Women's Tennis Climbs Two Spots to No. 50 in this Week's ITA Poll
April 17, 2012
University Park, Pa. - Despite two losses this past weekend, the Penn State women's tennis team (11-9, 3-6) jumped two spots in this week's ITA Poll, moving from No. 52 to No. 50. The Nittany Lions moved up in the poll, thanks to their strength of schedule. Last weekend, Penn State fell to then No. 11 Northwestern, 6-1 and No. 23 Illinois, 5-2. While Penn State's team advanced two spots, the Nittany Lions' No. 1 singles player, Petra Januskova (Ottawa, Canada) fell two spots from No. 74 to No. 76. The junior has been stellar this season, including being ranked the entire season long.
This marks the 10th straight week the Penn State team has earned a ranking in the Top 75. Prior to this season, the Nittany Lions had not broken into the poll since 2008, when they came in at No. 75 during the week of Feb. 22, 2008.
The Nittany Lions have defeated four ranked opponents this season: then No. 57 Ohio State, No. 40 VCU, No. 65 Marshall and No. 27 Purdue. In previous weeks Penn State has held rankings of No. 52, No. 47, No. 46, No. 54, No. 61, No. 53 and No. 59.
Including the Nittany Lions, nine of the 12 schools in the highly competitive Big Ten were also ranked. Penn State joins eight other Big Ten schools in the poll, including No. 12 Northwestern, No. 14 Michigan, No. 18 Nebraska, No. 21 Illinois, No. 29 Purdue, No. 33 Minnesota, No. 47 Indiana and No. 62 Ohio State. In total, 12 of Penn State's 22 opponents this season were ranked in this week's poll.
In addition to Penn State's team success, Januskova has been dominant in No. 1 singles play this season. The junior has compiled a 15-5 record this spring. Januskova has beaten two ranked opponents (then No. 14 Diana Nakic of No. 6 Baylor and No. 111 Kim Berghaus of UMBC) and six opponents from ranked teams. In the 15 matches she has won this season, she has only lost one set the entire year. During the week of Jan. 10, Januskova was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week, becoming just the third Nittany Lion in program history to earn that honor.
This weekend the Nittany Lions return home for their last match in Happy Valley, when they host No. 14 Michigan on Fri., April 20 at 3 p.m. The match will honor the three seniors on Penn State's roster - Nina Sertic (Zagrab, Croatia), Fernanda Perrotta (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Kristen Roth (Ardmore, Pa.) and will feature free pizza for all fans in attendance. After that, the Nittany Lions will close out regular season play, when they travel to Michigan State on Sun., April 22 at 11 a.m.
All of the Nittany Lion's home matches can be followed through the link for live stats at http://www.gopsusports.com/livestats/c-tennis/xlive.htm. Make sure to "like" the Penn State Women's Tennis page on Facebook and follow @PSUWomensTennis on Twitter!