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[ Monday, Feb. 22, 1999 ]

Netmen crush Toledo, American

Collegian Staff Writer

The players on the Penn State men's tennis team knew the importance of this weekend. They knew how important it was to open their home schedule with victories. They knew how important it was to win their non-conference matches.

So they did.

The Nittany Lions opened their home schedule in a big way this weekend, defeating American and Toledo by 6-1 scores at the Penn State Tennis Club. On Saturday, the No. 60 Nittany Lions (5-1, 1-0 Big Ten) overwhelmed American, winning five of six singles matches and all three doubles. The next day, the Lions repeated the feat, this time against Toledo.

"It was a productive weekend," said senior Mike Griesser, who won both his matches in the No. 1 singles slot. "It gave us a lot of confidence -- good for moving into the middle of the season."

Against American, Griesser defeated the Eagles' Mark Sibilla in straight sets (6-3, 6-0). On Sunday, he beat Toledo's Gernot Kerschbaumer, also in straight sets (6-1, 6-2).

"I was really impressed with Griesser," Penn State coach Jan Bortner said. "It doesn't matter if you're playing Toledo or Ohio State, everyone has a great No. 1 singles player. Griesser has not just won his matches, he has dominated. He wins the first set and doesn't have a let down in the second. He keeps his focus and concentrates."

The Lions were able to set the tempo from the start, sweeping doubles against American and Toledo. The No. 44 doubles team of senior Eric Meditz and junior Marc Dorfman led the way, defeating American's Sibilla and Jarred Snyder (8-2), and Toledo's Kerschbaumer and Nebojsa Stojanovich (8-5).

"We were fired up and ready to go," Dorfman said. "We were able to play smart tennis."

In a bit of late drama against Toledo, freshman Jamie Gresh battled back from a first set loss to overpower the Rockets' Josh Weinstein (4-6, 6-0, 6-4). The Lions already had clinched victory and the pressure was off, but Weinstein treated the remaining crowd to a late third-set comeback attempt before falling to Gresh.

"What we need to work on is our mid-court game, getting to the net," Bortner said. "We've had mixed results on that so far."

The Lions return to action next weekend at No. 16 Harvard, their biggest game so far this year. Competition begins at 11 a.m. Sunday.

"Harvard is big," Meditz said. "If we play the way we are capable of, special things can happen."

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Updated: Sunday, February 21, 1999  10:44:00 PM  -4
Requested: Saturday, August 30, 2008  12:49:19 AM  -4
Created: Wednesday, May 07, 2008  6:26:06 PM  -4