Nittany Lions Open Big Ten Home Schedule Against No. 69 Iowa and No. 12 Nebraska Beginning Friday
March 28, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 30 Nittany Lions (11-2, 1-2) open their conference home schedule when the No. 69 Hawkeyes (8-6, 1-2) and No. 12 Cornhuskers (15-3, 3-0) come to town. Penn State will square off against Iowa at 6 p.m. Friday before finishing their weekend against Nebraska at 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
Following their 4-3 victory over No. 38 Indiana and 7-0 defeat at the hands of No. 21 Purdue the Nittany Lions moved up two spots in the rankings. No. 57 Petra Januskova and Chelsea Utting lead the Nittany Lions with 11 wins on the season, with both winning one singles matches last weekend. Jacqueline Zuhse leads the freshmen on the team with eight victories on the season.
Januskova and Utting find themselves in the doubles rankings for the second straight poll. They fell from No. 57 to No. 75 in the standings and will have two tough tests ahead of them this weekend. The Nittany Lions have a .641 winning percentage in singles play this season and a .611 winning percentage in doubles.
Iowa enters the match coming off of two wins in three matches against non-conference opponents last week. Their conference win came at home against Illinois with their losses coming against Nebraska and Northwestern. This will be the Hawkeyes first conference test on the road this season.
No. 85 Ruth Seaborne leads Iowa with a 9-3 record including four wins over ranked opponents. She joins Morven McCulloch in the doubles rankings at No. 34 with a 10-3 record. The Nittany Lions are 3-22 all-time against the Hawkeyes with their last win coming in 2009. Iowa upset the No. 46 Nittany Lions last season in Iowa City, 4-3.
Nebraska brings an impressive 15-3 record to University Park in search of their fourth win in the Big Ten this season. The Cornhuskers started 15-1 but have faltered lately losing their previous two matches, one of which came against unranked San Diego. All three losses this season have come on the road for Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers are led by No. 13 Mary Weatherholt, the highest ranked player in the Big Ten this season. Weatherholt lost her first match of the season last Thursday putting her at 15-1 on the year. The duo of Patricia Veresova and Weatherholt hold the No. 11 spot in the doubles rankings with an 11-1 record in the No. 1 position. Nebraska's second pair, Janine Weinreich and Stefanie Weinstein, is a perfect 17-0 on the spring.
The Cornhuskers have the edge in the series leading 2-0 all-time against the Nittany Lions. Before their victory last season in Lincoln, the Huskers defeated Penn State back in 2001. Following this weekend the Nittany Lions will only have three remaining home matches. They will go back out on the road next week to face Minnesota and Wisconsin before returning home to face Northwestern and Illinois the following weekend.