Nittany Lion Tennis to Take on No. 17 Michigan at the Big Ten Championship
April 23, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 40th-ranked and fifth-seeded Nittany Lion men's tennis team (15-10, 6-4) heads into the 2008 Big Ten Championship having won nine of its last 11 matches. The Nittany Lions will meet 17th-ranked and fourth-seeded Michigan (17-5, 7-3) in the quarterfinals of the draw on Friday at 10 a.m. CT in Iowa City.
After finishing the season off with a 5-2 victory over Indiana on Sunday, Penn State garnered the No. 5 seed for the Big Ten Championship. Penn State chalked up a 6-4 record in the Big Ten for the second-straight season, tying a program-high six victories set back in 2007.
Brendan Lynch (North Potomac, Md.), James Dwyer (Peachtree City, Ga.), Eddie Bourchier (Hobart, Australia) and Guillaume St-Maurice (Saint-Eustache, Quebec) each tallied seven victories in the Big Ten this spring, marking the first time in program history that four Penn State players have won at least seven Big Ten singles duals in a single season. Lynch, Dwyer and Bourchier each went 7-3, while St-Maurice notched a 7-2 record in conference matches.
Senior Michael James (Clifton, Va.) and Lynch have gelled into a stout doubles team during the dual match season this spring, and are now ranked No. 27 in the ITA collegiate doubles rankings. Lynch and James are a 14-3 as a doubles duo thus far in 2008.
If Penn State beats fourth-seeded Michigan on Friday, the Lions will take on the winner of No. 8 seed Purdue or No. 9 seed Iowa vs. No. 1 seed Ohio State on Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT) on Saturday. Penn State defeated Iowa and Purdue by a score of 6-1 earlier this season. The Nittany Lions fell to Ohio State on April 19 by a score of 6-1 in Columbus.
The 17th-ranked Wolverines come into the weekend having lost three of their last four matches. After dropping a 5-2 decision at Illinois on April 6, the Wolverines ousted Notre Dame by a score of 6-1. Michigan fell to No. 41 Indiana (5-2) and No. 2 Ohio State (7-0) in the Big Ten regular season finale. Michigan also battled a pair of top five opponents this spring, dropping both matches to No. 1 Virginia (5-2) and then-No. 5 Texas (6-1).
Michigan leads the all-time series between the two schools, 15-5. However, the Nittany Lions have won two of the last three meetings. Michigan handed the Lions a 5-2 setback at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center on March 24. 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.
Live scoring, match results and photos from the four-day tournament will all be available at www.hawkeyesports.com. The Big Ten Network will also air a tape-delayed broadcast of Sunday's championship final match May 7 at 8 p.m.
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. Action will be held at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex (indoor) and the Klotz Outdoor Courts.