[ Friday, April 16, 1999 ]
Netmen defeat Bloomsburg in last home match
By BRAD STRATTON
As the Penn State men's tennis team and graduating seniors Mike Griesser and Eric Meditz celebrated their victory over Bloomsburg Wednesday night, Meditz jokingly commented on the emotions from his last home match.
PHOTO: J.M. Boyer
Penn State’s Marc Dorfman pre-pares to serve Thursday night.
"I promised myself I wouldn't cry," he said with a smile.
The entire team was in a light-hearted mood Wednesday after it defeated the Div. II Huskies in its last home match of the season, 5-2. The match was played under the lights at Sarni Tennis Center.
The No. 70 Nittany Lions (11-9, 1-6 Big Ten) played through a windy night to defeat the Huskies, winning all three doubles matches and four of six singles matches.
"Overall, the guys handled the conditions real well," Penn State coach Jan Bortner said.
The Lions now turn their attention back to the Big Ten, when they travel to Iowa and Wisconsin this weekend. They visit Iowa at 10 a.m. tomorrow and travel to Wisconsin for a match at noon Sunday.
The Lions are hoping they can carry some of Wednesday's momentum into the weekend, but they may have to do so in less-than perfect health. Two matches Wednesday were halted due to injury. Junior Marc Dorfman appeared to hurt his back and sophomore Marc McCallister injured his shoulder. Bloomsburg (12-5) picked up its only two points by injury default.
"In this weather," Bortner said, "it wasn't going to help us to have them keep playing, and it probably would have hurt them."
Both Dorfman and McCallister were making comeback attempts in the third set of their respective matches. Dorfman's match at No. 2 singles was stopped with Bloomsburg's Marcus Nilsson leading by a game in the third set (6-1, 1-6, 3-2). At No. 5 singles, McCallister bowed out early against the Huskies' Andrew Naylor, also down by a game in the third set (6-1, 4-6, 2-1).
Bortner expected Dorfman to play in this weekend's matches, but he was unsure about the extent of McCallister's injury.
"We hope it's not serious," he said.
The Lions netted the first point Wednesday by sweeping the three doubles matches. Meditz and Dorfman held off a comeback attempt at No. 1 doubles by Nilsson and Dixon, 8-6. The loss was only the third of the season for the Huskies' top doubles duo.
The team of Griesser and McCallister won its match 8-4 over David Wolfe and Salin Chraibi. With the win, the two improved to 18-3 on the season. At No. 2 doubles, junior Jeffrey Martini and sophomore Damon Accardi won 8-4 against Tyler Hunsberger and Naylor.
In singles play, the Lions achieved their four wins with power. At No. 4 singles, Martini beat Wolfe in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, while Accardi won at No. 6 singles against Jay Nistad (6-2, 6-2).
"Accardi really stepped up today," Bortner said. "(Bloomsburg coach Marty Coyne) said their No. 6 player doesn't lose. It shows what he's capable of."
Griesser and Meditz both played with intensity, each winning in straight sets by identical scores. At centre court, Griesser defeated Rob Dixon (6-4, 6-1) at No. 1 singles, while Meditz downed Hunsberger (6-4, 6-1) at No. 3 singles.
"It's a little odd being the last match at home," Griesser said. "This has been so much a part of my life. It's a little strange. I'm sure the emotion of it will hit at the end of the season."
The seniors have a few weeks before their careers close, and Wisconsin and Iowa pose stiff competition on the road. Iowa (9-9, 2-4) looks to rebound from a humbling defeat last weekend at the hands of Minnesota. Leading the charge for the Hawkeyes will be 80th-ranked Tyler Cleveland at No. 1 singles.
Wisconsin (4-13, 0-6) has fallen on hard times. Picked to finish in the upper tier of the Big Ten, the Badgers have been victims to numerous 4-3 losses, including one against No. 43 Michigan.
"Both teams are hungry for a win," Bortner said. "They'll be your typical Big Ten matches."
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Updated: 1999-4-15 23:08:30 -4
Requested: 2004-10-9 21:31:26 -4
Created: 1999-4-15 22:58:42 -4