54th-Ranked Men's Tennis Opens Play in Big Ten Tournament Thursday
April 21, 2009
University Park, Pa. - The Penn State men's tennis team (13-12, 4-6) will kickoff its play in the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday with a matchup vs. the Purdue Boilermakers. First serve time is set for 3 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Lions beat Purdue earlier this season, 4-3.
Penn State enters the tournament with a No. 7 seed facing Purdue, which holds the No. 10 seed. If the Nittany Lions were to defeat Purdue on Thursday, they will face the No. 2 seed Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday. Penn State lost 7-0 in its match vs. the Illini in Champaign earlier this season.
Live scoring and video for all Big Ten Tournament matches will be available at http://livestats.mgoblue.com/tennis/index-m.shtml.
Last Time Out
The Nittany Lions split a pair of Big Ten matches at home last weekend. In the first match on Friday, Penn State upset the 30th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers, 5-2. The Nittany Lions dominated the match from the beginning, clinching the doubles point with victories in all three bouts. From there, Penn State won four of the six singles matches, en route to a 5-2 victory.
On Sunday, the Lions were downed by No. 44 Northwestern, 5-2. Penn State lost the doubles point and won two singles matches. Senior Adam Slagter (Austin, Texas) and senior Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.) celebrated senior day by winning their matches.
Last Time vs. Purdue
On Feb. 22, the Nittany Lions clipped Purdue, 4-3. Penn State came out and won all three doubles matches to clinch the doubles point. The Lions then went on to win three of the six singles matches to earn the 4-3 win over the Boilermakers. Junior Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) clinched the match point for the Nittany Lions.
Purdue enters the match vs. Penn State finishing the regular season with a 7-15 record and 1-9 in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers' lone Big Ten victory came in a 5-2 victory over Michigan State on April 11.
Leading the way for Purdue is Slavko Bijelica, who is 12-9 this spring in the No. 1 bout. Bijelica, who went 12-4 this past fall as well, defeated Slagter on Feb. 22, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Additionally, he earned a nice victory over Illinois' 50th-ranked Marc Spicijaric on Feb. 27.
Slagter and Lee Ranked in Doubles
Slagter and freshman Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) made the ITA Doubles Rankings for the first time this season, as they are slated 78th in the rankings that were released Tuesday. Slagter and Lee finished the spring season with a 13-11 record in the No. 1 bout and went a respectable 4-6 vs. ranked opponents. Penn State's last doubles pairing to be ranked was St-Maurice and Lynch back on March 3, when they sat at No. 80 in the rankings.
For more information on the Big Ten Tournament, visit www.BigTen.com.