WACO, Texas - The Purdue men’s tennis team left the ITA Kick-Off Weekend without a win for the second time in as many years Sunday, losing their consolation match 4-3 to UNLV. The neutral site contest at the Hurd Tennis Center was the team’s first playing outdoors this spring. The Boilermakers lost to No. 21 Florida State on Saturday in the opening match of the tournament at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.
Despite competitively playing the higher seeded Seminoles in doubles during its first match, Purdue looked flat against the Rebels on Sunday. Through three matches, the team only secured four games – three in an unfinished contest on court one. No. 59 Renan Hanayama and partner Ali Mooraj were first swept 6-0 by Clayton Alenik and Eric Samuelsson on court three, while Stephan Koenigsfest and partner Javier Rodriguez fell to Ruben Alberts and Jordan Sauer 6-1 on court two. At the clinch, Athell Bennett and partner Gergely Madarasz’s match was suspended at three all against Alexandr Cozbinov and Courtney Lock.
In singles, UNLV extended its lead with straight-set wins on courts four and six. Freshman Maksymilian Raupuk fell to Samuelsson 6-3, 6-3 on the first in the first match off, while Dominik Sochurek faltered on the later after being up 5-2 in the second. The Rebels’ Sauer won five straight games to defeat the senior 6-3, 7-5. However, at 3-0 UNLV, the Boilermakers made a run of their own, securing three straight victories on the top three courts.
In order, Madarasz bested Cozbinov 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 on the first. Koenigsfest defeated Alberts 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 on court two, and Rodriquez evened the team score with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Lock on the third.
With Purdue’s late surge, Bennett would decide the dual for the third time in his four contests at the national tournament. In 2017, the then freshman was competing in the last match on against both No. 5 Georgia and unranked Alabama, where he fumble both. Regrettably, his misfortunes followed him to the Lone Star State as he fell to Richard Solberg 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-2 on court five, giving the Rebels the 4-3 win.
The 2-4 Boilermakers return to action at home Saturday; first serve against Toledo is scheduled for noon ET inside the Schwartz Tennis Center.