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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's tennis team will kick off the fall tournament circuit for the 2017-2018 season this weekend on the road at the Princeton Ivy Plus Tournament. The Nittany Lions will begin play this Friday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. and continue through the weekend, concluding the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 24.
"It's our first tournament of the fall season and we are throwing the guys straight into the fire," said head coach Jeff Zinn. "This tournament is stacked with so many good players from so many teams participating. We are taking our four highest ranked players and hoping they can go far in the tournament. This is the best way to get the most out of a team and we are always trying to put our players in tough situations and conditions. We want our players tested early and often against the best competition in the nation. We feel this tournament does just that and we are excited for the season to begin."
Unlike last year's split tournament, which was held in Philadelphia and Princeton, the Ivy Plus will only be held at Princeton this season. Play will take place at the Lenz Tennis Center.
Last season, the Nittany Lions finished with a 17-14 record. This included five Big Ten wins in the regular season and 1-1 in the tournament. The team had 11 victories on home court. However, confidence is high for a successful 2017-18 season.
"This is going to be a strong tournament with coaches bringing their top players," said associate head coach Paul Tobin. "Our guys are certainly ready but it's been about a month since they've had competition. These first couple of tournaments really helps us gauge their performance and what we need to work on moving forward."
Constant De La Bassetiere (Reims, France) returns as a junior this year following a 13-11 showing last year. De La Bassetiere enters the season ranked No. 118 in singles. Matt Galush (Cary, NC) is also returning following a 5-4 singles season. Also returning are juniors Zach and Ben Leib (Newton Square, Pa.) with impressive 12-3 and 14-9 records, respectively. After transferring to Penn State last season, Henry Gordon (New Braunfels, Texas) returns following an 11-5 season.
Christian Lakoseljac (King City, Ontario, CA) returns as a sophomore this year following a 19-15 freshman campaign. Lakoseljac and De La Bassetiere have a solid No. 18 doubles ranking entering the new season. Also returning as a sophomore is Gabriel Nemeth (Brasilia, Brazil) who was 11-5 last year. Noah Sutter (New York, NY) returns this season as well.
Following this weekend's tournament, the Nittany Lion's next action will be September 30-October 2 at the ITA All-Americans in Tulsa, Okla. Check back to GoPSUsports and our social media pages throughout this weekend for coverage of the Lions at the Ivy Plus Invitational!
Stay up-to-date with the Penn State men's tennis team at GoPSUsports.com. For continued updates throughout the year, be sure to follow us on twitter @pennstateMTEN and `like' us on Facebook.