No. 24 Nittany Lions Set to Face No. 43 Wolverines in Big Ten Quarterfinals
April 24, 2014
Penn State clinched the third seed with two wins last weekend. They topped No. 63 Nebraska, 7-0, on Friday and defeated Iowa, 6-1, on Sunday.
Nittany Lions, led by Head Coach Jeff Zinn, set school records with 21 overall wins and eight conference wins this spring. They also set a new program mark with 10 wins against ranked opponents and went 15-0 at home.
Sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) is 17-5 this spring with seven wins against ranked opponents. He went 6-4 in dual matches against Big Ten foes. Stakhovsky, ranked 37th in the ITA Poll, has won three Big Ten Athlete of the Week awards.
Senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) is 19-6 this spring and 26-10 overall. He set a new career high for wins in a season.
Bader currently ranks fourth on the all-time singles wins list at Penn State. With 93 career wins, he is one behind Michael Carter (1993-97) for third place.
Sophomore Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) is 16-4 at the No. 4 singles spot this spring. He has 25 wins overall and went 7-4 in Big Ten play.
Freshman Alex Fennell (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) has 15 wins this spring, while sophomore Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) has 14. Freshman Nika Dolidze (Tbilisi, Georgia) won two matches last weekend after being inserted into the lineup at No. 6 singles.
One of the key factors in the Nittany Lions' success this season has been their dominance in doubles. Penn State has won the doubles point in 22 of their 25 matches and swept the doubles matches five times.
Bader and Stakhovsky are ranked 33rd in the ITA Doubles Poll. The duo is 16-5 this spring, while competing exclusively at No. 1 doubles. They have three wins over ranked opponents, including over Ohio State's third-ranked doubles team and Michigan's 22nd-ranked team.
Junior Michael Reilly (Raleigh, N.C.) and senior Chris Young (Melbourne, Australia) are 13-2 this spring at No. 2 doubles with two wins against ranked foes. They were ranked as high as 54th in the doubles poll this spring.
Barry and Trkulja have gone 5-0 since being placed in the third doubles position.
Penn State defeated Michigan, 5-2, earlier this year in Ann Arbor. Penn State won the doubles point and got singles wins at No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5.
The Wolverines, ranked 43rd in the ITA Poll, went 14-11 overall and 6-5 in the Big Ten in the regular season. They have five wins against Top 75 opponents.
Alex Petrone is ranked 111th in the ITA Poll with a mark of 12-12. He has five wins at No. 1 singles.
Justin Rossi has 13 wins this spring, while Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks each have 12. Kevin Wong is 7-1.
Buzzi and Franks are currently ranked 32nd in the doubles poll. They are 7-10 this spring an 8-11 overall. They have three wins against ranked opponents with each of those opponents ranked in the Top 20.
Shaun Bernstein and Wong have combined to go 13-3 in doubles, while Petrone and Michael Zhu have 11 wins this spring.
The Big Ten Tournament is being hosted by Michigan State. The tournament website can be found here with links to live stats and box scores for every match: http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/bigten-champ-2014.html.
Please check back to GoPSUSports.com throughout the weekend for more coverage of the Penn State men's tennis team at the Big Ten Tournament. Updates can also be found on our Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN, pages.