May 19, 1997

Purdue Reaches New Heights in 1997

RECORD: Purdue ends the season with a record of 18-7. The Boilermakers made their first-ever team appearance in the NCAA Tournament at the Regionals in Champaign on May 9. The Boilermakers are ranked 48th in the Rolex Collegiate Tennis Rankings.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Purdue men's tennis team lost in the first round of the NCAA Regionals in Champaign, Ill., 4-1 to Minnesota. Purdue, the fourth-seed, could not overcome the fifth-seeded Golden Gophers on a cold and windy Friday at Atkins Tennis Center. The Boilermakers' lone point came on the doubles point to open the match. After sophomore Cris James and Derek Myers lost to Lars Hjarrand and Ben Gabler 8-6 at No. 1, Purdue's No. 2 team of Jamie Gordon and Jerad Harbaugh defeated Tom Chicoine and Martin Kristofferson 8-4. In the final match, No. 3, senior Bryan Harris and Jason Smith battled Martin Michaelowski and Robin Rutili. Down 7-6 in the match, Harris held serve over seven deuces to win serve. The duo then broke Rutili's serve, and Smith fought back from a 15-40 deficit to win his serve and the match.

The euphoria of the doubles point was short lived as Minnesota regrouped and used the wind to their advantage in winning four straight singles matches. Only senior Greg Wessenberg was leading his match for the Boilermakers when play was suspended.

MADDEN'S RECORD: Head coach Tim Madden is in his third season as coach of the Boilermakers. He has posted a record of 43-31 at Purdue and a 77-52 overall record.

TWO BOILERS NAMED ALL-BIG TEN: Two Boilermakers were named to the All-Big Ten team. Sophomores Jamie Gordon and Cris James, who played Nos. 1-2 for Purdue, were chosen for leading the Boilermakers to a second-place regular season finish in the conference. Gordon and James posted respective slates of 6-4 and 4-5 against Big Ten foes during the regular dual match season. Gordon posted a 24-19 record in singles and 17-10 in doubles with freshman Jerad Harbaugh. James compiled a 24-17 singles mark with a 33-16 doubles record with Derek Myers. James and Myers are ranked second regionally and 26th nationally in doubles. During the regular season, they were 10-0 against Big Ten opponents.

JAMES/MYERS AT NCAA'S: While the rest of the team is finished for the season, the doubles team of Cris James and Derek Myers, both sophomores, again qualified for the NCAA Doubles Championships, to be held in Los Angeles on May 22-25. Last season, the tandem defeated Ornello Arlati and Nick Williams of Washington 7-5, 7-6 (8) in the first round, before falling to the eventual runners-up in Ashley Fisher and Jason Weir-Smith of Texas Christian, 6-4, 6-3.

QUOTING HEAD COACH TIM MADDEN: "Minnesota outplayed us at the NCAA Regionals. They played below expectations all season, but they played well in the tournament, as they demonstrated in beating top-seeded Notre Dame. Minnesota showed the toughness of having been to the tournament before and we didn't. We can't be down, though, because we just had one bad day, but a very good season. "Cris and Derek are focused and have prepared for the NCAA's. They have led us to being a national caliber team. Hopefully, they can win a couple of matches and put us on the right foot heading into next season.

"This year's team had great chemistry. We will miss Greg, Bryan, Jason and Scott for what they brought to this team on and off the court. Wess had a toughness from which everyone learned. "I look forward to next season and building on what we've done the last couple of years. We have a couple of players (Jason Marshall and Dan Swan) coming in that will immediately contribute."