April 9, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - With its back against the wall, the No. 36 men's Purdue tennis team rallied to put the hammer down on its in-state rival No. 69 Indiana, 5-2, while playing outside at the Schwartz Tennis Center Wednesday. Mark Kovacs' three-set thriller clinched the Boilermakers seventh straight win as they improved to 14-3, 6-1 Big Ten. Purdue also improved to 9-0 at home while registering its first win over the Hoosiers since 2006. The loss drops Indiana's record to 13-14, 2-6 Big Ten.
The Boilermakers retain their third-place position in the Big Ten standings with the win. Top-ranked Ohio State is first (23-2, 8-0 Big Ten) and is followed by Penn State (19-2, 6-1 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions are up next on the Boilermakers' schedule with a pivotal 1 p.m. ET match at the Schwartz Tennis Center on Friday. The Buckeyes will travel to West Lafayette Sunday for a 12 p.m. battle.
Kovacs was one of four Boilermakers that forced a third set in singles play after dropping the opening set. After losing in a tiebreaker in the first to Daniel Bednarczyk, 7-6 (7-4), the senior rebounded by dealing the Hoosier back-to-back losses of 6-1 and 7-5, securing the fourth team point for Purdue. The Budapest, Hungary, native pushed his record to 13-3 and has won seven consecutive matches as the No. 3 singles player.
"I knew that the longer we stayed out there, the better position we would be in to win," Purdue head men's tennis coach Pawel Gajdzik said. "I wasn't worried about going long in the singles matches. We have some unbelievable players on our team. I knew that once we got to the third set that it was our time, it was our day. We took care of a team that came in here on a mission."
For just the fifth time this season, Purdue fell behind early by losing two out of the three doubles matches, giving the point to the Hoosiers. In the No. 2 spot, the veteran tandem of Aaron Dujovne and Diego Acosta were the only Boilermaker doubles team to emerge victorious. The senior/junior duo defeated Indiana's Dimitrije Tasic and Sven Lalic, 8-5, for their sixth win together.
The 65th-ranked team of Bednarczyk and Sam Monette ended No. 74 Szymon Tatarczyk and Ricky Medinilla's seven match winning streak, dealing the Purdue team its first loss, 8-7 (8-6). At No. 3, Chris Essick and Stefan Lugonjic etched past Kovacs and Mateus Silva, 8-7 (7-5).
Moving into singles, Silva continued on his 13 match winning streak with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Stefan Lugonjic in the No. 6 spot to earn the first point for the Boilermakers. The sophomore moved to 14-1 overall and 7-0 in Big Ten singles play for the season. The native of Campinas, Brazil, has won 11 of his matches in straight sets.
Tying the match at 2-2, Tatarczyk battled in three sets to beat Lalic, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the No. 1 spot. The senior is 3-0 with matches going into the third set and improved his record to 6-6 overall in his final season. Dujovne gave Purdue a 3-2 lead. The senior went into three sets in the No. 4 spot after giving up the first set to Indiana's Tasic, 6-3, but battled back for the win in the remaining two sets, coming out on top 6-1 and 6-3.
Similar to five out of the six singles matches, Acosta fell short in the first set to Elliott Yee by a score of 6-3, but battled on to force a third by taking the second set, 6-4. He rallied in the decisive set and won in the breaker, 7-6 (7-2), to round out Purdue's scoring efforts at No. 5. The junior from Cuenca, Ecuador, took his record to 11-4 with the win.
No. 36 Purdue 5, No. 69 Indiana 2 | Box Score
1: No. 65 Daniel Bednarczyk/Sam Monette (Indiana) def. No. 74 Ricky Medinilla/Szymon Tatarczyk (Purdue), 8-7 (8-6)
2: Aaron Dujovne/Diego Acosta (Purdue) def. Dimitrije Tasic/Sven Lalic (Indiana), 8-5
3: Chris Essick/Stefan Lugonjic (Indiana) def. Mark Kovacs/Mateus Silva (Purdue), 8-7 (7-5)
1: Szymon Tatarczyk (Purdue) def. Sven Lalic (Indiana), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
2: No. 103 Sam Monette (Indiana) def. Ricky Medinilla (Purdue), 6-1, 6-3
3: Mark Kovacs (Purdue) def. Daniel Bednarczyk (Indiana), 6-7 (4-7), 6-1, 7-5
4: Aaron Dujovne (Purdue) def. Dimitrije Tasic (Indiana) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
5: Diego Acosta (Purdue) def. Elliott Yee (Indiana) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2)
6: Mateus Silva (Purdue) def. Stefan Lugonjic (Indiana), 6-0. 6-1