No. 43 men's tennis welcomes Penn on Saturday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 43 Penn State men's tennis team hosts in-state rival Penn on Saturday in the Indoor Tennis Center. The match starts at 11 a.m.

The Nittany Lions are 9-0 this season, matching the best start in school history. The 1992 team also started the year with a nine-match win streak.

Penn State moved up 15 spots this week in the ITA Poll to 43rd. It is their highest ranking since being No. 42 on March 2, 2010.

Last weekend, Penn State defeated their second Top 40 opponent this season when they knocked off then-No. 33 VCU, 4-1. Penn State also beat No. 33 Virginia Tech, 4-3, this spring.

Against VCU, the Nittany Lions won the doubles point and got wins at the top three singles spots.

Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine), ranked 54th in the nation, topped No. 73 Alexis Heugas at the top singles spot. Stakhovsky is now 8-0 this spring.

Senior Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) also won last Sunday. He improved to 9-0 this spring and has won 12 straight matches, dating back to the fall. With the win, Bader picked up his 83rd career singles win to move into a tie for seventh all-time at Penn State. He also earned a doubles win, the 69th of his career, tying him for fourth all-time in school history.

Freshman Alex Fennell (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) clinched the match point against VCU. It marked the third straight match that Fennell earned the match point. Fennell is 7-2 this spring and has won six straight contests.

Marc Collado Castells (Barcelona, Spain) is 7-0 this spring, while Matt Barry (Lido Beach, N.Y.) is 5-0. Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) also has five wins.

In doubles, Bader and Stakhovsky have a 6-2 mark this spring and have won five straight matches. David Kohan (Sydney, Australia) and Christian Lutschaunig (Richboro, Pa.) are 5-1 this spring and 9-1 overall.

Penn enters Saturday's match with a 1-3 record. Last weekend at the ECAC Indoor Championships, Penn fell 4-1 against No. 24 Harvard on Saturday, but responded with a 4-3 win against Brown on Sunday.

Senior Nikola Kocovic has played in the top singles spot for the Quakers in each of their first four matches. Sophomore Vim De Alwis is 2-2 in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Freshman Matt Nardella is 4-0 at the fourth spot.

Kocovic and Nardella have combined to go 2-2 in doubles.

Live stats for the match are available at

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Last Updated February 21, 2014