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April 17, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions (5-16, 1-8 Big Ten) look for their first win on the road this season when they travel to Nebraska (8-14, 0-9 Big Ten) and Iowa (9-11, 2-7 Big Ten) to close out the regular season. They will square off against the Cornhuskers at the NU Vine Street Varsity Courts on Friday at 4 p.m. ET before heading to the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on the Klotz Outdoor Tennis Courts to take on Iowa at 11 a.m Sunday.
LAST TIME OUT
Penn State fell to No. 37 Purdue and No. 41 Indiana in their final two home matches of the season. On Friday the Boilermakers earned the doubles point after taking the matches at No. 1 and No. 3. In singles Purdue took points from five of the six matches with the Nittany Lions earning their point when Taylor Shukow won via walkover against Krisztina Kapitany.
The Hoosiers spoiled Penn State's senior day on Sunday taking all three doubles matches and winning five of the six matches in singles. Sapogova earned the lone point for Penn State in the 6-1 defeat when she knocked off Katie Klyczek in comeback fashion after dropping the first set and falling behind 5-0 in the second.
The Cornhuskers are in the midst of a 10-match losing streak with nine of the losses coming in conference play where they are still searching for their first Big Ten win of the season. Maggie Lehmicke leads the Cornhuskers with a solo record of 21-10 on the year including a 13-5 record in the spring featuring a perfect 11-0 mark against non-conference opponents. Maike Zeppernick has also helped the Cornhuskers earning a 17-9 record in singles with a 13-5 record during the spring. In doubles only Lehmicke and Mary Hanna have a record better than .500 on the spring with a 9-7 record playing at the top spot.
PENN STATE-NEBRASKA SERIES HISTORY
The Nittany Lions are looking for their first-ever win against the Cornhuskers as they trail in the all-time series 3-0. The Cornhuskers have won both conference matchups the past two years as well as earning the win in the inaugural matchup back in 2001. Last season the Cornhuskers came to Happy Valley ranked No. 12 in the nation and knocked off the No. 30 Nittany Lions, 5-1 taking four matches in singles along with the doubles point. Marie-Frederique Bedard earned the point for Penn State with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Izabella Zgierska.
The Hawkeyes, coached by former Penn State Assistant Coach Katie Dougherty (2004-07), knocked off No. 42 Illinois on the road last weekend to snap their seven-match losing skid. Iowa has a 5-4 record playing at home this season and needs to win their final two matches to finish the regular season with a .500 record. The Hawkeyes lineup features five players with record of .500 or better in singles with senior Ruth Seaborne leading the way with her 14-5 record playing at No. 1 singles. Seaborne is the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week and ranked No. 75 in the nation in singles. Morven McCulloch and Seaborne pace the Hawkeyes in doubles, touting a 14-3 record together at the first spot.
PENN STATE-IOWA SERIES HISTORY
Iowa leads the all-time series 22-4 but the Nittany Lions took last season's matchup at home by the score 6-1. Last year the Nittany Lions clinched the doubles point and won the top five matches in singles en route to their first victory against the Hawkeyes since 2009.
Following this weekend's action the Nittany Lions will head to Evanston, Ill. for the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament will run from Thursday, April 24 through Sunday the April 27 on the campus of Northwestern. Draws for the tournament will be released following the conclusion of the regular season this weekend.