Boilermakers Invited to ITA Kick-Off Weekend

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Jan. 24, 2014

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 27 Purdue women’s tennis team will play its first dual matches of the season at the sixth annual ITA Kick-Off Weekend hosted by No. 13 Clemson Saturday and Sunday. The Clemson site, one of 15 four-team sites across the country, also features No. 32 Tennessee and No. 56 Fresno State. The Boilermakers are seeded second at the site and will take on third-seeded Tennessee Saturday at 9 a.m. ET.

Top-seeded Clemson and fourth-seeded Fresno State follow at 1 p.m. Winners of the two matches will square off Sunday at 1 p.m. to play for a berth to the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championships to be held Feb. 7-10 at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Va. Live scoring for all matches from the Clemson Indoor Tennis Center will be available.

The ITA Kick-Off Weekend will be the first national tournament to use the new, experimental formats decided upon by the ITA Division Operating Committee. The women’s experimental format has singles and doubles playing to six games, with regular scoring and tiebreakers at 6-all. However, if a singles match splits sets, a match tiebreaker will be played in lieu of a third set. All matches will be played under the "clinch-clinch" format and with no warm-up against opponents.

Not only does the site include four highly ranked teams, but eight ranked singles players and a trio of ranked doubles teams. Clemson sports four ranked individuals in No. 44 Beatrice Gumulya, No. 51 Romy Kölzer, No. 74 Yana Koroleva and No. 103 Tristen Dewar. Kölzer and her doubles partner Jessy Rompies are tabbed 49th. Sophie Watts is the lone ranked singles player for Fresno State at No. 104, while the Bulldog duo of Aishwarya Agrawal and Claire Yang is No. 41.

The matchup between Purdue and Tennessee features No. 110 (tie) Mara Schmidt for the Boilermakers and ranked Lady Vols Eve Repic and Joanna Henderson, at No. 53 and 99, respectively. Tennessee also boasts the No. 43 tandem of Henderson and Caitlyn Williams.

Purdue enters the event after a strong showing at its own season-opening invite Jan. 17-19. The Boilermakers combined for a 22-4 mark in singles and went 8-1 in doubles while taking on No. 70 Louisville, Kansas and Miami (Ohio) at the Basham Courts of the Schwartz Tennis Center. They won 16 of their singles matches in straight sets and held their opponent scoreless in four sets.

It is the third straight year that the Boilermakers have been invited to play in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend and it is the second time they will play at the Clemson site. In 2012 they opened with a 4-1 win over No. 46 Kansas State, but fell short to the 14th-ranked Tigers, 4-2. Last season Purdue traveled to Northwestern, defeating No. 32 Washington State 4-3. The No. 14 Wildcats denied the Boilermakers a trip to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships by dealing them a 4-2 setback.