April 8, 1997

Purdue Continues to Improve

After a weekend split, Purdue posts an 11-4 record with a 4-1 mark in the Big Ten. The Boilers are currently ranked 48th in the Rolex Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

On April 5, 11th-ranked Notre Dame defeated the Boilermakers 5-2. Derek Myers defeated Ryan Simme in No. 3 singles 7-6, 6-1, while Jerad Harbaugh defeated Dan Rothschild 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. High winds brought the Purdue men's tennis team indoors as Purdue posted a 5-2 win over Penn State. Purdue won all but two of its singles matches and two of the three doubles matches to earn the doubles point. Derek Myers, Jamie Gordon, Greg Wessenberg and Steve Brizendine captured all singles wins for the Boilermakers. Myers defeated Mike Griesser 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 at No. 2 singles, while Gordon overpowered Colin Smeeton 7-5, 6-3 in No. 3 singles. Gordon had an excellent day after working with Jerad Harbaugh to break the 1-1 tie in doubles to start the day by winning the doubles point for Purdue. Also winning in singles for Purdue was Greg Wessenberg over Eric Meditz in the five-spot 6-2, 6-1, while Steve Brizendine defeated Lee Hect 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. The team of Cris James and Derek Myers also captured part of the doubles point by defeating Michael Carter and Colin Smeeton 8-3 at No. 1 doubles.

Head coach Tim Madden is in his third season as coach of the Boilermakers. He has posted a record of 36-28 at Purdue and a 70-49 overall record. Purdue's 16 wins last season were the fourth most in school history.

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 21-14. The doubles team of Cris James and Derek Myers is ranked 22nd 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 21-13 and 17-11 slates.

Purdue has six matches in the next two weeks, five of which are against Big Ten foes. This week, the Boilermakers go to Ball State, Indiana and Ohio State. They will follow that up by hosting Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.

"I am very pleased with how the team played at Notre Dame. I don't know if the team believed that they should win against a top 20 program, but we fought hard and most of the matches were competitive until the end. I think that next year, we will expect to win that match and that will pay off against a high caliber team.

"Penn State took us out of what we wanted to do and made us play ugly. The guys decided that winning was more important than looking good."

"We are fine tuning in preparation for the Big Ten Championships. Confidence is high, and hopefully our play continues to improve."


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