Mar. 27, 1997

Men's Tennis Takes a Break

Record: After their spring trip to California and the opening of the Big Ten season, Purdue stands 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten Conference. The Boilers are currently ranked 56th in the Rolex Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

Last Time On The Court: For the first time since 1938 and for the second time in school history, Purdue's men's tennis team surprised the University of Michigan. The 4-3 win raises Purdue's record to 10-3 and 3-1 in the Big Ten.

After sweeping the doubles point by winning all three matches, Purdue evenly split the singles matches. Senior Greg Wessenberg defeated Miki Pusztai at No. 4 singles, 0-6, 6-1, 6-1, while freshman Jerad Harbaugh topped Brad McFarlane in the No. 5 match, 7-6, 6-4. Sophomore captain Jamie Gordon capped the victory by defeating Arvid Swan 6-3, 7-6 in the climatic last match of the day (No. 2). On March 22, the Boilers dispatched Michigan State 4-3. Sophomores Jamie Gordon and Derek Myers and senior Greg Wessenberg all won singles matches for Purdue (9-3). Gordon defeated Ben Hutzler 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, while Myers overpowered Aaron Murray 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3. Wessenberg defeated Mark Jacobson 7-5, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.

In the doubles competition, Myers and sophomore Cris James teamed up to beat Hutzler and Luke Linder 8-3 at No. 1. Gordon and freshman Jerad Harbaugh were victorious at No. 2 for the Boilermakers, while seniors Bryan Harris and Jason Smith won their No. 3 doubles match.

Madden's Record: Head coach Tim Madden is in his third season as coach of the Boilermakers. He has posted a record of 34-28 at Purdue and a 68-49 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 as high as 44th in the nation and first in Region IV. His victory over Arvid Swan of Michigan sealed the Boilers' 4-3 win. He presently has a record of 20-13.

The doubles team of Cris James and Derek Myers is ranked 11th 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 21-11 and 15-11 slates.

Happy Easter: Purdue is taking a weekend off from competition to allow the players to spend Easter with their families. The team will resume play on April 5 at Notre Dame before hosting Penn State on April 6.

Quoting Head Coach Tim Madden: "This is a precious moment for Purdue tennis. Michigan is always in the hunt for the Big Ten title and has produced several excellent tennis players over the years. To beat them is a huge accomplishment for the program.

"Our preparation, motivation and confidence are at an all-time high. Wessenberg fought back, while Jerad (Harbaugh) sustained the toughness he needs to be a winner throughout the match. Jamie Gordon is a champion. He played the last match of the day with the pressure of a tied match. He handled it with the grace that only a champion has. We need to build off of this win and compete with Notre Dame."