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Feb. 12, 2012
Richmond, Va. - The Penn State women's tennis team (4-2, 1-0) upset No. 40 Virginia Commonwealth (8-2, 3-0), 4-3, to earn its second straight victory over a ranked opponent and fourth win in a row. The Nittany Lions defeated the Rams for the first time since the spring of 1997.
The match began with all three doubles matches taking the court. In the number one slot, Petra Januskova (Ottawa, Canada) and Chelsea Utting (Peachtree City, Ga.) teamed up to defeat the sister duo of Alex Bara and Ana Bara, 8-5. However, VCU earned victories in the second and third doubles spots to earn the point and take the early lead, 1-0. In a close third match, Marie-Frederique Bedard (Montreal, Canada) and Nina Sertic (Zagrab, Croatia) were bested by Alena Gerasimova and Salome Kvitashvili, 8-5. Last to finish was the pairing of Fernanda Perrotta (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Carmen Sandor (Toronto, Canada). The duo pushed Josefin Hjertquist and Daria Yakauleva to the limit, but ultimately fell, 8-6.
In singles action, No. 96 Januskova breezed by Ana Bara in the number one slot, 6-3, 6-3, to tie the match at 1-1. Utting faced No. 120 Alex Bara in a rematch from the ITA Regional tournament this fall. In that match Utting lost 6-2, 6-0, but this time the sophomore came out victorious for revenge, besting Bara, 6-4, 6-2.
In the number four slot, Perrotta fell to Hjertquist, 6-3, 6-3. Next to finish was Sandor in the third spot. The sophomore was bested by Yakauleva, 6-3, 6-1. With the score VCU 3 and Penn State 2, the Nittany Lions were forced into a must win situation in the last two matches.
Sertic faced Marketa Placha in the six singles spot. The senior earned a close victory in the first set, 7-6 (8-6), and then easily won the second set, 6-1, to tie the match at 3-3.
With the match entirely in her hands and the rest of her Nittany Lion teammates watching, Bedard rallied from a first set loss to defeat Olga Terteac, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, and clinch the upset for Penn State.
"I am proud of the team today," said Head Coach Dawna Denny. "VCU didn't give us anything and we had to earn every point. This team has bought into our system and we are becoming extremely mentally tough. Marie (Bedard) thrived under the pressure and played very disciplined tennis."
The Nittany Lions return home for eight straight home matches spanning from February 17 through March 25. On Fri., Feb. 17, Penn State will take on Pennsylvania at 5 p.m. After that, PSU hosts Tulane on Sun., Feb. 19 at 10 a.m.
All of the Nittany Lions home matches can be followed through the link for live stats at http://www.gopsusports.com/livestats/c-tennis/xlive.htm. Make sure to "like" the Penn State Women's Tennis page on Facebook and follow @PSUWomensTennis on Twitter!