Nittany Lion Tennis Heads to No. 2 Ohio State and No. 41 Indiana To Close Out Regular Season
April 18, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 42nd-ranked Nittany Lion men's tennis team (14-9, 5-3) closes out its regular season schedule with a pair critical road matches. First up, Penn State will travel to No. 2 Ohio State (27-1, 8-0) on Saturday at noon. One day later, the Nittany Lions will head to Bloomington for a noon match against 41st-ranked Indiana (14-7, 4-4).
Penn State heads into the weekend off three consecutive 7-0 victories. The Lions knocked off Bucknell and Bloomsburg last week in a pair of non-conference matches before sweeping Michigan State in the home finale. The second-ranked Buckeyes head into the weekend riding a 69-match home winning streak. Ohio State is a perfect 11-0 at home and 8-0 in conference matches. The Hoosiers will play host to Michigan on Saturday before hosting the Lions on Sunday. Indiana is 4-4 in the conference and has won two of its last three matches in the Big Ten. With just one match separating the Lions and the Hoosiers in the standings, Sunday's bout will play a pivotal role in the seeding for the Big Ten Championships slated for April 24-27 in Iowa City.
Junior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) have gelled into a stout doubles team during the dual match season this spring, and have now climbed to No. 14 in the ITA collegiate doubles rankings. Lynch and James are a 14-1 as a doubles duo thus far in 2008 after defeating Michigan State's No. 1 team on Saturday.
After getting off to a strong start to the dual season, James is ranked 63rd in the ITA National Collegiate singles rankings. The Lion senior is 10-8 in duals this spring, including 10 matches against ranked players. Overall, the Nittany Lion senior is 7-9 against ranked opponents this season. James owns a 25-12 singles record this season. James picked up his 100th career victory earlier this spring at Cornell. He is 106-37 for his career.
Lynch owns a team-best 26-8 record in 2008. He is 15-5 in dual-match record. Lynch is 6-2 in the Big Ten, and has won five of his last six outings in the conference. He started off the season with five consecutive victories in dual matches. He has also tallied a 25-4 overall doubles record this season to lead the Nittany Lions. The Maryland native boasts a 16-1 record in dual matches. For his career, Lynch is 36-8 in doubles play.
Junior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) has been playing some of the best tennis of his collegiate career in the past month. He has recorded wins in six of his last eight singles outings, including his last three. The Lion junior most recently knocked off Alex Forger of Michigan State in a three-set match on Saturday. Slagter is now 12-9 on the year and 9-6 in duals. Slagter owns a 60-29 career record.
Freshman Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) got off to a bit of a rocky start to his collegiate dual-match career, but has gone on to win his last seven singles outings. The Australian rookie is now 21-11 overall this season, including 11-7 in dual matches. After defeating Michigan State's Adam Monich by a score of 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 1-0 (10-7), Bourchier is now 6-2 in Big Ten play this spring.
The second-ranked Buckeyes once again are among the nation's elite men's tennis programs in 2008. Riding a 15-match winning streak, Ohio State is 27-1 this season, with the lone loss coming at the hands of No. 1 Virginia in a tight 4-1 decision at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The Buckeyes are undefeated at home (11-0) and in the Big Ten (8-0). Ohio State has now won 69 consecutive home matches, dating back to 2003. The Buckeyes have relinquished a total of only six points in their eight Big Ten bouts. They have a 4-1 record against top 10 opponents this spring. Individually, the Buckeyes have three players ranked in the top 25 of the ITA national singles rankings.
Penn State has dropped the last two meetings between the two schools by a score of 5-2. The Lions have dropped their last nine outings against the Buckeyes. Penn State last beat Ohio State back on Feb. 14, 1999 (6-1).
The 42nd-ranked Hooisers come into the weekend with a 14-7 record in Big Ten play. Indiana has won two of its last three dual matches in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers dropped a hard-fought 5-2 decision to 17th-ranked Illinois in their last outing over the weekend. Indiana holds an 11-7 edge in the all-time series against Penn State. The Nittany Lions edged Indiana in the last meeting by a score of 4-3 on April 22, 2007. The victory sealed a birth into the NCAA Championships for the Nittany Lions.
Penn State will now turn its attention to the 2008 Big Ten Championships in Iowa City. The Big Ten Men's Tennis Championship will be held at Iowa April 24-27, 2008. The 2008 tournament features all 11 Big Ten teams in action, competing in 10 matches over four days to crown the 2008 champion and earn the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.