Feb. 26, 1997

Purdue Prepares for Big-Ten Season

RECORD: Purdue remains undefeated at 5-0 after three straight shutouts. The Big Ten season begins March 1 in Madison as the Boilers face Wisconsin. The Boilers are currently ranked 55th in the Rolex Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

LAST TIME ON THE COURT: The Purdue men's tennis team remained undefeated by whitewashing Northern Illinois and Indiana State 7-0 Saturday at the Lafayette Tennis Club. The team improves to 5-0 with the Big Ten season starting next weekend. Cris James and Derek Myers combined for two doubles wins and four singles wins on the day. Jerad Harbaugh and Greg Wessenberg also gathered a pair of wins. The man of the day, though, was Scott Postlewaite. The senior, who has garnered little time this season, inspired the team with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Trey Usry of Indiana State at No. 6 singles.

MADDEN'S RECORD: Head coach Tim Madden is in his third season as coach of the Boilermakers. He has posted a record of 29-25 at Purdue and a 63-46 overall record. Purdue's 16 wins last season were the fourth most in school history.

GORDON, JAMES AND MYERS: Gordon, James and Myers is not the name of a local law firm, but the three hot sophomores for the Purdue tennis team.

In the fall, Jamie Gordon won the Rolex Regional Singles Draw which automatically qualified him for the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Tennis Championships. Gordon posted a 14-6 singles record at tournaments throughout the fall and winter on his way to being ranked 44th in the nation and first in Region IV. He now has a record of 16-9.

The doubles team of Cris James and Derek Myers is ranked 15th in the nation and second in the region. In the fall, the pair posted two major wins over highly regarded Paul Goldstein and Ryan Wolters. One was in the finals of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic (Jan. 11), which propelled the duo into getting an invitation to the Rolex National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. They defeated ninth-ranked Nick Crowell and Paul Martin, 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic. James and Myers have also played well in singles, posting respective 17-7 and 11-7 slates.

EXPECTED STARTERS: Tim Madden expects to play Gordon, James and Myers at Nos. 1-3. Senior Greg Wessenberg and freshman Jerad Harbaugh platoon at Nos. 4-5. Senior Bryan Harris, junior Steve Brizendine and freshman Tushaar Gautam are expected to see singles action. James and Myers are Purdue's top doubles team. Gordon and Harbaugh will probably play No. 2, while Harris and Jason Smith are No. 3.

BIG TEN TIME: Purdue starts the Big Ten season March 1 in Madison against Wisconsin. On Sunday the team travels to Evanston to face the Wildcats of Northwestern. On March 8, the Boilers are at Louisville, then they will make a three match trip to California over the rest of the week.

QUOTING HEAD COACH TIM MADDEN: "The four home matches we played over the last two weeks were excellent. We played focused and intense. The team needs to continue that mentality as we enter the Big Ten season. We are playing as a complete team now with a full team effort. "My hope is that the energy level that we have had thus far can be taken and increased in the Big Ten matches that we have coming up. Both matches are huge for us. They will demonstrate where we are in the conference and a good start will definitely help our momentum."