Bader, Zinn win ITA regional awards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 23 Penn State men's tennis team continues to get recognized for its record-setting season. On Wednesday, Russell Bader was named the ITA Atlantic Region Most Improved Senior and Head Coach Jeff Zinn was honored with the ITA Atlantic Region Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year Award.

In Zinn's third year at Penn State, he coached the Nittany Lions to a school record 22 wins and the sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

In the NCAA Tournament regional, Penn State picked up the third tournament win in program history when the team knocked off No. 50 UNC Wilmington, 4-2 in the first round.

The Lions set new program highs for Big Ten wins with eight and wins against ranked opponents with 11. The Nittany Lions earned their highest finish ever in the Big Ten standings, finishing the season in third place.

The Nittany Lions experienced a huge jump in Big Ten play, going from two wins in 2013 to eight wins in 2014. They moved up eight spots in the Big Ten standings from 2013, going from 11th to 3rd.

Penn State entered the ITA Top 25 for the first time ever on March 25th and has been ranked in the Top 25 for six straight weeks, with a highest ranking of 16th. The Nittany Lions have a chance to finish in the Top 25 when the final ITA Poll of the season comes out on May 27th.

Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) was named the ITA Atlantic Regional Most Improved Senior in the first year that the award has been given out.

Bader went 21-7 this spring and 28-11 overall in singles, with both win totals marking career highs. Bader has at least 22 overall wins in each of his four years.

The senior finished his career with 95 wins to place third all-time at Penn State, behind only Ivan Spinner(100 wins, 1991-95) and Michael James(109 wins, 2004-08).

Bader is one of the top doubles players in Nittany Lion history. Later this month, Bader and Leonard Stakhovsky (Kiev, Ukraine) will play in the NCAA Doubles Championships. The duo have been ranked eight straight weeks, including their current ranking of 26, which is their highest of the season.

This is the second time that Bader will compete at the NCAA Doubles Championships. He also went in 2012 with his partner Jason Lee.

Bader has an overall doubles record of 27-12 and a mark of 19-6 this spring. Bader and Stakhovsky are 18-6 with five wins against ranked opponents.

Bader's 27 doubles wins set a new program-record for wins in a season, topping Brendan Lynch's 26 victories in 2007-08.

The Austin, Texas native has 81 career doubles wins and sits in second place on the all-time wins list at Penn State. Bader is two wins behind his former doubles partner, Eddie Bourchier (2007-11).

Bader has been part of a ranked doubles team in three of his four years and has won at least 18 doubles wins in each of his last three years.

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Last Updated May 16, 2014