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Sept. 11, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's tennis team will open their 2013 fall season Friday when several players travel to Midland, Texas for the Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational. The tournament will consist of a 64-person singles draw and 32-person doubles draw over three days featuring players from 13 programs. Teams participating in this year's tournament include Nebraska, Texas Tech, Rice, Tulsa, TCU and North Texas, all of which finished last season ranked in the ITA rankings.
This will be the Nittany Lions third appearance at the Midland Invitational having made the trek in 2010 as well as last fall. The Nittany Lions will send Chelsea Utting (Peachtree City, Ga.), Jacqueline Zuhse (Boca Raton, Fla.), Devan McCluskey (Kent, England) and Samantha Tutelman (New York, N.Y.) to compete at this year's tournament. Of the four Nittany Lions making the trip, only McCluskey has past experience competing in this tournament.
In the opening round of singles Utting will square off against Shannon Beckett of Texas State and Zuhse will face Micah Hermsdorf of Abilene Christian. McCluskey will go up against Michaela Capannolo of Pepperdine while Tutelman will face off against McKenzie Craft of Baylor.
Utting and Tutelman will team up in doubles to take on Seda Arantekin and Millie Nichols of TCU in the first round while McCluskey and Zuhse will face Beatriz Santos and Sam Czarniak of Texas Tech.
Utting leads Penn State into Midland coming off an impressive junior season where she totaled 17 singles victories and a team-high 21 doubles victories. She competed primarily in the two-spot in singles and at number one in doubles during the spring where she was selected to the NCAA Doubles Championships with teammate Petra Januskova (Ottawa, Canada).
McCluskey is coming off of a successful freshman season where she totaled 20 singles wins and 13 doubles wins. She made a name for herself last fall when she finished the season with eight singles victories, the most for a Nittany Lions freshman since Monica Mical had eight in fall of 2008.
At the tournament in Midland last fall McCluskey went 2-2 in singles en route to the consolation semifinals. In doubles she knocked off her first two opponents teaming with Januskova before bowing out to Natalie Beazant and Dominique Harmath in the semifinals of the doubles main draw.
In her first collegiate fall, Zuhse compiled 16 singles victories as well as knocking off 11 opponents in doubles play. She won three straight matches at the ITA Atlantic Regional Tournament last fall giving her some momentum heading into the spring season. In her first spring Zuhse played her way into the No. 3 doubles spot after winning her first eight matches of the season.
Tutelman will make her collegiate debut on Friday when she competes in both singles and doubles matches. She comes to Penn State from New York where she was rated a top-50 recruit in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net and won several USTA Tournaments during her junior career.
Following the three-day tournament the Nittany Lions will be back in action the following weekend when they participate in the Cissie Leary Invitational in Philadelphia, Pa. The tournament will begin on Friday, September 20 and conclude on Sunday, September 22.