#49 Purdue Falls To #21 Illinois In Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Bhavani Tirumurti won in singles and doubles Friday.
Bhavani Tirumurti won in singles and doubles Friday.

April 30, 2010

Box Score

The 49th-ranked Purdue women’s tennis team had its run in the Big Ten Tournament stopped by 21st-ranked Illinois, which earned a 4-2 win in the quarterfinal round Friday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex in Iowa City, Iowa.

“I am proud of the team’s effort,” head coach Laura Glitz said. “We left everything out on the court today. We came out fired up and ready to go and played some spirited doubles. Winning the doubles point and starting off strong in the singles put us in a position to win the match, but Illinois was a little too tough for us today. They came through in the critical moments of the match, and that’s why they won. I felt we got better as a program this season, and we need to build on this effort next season.”

Purdue (17-6) won the doubles point for the third straight match and 16th time this season. Senior Michelle Sammons and sophomore Jennifer Rabot extended their program record for single-season doubles wins by a duo as they won their 27th match of 2009-10 by defeating Leigh Finnegan and Rachael White 8-5 at No. 1. Illinois (15-8) evened the point at No. 2, where Megan Fudge and Chelcie Abajian earned an 8-5 win over sophomore Anna Dushkina and freshman Gisella Pere. The Boilermakers clinched the point when junior Bhavani Tirumurti and freshman Imogen Golder defeated Marisa Lambropoulos and Breanne Smutko 8-6 at No. 3. The win was the pair’s 15th in dual matches this season and third straight.

The Fighting Illini tied the match when Lambropoulos picked up a 6-4, 6-1 win over Pere at No. 6. Tirumurti won her 16th dual-match singles contest and 24th overall this season to nudge Purdue back into the lead when she defeated White 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3. Finnegan outlasted Rabot, the 120th-ranked singles player in the NCAA, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (5) at No. 2 to hand Rabot just her fourth dual-match loss this season and even the match one final time.



Illinois earned its first lead of the day when Smutko came back for a 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 win over Dushkina at No. 4. Abajain then clinched the win and moved Illinois into the semifinal round with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Golder, who clinched Purdue’s opening-round victory Thursday, at No. 5. Fudge, ranked 91st in the country, was leading Sammons 7-5, 2-0 at No. 1 in a match not completed because the team victor had been decided.

Purdue’s 17 wins this season are a new program record, bettering the previous best season total of 16 in 1982. The Boilermakers broke the record Thursday with a 4-0 win over Penn State in the opening round that marked the 11th time in the last 12 Big Ten Tournaments they had won at least one match.

Purdue now awaits its NCAA Tournament fate. The 64-team bracket is set to be announced Tuesday between 5-6 p.m. ET on ESPNews, and play begins at 16 campus sites May 14th.