April 3, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue men’s tennis team was defeated 4-3 by No. 58 Northwestern Friday on the Basham Courts inside the Schwartz Tennis Center.
Purdue (6-11, 0-5) was forced to battle from an early deficit after dropping the doubles point. Senior P.J. Rose and junior Branko Kuzmanovic took down Tobias Reitz and Joshua Graves 8-5 at No. 2. Northwestern (14-6, 2-3) won the next decision as Andrew McCarthy and Alexander Thams defeated sophomore Eric Ramos and freshman Thomas Wilson 8-5 at No. 3 before clinching the point at No. 1 when Marc Dwyer and Alex Sanborn beat junior Slavko Bijelica and senior Griff Nienberg 8-4.
The Boilermakers responded to the doubles defeat by winning the first two decisions in singles. Kuzmanovic quickly evened the match with a dominating 6-0, 6-1 defeat of Reitz at No. 2. Bijelica stopped a two-match losing streak and moved back into the team lead with his 11th singles victory by taking a 6-0, 6-4 win over Dwyer at No. 1. The Wildcats evened the match with a win at No. 5, where Sanborn defeated freshman Roberto Cabrini 6-1, 6-2.
The back-and-forth nature of the match continued as it progressed. Northwestern moved back into the lead with the next singles decision as Thams stopped Ramos’ two-match winning streak with a 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 3. Graves ended Rose’s three-match winning streak and clinched the match for Northwestern with his 6-4, 6-2 victory at No. 4. Wilson picked up his first singles win in four tries this season by outlasting Eric Spector 7-6 (9), 1-6, 1-0 (12) at the No. 6 position for the final margin.
“Thomas is a talented freshman who has not had many opportunities, mostly due to injury,” head coach Tim Madden said. “He had an injury before he joined the team and has had a couple of injuries this season that have made it difficult to get him in the lineup. To his credit, none of that mattered today. We lost the fourth team point, and he was still out there. He stayed on task and focused on what he needed to do to win.”
Purdue fell to 1-7, including 0-3 in Big Ten play, this season in matches decided by a 4-3 margin. The Boilermakers return to action Sunday when they host No. 24 Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Sunday’s match is the team’s cancer benefit day, and all proceeds will go to the fight against cancer. Live results from the match can be found at purduesports.com.