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  The Digital Collegian - Published independently by students at Penn State
[ Wednesday, April 21, 1999 ]

Netmen drop two more

Despite its six conference losses prior to last weekend's action, the Penn State men's tennis team had won the doubles point in half of those matches. While its singles play had waned against Big Ten competition, its doubles play had been impressive at times. Even when it lost the doubles point in one match, it rallied to win it the next.

Except for last weekend.

The Nittany Lions (11-11, 1-9 Big Ten) went a disappointing 0-6 last weekend in doubles play, resulting in 5-2 losses at Iowa and Wisconsin. The Lions gave up the doubles point in both matches and were only able to secure four wins combined in the weekend's 12 singles matches.

The Lions' best singles performances came against Iowa (10-9, 4-4) as junior Marc Dorfman and senior Eric Meditz won in straight sets at No. 2 and 3 singles, respectively.

Two of the Lions' four singles losses to the Hawkeyes came in three sets. At No. 1 singles, senior Mike Griesser lost (6-7, 6-0, 6-4) to the Hawkeyes' Tyler Cleveland, the 56th-ranked singles player in the country. Freshman Chris DeStefano's comeback attempt fell short at No. 6 singles, as he lost 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 to Iowa's Girts Auskaps. The other two losses came at No. 4 and 5 singles, with sophomores Damon Accardi and Matthew Nielsen dropping their matches in straight sets.

The next day against Wisconsin (6-13, 2-6), the Lions again found themselves down early in the match. In singles play, Griesser, Dorfman, Meditz and sophomore Marc McCallister all lost at Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 singles, respectively. Junior Jeffrey Martini and Nielsen provided the Lions' two points for the day at No. 4 and 6 singles.

A once-promising season has now turned sour for the Lions, as they have now lost eight straight conference matches since their 6-1 victory against Ohio State back on Feb. 14. They have fallen to 10th in the Big Ten and dropped out of the top 75 in the April 20 ITA national rankings.

The Lions return to action this weekend, visiting No. 35 Minnesota at 6 p.m. Saturday in their final match of the regular season.

-- by Brad Stratton

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Updated: 1999-4-20  22:01:40   -4
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Created: 1999-4-20  21:50:01   -4