Feb. 3, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue men's tennis team completes its six-match homestand Friday before hitting the road for the first time this season.
"I'm excited about this weekend," head coach Pawel Gajdzik said. "We get to play in front of our awesome home crowd yet again, and then we face a road crowd for the first time. Both of our matches this weekend should be beneficial. Toledo and Vanderbilt bring excellent competition to the table. Hopefully, we can continue to improve and use this weekend as another stepping stone to get where we want to be."
Purdue is off to a perfect 5-0 start, which is the longest winning streak by the team since the 2007 squad won seven straight to open the season. The Boilermakers have shown the ability to win close matches and blowouts, as they have won their five matches by four different final scores.
Senior Paul Foley leads the team in total victories with his perfect mark in singles and doubles play. While splitting time between No. 3 and No. 4 singles, the Dublin, Ireland, native has put together a 5-0 record and matched that in doubles while teaming with sophomore Matt Manasse at No. 3.
Junior Eric Ramos also has won all of his singles matches this season. The Alameda, Calif., native has earned his record from the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in the singles lineup. Senior P.J. Rose, who teams with Ramos in doubles, brings a 3-1 singles record into play this weekend.
Classmate Slavko Bijelica, who has made all of his appearances at No. 1 singles, and sophomore Thomas Wilson also are 3-1 in singles. Bijelica and Wilson have combined to post a 5-0 doubles mark while switching between No. 1 and No. 2 in the lineup. Sophomore Jan-Frans Engelbrecht, who is 2-1 in singles, and freshman Billy Heuer, who is 1-1, also remain options for Gajdzik as he fills out his lineup.
Toledo enters the weekend 3-1 this season. The Rockets, who travel to Marquette on Thursday, have defeated Duquesne, Youngstown State and Kenyon at home while suffering their only loss to Xavier on the road. Junior Nutthavit Likitkumchorn leads the team with his 2-1 record at No. 1 singles. He also has teamed with sophomore Leo Sarria to post a 3-1 mark at the top doubles position.
No. 49 Vanderbilt is hosting a Big Ten weekend by welcoming Northwestern on Friday before the Boilermakers come to town Sunday. The Commodores are 4-2 this season, 2-0 at home, but 0-1 against the Big Ten. Their unbeaten season was ended by Michigan on Jan. 23, and then they were defeated by top-ranked USC in Los Angeles last weekend during the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. Junior Alex Zotov leads the team with his 6-0 mark in singles, and classmate Adam Baker is 4-0.
Purdue has won five straight meetings, including last season's 6-1 win in West Lafayette, with Toledo and leads the all-time series 7-1. The Boilermakers hold a 3-2 advantage in the series with Vanderbilt and won the last meeting, which took place in 2005, 5-2.
Purdue is scheduled to face Toledo at 6 p.m. ET on Friday from inside the Schwartz Tennis Center. Admission is free, and live results can be found at purduesports.com. The Boilermakers and Commodores begin their match at 1 p.m. on Sunday from the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn.