Boilers Receive Some Rest Before Heading To Notre Dame

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM P.J. Rose won his doubles match when he last played against Notre Dame as a freshman.
P.J. Rose won his doubles match when he last played against Notre Dame as a freshman.

Feb. 22, 2008

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue's men's tennis team (5-3) took it easier in practice this week following its back-to-back home wins last weekend over Maryland and Toledo. The goal was to let everyone get some rest before preparing for Sunday's big showdown at No. 12 Notre Dame.

"We've trained and competed pretty hard every week since January, so now was the best opportunity to fit in some recovery time," head coach Tim Madden said. "Notre Dame is off to a good start with experienced players at the top of their lineup and talented youngsters at the bottom."

The Fighting Irish are 8-3, which includes a 1-2 record from last weekend's National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, Wash. UND beat Penn State for a second time this year, but were blanked by UCLA and North Carolina.

Notre Dame isn't likely as strong as it was last year when it beat Purdue 7-0, but they still claim two of nation's top singles players in No. 32 Brett Helgeson and No. 73 Sheeva Parbu. Stephen Bass, Barry King and Ryan Keckley are gone from last year's lineup and they've been replaced by freshmen Daniel Stahl, David Anderson and Steven Havens.

These three rookies are a combined 29-12 in singles play, but Boilermakers Eric Ramos and P.J. Rose think Purdue will stack up well with the Irish newcomers.

"They're a young team and so are we," Ramos said. "I think we give ourselves a good chance to win if we go in there with confidence."

"I'm hoping we can take advantage of some of their younger players," added Rose, who hasn't faced Notre Dame since his freshman year of 2006. "But they still have a lot of talent and they're ranked very high."

Because of Notre Dame's elite national status, Madden's also using this week of practice to experiment with each individual's style and technique.

"This is a good week to experiment with new tactics because we really have nothing to lose going up against a team like Notre Dame," said the 14-year head coach. "I want to work on improving each player so I can get a sense of what we're truly capable of in the big picture. We've done a good job in doubles as of late and have received great efforts in singles, but I want to see what else we can do individually."



The Purdue and Notre Dame dual match begins at noon in South Bend, Ind.