No. 57 women's tennis set to host Marshall, Penn

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 57 Penn State women’s tennis team (3-4, 0-0) will host Marshall and Pennsylvania at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center this weekend. The Nittany Lions' match with the Thundering Herd will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and they will conclude their weekend with a match against their in-state rivals at 10 a.m. Sunday.

LAST TIME OUT
The Nittany Lions were unable to pull off upsets on the road against No. 43 William & Mary and No. 44 Virginia Commonwealth University. The Nittany Lions fell behind losing the doubles point in both matches and were unable to come back from the early deficit.

On Saturday the Nittany Lions took two matches in singles with Dasha Sapogova (Minsk, Belarus) and Katherine Whiteaway (Sawbridgeworth, England) bringing home the points for the Nittany Lions. At No. 1 and No. 2 singles the Nittany Lions had the tough task of facing nationally-ranked opponents. In the top match Katia Blik (Moscow, Russia) took No. 65 Maria Belaya to a third set superbreaker, but Belaya eventually snuck out the victory, winning 10-4 in the superbreaker. Carmen Sandor (Toronto, Canada) forced a tiebreaker in both sets at No. 2 against No. 89 Leeza Nemchinov, but the William & Mary player came away with the win in both sets to take the match.

On Sunday Dasha Sapogova salvaged a win for the Nittany Lions but the Rams proved too much taking the other five singles matches to win, 6-1. The loss came a year after the Nittany Lions won 6-1 at home. The Rams victory gave them a 6-4 edge in the all-time series.

PENN STATE NOTES

  • Dasha Sapogova leads the Nittany Lions with six singles wins on the season.
  • Marie Frederique Bedard leads Penn State in doubles with 4 wins in the spring
  • Penn State enters the weekend with a 19-23 (.452) record in singles and 7-8 (.467) record in doubles.
  • The freshmen have provided a boost early in the season recording almost half of the team's victory total in singles (9 of the 19) and being a part of six of their seven doubles wins.
  • Penn State has a .500 record or better at No. 3 and No. 5 singles as well as No. 2 doubles on the season.
  • Penn State is a perfect 3-0 on the spring when they clinch the doubles point
  • Penn State is 3-1 at home this season

SCOUTING MARSHALL
The Thundering Herd visit Happy Valley having dropped their past two matches after starting the season with three consecutive victories. Their two losses came against ranked foes with Virginia Tech (5-2) at home and Kentucky (6-1) on the road.

The Herd are 18-12 in singles competition so far this season with Karli Timko and Anna Pomyatinskaya leading the way with 4-1 records. In doubles, Marshall brings in an 8-5 record with Karli Timko leading the team being a part of three of those victories. Marshall is balanced featuring winning records at all six singles and three doubles positions on the spring.

PENN STATE-MARSHALL SERIES HISTORY
The Nittany Lions are 4-7 all time against the Thundering Herd having won the two most recent meetings. The last time Marshall traveled to Penn State the No. 61 Nittany Lions knocked off the No. 65 Herd winning five of six in singles after Marshall took the doubles point to kick off the match, to win 5-2.

SCOUTING PENN
The Quakers come to University Park, Pa. having won their last two matches after starting the season 0-2. This will be the first time Penn plays outside of Philadelphia this spring having hosted their first four matches of the season. Penn topped Akron in convincing fashion on Feb. 7 winning five singles matches all in straight sets. On Sunday, Feb. 9 they knocked off Rutgers, a soon-to-be Big Ten team.

Several Nittany Lions squared off against members of Penn’s squad during the fall with Whiteaway besting Stephanie Do and Luba Vazhenina in a doubles match when she teamed with Sivan Krems of Princeton at the Cissie Leary Invitational hosted by Penn. Also at the invitational, Luba Vazhenina of Penn topped Sandor in singles action 6-3, 6-1.

PENN STATE-PENN
Penn State holds a slight edge in the all-time series, leading 16-15. The two teams did not play last season but the Nittany Lions were victorious in the most recent meeting, shutting out the Quakers 7-0 at home in 2012. All three current seniors won their singles and doubles matches on the day.

IN THE RANKINGS
In the ITA Team Poll released on Feb. 11 the Nittany Lions dropped seven spots to No. 57 following their pair of losses against ranked William & Mary and VCU teams. The Nittany Lions concluded their four-match block against ranked competition last weekend but their schedule still features seven ranked opponents to come, six of which are during conference season.

UP NEXT
The Nittany Lions will take a week off from competition before opening their conference schedule against Ohio State in a midweek clash at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. The match is set for Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

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Last Updated February 14, 2014