Feb. 15, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The No. 24 Purdue women's tennis team had a dramatic 4-3 victory over No. 19 Notre Dame on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in a four and a half hour match. Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum pulled out a three set victory at No. 4 to clinch it for the Boilermakers.
"It was a really good win," head coach Laura Glitz said. "One of the things we talked about before the match was to go out with intensity from the first serve in doubles to the last point in singles. I think we did that today. It's a great win, but I think we can still play better than we did. There is a lot of potential for our team this year. We still have a lot of room to grow. We aren't playing our best yet, but we are still doing well against top teams in the country. I think that say a lot for our program."
After Notre Dame (5-2) tied the score at three with a win at No. 1, the match came down to the only Purdue freshman in the lineup, Bernard-Feigenbaum. She also trailed 3-0 in the third set at the time and was in just her second match of the spring season after coming off an injury that sidelined her for two months.
None of that deterred the rookie.
Bernard-Feigenbaum responded to third set deficit by winning the next three games to tie it up. From there, she pulled out three of the next four to win the final set, 6-4, and clinch the match for Purdue. Bernard-Feigenbaum won her match 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4 over Chrissie McGaffigan. The loss was McGaffigan's first of the season.
"For Tess to be off two months and then jump back in and win as easily as she did last week and then how she won this week, that shows how good she is and how tough she is," said Glitz. "It will only get better for her as she matures and develops. She is a huge contributor to our team. It's a huge plus to have her back."
The afternoon started with Purdue (3-1) taking a close doubles point. Imogen Golder and Gisella Pere were back and forth the entire match at No. 3. The Boilermaker seniors eventually hung on to win, 8-6, over Julie Sabacinski and Julie Vrabel. The Old Gold and Black then clinched the point with a win at No. 2. Daniela Vidal and Lynda Xepoleas darted out to a 6-0 lead over Quinn Gleason and Britney Sanders. The Notre Dame pair stormed back to cut the deficit to 6-5. The Purdue sophomores were able to hang on, though, and won 8-5 to clinch the crucial point. The No. 1 doubles match was played to completion with Jennifer Kellner and McGaffiganheld on to beat Krisztina Kapitany and Mara Schmidt, 9-8 (12).
In singles action, the Fighting Irish quickly tied the score with a win at No. 2. Kellner knocked off Schmidt, 6-2, 6-1. Purdue retook the lead soon after. Golder dominated Molly O'Koniewski, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 5. Again, Notre Dame would answer. Gleason held on to defeat Vidal, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Pere made the score 3-2 with a victory at No. 6. The senior dominated the first set, 6-1, over Sabacinski. In the second, though, Sabacinski pulled out a 6-4 win. Pere regained her form in the third with a 6-3 win to pull the Boilermakers within one point of victory. The Irish made it interesting by knotting the score at three with a win at No. 1. The No. 75 ranked player in the country, Sanders, dropped the first set to Xepoleas, the No. 105 ranked individual. From there, though, Sanders controlled the match and won the second and third sets, 6-2 in each. Then came Bernard-Feigenbaum's dramatic win.
"Our ranking went up to 24 after last week's victory," Glitz said after the match. "This was a good test for us on the road. I don't think we'd ever beaten them on the road so for us to go up to Notre Dame and beat them on their home courts is huge. It's a great win for the team and the program. Hopefully it solidifies our ranking that we are a top-20 team.
"Notre dame had been in this situation a lot this year and we hadn't. It speaks volumes that we could still hang on to win. It was a fun crowd and atmosphere and I am proud of how the team competed today."
Purdue will be off for nine days until it travels to Wichita, Kan., to take on Kansas State on Sunday, Feb. 24, and Wichita State the following day. Kansas State is currently ranked 42nd in the country while Wichita State is No. 66.