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Jan. 17, 2013
University Park, PA - No. 50 Penn State will head to Akron for a pair of matches this weekend to begin the season.
The Nittany Lions will begin their spring campaign when they face Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday at 9 a.m. This is the third time the Nittany Lions and Blue Raiders have met.
The teams have split their two-match series with Middle Tennessee State winning in 2005, 4-3, and Penn State routing the Blue Raiders in 2007, 6-1.
Middle Tennessee is led by Nayara Moraes and Irinia Constantinide who led the Blue Raiders in wins last fall with 16 and 15 respectively.
Middle Tennessee State will come into the match a day after facing Akron. With the two teams meeting on Friday, Akron will have the day off Saturday before they face Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will finish their weekend when they face Akron on Sunday at 10 a.m. Penn State and Akron also have only played each other twice before this with Akron winning both matches. In 2010 the Zips won 5-2 in both their 2010 and 2011 matches.
During the fall Jacqueline Zuhse competed against Akron's Signe Lazdina at the Cissie Leary Invitational, winning the match, 4-6, 7-5, 10-7. This was the only competition between the three teams playing this weekend from the fall.
The Nittany Lions are coming off of their impressive fall season that saw several players play alongside the nation's best at prestigious tournaments and others earning a spot in the national and regional rankings.
After winning the singles draw at the ITA Atlantic Regional Tournament, Januskova earned a spot in the National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in New York.
Januskova moved up in the rankings 25 spots to No. 27 and is also ranked No. 2 in the region. Carmen Sandor and Devan McCluskey join Januskova and Utting in the regional rankings.
Sandor comes in at No. 12 in the Atlantic region after a fall where she won a career-high 11 matches. During the fall she also eclipsed 50 wins for her career.
Utting takes the No. 15 spot to begin the spring after her fall where she had several victories including one against the No. 16 ranked duo in the nation of Millie Nichols and Olivia Smith of TCU.
Freshman Devan McCluskey is the final Nittany Lion to enter the rankings. She starts the season at No. 18 after an impressive 14 victories in her first fall season at Penn State.
The Nittany Lions will come back home following their pair of matches and will face Temple in their home opener on January 26 at 2 p.m.