Oct. 29, 1997

Gordon Looks to Defend Title

The Purdue men's tennis team will travel to Champaign, Ill., this weekend to compete in the ITA/Rolex Regional Qualifer, the Boilers' final tournament of the fall campaign. The stakes are high, as the individual winner will receive an automatic berth to the main draw of the I.T. A. National Indoor Championships, a collegiate tennis grand slam event, Feb. 5-8 in Dallas.

Purdue's Jamie Gordon won this prestigious event last fall, taking seven consecutive matches in four days to claim the title. He went on to earn All-Big Ten honors and was the Boilermaker MVP after posting a 24-19 overall record. Gordon, a junior , is riding a high after upsetting 10th-ranked Justin O'Neal of Florida Oct. 25 in the Gator Invitational in Gainesville. Gordon was ranked 74th in the I.T.A. / Rolex preseason poll.

Another hopeful for the Boilermakers is junior Cris James. A 1997 All-Big Ten honoree, James will play both singles and doubles for the Old Gold and Black. James won three singles matches at the 1996 Regional Qualifier, advancing to the fourth round before losing to the eventual runner-up, Ryan Sachire of Notre Dame. James will team up with classmate Derek Myers in doubles competition. James and Myers make up Purdue's top doubles combination which is currently ranked 13th in the nation. The duo, which teamed up for an impressive victory in the 1997 Milwaukee Tennis Classic last January, was ranked as high as seventh in the 1996-97 season. Myers will also compete in singles for Purdue. Freshman Jason Marshall may also make some noise, as he is already one of Purdue's most successful players this fall. Marshall, who achieved a No. 4 ranking by the Texas Tennis Association as a senior at J.J. Pearce High School in Dallas, has won more singles matches than any Boilermaker this season. He boasts an 8-3 record and collected a title in the B Flight of the Boilermaker Tennis Classic Oct. 19.

Play in the ITA/Rolex Regional Qualifier begins Oct. 30 and will continue through Nov. 2.