Men's tennis set to host No. 4 Ohio State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's tennis team welcomes No. 4 Ohio State to the Indoor Tennis Center at noon on Saturday (March 2). Penn State enters the weekend at 5-6 after splitting a pair of matches last weekend.

Ohio State is the seventh ranked opponent that Penn State will face this year. The Nittany Lions are 1-6 so far in those matchups, with a 6-1 win over No. 59 New Mexico. Penn State has dropped four matches against ranked opponents by a score of 4-3.

Last weekend, the Nittany Lions dropped a 6-1 result to #34, but responded the next day with their own 6-1 win over William & Mary.

Senior Bryan Welnetz (Laredo, Texas) enters this weekend with a mark of 6-3 out of the number one singles spot. He is one of four Nittany Lions with at least six wins. Welnetz also enters the weekend five wins away from tying Jamie Gresh for tenth all-time at Penn State with 71 wins.

Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) made his first appearance of the season in the number two spot against William & Mary. Bader is 8-3 on the year and has won eight of his last ten.

Sophomore Tomas Hanzlik (Prague, Czech Republic) is 7-4 this spring and has a 5-0 mark out of the third spot.

Freshman Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) won a pair of matches last weekend to extend his winning streak to six matches.

Welnetz and C.J. Griffin (Portland, Mich.) are 5-1 in doubles this spring and have won five straight matches. Guanhua Chen (DaLian, China) and Bader are 3-2.

Ohio State is 13-2 this year, with eight wins over ranked opponents. They have wins so far over No. 72 East Tennessee State, No. 64 Miami, No. 6 Georgia, No. 13 California, No. 5 Pepperdine, No. 25 Notre Dame, No. 34 LSU, and No. 37 North Carolina. Their lone losses are to No. 15 Texas A&M and No. 1 Virginia.

Last weekend, the Buckeyes knocked off Notre Dame and LSU, both by 7-0 scores. On Wednesday, they defeated North Carolina 4-1.

Ohio State has four players ranked among the Top 40 in the ITA Poll. Peter Kobelt is the highest ranked at number 2 in the nation. He has a 9-2 record this spring and 23-5 overall, with three wins over ranked opponents. Blaz Rola checks in at 17th in the country with a 9-0 record this spring and a 4-0 mark against ranked opponents.

Connor Smith owns an 11-2 record and a ranking of 28th. Chris Diaz rounds out the ranked Buckeyes at 40th with a 10-2 mark. Hunter Callahan and Devin McCarthy also have 9 wins each this spring.

The Buckeyes boast a strong doubles game as well, with two pairs ranked in the Top 20 in the nation. McCarthy and Ille Van Engelen are ranked 12th and hold an 11-1 mark, with three wins against ranked opponents. Kobelt and Connor Smith are 16th in the nation and are 7-1 this spring.

Fans can follow this weekend's match on our live stats page at Fans can the Lions on Facebook at Penn State and Twitter, @pennstateMTEN.

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Last Updated February 28, 2013