Feb. 28, 1997
The Purdue men's tennis team gave the 21st-ranked Northwestern Wildcats all they could handle before falling 4-3 in a dual match at the Lafayette Sports Center today. The loss drops Purdue to 3-4 (1-1 Big Ten).
The highlight of the match was a major upset by Purdue's Jamie Gordon over Northwestern's Alex Witt. Gordon, unranked in the latest ITA/Rolex Collegiate Tennis poll, stunned the eighth-ranked Witt in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 1 singles position. This is the second time this year the junior has defeated a top-10 ranked player, as he knocked off 10th-ranked Justin O'Neal of Florida 6-4, 6-2 on Oct. 25, 1997.
"That was a huge win for Jamie," said Purdue coach Tim Madden. "He took charge of the match and didn't let Witt back in." Junior Derek Myers came through with a 7-5, 6-4 singles victory over Doug Bohaboy at the No. 3 slot.
"Derek was at the top of his game, both mentally and emotionally," said Madden. "It was great to see him get back on track with such a big win."
The other singles winner for the Boilers was rookie Dan Swan who colleceted a 6-3, 6-1 win over Derrick Nguyen at the No. 6 position. "Dan has been frustrated with injuries all year, and for the first time he played flawless tennis," said Madden. "He broke through the wall and played incredibly. This win will give him a lot of confidence."
The 22nd-ranked doubles team of Myers and junior Cris James downed the Wildcats' 31st-ranked Witt and Martin Bengtsson 8-6, but the Boilers came up short in the other two doubles matches and failed to win what amounted to the deciding point. Gordon and freshman Jason Marshall came closest, dropping a heart-wrenching 9-8 decision to Bohaboy and Marc Silva at the No. 2 position. "Overall, we outcompeted a more talented team," said Madden. "All the singles players seemed to sense the urgency, and we got the best performance of the year."
Purdue's three singles losses came to James, Marshall and sophomore Tushaar Gautam. James lost his first match of the year by a 7-5, 6-3 score to Silva. Marshall fell 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 to Tarpley, and Gautam lost 7-6, 6-4 to Bengtsson. The No. 3 doubles team of Swan and sophomore G.T. Cozad dropped an 8-3 decision Nguyen and Tarpley. Purdue gets a chance to even its record against Butler at 1 p.m. at the Lafayette Sports Center tomorrow (March 1). The Miami of Ohio RedHawks were originally scheduled for the match tomorrow, but had to withdraw due to injuries. Butler, which had an open date on its schedule, will fill that void left by Miami's withdrawal.