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Feb. 14, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After defeating Old Dominion at home last weekend, Penn State (5-0, 0-0) will head back out on the road for a pair of matches with Winthrop and Marshall in Huntington, W.Va. this weekend. They will face Winthrop on Saturday and Marshall on Sunday with both matches starting at 11 a.m.
The Nittany Lions remained undefeated last weekend at home, earning their first shutout of the season as well. The team stayed at the No. 48 spot for the third week in a row after the victory.
Chelsea Utting led the way getting the win in her first start in the No. 1 singles spot of her career at Penn State. Going 15-7 in the No. 2 singles position since she arrived in Happy Valley, she was given the chance to play in the top spot and thrived winning the match, 6-2, 6-4.
The other five Nittany Lions followed suit winning each of their matches in two sets. No. 36 Petra Januskova defeated Nikol Hristova 6-4, 7-6, while McCluskey won her match 6-1, 6-3. Sandor defeated Juliana Pires 6-4, 6-3 in the No. 4 spot while Zuhse won her match 7-5, 7-5. Sarah Henderson finished the match for the Nittany Lions getting the victory, 7-6, 6-2 over Nika Khmolovska.
The Nittany Lions have faced Winthrop only once before, winning 4-3 in 2011. Winthrop comes into the weekend 2-3, with all three losses coming against ranked foes on the road. Two of those ranked teams, College of Charleston and Virginia Commonwealth University, are Penn State opponents as well this season.
Penn State will host VCU next Sunday, and will face the College of Charleston two weekends after that on March 9 in South Carolina. All three of the Winthrop Eagles losses this season came by the score of 6-1.
The Eagles are led by Yasmine Alkema who is ranked No. 107 in the singles poll. Januskova defeated Alkema in the No. 1 spot the last time these teams met, 6-4, 6-4.
Penn State is 3-7 all-time against Marshall. The Nittany Lions won the previous matchup 5-2, their first win against the Thundering Herd since 2005. This season Marshall is 3-4 with three of those losses coming against Penn State opponents, Kentucky, Indiana and Purdue.
Their Atlantic Region adversaries feature several ranked players on their roster this season. Dominika Zaprazna is ranked No. 8 in the region for the Thundering Herd and is followed by Maria Voscekova at No. 16 and Ellie Ball at No. 19. Zaprazna and Voscekova also come in at No. 5 in the region's doubles poll.
Last season Januskova topped Zaprazna, 6-1, 6-2 in their No. 1 singles match while Sandor bested Ball in the No. 3 spot 6-3, 6-3. The No. 61 Nittany Lions went on to defeat No. 65 Marshall, 5-2.