Wolfpack Slips Past Penn State, 4-3
Jan. 19, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The NC State men's tennis team started off the 2013 dual-match season with a 4-3 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday at the Sarni Tennis Center. The win marks the ninth straight season that the Wolfpack has opened with a win.
"I've never actually been a part of a match like that in 24 years of coaching," said head coach Jon Choboy. "It was a first and I give all the credit to the competitive nature of our guys. It was tough starting on the road because nobody's home place is easy to get a win in."
Senior Dave Thomson and junior Sean Weber got the Wolfpack in the win column first with an 8-5 win over Russell Bader and Roman Trkulja in doubles play. Robbie Mudge and Thomas Weigel claimed the second win of the day for the Pack with an 8-4 victory against C.J. Griffin and Matt Barry. State won two of three matches in doubles play to win the doubles point and lead 1-0 heading into singles play.
Weigel, who was competing at the No. 4 spot in the lineup, collected the first win for the Pack in singles play by defeating Bader in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4. Austin Powell played at the No. 1 spot in the lineup, dropping his match to Bryan Welnetz. The Muscle Shoals, Ala., native lost the opening set, 6-4, but rebounded in the second set to win, 6-3, before coming up short in the third set, 6-3.
"There were basically three parts to the match," said Choboy. "We jumped on them early by playing well in doubles and winning the doubles point, then Thomas won his match to put us up 2-0. They won the next three matches to go up 3-2, before Sean and Simon (Norenius) won to seal the win."
Mudge won the first set of his match against Trkulja, 6-4, but fell in the second and third sets, 6-4 and 7-5, respectively. Thomson also lost a hard fought match to Thomas Hanzlik, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
After the first four matches of singles play, NC State trailed Penn State 3-2. Fortunately for the Wolfpack, Weber and Norenius were up to the task in must-win games. Weber defeated Barry, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 and Norenius topped Griffin, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
"We lost the first set of our matches at the five and six spots in the lineup, so our backs were against the wall," Choboy said. "Sean was down a set, but he really clamped down and started playing his style of game and held off three match points. Simon also lost his first set, but settled down and played much better after that."
NC State will return to action on Monday, Jan. 21 in its home opener against Indiana at 1 p.m. in the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center.