May 2, 1998
MADISON, Wis. - The title run came to end for the Purdue women's tennis team today, as the Boilermakers dropped a gut-wrenching 4-3 decision to Indiana in the Big Ten Championship tournament in Madison, Wis. Purdue (14-9), seeded second, finishes fourth in the conference, matching the Boilers' highest finish ever in the 22-year history of the program.
"We needed to win No. 5 or No. 6 singles, and unfortunately both of those positions were less than 100 percent due to injuries," said Purdue coach Mat Iandolo. "We played a great match considering those factors and put ourselves in a position to win."
Purdue got into a hole early for the second consecutive match, surrendering the doubles point by losing the No. 2 and No. 3 matches.
The Boilermakers needed four singles victories to win the match and were on their way as senior Mary Beth Maggart, sophomore Jennifer Embry and freshman Erika Quebe all picked up wins at the top of the lineup.
But injuries doomed freshman Lisa Walgenbach (shin splints) and senior Hally Cohen (leg cramps), forcing Walgenbach to default her match and Cohen to fall in straight sets.
With the match on the line, Purdue's fate was placed squarely in the hands of sophomore Shannon Taheny. But despite rallying to force a third set, Taheny could not pull out the victory over the Hoosiers' more experienced Megan McCarney and fell 7-6, 4-6, 6-2.
"We have absolutely nothing to hang our heads about," said Iandolo. "We still have a lot of tennis left to play this season and will continue to work hard for NCAA's."
The Boilermakers' strong season, which saw them win 14 matches overall and eight straight in the conference, earned them a bid to the NCAA Regionals to be held in Champaign, Ill., May 15-17.
Indiana, the No. 6 seed, advances to meet fourth-seeded Michigan in a rematch of the 1997 Big Ten title contest.
1. Mary Beth Maggart (PU) def. Correne Stout (IU) 2-6,
2. Jennifer Embry (PU) def. Kelly Blanch (IU) 6-3,
3. Erika Quebe (PU) def. Zahra Ahamed (IU) 1-6,
4. Megan McCarney (IU) def. Shannon Taheny (PU) 7-6, 4-6,
5. Jessica Anderson (IU) def. Lisa Walgenbach (PU) 6-1,
4-1 inj. def.
6. Christy Sharp (IU) def. Hally Cohen (PU) 7-5, 7-6
1. Maggart/Embry (PU) def. Blanch/Stout (IU) 8-4
2. Ahamed/McCarney (IU) def. Taheny/Quebe (PU) 8-6
3. Anderson/Sharp (IU) def. Cohen/Laura Avgerinos (PU) 8-5