Feb. 29, 2008
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's men's tennis team (6-4) extended its home winning streak to a sixth match Friday night with a 6-1 victory over regional rival Ball State (6-6) at the Schwartz Tennis Center.
The Old Gold and Black won all three doubles matches and five of six singles contests.
"When you have guys come out well prepared and confident, it's going to make for a very decisive victory," said head coach Tim Madden. "When you compete at your best it allows you to win without playing your best tennis."
All three doubles were very competitive as Madden projected earlier in the week.
The No. 1 combo of Slavko Bijelica and Branko Kuzmanovic held off Jose Perdomo and Jorge Rodriguez, 8-5, then No. 3's Jose Fuenmayor and Griff Nienberg came from behind to top Joe Vallee and Danny Vidal, 8-6, allowing Purdue to claim the doubles point for the third time in their last four games.
Eric Ramos and P.J. Rose completed the doubles sweep with their 9-8 (1) win at No. 2 over Eduardo Pavia and Bret Berryman.
The Boilermakers, in addition to being unbeaten at home, also have not surrendered a doubles point at Schwartz Tennis Center in 2008.
In singles, Branko Kuzmanovic, Rose, Griff Nienberg and Paul Foley all won in straight sets at the No. 1, 3, 5 and 6 positions, respectively.
Kuzmanovic was done first at No. 1's with a quick 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Eduardo Pavia.
Rose topped Valle at No. 3, 6-1, 6-3.
Nienberg bested Rodriguez at No. 5, 7-5, 6-3, and Foley won at No. 6 against Vidal, 6-1, 6-4.
Bijelica was last off the court at No. 2 with his come-from-behind three-set takedown of Perdomo, who has been Ball State's top singles option for most of his career.
Bijelica lost the first set 6-3, but battled back to win the second and third sets by scores of 6-3 and 6-4.
For Madden, Bijelica's win was all about taking away his opponent's weapons.
"Slavko was playing their top player and the guy was just overpowering him at the start," he said. "But once Slavko neutralized his big serve and cross court forehand, he was able to take over in the last two sets. I give him all the credit for finding a way to win."
Purdue returns to the court Sunday for a noon match with Big Ten foe Michigan State in each team's conference opener. Admission is free.
The match will feature a charity 'ball toss' for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in between doubles and singles. Fans are encouraged to purchase pink tennis balls for $2 each or 3 for $5 with all proceeds going to the world's largest and most progressive grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists.
Representatives from Purdue's marketing and promotions department will place three tennis-ball carts on the court, each worth a different point value. The three spectators who earn the most points will win a Boilermaker sports prize pack.