WACO, Texas - The State of Texas has not been kind to the Purdue men's tennis team (3-5) the last two seasons. Through their five matches in Austin and Waco, the Boilermakers are not only winless, but have been outscored 21-5. Additionally, Purdue's average point differential is a frustrating -3.20 in those duals.
Despite its struggles, however, the program is trending towards a road win in the Lone Star State. The Boilermakers pushed UNLV to 4-3 in January at the 2018 ITA Kick-Off Weekend hosted by Baylor, while challenging the No. 12 Bears to a 5-2 decision Saturday.
In doubles, Purdue initially looked strong on courts one and three at the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. No. 34 Athell Bennett and Gergely Madarasz tested the higher ranked No. 12 Will Little and Johannes Schretter on the first, while Maksymilian Raupuk and Dominik Sochurek were up a break against Constantin Frantzen and Matias Soto on the later.
However, once Stephan Koenigsfest and Javier Rodriguez fell 6-1 to No. 45 Jimmy Bendeck and Bjoern Petersen on court two, Baylor took full advantage of the swing in momentum. The Bears battled back from a 4-2 deficit on court three, winning four games in a row to clinch the doubles point. Court one's match between the two ranked tandems was then left unfinished with Baylor up 5-4 and serving.
In singles, the Boilermakers were again competitive on five of the six courts. Koenigfest was Purdue's only player to make a quick exit as he lost 6-2, 6-1 to No. 64 Petersen on court two.
Raupuk and Rodriguez also lost in straight sets, but fought hard against No. 104 Little and unranked Frantzen, respectively. The first fell 6-2, 6-4 on court three, while the second lost 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) on court five. Additionally, fellow freshman Mateo Julio lost 6-2, 6-3 to Soto on court four in his collegiate debut.
Purdue ended the dual again moving in the right direction, however, defeating the Bears in the final two matches on. In the first position, Madarasz earned his second win over a ranked opponent this spring, besting No. 24 Schretter 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. Bennett then closed out Purdue's trip to Texas with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-7) victory over Bendeck on court six.
Once back in Lafayette, Indiana, the Boilermakers will enjoy 10-days rest before taking on Indiana at home in both teams' first conference dual. Opening serve is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 21 inside the Schwartz Tennis Center.