Jan. 24, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women’s tennis team will open its dual match season on Friday against Washington State in the opening round of ITA’s Kick-Off Weekend. The Boilermakers will face the Cougars in Evanston, Ill. at 3 p.m.
Purdue (0-0) jumped one spot in the rankings and is up to No. 26 in the nation. The Boilermakers are led by sophomore Lynda Xepoleas, who is ranked 80th nationally, and junior Mara Schmidt, who is No. 108. The Boilermakers are the No. 2 seed in the Northwestern Region while Washington State is the No. 3 seed. Northwestern is the No. 1 seed and Arkansas earned the No. 4 seed. A total of 60 teams will compete in the ITA Kick-off Weekend with 15 schools hosting. The host schools were determined by final rankings in the 2012 season. The winner of each region will earn one of the 15 vacant spots in the ITA National Women’s Team Indoor Championship which will take place next month at the University of Virginia.
Washington State (3-0) picked up a trio of home wins last weekend and is ranked No. 32. The Cougars beat Portland State and Wyoming 5-2 and also defeated Idaho 7-0. Washington State does not have any ranked individuals or doubles teams, but the team is led by an outstanding singles player in Liudmila Vasilieva. Vasilieva won 32 matches a year ago which is a program record. She also was ranked as high as No. 43 in the country. The senior is 3-0 this season.
Purdue hosted the Purdue Invitational over the weekend. The invitational was a preseason tournament with DePaul and Illinois-Chicago also participating. The Boilermakers were nearly perfect on the weekend as they only dropped two singles matches. Krisztina Kapitany looks to contribute right away. The freshman picked up a ranked singles win over the weekend as she knocked off DePaul’s Jarret Fisher who is ranked No. 119. Kapitany competed at No. 4 singles in her three matches of the tournament.
The Northwestern Region is the only region with multiple Big Ten teams. If Purdue and Northwestern both win their first round matchups, the conference foes will be slated for a non-conference rematch of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The other side of the bracket looks to be just as tough as Purdue’s No. 26 vs. No. 32 matchup. Northwestern checks in at No. 14 while Arkansas is No. 38.
If Purdue wins it will face the Northwestern/Arkansas winner on Saturday at 2 p.m. If the Boilermakers lose, they will face the other losing team at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the consolation match.