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Sports
[ Friday, April 2, 1999 ]

Netmen look to rebound in Michigan

By BRAD STRATTON
Collegian Staff Writer

After dropping the last two matches of its five-match homestand, the Penn State men's tennis team will travel to the state of Michigan this weekend to face two strong Big Ten opponents.

The No. 68 Nittany Lions (9-5, 1-2 Big Ten) return to action this weekend, visiting Michigan State at 1 p.m. tomorrow and No. 39 Michigan at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Lions are coming off a disappointing end to their homestand, in which they went 3-2 and lost to conference foes Purdue and Indiana last weekend.


PHOTO: Kathy Breining
Penn State’s Eric Meditz lunges for the ball earlier this season.

The Lions face a formidable challenge up North, where a few mishaps could result in losses and a potential 1-4 conference record, which would place the Lions near the bottom of the Big Ten standings.

Michigan State (5-8, 1-1) will host the Lions, coming out a split weekend that saw the sixth-place Spartans defeat Wisconsin last Saturday and lose to Iowa last Sunday.

The Spartans will send their 16th-ranked doubles team of Ken Kigongo and Francisco Trinidad against the Lions. In singles, the Spartans will be led by No. 1 singles player Trey Eubanks, the 1997-98 Big Ten Sportsman of the Year.

On Sunday, the Lions visit first-place Michigan (9-1, 2-0) with high hopes of ending the Wolverines' dominance in the series. Since Penn State joined the Big Ten, the Wolverines hold a 9-1 series record against the Lions, most recently shutting out Penn State last season in Ann Arbor.

The Wolverines will be led by junior John Long and freshman Ben Cox, who have a combined singles record of 19-1. In doubles, the team of co-captain Jake Raiton and Long has won all eight of its matches.

Figuring to be a strong point for the Lions will be sophomore Marc McCallister, who has quietly won seven straight matches to post a 13-1 record on the season. At No. 3 doubles, McCallister and senior Mike Griesser have won five straight matches and 13 of 15 this season.

While McCallister has been shining brightly, the rest of the team has struggled recently.

"We were playing counter punch too much last weekend," senior Eric Meditz said. "In practice this week we worked on being more competitive, more aggressive. These are two good teams; we can't sit back and trade volleys."




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Updated: Thursday, April 01, 1999  10:25:48 PM  -4
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