April 10, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (5-14, 1-6 Big Ten) will face No. 37 Purdue (9-7, 5-2 Big Ten) and No. 41 Indiana (16-6, 4-3 Big Ten) this weekend at the Sarni Tennis Center to close out the home portion of their schedule for the 2013-14 season. Penn State will meet up with the Boilermakers at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon before facing Indiana at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday for Senior Day.
There will be free pizza for all fans in attendance at both matches this week.
Sunday’s match with Indiana is Senior Day. Prior to the start of singles there will be a special ceremony honoring this year’s group of seniors: Marie-Frederique Bedard (Montreal, Canada), Carmen Sandor (Toronto, Canada) and Chelsea Utting (Peachtree City, Ga.).
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State earned their first conference win of the season against Wisconsin last Friday by way of a 4-3 win. After earning their second doubles point in three matches, the Nittany Lions took three of six in singles including Katherine Whiteaway’s winner-take-all victory in a three-set marathon at No. 5 singles to close out the five-hour match with the Badgers.
With the victory Whiteaway became the first Nittany Lion to clinch both the doubles point and the match point in singles during a 3-3 deadlock since Petra Januskova (Ottawa, Canada) did it against Indiana last year. Freshman Dasha Sapogova (Minsk, Belarus) knocked off previously undefeated Lauren Chyphya (13-0 entering the match) in the No. 1 singles match, while Katia Blik (Moscow, Russia) topped Lauren Burich at No. 2 in two sets.
Penn State almost upset No. 55 Minnesota on Sunday falling 4-3 in a match that saw them win the final three matches. All three victories for the Nittany Lions came from the top of the lineup, with Sapogova, Blik and Sandor knocking off the Golden Gophers No. 1, 2 and 3 players respectively.
The No. 37 Boilermakers enter Happy Valley on a four-match winning streak including a 4-3 win on the road against a Minnesota team that ranked No. 63 in the nation at the time. All seven of Purdue’s losses this season have come to teams ranked No. 45 or higher in the ITA Rankings.
The Boilermakers top pair of Krisztina Kapitany and Mara Schmidt is ranked No. 50 in the nation in the most recent doubles poll and factor heavily in Purdue’s success. In Big Ten play this season when the Boilermakers win the doubles point they are an undefeated 5-0, but when the squander the doubles point they are 0-2 in conference. In singles Purdue is an even 47-47 so far this spring with Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum leading the way with 12 singles victories. Purdue boasts records better than .500 at each singles position from the second spot to the sixth, but have struggled at the top spot where they have posted a 5-14 record.
PENN STATE-PURDUE SERIES HISTORY
Purdue has the edge in the all-time series leading 20-6. Last year the Nittany Lions were held scoreless on the road in West Lafayette, losing 7-0. Penn State’s last win came two seasons ago when the Nittany Lions defeated Purdue 4-3 winning the doubles point and three matches in singles. Current seniors Utting and Bedard each earned singles victories for the Nittany Lions with Januskova earning the third one.
No. 41 Indiana visits Penn State having played 13 of their previous 17 matches at home, including 11 in a row. Just like Purdue, each of Indiana’s defeats have come to teams ranked nationally by the ITA. Despite their impressive overall record, the Hoosiers have lost three of their seven matches on the road this season despite losing only three of their fourteen matches played in Bloomington.
All ten Hoosier players have records better than .500 with Sophie Garr leading the way with an 18-2 mark in the spring and a 27-4 record overall during her senior year. Four Hoosiers have already reached the 20-win mark this year including Katie Klyczek who has posted a 12-7 record to lead the Hoosiers playing at No. 1 singles. In doubles Carolyn Chupa and Klyczek lead the Hoosiers with a 13-5 record together playing in the top spot.
PENN STATE-INDIANA SERIES HISTORY
Indiana holds a 24-4 lead in the all-time series but the Nittany Lions earned their first win over the Hoosiers in ten years last season when they returned from Bloomington with a 4-3 victory. In only her second match back, Bedard defeated Shannon Murdy to tie the match 3-3 and send it to the No. 1 singles match where Januskova sealed the deal with a 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) win over Leslie Hureau.
Penn State women’s tennis heads out on the road to Nebraska and Iowa in search of their first road win of the season as they close out the regular season. The match with the Cornhuskers is slated for 4 p.m. at the NU Vine Street Varsity Courts on Friday, April 18 with the Hawkeyes hosting Penn State on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on the Klotz Outdoor Tennis Courts.