WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The Purdue women's tennis team opens its 2018 spring season with a home doubleheader Saturday. The Boilermakers will first face Cincinnati at 9 a.m. ET and return to the courts at 3 p.m. to take on Butler. Both matches will be played indoors on the Basham Courts at the Schwartz Tennis Center.
After finishing the 2017 spring season 6-16, head coach Laura Glitz overhauled her team's roster, retaining just the program's three freshmen. Rafaella Baquerizo, Caitlin Calkins and Alex Sabe, now sophomores, join junior transfers Silvia Ambrosio and Amina Mukhametshina along with true freshmen Ena Babic, Zala Dovnik and Seira Shimizu to form this season's lineup.
Ambrosio quickly asserted herself as a Boilermaker, finishing runner-up at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships. A 6-1 performance in singles earned the newcomer a trip to the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships -- a first for Purdue under Glitz.
Shimizu joined the team in early January.
Saturday's match will be the first for the Bearcats as well. The program ended the 2017 spring season on a 10-1 run, dropping its final contest to top seeded Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Overall, the team finished 17-7, including a 4-4 mark on the road.
Cincinnati returned four players, adding one transfer and five freshmen.
The second match of Purdue's doubleheader will be Butler's first this season. The Bulldogs struggled in 2017 as well, posting a 5-18 record. Butler retained a hefty 10 players, while signing three freshmen.
Last season, the Bulldogs lost 7-0 in Purdue's home opener.
From Coach Glitz
"I'll be looking for the team to come out and compete hard for the first point, play with energy and passion, and support one another." Glitz said "We have been talking a lot about coming together as a program and for each player to give their best effort on a consistent basis.
I am sure the girls will have some nerves going into the first match, and Cincinnati is a tough team, but I am confident that we will compete well. I think the team has gotten stronger every day in practice, and the girls are excited to start the season strong."