STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - With everybody moving up a slot in the order with what seems to be a constant shuffle in the lineup through the early part of the season, it was a bad time for women's tennis to hit a streaking team. However, that is exactly what happened when Penn State (5-2) defeated the Quakers (3-2) Friday evening.
The Quakers did not take any matches against the nationally-ranked Nittany Lion squad, but on the positive side of things played very competitive matches at several spots and were able to take a set at No. 6 where Emma Whitfield forced a 10-point tiebreak in the final match to finish play.
Penn State got the early jump when it took the doubles point to get things started. Playing their first match together at the No. 1 doubles position, Stephanie Do and Alex Ion, typically the No. 2 doubles pairing, had a tough time getting anything going, but did manage three games in their first match together at No. 1. The Nittany Lions would then clinch the point with an 8-1 win at No. 3 where Penn's traditional pairing of Daniela DePaoli and Whitfield teamed up.
The Quakers gave Penn State its toughest match of the evening at the middle doubles pairing. In that match, Jules Rodin and Srinidhi Raghavan, jumped out to the quick 3-2 lead after five games. However, the Nittany Lion's second pairing would respond, running the score to 7-4 a short time later. Not giving up, Penn's new doubles pairing won three straight games, tying the score at seven-all. However, Penn state took the tiebreak to claim all three doubles.
Playing her first career match at the No. 1 position, it was certainly not an easy debut for Do as she was matched up with nationally ranked Petra Januskova. Januskova showed why she is on the rise on the latest rankings, winning in straight sets. In her first career match at No. 2, Ion found herself down early, however, she battled right back into the match, but her opponent took the opening set, 6-4. Ion continued to fight in the second before dropping another hard-fought set, 6-3.
DePaoli was right in the beginning of both of her sets before her opponent pulled away late in the 6-3, 6-2 match in the third position. In her match at No. 4, Raghavan jumped up a break early to a 3-1 lead in the first set. However, her opponent would take five of the next six games to win the set, 6-4. Raghavan's opponent would carry that momentum to a 6-2 win in the second.
Rodin moved up to the No. 5 position with all the switching around in the lineup for the first time this season. She picked up two games in each of her sets, but fell 6-2, 6-2. In the last match to finish play, Whitfield dropped a tough first set, 6-3, but quickly responded with a 6-2 win in the second, forcing a 10-point tiebreak and giving Penn its first set win of the evening. Whitfield would battle hard for Penn's only win of the evening, but would ultimately lose the tiebreak, 10-4.
Penn will be back in action tomorrow afternoon at the very same spot. The Quakers will have little time to regroup as they host Tulane in a neutral site match that will get underway at noon.
No. 59 Penn State 7, Penn 0
1: Petra Januskova/Chelsea Utting (PSU) def. Stephanie Do/Alex Ion (Penn), 8-3
2: Carmen Sandor/Fernanda Perrotta (PSU) def. Jules Rodin/Srinidhi Raghavan (Penn), 8-7 (1)
3: Marie Bedard/Nina Sertic (PSU) def. Daniela DePaoli/Emma Whitfield (Penn), 8-1
1: #43 Petra Januskova (PSU) def. Stephanie Do (Penn), 6-0, 6-0
2: Chelsea Utting (PSU) def. Alex Ion (Penn), 6-4, 6-3
3: Carmen Sandor (PSU) def. Daniela DePaoli (Penn). 6-3. 6-2
4: Fernanda Perrotta (PSU) def. Srinidhi Raghavan (Penn), 6-4, 6-2
5: Marie Bedard (PSU) def. Jules Rodin (Penn), 6-2, 6-2
6: Nina Sertic (PSU) def. Emma Whitfield (Penn), 6-3, 2-6, (1-0) 10-4