Feb. 1, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s tennis team earned its first victory of the season Sunday by defeating Butler 6-1 on the Basham Courts inside the Schwartz Tennis Center.
“The goal was to make sure we were competing from start to finish,” head coach Tim Madden said. “We weren’t perfect, but we were better. It is important for our guys to understand that they can make life easier by competing from the beginning.”
Purdue (1-2) swept the doubles point for the second time this season. Junior Slavko Bijelica and senior Griff Nienberg won at the No. 1 position 8-4, defeating Chris Herron and Bryce Warren. The Boilermakers clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 victory by junior Paul Foley and freshman Thomas Wilson over Brandon Bayliss and Ben Raynauld at No. 3. The sweep was completed when junior Branko Kuzmanovic and senior P.J. Rose defeated Zach Ervin and Lenz Theodor 8-7 (3) at the No. 2 position.
Nienberg extended Purdue’s lead with a commanding 6-3, 6-1 win over Ervin at No. 5 singles. Bijelica dropped the first set, but recovered nicely to widen the gap even further and move to 3-0 in singles this season with his 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 1 over Raynauld.
The match was clinched just minutes later as Foley, playing his first singles match this year, earned a 7-5, 6-2 win at No. 6 over Herron. Rose responded to dropping his first set with a convincing 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Bayliss at No. 4 to give the Boilermakers a 5-0 lead.
“I didn’t feel that much pressure,” Foley said. “I almost broke him early on (in the first set), and then he broke me before I broke him back. I broke him at 5-5 and won the first set. After that, it was pretty standard. It just took a couple of games to figure out how to beat him.”
The final two matches stretched to three sets and were played as super tiebreaks since the team winner had already been decided. Butler (1-5) got on the board with Warren’s 3-6, 7-6 (4), 1-0 (10) win over Kuzmanovic at No. 2, while freshman Roberto Cabrini earned the first victory of his career 6-7 (6), 6-4, 1-0 (9) by beating Herron at No. 3.
Purdue defeated Butler for the 24th straight time and improved its all-time record against the Bulldogs to 37-2. Foley, who is normally paired with sophomore Eric Ramos in doubles, is 4-0 this season factoring in three doubles victories.
Purdue continues its season-opening streak of five consecutive home matches Friday against Illinois State. The match is slated for a 5 p.m. ET start, and admission is free. Live results will be available at purduesports.com.