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Feb. 9, 2012
University Park, Pa. - The Penn State women's tennis team (3-2, 1-0) looks to build off the momentum of a three-match win streak when it travels to Richmond, Va. to face No. 40 VCU (7-1, 2-0) this weekend. The Nittany Lions will play the Rams on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. This marks the first time in over a month that Penn State will play a road match and the second match in a row it will face a ranked opponent.
Penn State opened up Big Ten play in impressive fashion on Tuesday, defeating No. 57 Ohio State, 4-3. After losing the doubles point, the Nittany Lions came out strong in singles play, claiming four of the six victories to notch the win. The match featured several intense battles, with the first four matches going into three sets.
Petra Januskova (Ottawa, Canada) continued her singles dominance this season, defeating Kara Cecil, 6-0, 2-6, 6-0, to remain undefeated in singles play this spring. Nina Sertic (Zagrab, Croatia) also picked up a singles point for the Nittany Lions and Fernanda Perrotta (Buenos Aires, Argentina) battled back from an early deficit to win her match against Kelsey Dieters, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2).
In one of the most heated match-ups of the day, Chelsea Utting (Peachtree City, Ga.) narrowly defeated Kelsey Haviland to earn the fourth singles point and clinch the upset victory for the Nittany Lions. The win marked the first time since the spring of 2005 that Penn State beat Ohio State.
Penn State has faced VCU seven times in program history, tallying two wins against the Rams, the last win coming in the spring of 1997. In the ITA Regional tournament this fall, Utting faced Alex Bara of VCU in the round of 32.
The Rams are led by Head Coach Paul Kostin, who is both the men's and women's tennis coach. Kostin enters his twenty-second year at Virginia Commonwealth. VCU comes into this match ranked No. 40 in the latest ITA poll and competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference.
VCU is led by No. 120 Alex Bara. Bara is also ranked No. 11 in the Atlantic Region of the ITA polls. In comparison, Penn State's Januskova ranks number five in the Atlantic Region. In addition, Bara partners with her sister, Ana Bara, in the number one doubles slot.
After Sunday's match, the Nittany Lions will 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!