Women's Tennis Meets Indiana in NCAA Regionals
Boilers face rival for third time this season.
May 14, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.-- Past history will be thrown out the window when the women's tennis teams from Purdue and Indiana meet in the first round of the NCAA Midwest Regional in Champaign, Ill., on May 15.
This will be the third time these intrastate rivals have met this season, with the 1998 series split 1-1. Purdue defeated Indiana 5-2 on April 19, giving the Boilermakers their first-ever win over the Hoosiers. Indiana retaliated in the Big Ten Championships, however, winning 4-3 in the semifinals on May 2.
That loss should serve as motivation for the Boilermakers (14-10), who were not at full strength due to injuries in the bottom half of their lineup. Following two weeks off the Boilermakers are back in shape and prepared for revenge.
"We are really looking forward to getting some retribution against Indiana," says Purdue coach Mat Iandolo. "It's nice that we have them in the first round and can give them our best shot. We are very focused on what we have to do to be successful and are not looking past them. It should be another great battle."
This is Purdue's second invitation to compete in the NCAA's. The Boilermakers also made the field in 1996, but fell in the first round to Mississippi 5-1. The three players remaining from that squad are seniors Mary Beth Maggart and Hally Cohen and junior Laura Avgerinos.
Maggart and Cohen played major roles in the Boilers' unprecedented success this season. Maggart, Purdue's No. 1 singles player, was named All-Big Ten and went 13-9. Cohen, the Boilers' No. 6 player, posted a 12-9 record at that spot. They combined for a 12-4 record during Purdue's eight-match Big Ten win streak.
New to the tournament are sophomores Jennifer Embry and Shannon Taheny and freshmen Erika Quebe and Lisa Walgenbach. Embry, Purdue's No. 2 player and Maggart's No. 1 doubles parter, earned All-Big Ten honors this season. Taheny collected 13 wins at No. 4, while Quebe recorded a 7-3 mark in conference play at No. 3. Walgenbach posted an impeccable 9-0 Big Ten record at the No. 5 position.
The mix of experience and youth could serve Purdue well against the Hoosiers and, hopefully, beyond.
"We are very excited to be playing in the tournament," says Iandolo. "Even though we may be considered a young team, we do have a lot of experience, heart and character. We're not ready for this season to be over yet, and hopefully we'll demonstrate that against Indiana."
The Boilers and Hoosiers will tangle at 9 a.m. The winner will face either top-seeded and 14th-ranked UCLA or Marquette at 10 a.m. on May 16. The championship match will be played on May 17 at 1 p.m. Other teams participating in the Midwest Regional will be Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northwestern.