Boilers Look to Get on Winning Side

Men's tennis takes on Northern Illinois and Western Michigan.

Feb. 6, 1998

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue men's tennis team is in for a long day tomorrow, Feb. 7, as Northern Illinois and Western Michigan come calling to West Lafayette. The Boilers (0-2) are looking to get off a two-game skid that saw them fall at ninth-ranked Florida on Jan. 31, and South Florida on Feb. 1.

"We had our hands full in Florida," said Purdue coach Tim Madden. "We played good competition and with a high energy level but came up on the short end of the stick."

Tomorrow should be a good opportunity for the Boilers to pick up their first win, but it will be a challenge, as both matches will be played back-to-back. "This will be a real test because we will have to come out and play with a high intensity level and keep our endurance up," Madden says. "The most important thing about these matches is that we get our confidence back. We should start with confidence and energy and finish with mental focus and tenacity."

Northern Illinois (0-2) and Western Michigan (2-0) both come into this weekend as much more formidable opponents than in years past. "These teams have improved a lot," Madden says. "They are hungry and will be very challenging."

The Boilers have been led thus far by No. 1 singles player Jamie Gordon and No. 2 singles player Cris James. The two have combined for a 3-1 record in the young dual season.

"This weekend should be a chance for us to get back on track," James says. "We should be able to find out a lot about what our team is made of."

The first match against Northern Illinois will begin at 1:30 p.m. and be followed by Western Michigan at 6 p.m.

The Boilers will open conference play on Feb. 15, when the Wisconsin Badgers come to town for a 1 p.m. start.