No. 8 Penn State Advances Past No. 9 Michigan State, 4-2
April 26, 2007
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn - The Spartans won an early doubles point behind the play of Sarah Andrews and Stephanie Kebler at the No. 2 position. It was not enough as Penn State expunged the early deficit by winning the first three singles matches on its way to a 4-2 victory in Thursday's first quarterfinal match of the 2007 Big Ten Championships.
After Penn State's No. 1 doubles partners Sasha Abraham and Jenny Shular notched the first doubles match 8-3, pressure was on the shoulders of Michigan State's No. 2 and No. 3. MSU's Christine Bader and Christine Milliken tallied a comfortable 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles when all eyes focused on Andrews and Kebler. The match was tight throughout and was tied at 6-6 before the duo took the two remaining matches. In the final game, the MSU tandem fought back from a 40-0 deficit to win 8-6 and put the Spartans up 1-0 headed into singles action.
However, Penn State had other plans as it stormed into singles action taking four-of-six first sets. Senior Andreea Niculescu picked up Penn State's first point of the day with a straight-sets (6-4, 6-4) win over Bader at No. 1 singles. Despite being just one of two Nittany Lions to drop her first set, No. 6 Lauren McCarthy came back to win her second and third sets 6-3, 6-3 to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. Shular added to PSU's point total with a hard fought 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) win over Kebler at the No. 3 position.
Pascale Schnitzer did her part to keep the Spartans alive with a three set win over Abraham (4-6, 6-3, 6-3) at No. 2 singles before sophomore Dorothy Dohanics clinched the Lions' final point at No. 5 with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Marianne Eelens.
Penn State advances to face No. 1 seed Northwestern in Friday's quarterfinal round. First serve is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Minn.