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PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM P.J. Rose advanced to the title match in the White singles flight.
P.J. Rose advanced to the title match in the White singles flight.

Sept. 17, 2005

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seven Boilermakers made it to the championship round of their flights on Saturday, the first day of the Boilermaker Invitational. Only one championship match to be played Sunday will feature a player representing another school.

Purdue head coach Tim Madden, now in his 12th year, was pleased with the team's effort.

"I was really happy with most of what I saw in singles," Madden said. "We always emphasize that the focus needs to be on the process, and the outcomes will take care of themselves. That's exactly what happened today."

Leading the charge was Purdue senior Colin Foster, who defeated Tony Tran of Toledo and James Low of Butler to advance to the championship round of the Gold Flight. Also in the Gold Flight, Boilermaker junior Jarred Leibner beat Jared Miller of Toledo in the first round and Andy Bartish of Butler in the second to earn a spot in the title match against Foster.

Other Boilermaker veterans picking up wins were juniors Eric Hodgman, Scott Warner and Matt Zollman. In the Black Flight, Hodgman defeated Mohammed Al-Nabhani of Toledo in the first round and Parker Ross of Butler in the second round. He will face Chris Clark of Toledo in the championship match. Warner and Zollman both picked up wins in the Silver Flight; the Silver championship match will feature Zollman and Purdue freshman Kurt Zaske.



Other freshmen who gained wins for the Boilermakers were P.J. Rose and Griffin Nienberg, who advanced through the first two rounds of the White Flight with convincing victories and will play each other in the title match. Freshman Jose Fuenmayor won his round-robin match by defeating Scott Elwell of Iowa. He will face Sam Brown of Butler on Sunday.

As might be expected of a rookie, Rose, the younger brother of Purdue senior All-Big Ten player Paul Rose, had to fight off nerves before his first match.

"I was a little nervous," Rose said. "My brother gave me a little pep talk before I took the court and it helped to calm me down. Once I got out there and began playing, things just began to take form and I was able to play well and get my first two victories."

Madden liked what he saw from all five freshmen, but was particularly happy with the performances of Rose and Nienberg.

"It was nice for our five freshmen to get their feet wet, and a couple of them made a pretty big splash," Madden said. "P.J. and Griffin did a very nice job of carrying over their fundamental skills to the competition court."

Unfortunately, not all the newcomers finished with a victory. Freshman Kelubia Mabatah was forced to retire in the third set of his match against Chris Clark of Toledo. Mabatah was one of several players to suffer from cramps due to the hot weather.

In doubles play, Hodgman and Rose were the lone Boilermakers to win their first round match, as they defeated Tran and Al-Nabhani of Toledo 8-5 in the Black Flight. Fuenmayor and Zaske lost 8-5 to Brian Rager and Travis Curran of Toledo in the first round of the Gold Flight. Foster and Nienberg also fell 8-5 in the first round of the Gold Flight to Parker Ross and Tony Aker of Butler.

Play will resume with one singles and two doubles matches Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.

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