The men's tennis team never really had much to fear from the Penn. St. Nittany Lions, just ask Coach Dave Fish: "Yale beat them 8-1," he said, "And if Yale can beat them 8-1, then we should be able to beat them 9-0."
Fish was right. The netmen easily crushed the Nittany Lions yesterday in the windless, rainless Palmer Dixon Courts, upping their season mark to 6-3. The squad is 4-0 on the East coast.
The match followed what has by now become a somewhat well established pattern, with the singles sweep making the doubles matches all but unnecessary.
With nothing riding on the outcome, in fact, both the second and third doubles matches were reduced to pro-spots. The Penn State squad knew they had a long ride back home. A very long ride back home.
First singles player Don Pompan continued his combination of eastern competition, decimating Tim McAvoy 6-3, 6-4. Pompan fought off a little early trouble with his serve and volley to defeat the Lion by nearly the same tally as last year's match.
Pompan was ably backed up by his teammates in the other five singles matches, including, as usual, number two player Howard Sands. The yardling simply picked apart Bill Schillings, en route to a 6-0, 6-4 win. Howard is "absolutely methodical," Fish said, and is "very, very able to just dissect a player."
Following Sands at number three was Warren Grossman, who excited the sparse crowd of 22 by whipping Tom Beckhard 6-0, 6-4.
At number four in this tennis parallel of Sherman's March to the Sea was junior captain Bob Horne, who survived an early scare to waste Bill Schmucker 6-7, 6-3, 6-1. Captain Bob lost the first set on a tough 5-4 tiebreaker, suffering a slight pulled hamstring in the process, but rebounded to win the next two sets easily.
Mike Terner at number five had probably the easiest match of the afternoon, defeating Jon Whiteside 6-0, 6-0. Terner's performance in the fifth slot has been so consistent that Fish is contemplating moving him up to the third position.
Rounding out the singles competition was Adam Beren, who lost a few tight games in the first set, which he lost 6-3. He then rebounded to take the second set 6-1, and then iced the match with a 6-2 waltz in the rubber set.
Double Your Fun
Following the singles matches, the squad had no trouble in maintaining their intensity to capture all three doubles matches as well. Pompan and Sands whipped the Lions' first combination 6-3, 6-4, and the Grossman/Beren duo won the shortened version of second doubles 8-4. Senior Greg Kirsch and Terner finished up by defeating Beckhard and Schmucker 8-2.
If nothing else, the results of this match must mean that the netmen will beat Yale 9-0.
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