UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s Russell Bader (Austin, Texas) and Roman Trkulja (Toronto, Canada) will open the season as the 28th ranked doubles team in the nation. The 2012-13 Preseason ITA Rankings were released Sept. 8. Penn State is one of five Big Ten schools represented in the Top 30 in the doubles rankings.
The junior, Bader, receives the honor after advancing to the NCAA Tournament last year, while combining with Jason Lee. Bader and Lee went 14-2 on the year, but fell in the first round to the No. 10 ranked team from Oklahoma. The Texas native will pick up right where he left off after finishing 28th in the Final ITA Rankings. Bader finished last year with an overall doubles record of 24-11. His 24 wins were the third most in a single season by a Nittany Lion.
Joining Bader will be the freshman, Trkulja, who brings an impressive résumé to Penn State. The Toronto native had a great performance at the 2012 U-18 Rogers Outdoor Junior Nationals, where he reached the doubles final and the singles quarterfinals. It marked the sixth time he reached the Junior Nationals final, getting there with six different partners. He has a national championship in both doubles and singles.
Penn State will start their fall schedule this weekend at the Farnsworth/Princeton Invitational, hosted by Princeton.