and brought home the conference singles, doubles and team championships in 1995. Doebler is 1-0 coaching against the Huskies after the Lions defeated Bloomsburg by a score of 7-0 last year.
The Lions went 1-1 over the weekend in a road swing at Illinois and Purdue. On Saturday in Urbana, the talented 17th-ranked Illinois team clinched a tight doubles point with a pair of victories, and then rode strong singles play at the top of the lineup to oust the Nittany Lions, 5-2. Despite the setback, Penn State's No. 1 doubles team of senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) remained red-hot, as they improved to a perfect 13-0 in dual matches this spring with an 8-4 victory in their bout with the nation's 29th-ranked doubles team. After dropping a tight 9-8 tiebreak decision on Sunday, Lynch and James are now 13-1.
The Nittany Lions rebounded on Sunday at Purdue. Purdue scored a pair of tiebreaker victories in doubles action to clinch a hard-fought doubles point. However, Penn State bounced back in a big way when the match moved into singles action, as the Nittany Lions posted a clean sweep without dropping a set. The win over Purdue marked just the fourth time in Penn State's last 42 matches where it has lost the doubles point and gone on to win the match.
Bucknell brings an 8-6 record into the match with the Nittany Lions. The Bison have lost three of their last four outings, but posted a 4-3 victory over Colgate on April 5 in their last match. Ira Reibeisen and Ryan Sandburg lead Bucknell at the top of the singles lineup. Reibeisen is 6-4 in dual matches at the No. 1 spot. Sandburg has gone 9-6 overall this spring, including 4-1 at No. 1. Reibeisen and Sandburg have recorded a 9-4 record in doubles action as a team this season. Penn State defeated Bucknell by a score of 7-0 in the last meeting on Feb. 21. The Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, which dates back to 1921, 56-14-2.
The Bloomsburg Huskies head to Happy Valley with a 10-3 record in dual matches this spring. Playing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), the Huskies have won seven-straight matches this spring. Dan Gal leads the Huskies with a perfect 12-0 dual-match record at the No. 1 spot in the singles lineup. Ryan Chow is 9-2 overall this season, including a 5-0 mark at No. 2. Penn State last met Bloomsburg on Feb. 10, 2007 at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. The Nittany Lions posted a doubles sweep and failed to drop a set in the 7-0 shutout victory.
Penn State will return home on Saturday with a noon match against Michigan State. The bout with the Spartans will cap off the 2008 home schedule for the Nittany Lions. The match will take place at Sarni Tennis Center and admission is free.