April 11, 2014
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Coming off a thrilling 5-2 victory over intrastate rival Indiana on Wednesday, the 36th-ranked men's tennis team plays host to the Big Ten's top two teams this weekend.
The third-place Boilermakers (14-3, 6-1 Big Ten) take on No. 16 Penn State (19-2, 6-1) at 1 p.m. today and top-ranked Ohio State (23-2, 8-0) at noon Sunday at the Schwartz Tennis Center. Click here for the conference standings.
Senior Mark Kovacs clinched the Boilermakers' seventh straight win with a three-set thriller at No. 3 singles - 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5 - and with the win over the Hoosiers, Purdue now has an 8-7 lead in the Governor's Cup competition. Five points remain: baseball, men's and women's golf, and men's and women's outdoor track and field.
Meanwhile, the 37th-ranked women's team (9-7, 5-2), which is tied for third in the Big Ten, travels to Penn State (5-14, 1-6) for a match today and on to No. 49 Ohio State (14-7, 4-3) for Sunday-afternoon action. The Boilermakers are riding a season-best four-match winning streak. The conference standings are here.
Football Spring Game Tomorrow
With the weather forecast calling for mostly sunny skies and a high temperature of 74 degrees, it looks to be an picture-perfect day for the football team's Spring Game tomorrow at 1 p.m. A host of activities are slated before, during and after the game, and you can get all the details here.
There is still time to register for The Challenge, the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research 5K run/walk. On-site registration is available today from 4 to 7 p.m. and tomorrow from 7 to 8:15 a.m. before the 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. at Ross-Ade. All proceeds go to help cure cancer. Head football coach Darrell Hazell, whose father died from prostate cancer, again is serving as spokesman for the event and will bang the "All-American" Marching Band's Big Bass Drum to send off the participants.
Varsho Sparks Softball's Strong Big Ten Start
The softball team is off to a fast start in Big Ten play, with a 7-2 conference record that is good for third place behind Michigan (9-0) and Minnesota (8-2). The Boilermakers, who are 20-19-1 overall, play a three game series at Ohio State (19-18, 5-4) today through Sunday.
Last Saturday, senior outfielder Andie Varsho became the school's career hits leader with a fifth-inning single in the first game of the Boilermakers' double-header sweep of Indiana. The base knock also extended her hitting streak to a school-record 21 games, which stretched to 22 games in the nightcap before the Hoosiers held her hitless in four at-bats Sunday. Varsho currently has 260 career hits.
For the season, Varsho is batting .468 with three home runs, 14 RBI and 17 stolen bases. The school record for season batting average is .454 by Andrea Hillsey in 2003. Varsho currently occupies the second (.426 in 2011) and third (.415 in 2013) spots. She has reached base via hit or walk in 38 of 40 games this spring.
Women's Golf Makeup Date
After the final day of last weekend's Dallas Athletic Club/SMU Invitational was cancelled due to inclement weather, the women's golf team will play host to the Purdue Rainy Day Shootout tomorrow. The Boilermakers welcome Iowa and Kent State for the one-day, 36-hole event on the Kampen Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, beginning at 8 a.m.
The Hawkeyes and Golden Flashes also were at the Dallas Athletic Club last weekend. After Mother Nature cheated his team out of the final day of competition, Purdue head coach Devon Brouse gathered with Iowa and Kent State coaches Megan Menzel and Greg Robertson and scheduled the makeup date.
The Big Ten Conference announced it will open a second office in New York City to help serve the needs of its 14 member institutions. The Big Ten New York City office will be located at 900 Third Avenue and will be fully staffed and operational by June 1. The conference also will have access to satellite office space in Washington, D.C., while continuing to utilize its current headquarters in Rosemont, Ill.
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers on July 1, the Big Ten will feature 14 institutions spanning from the Colorado border to the Atlantic Ocean, with a significant presence in two regions of the country. The 14 member institutions of the Big Ten will lead all conferences with nearly 9,500 student-athletes (on 350 teams in 43 different sports), 520,000 total students and 5.7 million living alumni.
Senior guard Terone Johnson received the John R. Wooden Most Valuable Player Award at the men's basketball team's 92nd-annual banquet Wednesday ... Congratulations to director of sports performance Duane Carlisle, who will be recognized as a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach at the annual MSCC dinner and ceremony to be held May 8 at the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association national conference ... Dates for the 2014 Boilermaker Coaches Caravan have been set ... The baseball team (6-22, 2-4 Big Ten) travels to Michigan State (18-12, 3-3) this weekend for a three-game series. It marks the Boilermakers' third trip to the banks of the Red Cedar in the last four years. Purdue pitchers have compiled a 4.15 ERA in Big Ten games (24 earned runs in 52 innings pitched), compared with an 8.22 mark in non-conference contests (147 earned runs in 191 innings pitched) ... The track and field teams compete at the Border Wars meet with Indiana, Kentucky and Notre Dame today and tomorrow in Louisville, Ky.