Matt Barry seals No. 23 Penn State's victory against No. 28 Northwestern
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State earned a 4-3 win against No. 28 Northwestern on Sunday at the Indoor Tennis Center. The Nittany Lions won the doubles point and picked up singles wins at Nos. 1, 3 and 4. Penn State improved to 16-3 this spring and 3-2 in conference play. Northwestern dropped to 12-9 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten.
It marked the sixth time this season that the Nittany Lions beat a ranked opponent. Penn State also improved to 12-1 at home.
The Nittany Lions claimed their 17th doubles point in 19 matches this spring with wins at Nos. 1 and 2.
Senior Russell Bader and sophomore Leonard Stakhovsky, ranked 28th in the ITA Doubles Poll, matched up against Northwestern's Raleigh Smith and Sam Shropshire at the top doubles spot. The Penn State duo earned an 8-5 victory to clinch the doubles point. They moved to 12-4 this spring.
With the win, Bader earned career doubles victory No. 75. He is one of three Penn State players all-time to earn 75 wins.
At No. 2 doubles, Penn State's 54th-ranked doubles team, Michael Reilly and Chris Young, met the Wildcats' Mihir Kumar and Konrad Zieba. The Nittany Lion pair cruised to an 8-2 win to remain undefeated. They are now 10-0 in dual matches.
In the third doubles match, David Kohan and Christian Lutschaunig competed against Northwestern's Strong Kirchheimer and Fedor Baev. The match was locked at 7-7 in a tiebreaker when the match was stopped.
Stakhovsky, ranked 50th in the ITA Poll, played his third consecutive match against a ranked opponent as he matched up against Raleigh Smith, ranked 37th in the ITA poll. Stakhovsky jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set on his way to a 6-2 win. He followed that up with another 6-2 win in the second set. Stakhovsky went 2-0 this weekend, also knocking off Illinois' No. 9 Jared Hiltzik. Stakhovsky is now 15-2 this spring and 6-2 against ranked opponents.
Freshman Alex Fennell competed against the Wildcats' Konrad Zieba at No. 3 singles. He took the first set 6-3. In the second set, Fennell forced a tiebreaker at 6-6. In a back-and-forth tiebreaker, Fennell came out on top 8-6. Fennell improved to 12-7 this spring and 16-10 overall.
Sophomore Matt Barry competed at No. 4 singles against the Wildcats' Mihir Kumar. In a tight first set, Barry forced a tiebreaker at 6-6 and came out on top in a marathon tiebreaker 12-10. Kumar responded with a 6-3 win in the second set. In the deciding set, Kumar took the first game, but Barry earned the next two and would not trail for the rest of the set, winning 6-4 to clinch the match point for Penn State. Barry improved to 12-2 this spring.
It marks the fourth time this spring that Barry clinched the match for the Nittany Lions.
Bader took on Northwestern freshman Sam Shropshire, ranked 113th in the nation, at No. 2 singles. Trailing 5-6, Bader forced a tiebreaker in the first set. However, Shropshire bested Bader in the tiebreaker 7-3 to take the set. Bader led 4-3 in the second set, but Shropshire rallied back to take the set 6-4. Bader dropped to 15-4 this spring.
Roman Trkulja faced Strong Kirchheimer at the fifth singles spot. Kircheimer won the first set 6-1 and kept his momentum going with a 6-3 win in the second set. Trkulja fell to 9-9 this spring.
Reilly got his first Big Ten start of his career at No. 6 singles against Northwestern's Alex Pasarneau. He earned a 6-3 win in the first set. In the next set, Pasarneau won 6-4. In the final set, Pasarneau came out on top 10-7. Reilly dropped to 3-3 in dual matches.