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April 25, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 24 Penn State men's tennis team had two members named to the All-Big Ten teams, named Thursday. The honors are the latest mark of success for the 2014 Nittany Lions. Sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) was a unanimous selection to the First Team, while senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) was named to the Second Team.
Sophomore Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) was selected as a Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Bader and Stakhovsky join Ivan Spinner(1993-95), Michael Carter(1996-97), Jamie Gresh(2001-02), Mark Barry(2005-06), Michael James (2007-08) and Eddie Bourchier (2010) as Nittany Lions to receive the honor.
It is the first time in program history that two players were named All-Big Ten in the same year.
"What an honor for both Leo and Russell to be Big Ten All-Conference," said Head Coach Jeff Zinn. "I'm so proud of them as a coach and coaching them this year and how well they've done to be recognized by the other coaches in the Big Ten."
"Russell and Leo are great players and it's such an honor. Penn State has never had two in the same year, so that's even more exciting that we were able to get multiple All-Big Ten selections. It's an honor for them, it's an honor for the program and we're just very proud of them."
Stakhovsky was one of four Big Ten players to be a unanimous selection, joining Illinois' Farris Gosea, Minnesota's Leandro Toledo and Ohio State's Peter Kobelt.
The Kiev, Ukraine native is currently ranked 37th in the ITA Poll and reached as high as 33rd this spring. Stakhovsky and Bader are also ranked 33rd in the ITA Doubles Poll and have reached as high as 28th.
Stakhovsky is 17-5 this spring, playing all of his matches at the No. 1 singles spot. He has seven wins against ranked opponents and has a 6-4 record against Big Ten opponents.
Stakhovsky has defeated three opponents ranked in the Top 40 this season, knocking off Virginia Tech's No. 26 Amerigo Contini, Illinois' No. 9 Jared Hiltzik and Northwestern's No. 37 Raleigh Smith.
The sophomore was named Big Ten Player of the Week three times this spring, the most in a single season in Penn State history. He received that honor on February 4, March 26 and April 1.
Bader and Stakhovsky are 16-5 in doubles, while competing exclusively at No. 1 doubles. They have three wins over ranked opponents.
The duo defeated Ohio State's No. 3 ranked doubles team of Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka, 8-6, on March 2. They also knocked off Michigan's Alex Buzzi and Barrett Franks, ranked 22nd, and Indiana's Daniel Bednarczyk and Sam Monette, ranked 65th.
Bader was named All-Big Ten for the first time in his career. He has twice been named Academic All-Big Ten.
The senior is 19-6 in singles this spring and 26-10 overall. He was ranked 119th in the ITA Poll on February 11. He won his first 10 matches this spring, including a win over Virginia Tech's Andreas Bjerrehus, ranked 60th.
Bader set a new career high with 26 wins this year. He has won at least 22 matches in each of his four years.
He currently sits in fourth place on the all-time wins list at Penn State with 93 career wins. He is one behind Carter for third place.
Bader is 25-11 overall in doubles. He also set a new career high with 25 doubles wins. Only Brendan Lynch (2007-08) has more doubles wins in a single season with 26. Bader will have an opportunity to pass him this week at the Big Ten Tournament.
Bader, who went to the NCAA Doubles Tournament with Jason Lee in 2011, is currently in second place on the all-time doubles wins list. He has 79 career wins, four behind his former doubles partner, Bourchier, for the top spot.
The sophomore, Barry, won the sportsmanship award as Penn State's representative. He is 16-4 this spring and 25-8 overall in singles. He has also paired up with Roman Trkulja and Bader to go 6-1 in doubles in dual matches. He has 19 doubles wins overall.
"So proud of Russell and Leo for being named All-Big Ten," said Assistant Coach Paul Tobin. "Not only did they make a name for themselves in the Big Ten, but a name for Penn State. It's been a long season and both players did an amazing job pulling out matches in the top spots. Hopefully they will continue these wins in the Big Ten Tournament this weekend."
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