April 3, 2013
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The No. 33 Nittany Lions (12-3, 2-3) will head to Minnesota (8-9, 2-3) on Friday for a conference clash with the Golden Gophers at 4 p.m ET before concluding their weekend with a match against the Wisconsin Badgers (3-13, 1-4) on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
LAST TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions hosted the No. 69 Iowa Hawkeyes and No. 12 Nebraska Cornhuskers at Sarni Indoor Tennis Center, steamrolling the Hawkeyes 6-1 on Friday before falling to the Cornhuskers 5-1 on Sunday. The Nittany Lions won all but one match against the Hawkeyes including both matches against ranked Hawkeye opponents. No. 75 Petra Januskova and Chelsea Utting upset the Hawkeyes No. 34 ranked duo of Ruth Seaborne and Morven McCulloch 8-4 before No. 57 Januskova knocked off No. 85 Seaborne in singles. The Cornhusers outlasted the Nittany Lions coming from behind in several sets and matches to remain the only team unbeaten in conference play.
IN THE RANKINGS
The Nittany Lions fell three spots to No. 33 in this week's team poll after their contests over the weekend. The new ranking is still higher than all previous rankings besides their No. 30 ranking last week. No singles or doubles rankings were released this week so Januskova remains in the No. 57 spot in singles and at No. 75 in the doubles poll with Utting.
BIG TEN ROUNDUP
Michigan leads the way in the rankings for the Big Ten coming in at No. 8 following a win against Purdue before getting upset at home against Indiana. Nebraska and Northwestern follow the Wolverines in the rankings coming in at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively. Purdue remains in the top 20 despite their 6-1 defeat to Michigan by taking over the No. 19 spot. Indiana jumps ahead of the Nittany Lions in this week's poll after their win over the Wolverines, coming in at No. 32. Ohio State is at No.52 and Illinois closes out the Big Ten coming in at No. 54. Purdue, Northwestern and Michigan are all 4-1 in the Big Ten trailing only the 5-0 Cornhuskers. Indiana falls in at 3-2 ahead of the Nittany Lions, Fighting Illini, Buckeyes and Golden Gophers who are 2-3 in conference.
The Golden Gophers will enter the match coming off three consecutive losses to conference opponents after winning their first two conference matches. All three losses have come to ranked teams. The other six losses the Gophers have came consecutively early in the season following their 2-0 start. All six losses came away from home with four of the six coming against ranked opponents. The Gophers are currently unranked but began the season at No. 41. The Golden Gophers are an even .500 in singles this spring and are led by Aria Lambert and Jessika Mozia who've compiled 10-7 records in singles play thus far. Natallia Pintusava has filled the No. 1 spot for Minnesota going 5-10 in singles and has amassed a 7-8 record in doubles playing in both the No. 1 and No. 2 spots.
PENN STATE-MINNESOTA SERIES HISTORY
The Golden Gophers hold a 17-6 edge in the all-time series against the Nittany Lions winning last year's match, 5-2, in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions won the previous year 4-3, also at home.
The Badgers started the season 1-11 but have won two of their last three matches, both of which came in Madison at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Seven of their 12 losses this season have come to ranked opponents including No. 3 Duke. Senior Hannah Berner who brings a 5-6 record in the No. 1 singles spot leads Wisconsin into the match. In doubles Berner teams with Lauren Chypyha compiling a 5-6 record in the No. 1 spot this season.
PENN STATE-WISCONSIN SERIES HISTORY
The Nittany Lions trail in the all-time series with the Badgers, 4-19. The Nittany Lions won last season's meeting 4-3. The previous two meetings have come down to the final match with the Nittany Lions winning last year and the Badgers taking the victory the year before.
Following their pair of matches in the central time zone, Penn State will return home to host No. 14 Northwestern on Saturday, April 13 and No. 54 Illinois on Sunday, April 14 at Sarni Tennis Center. Both matches are set to start at 10 a.m.