May 1, 1998
MADISON, Wisc. - The prize is coming closer into view for the Purdue women's tennis team. The second-seeded Boilermakers pulled out a heart-stopping 4-3 victory over No. 7 seed Iowa in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Championships in Madison, Wis., today. This win helped Purdue advance to the semifinals where it will lock horns with sixth-seeded Indiana. The Hoosiers upset No. 3 seed Northwestern 4-1 to advance.
"This is a great win for us," said Purdue coach Mat Iandolo. "Iowa was gunning for us because we beat them in the regular season. We knew this would be a tough match but one that would certainly help us get over a hump. We couldn't be more excited about playing Indiana again with the possibility of making it into the title match." Things did not start off the way the Boilermakers had hoped. The Hawkeyes took an early 1-0 lead by winning the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches.
Despite being down, Purdue regained its focus heading into singles play. Senior Mary Beth Maggart and sophomore Jennifer Embry provided straight-set wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, while sophomore Shannon Taheny came through with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 marathon victory over Carolina Delgado at No. 4.
The Hawkeyes, however, produced three victories of their own which set up a make-it-or-break-it match at No. 5 singles. In that unenviable position, Boiler freshman Lisa Walgenbach responded with a 7-6, 6-2 victory against Megan Kearney to lift Purdue to the win. "That was a clutch performance by a freshman," said Iandolo. "Lisa is not going to lose too many times when the team's outcome is in the balance. She was obviously a big key for us today." Walgenbach's win was her 10th in Big Ten action. She has not lost to a conference opponent this season.
Tomorrow's 2 p.m. matchup with the Hoosiers should prove to be entertaining. The Boilermakers defeated IU 5-2 in Bloomington on April 19 for their first win ever against the Hoosiers. While Purdue is gunning for its first Big Ten title in the 22-year history of the program, Indiana has won 12 conference crowns since tournament play began in 1982. The Hoosiers were runners-up in 1997. The other semifinal match features No. 1 seed Wisconsin and No. 4 seed Michigan.
Purdue 4, Iowa 3
1. Mary Beth Maggart (PU) def. Natalya Dawaf (UI) 6-3, 7-6
2. Jennifer Embry (PU) def. Emily Bampton (UI) 6-3, 6-3
3. Shera Wiegler (UI) def. Erika Quebe (PU) 6-2, 6-4
4. Shannon Taheny (PU) def. Carolina Delgado (UI) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
5. Lisa Walgenbach (PU) def. Megan Kearney (UI) 7-6, 6-2
6. Erica Johnson (UI) def. Hally Cohen (PU) 7-5, 4-6, inj. def.
1. Maggart/Embry (PU) vs. Wolverton/Wiegler Abandoned
2. Dawaf/Bampton (UI) def. Taheny/Quebe (PU) 8-5
3. Johnson/Delgado (UI) def. Cohen/Laura Avgerinos (PU) 8-4