April 29, 2010
The 49th-ranked Purdue women’s tennis team won its program-record 17th match of the season Thursday by defeating Penn State 4-0 in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center in Iowa City, Iowa.
“We came out great in doubles and really attacked PSU,” head coach Laura Glitz said. “I thought we did the same in singles, but we let them back into a couple of singles matches that we should have closed out. Tomorrow, we need to make sure we compete consistently from beginning to end. The team is pumped to get revenge on Illinois.”
Purdue (17-5) won all six of the completed matches to advance, including a dominating performance in doubles. Senior Michelle Sammons and sophomore Jennifer Rabot added to their single-season wins by a doubles duo program record with an 8-1 smashing of Amy Simidian and Sarah Lotto. Sammons and Rabot won for the 26th time in 2009-10, which tops Purdue’s single-season list and ranks tied for sixth on the career list. Junior Bhavani Tirumurti and freshman Imogen Golder finished off the point by demolishing Michaela Stracar and Maria Prishlyak 8-1 at No. 3.
The Boilermakers continued to roll as the match moved to singles. Sammons quickly dispatched of Simidian 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 to win for the fifth time in the last six matches and 22nd time in 2009-10. Tirumurti then took down Prishlyak 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 for her 15th dual-match singles win and 23rd overall. Golder supplied the victorious point by claiming a 7-5, 6-4 decision over Sarah Henderson at No. 5. The victory snapped a modest two-match losing streak for Golder and propelled Purdue into the quarterfinal round.
The other three singles matches still on court were not played to conclusion since the team winner was already decided. At No. 2, Rabot, who leads Purdue with 26 singles wins this season, was leading Lauren McCarthy 2-1 in the third set after dropping the first 4-6 and winning the second 6-2. Sophomore Anna Dushkina was trailing 0-1 in the third set at No. 4 after she took the first set 6-2 and Denisa Zobeideh won the second 6-4. At No. 6, freshman Gisella Pere was tied 5-5 in the third set with Stracar. Pere won the first set 6-1 before Stracar battled back for a 6-3 decision in the second.
Purdue broke a tie it held with the 1982 team for the most single-season wins in program history. This year’s squad claimed a program-record 11 wins at home, added five on the road and Thursday won the first neutral court match it played in 2010 to hold a winning record in all three categories.
The Boilermakers, who have won at least one match in 11 of the last 12 conference tournaments, advance to the quarterfinal round and face third-seeded and 21st-ranked Illinois on Friday. The two teams met in last year’s quarterfinal, with the Fighting Illini pulling out a 4-1 win. In this season’s meeting, Illinois earned a 6-1 home victory April 4.
Friday’s match begins at 3 p.m. ET. Live results from the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center can be found at purduesports.com.