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May 20, 2014
Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) and sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) are set to represent the No. 23 Penn State men's tennis team at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, held May 21-26 in Athens, Ga.
Stakhovsky will face Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin, ranked 21st in the ITA Poll, at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in the First Round of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Bader and Stakhovsky will take on Memphis' David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury, ranked 13th, at 9 a.m. on Thursday in the First Round of the NCAA Doubles Championship.
As a team, Penn State, led by head coach Jeff Zinn, finished the season with a program-record 22 wins and earned their sixth NCAA Tournament bid in program history.
In the NCAA Tournament, the Nittany Lions competed in the Charlottesville regional. Penn State advanced to the second round by defeating No. 50 UNC Wilmington, 4-2, with Stakhovsky clinching the match. In the second round, Penn State won the doubles point, but dropped a 4-1 result to No. 4 Virginia.
Stakhovsky, ranked 37th in the ITA Poll, will compete in the NCAA Singles Championships. The sophomore is 18-7 this spring with eight wins against ranked opponents. He has four wins against Top 50 opponents, including Illinois' Jared Hiltzik, ranked 9th.
Against UNC Wilmington, Stakhovsky took on Rafael Aita. After splitting the first two sets, Stakhovsky was trailing 7-4 in the final set. The Kiev, Ukraine native rallied to win the next three games to win the set and clinch the match point for Penn State.
Stakhovsky is one 26 Penn State players to qualify for the NCAA Singles Championships and the first since 2005, when Mark Barry competed.
Vanderbilt's Gonzales Austin is 15-5 this spring and 27-9 overall, including 14 wins against ranked opponents. He has five wins against Top 50 foes. Austin has played mostly at the No. 1 singles position for the Commodores.
Bader and Stakhovsky are 18-6 in dual matches with five wins against ranked opponents. They are ranked 26th in the ITA Doubles Poll. They have two wins against Top 25 opponents, including Ohio State's 3rd-ranked team, Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka.
The Penn State duo helped Penn State to clinch the doubles point against Virginia with their 8-5 win against the Cavaliers' top doubles team, Luca Corinteli and Mac Styslinger, ranked 53rd in the nation.
This is Bader's second appearance in the NCAA Doubles Championships. Bader and Jason Lee competed at the 2012 tournament.
Bader currently has 81 career doubles wins, two behind his former partner, Eddie Bourchier (2007-11) for first place all-time at Penn State.
Memphis' David O'Hare and Joe Salisbury are 10-3 this spring and 22-8 overall. They have a mark of 7-3 against ranked opponents. They have six wins against Top 50 opponents. The Tigers duo has played exclusively at No. 1 doubles.
Please check back to GoPSUSports.com throughout the weekend for more coverage of the Penn State men's tennis team at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships. Updates are also available on our Facebook, Penn State Men's Tennis, and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN, pages.