The Purdue men's tennis team got off to a good start but could not hang on as No. 6 Illinois handed the Boilermakers a 5-2 defeat today in Champaign. The loss brings Purdue's record to 7-8 (2-2 Big Ten).
"Looking at the scores it's hard to tell how close this match was," said Purdue coach Tim Madden. "Little things made a big difference. It was a matter of a few points that we didn't capitalize on, and we lost our focus."
The beginnings of an upset were in place as Purdue claimed the doubles point to start off the match. The pairs of junior Jamie Gordon and freshman Jason Marshall and sophomore G.T. Cozad and freshman Dan Swan, won their matches 8-5, giving Purdue a 1-0 lead in the contest.
But despite entering singles play needing just three wins for the team victory, Purdue was unable to manage the task against the Big Ten defending champions. Gordon, who downed 41st-ranked Oliver Freelove 6-4, 6-4 at the No. 1 position, was the only Boilermaker to pick up a singles win.
"(Illinois is) very strong," said Madden. "You have to give them a lot of credit. But I'm very happy with our doubles performance. It was, by far, the toughest we've played this year."
Purdue has the chance to make up some ground in conference play this weekend when it hosts Indiana and Ohio State on April 10 and 11, respectively.
Illinois 5, Purdue 2
SINGLES 1. Jamie Gordon (PU) def. Oliver Freelove (UI) 6-4, 6-4 2. Gavin Sontag (UI) def. Cris James (PU) 6-4, 6-3 3. Cary Franklin (UI) def. Derek Myers (PU) 6-3, 6-1 4. Jeff Laski (UI) def. Jason Marshall (PU) 6-4, 7-5 5. Jakub Tepley (UI) def. Dan Swan (PU) 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 6. Matt Snyder (UI) def. Tushaar Gautam (PU) 6-2, 6-2
DOUBLES 1. Freelove/Franklin (UI) def. James/Myers (PU) 8-4 2. Gordon/Marshall (PU) def. Sontag/Brady Blain (UI) 8-5 3. Swan/G.T. Cozad (PU) def. Tepley/Laski (UI) 8-5