Nittany Lion Men's Tennis Earns No. 5 Seed for Big Ten Championship
April 20, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fresh off defeating Indiana (5-2) on Sunday, the Nittany Lion men's tennis team (15-10, 6-4) clinched the No. 5 seed for the Big Ten Men's Tennis Championship in Iowa City. Penn State will take on fourth-seeded Michigan (17-5, 7-3) on Friday at 10 a.m. (CT) at Iowa's Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex.
The two teams met at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center on March 24, with Michigan edging the Lions by a score of 5-2. Michigan snatched the doubles point by picking up a pair of victories, but the Nittany Lions fought back in singles action. After the Lions cut the score to 3-2 with four singles bouts completed, Michigan pulled out a pair of clutch three-set victories at the bottom of the lineup to clinch the nail-biting 5-2 victory.
Juniors Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) and Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) were the two Nittany Lions who scored singles victories against the Wolverines in March. Lynch gave the Nittany Lions their first point against Michigan with a straight-sets decision over Mike Sroczynski at No. 3. Lynch needed just two breaks over the course of two sets to secure the victory.
Slagter battled to a narrow three-set triumph over Jason Jung in the No. 2 clash. Jung notched the first with a 7-6 (4) victory. Slagter came roaring back in the second set with a 6-4 victory of his own. Slagter and Jung held service all the way through the set, which resulted in a tiebreaker. Slagter came up with a clutch 7-4 victory in the breaker to notch the point for the Lions.
Michigan leads the all-time series between the two schools, 15-5. However, the two schools have split the last four meetings. Last year, the Lions knocked off 21st-ranked Michigan in a tight 4-3 bout on March 10 in Ann Arbor. Penn State defeated Michigan by a score of 5-2 on April 21, 2006 in Happy Valley.
The winner of the Penn State/Michigan match will take on the winner of the match featuring top-seeded Ohio State and Iowa or Purdue. The Hawkeyes and Boilers will meet on Thursday, with the winner advancing for a match against the Buckeyes.
Penn State earned the No. 5 seed last year at the Big Ten Championship. The Lions fell to fourth-seeded Wisconsin by a score of 4-0 in West Lafayette, Ind.
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. For more information on the tournament, log on to Championship Central on www.hawkeyesports.com.