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Dec. 3, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Men's tennis head coach Todd Doebler officially announced the 2011 spring schedule for this upcoming season. The Nittany Lions have another strong schedule this season, facing 11 opponents that were ranked in the ITA Top 75 computer rankings last season. The Nittany Lions will open up play on Sunday, Jan. 23 with a home doubleheader versus St. Bonaventure and Lehigh.
After traveling to face Princeton Saturday, Jan. 29, the Nittany Lions will return home to face Army (Sunday, Jan.30), a doubleheader against No. 59 North Carolina State and Bloomsburg (Saturday, Feb. 5), No. 65 Cornell (Saturday, Feb. 12) and another doubleheader against Buffalo and Bucknell (Sunday, Feb. 13). The team will take a non-conference road trip to face No. 24Virginia Tech Sunday, Feb. 20.
Penn State will participate in one regular-season tournament this year. The annual Blue-Gray Invitational is slated for Feb. 25-27 in Montgomery, Ala. The Blue-Gray Invitational features some of the premiere competition in the nation each year. Reigning champions No. 15 Texas Tech will head to Montgomery to defend their title. The field features many other quality opponents, including No. 21 Pepperdine, No. 31 Arizona, No. 32 Auburn, No. 34 Alabama, No. 38 Notre Dame and No. 42 Boise State.
Penn State is scheduled for a strong conference home slate this season. The Lions host the Ohio State Buckeyes, who appeared in the national quarterfinals last year, to start Big Ten conference play on Friday, March 4. The tough home slate continue Friday, April 8 against No. 26 Michigan and Sunday, April 10 against Michigan State. The final home weekend will feature Purdue on Friday, April 22 and No. 44 Indiana on Sunday, April 24.
After the Big Ten opener against Ohio State, Penn State visits South Florida in a non-conference road bout (Friday, March 11). The Lions finish the strong non-conference slate with at home with doubleheader on Sunday, March 13 against Navy and Villanova.
The Lions will then visit the No. 16 Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday, March 25. The road trip will continue on Sunday, March 27 at No. 63 Iowa and will look to avenge a 4-3 loss to No. 62 Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament when they travel to Evanston, Ill. April 3. The road conference schedule also includes trips to No. 33 Minnesota (Friday, April 15) and to No. 23 Wisconsin (Sunday, April 17).
The Nittany Lions just completed their fall season with a strong showing at the Big Ten Indoor Tournament. Junior Jason Lee (Melbourne, Australia) and sophomore Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) each won two matches. Welnetz defeated Iowa's Garrett Dunn, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-2, to advance to the consolation round of 16 and Lee defeated Barrett Franks of Michigan, 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 1-0 (4), to earn a round of 16 berth as well.
Doebler returns a total of seven players from last year's team and has three new additions. Penn State finished last season 15-11, the programs eighth consecutive winning season. Doebler carries a 61-43 record as head coach of the Nittany Lions.