Men's Tennis Team will begin Post Season Play as Third Seed
The Boilers will compete in the Big Ten Championships, April 30-May 3.
April 30, 1998
After a season filled with high rankings and some of the toughest competition from around the nation, the Purdue men's tennis team (12-9, 7-3) will begin postseason play as the third seed in the 89th Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill., April 30-May 3.
"Our goal is to win the Big Ten Championship," says junior Cris James. "We have the No. 3 seed and feel like we can beat anybody." The Boilers closed the yearwith a strong win over Michigan and matched the Wolverines' conference mark of 7-3. But due to the head-to-head advantage over the Maize and Blue, Purdue gains the No. 3 seed and the right to face No. 6 Minnesota. The Boilers dropped a heartbreaking 4-3 decision to the Gophers on April 18. Minnesota also knocked off Purdue in the quarterfinals of the 1997 conference tournament.
"The Michigan match was a great confidence builder for us, and we want to take that into this weekend," says Purdue coach Tim Madden. "We're looking at the Minnesota match as a possibility to get sweet revenge."
Jamie Gordon, a junior co-captain for the Boilers, boasts an 8-2 conference mark after splitting time at the No. 1 and 2 singles positions. He is coming off a decisive win over the Wolverines' David Paradzik last weekend and will look to rebound from an earlier loss to Minnesota's Tom Chicoine to open the tournament. Following Gordon in the line-up will be James. A 1997 All-Big Ten player, James stands at 24-11 this season and is 7-3 in league play. In Minnesota, James picked up one of the Boilers' two singles points by defeating Adam Selkirk in straight sets.
Purdue will look to its bottom half of the line-up for strong play, as well. At the No. 3 slot is junior and co-captain Derek Myers, while freshmen Jason Marshall and Dan Swan and senior Steve Brizendine will round out the No. 4, 5 and 6 spots respectively. Marshall is the steadiest of the trio after having posted 29 wins this season, eight in Big Ten play.
Myers and James comprise Purdue's top doubles team and are currently ranked 45th in the nation. The duo is one of only two conference teams ranked in the top 50. The pair is coming off six consecutive victories and is 8-1 in Big Ten action. The Boilers' No. 2 (Gordon and Marshall) and No. 3 (Swan and sophomore G.T Cozad) teams also hope to jumpstart the Purdue attack.
"We have been getting good doubles play from our No. 2 and 3 teams," James says. "That really helps because it takes some of the pressure off Derek and I. Doubles will be very important for us because we can use it our advantage to build early leads."
Host Illinois, which won the conference title a year ago, will be the team to beat as they stand atop the Big Ten with a flawless 10-0 record. Northwestern, which narrowly defeated Purdue in a 4-3 decision in February, received the No. 2 seed. Play will begin with the No. 8- 11 seeds squaring off at 9 a.m. on April 30. Purdue and Minnesota face off at 9 a.m. on May 1.