Jan. 18, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 27 Purdue women’s tennis team opens its season this weekend with a three-day home tournament on the Basham Courts at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The Boilermakers will host No. 65 DePaul and the University of Illinois-Chicago.
The Boilermakers kick off the 2013 season with the preseason tournament. Due to the format of the weekend matches, the results will not count towards the team’s spring dual match record. The Boilermakers open up play with a 4 p.m. ET doubles match against UIC. Purdue will follow that match up with doubles play against DePaul at 5 p.m.
“I am looking to get good singles and doubles matches to get the girls ready for next weekend,” head coach Laura Glitz said. “I think we are going to mix up the lineup a little bit to see who plays well at different spots. For me, I want to see who is going to come through for us.”
Purdue returns five student-athletes from the 2012 Big Ten Tournament Champions team, all of whom were in the main playing group. Sophomore Lynda Xepoleas leads the way with an ITA ranking of No. 80 in the country. Mara Schmidt is also in the preseason rankings. The junior checks in at No. 108. The team’s preseason rank of No. 27 is the highest start to a season in program history. Daniela Vidal is Purdue’s No. 3 returner from a year ago. Vidal played mostly at No. 4 a year ago, but with the departure of Jennifer Rabot, who was part of Purdue’s winningest class is program history, the sophomore could see time at No. 3.
Imogen Golder and Gisella Pere return as senior leaders. The duo was a solid doubles pair a year ago and both were consistent at No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Golder went 17-4 in singles play including 10-4 against Big Ten opponents. Pere was 18-6 in singles in 2012. She also had a 10-4 record against Big Ten opponents.
Purdue also adds three outstanding freshmen to the lineup. Krisztina Kapitany, Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, and Claudia Escribens look to step in and help the Boilermakers right away. Kapitany went 6-7 in fall singles, though several of her losses were against the nation’s best at the Duke Fab Four Invite in her first career tournament. Bernard-Feigenbaum was almost perfect in fall singles. The New York native went 10-1 in singles and added a 13-2 doubles record to her outstanding fall. Escribens went 9-5 in singles.
“Every year is a new year,” said Glitz. “We have to take care of little things every day to get better. If we do all the little things, I am confident that we will exceed expectations this year again. For a coach, to see the progress we have made each year is exciting. Our goal this year is to be top 20 and I think we are ready to take on that goal. It starts this weekend and I’m ready to see who is going to bring it for us.”
DePaul will prove to be a good test for the Boilermakers. The Blue Demons have two ranked singles players with Matea Cutura coming in at No. 112 and Jarret Fisher at No. 119. Cutura and Jasmin Kling are also a highly ranked doubles team. The duo opens the season at No. 38. UIC does not have any ranked players nor is the team ranked.
After the Boilermakers doubles play on Saturday, UIC and DePaul will face each other at 6 p.m. that evening. On Sunday, Purdue will take on UIC in singles beginning at 9 a.m. The team will then stay on the courts for a noon singles match against DePaul. Following that match, DePaul and UIC will compete at 3 p.m. The invite will wrap up on Monday as Purdue plays UIC again in doubles with four teams playing head-to-head at 9 a.m. The teams will then face each other in singles immediately after.
Live results will be available on PurdueSports.com. You can also following the team on Twitter @PurdueWTennis, @PurdueTennis, and @CoachGlitz. A live blog will also be available at PurdueSports.com.