Nittany Lion Tennis Travels to No. 11 Illinois and No. 53 Indiana this Weekend
April 10, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With a lot on the table in the final three weeks of the season, the 61st-ranked Penn State men's team (10-9, 3-3) will head to Illinois and Indiana this weekend for a pair of Big Ten matchups. The Nittany Lions will face the Illini on Saturday, followed by the Hoosiers on Sunday. Both serve times are set for noon.
Last Time Out
Penn State got off to rough start last weekend with a 6-1 loss to the 47th-ranked Michigan Wolverines. Michigan started the match with a 1-0 lead after winning two of its three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. From there, the Wolverines won five of the six singles matches to get the 6-1 victory over the Nittany Lions. Penn State's only victory came in the No. 3 bout, where freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) defeated Sroczynski in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5).
Following a difficult 6-1 loss to Michigan on Saturday, the Nittany Lions were back in action on Sunday and captured a 5-2 victory over the Michigan State Spartans. After losing in the first completed doubles match, the Nittany Lions won the final two to clinch the doubles point. From there, Penn State won four of six singles matches to get the 5-2 victory. Lee, senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas), senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and sophomore Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) all earned singles victories for the Lions.
The Illini (17-5, 6-0) currently sits tied for first place with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten standings. Leading the way for Illinois is Dennis Nevolo. Nevolo sits at 7-7 on the year in dual matches, with a 3-4 record in the No. 1 spot. Additionally, he is ranked 39th in the most recent ITA Singles Rankings. Roy Kalmanovich is ranked 42nd in the country and holds an 11-5 record in dual matches. Kalmanovich has played the majority of his matches in the No. 3 spot, posting a 7-1 record. Nevolo and Ruan Roelofse have teamed as a doubles tandem this spring, going 6-3 and currently sit 18th in the ITA Doubles Rankings. Illinois holds a 77-45 record in singles matches and a 40-20 record in doubles.
Penn State holds a 3-21 record all-time vs. the Illini. Last season, the Lions faced a tough 5-2 setback to Illinois in Champaign. Illinois clinched the doubles point and from there, won four of the six singles matches. Bourchier and junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) picked up victories for Penn State.
Indiana enters its matchup with Penn State holding an 11-11 record, with a 3-3 record in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers earned two victories early in the Big Ten season over Wisconsin and Northwestern, both scores being 4-3. Leading the way for Indiana is the 85th-ranked Lachlan Ferguson. Ferguson is 10-9 in singles action this spring, all coming in the No. 1 bout. Santiago Gruter and Jeremy Langer have led the Hoosiers in doubles action this year, going 14-7 as a team.
The Nittany Lions hold a 7-12 record all-time vs. the Hoosiers. On April 20 last season, Penn State snuck out a nice 5-2 victory over Indiana. After losing the doubles point and falling behind 1-0, the Lions won five of six singles matches to earn the critical Big Ten victory.
Penn State will return home to University Park on April 15, as it takes on Bucknell at 5 p.m., followed by Bloomsburg at 7:30 p.m. The Lions will then conclude the regular season hosting Wisconsin on April 17 and Northwestern on April 19. The Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor, Mich. begin on April 23.