Derek Myers leads
Purdue against Notre
Dame. (file photo)

 

Boilers Look for Revenge against Irish

Men's tennis travels to Notre Dame.

Feb. 20, 1998

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue men's tennis team will be looking for revenge when it takes the court against 23rd-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend on Feb. 21. The last meeting between the two schools resulted in a 5-2 win by the Fighting Irish who were ranked 11th at the time. Purdue (3-2, 1-0 Big Ten) is currently ranked 48th.

"I felt like we competed very, very well against this team last year," says Purdue coach Tim Madden. "But we're looking to get someone like Derek Myers or a doubles team to come through with some individual spark. Something like that could set the rest of the team off on trying to get a win this year instead of just competing hard."

Tomorrow's match will closely resemble the last, as three of Purdue's and four of Notre Dame's top-six players remain.

Purdue's Jamie Gordon, a junior, will enjoy a rematch with Notre Dame's Ryan Sachire at the No. 1 singles position. Sachire had the upper hand when the two met last year, escaping with a 7-5, 6-4 victory. Sachire is currently the 29th-ranked player in the nation, while Gordon is unranked.

Junior Cris James also had a tight, two-set battle in the last meeting with Jakub Pietrowski. Pietrowski came away with the 6-4, 6-4 win in 1997, but James is riding a five-match unbeaten streak and looks to carry that to six.

Derek Myers won his singles match against the Irish a year ago, but will face a different competitor at the No. 3 position.

Freshman Jason Marshall is new to the equation but has won three straight matches for the Boilermakers.

Also new to the mix are rookie Dan Swan and junior Cade Lutz who round out Purdue's singles lineup.

The doubles point will be hard-earned, as the No. 1 match features 22nd-ranked James and Myers and ninth-ranked Pietrowski and Brian Patterson. These two teams met in the 1997 Rolex Regional championship match last November, with the No. 1 seeded Irish duo capturing the title with a 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 victory. Patterson and Pietrowski won 8-3 in the dual match meeting between the two teams last season.

Purdue's No. 2 doubles team of Gordon and Marshall boasts a 3-1 record heading into the match.

Despite the disparity in rankings, the Boilermakers appear prime for an upset over their in-state foe.

"Maybe this is the year," says Madden. "We haven't been able to get it done in the past, but it's just a matter of believing that we have arrived and that it's our time. In the past we haven't believed that. But we're closer than we've ever been, and we'll be hoping for the best."

Match time is slated for 1 p.m. in South Bend.