Jan. 11, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Dozens of fans ranging from one-year olds to 80-year olds filled the Schwartz Tennis Center on Friday night to meet their favorite student-athletes from the men’s and women’s tennis teams.
The Boilermakers held a Meet the Team event on the eve of the men’s season-opening tripleheader. Fans packed the center to get autographs, posters, pictures, and a tour of the facility. Fans of all ages, except for high schoolers, also participated in a tennis clinic with the teams. The individuals picked their favorite student-athletes and enjoyed hitting with them as well as a bit of instruction. A number of Purdue cheerleaders also showed up to pose for pictures with the teams and fans. The men and women of the cheer squad also took time to try a bit of tennis for themselves.
Men’s head coach Pawel Gajdzik and women’s head coach Laura Glitz were in attendance during the evening. Both coaches talked to the fans, oversaw the event, and helped with a bit of instruction in the clinic. Coach Glitz also brought out her team’s Big Ten Tournament Championship trophy for fans to pose with in pictures. Joy could be seen on the faces of not only the fans, but the student-athletes and coaches as well.
The individuals in attendance packed all six of the Basham Courts alongside the men’s and women’s teams to show off their skills. A number of the Purdue players were impressed with the skill of the fans young and old alike. A children’s court was set up behind court five as well. A few of the fans who were a little too young to play full tennis took to the court with Victor Hoyos and Daniela Vidal. The Boilermakers had a great time hitting foam balls with the youngsters and also going over some of the basics.
At the end of the event, the teams posed a group photo with the majority of the fans who stuck around until the bitter end. Several of the kids were sad to leave their favorite players at the end of the night and the consensus was that the teams would try to make it an annual event.
The Purdue men’s team opens its 100th season in program history on Saturday 9 a.m. with a home tripleheader lasting all day. The women’s team must wait one more week before its season begins. The ladies will host the Purdue Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 19 through Monday, Jan. 21.