April 3, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
Penn State women's tennis (4-13, 0-5 Big Ten) begins their final homestand when Wisconsin (7-6, 3-2 Big Ten) and Minnesota (14-4, 4-1 Big Ten) visit Happy Valley this weekend. The Nittany Lions host Wisconsin on Friday at 4 p.m. and Minnesota at 11 a.m. on Sunday. The matches will be played outdoors at the Sarni Tennis Center if weather permits.
LAST TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions were held winless on the road as they took on No. 37 Illinois (L, 6-1) and No. 11 Northwestern (L, 7-0) last weekend. On Saturday Penn State won their first doubles point of the Big Ten season when they took the matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to take an early lead on the road. Katia Blik (Moscow, Russia) and Dasha Sapogova (Minsk, Belarus) clinched the point with an 8-7 (7-3) win in the No. 1 match. Illinois went on to win every match in singles to collect their 6-1 win. Northwestern shutout Penn State the following day winning all eight finished matches to complete their 7-0 victory.
The Badgers are coming off of two consecutive losses after winning their first two conference matches of the season against Nebraska and Iowa. Last week Indiana and Purdue earned 5-2 victories on the road in Madison. Lauren Chypyha leads the Badgers into University Park, Pa. with a 13-0 record playing at No. 1 singles in the spring. Anastasia Tripolsyaka has also impressed in her sophomore season tallying 10 wins in 13 matches while Nova Patel has posted a 9-2 record playing at the No. 4 and 5 spots during the spring. Wisconsin sports a 20-15 record as a team in doubles play with records above .500 at the No. 1 and 3 position.
PENN STATE-WISCONSIN SERIES HISTORY
Penn State trails in the all-time series with Wisconsin 19-5 but the Nittany Lions have won the past two meetings with the Badgers. Last season the Nittany Lions traveled to Madison where they blanked Wisconsin 7-0 at the Nielsen Tennis Center. Penn State won all eight completed matches on the way to victory.
Prior to their loss versus No. 46 Purdue last week the Golden Gophers were on a six-match win streak featuring wins against two ranked opponents. They are coming off of a 5-2 win against Indiana at home in the Baseline Tennis Center. Minnesota has dominated their opponents this season going 79-28 (.738) in singles and posting a 37-13 (.740) record in doubles this spring.
Every player on their squad holds a record of .500 or better in both singles and doubles so far this season. Julia Courter leads the Gophers with 14 wins while Tereza Brichacova has posted a 9-7 record playing in the top spot. Kendall Heitzner and Aria Lambert have each collected 13 wins in singles this season to help pace Minnesota. Courter and Nattalia Pintusava have combined to tally a 15-2 record playing together in singles while Brichacova and Jessika Mozia have earned 10 wins together playing in doubles.
PENN STATE-MINNESOTA SERIES HISTORY
The Golden Gophers hold a 19-6 edge in the all-time series against the Nittany Lions winning both of their meetings last year including their first round matchup in the Big Ten Tournament. After their upset4-3 victory against the No. 33 Nittany Lions during the regular season, the Golden Gophers were able to take the rematch in the conference tournament winning 4-1. Minnesota has won the past three matches with Penn State's last win coming at home in 2011 when they won 4-3.
Penn State will conclude their home schedule when they take on No. 37 Purdue and No. 43 Indiana. The Boilermakers come to town on Friday, April 11 at 3:30 p.m. and with the Hoosiers visiting Happy Valley on Sunday, April 13 at 10:30 a.m. for Senior Day.