Back At It

Feb. 10, 2005

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's tennis team will return to the court this weekend, when it plays host to No. 19 Texas A&M and No. 30 Wake Forest. The 46th-ranked Boilermakers will face the Aggies on Friday at 1 p.m., and the Demon Deacons on Sunday at 10 a.m. Both matches will be played indoors at the Lafayette Sports Center.

Purdue will bring a 1-2 record into its match against Texas A&M. The Boilermakers are coming off a 4-3 loss at No. 62 Western Michigan on Tuesday. Both of the Boilermakers' losses this season have come by one point.

Purdue's lone win on the season, however, came by a 7-0 score against DePaul in Lafayette on Jan. 30. Head coach Mat Iandolo says a homecourt advantage could result in more success this weekend.

"It will help being back at home," Iandolo says. "Being on our home turf gives us a chance against anybody."

But Texas A&M and Wake Forest are not just "anybody." The Aggies have a singles player and a doubles team ranked in the top 50. Helga Viera is ranked 47th, and she and partner Anna Lubinsky are 28th. Though the team has lost three in a row and now owns a 1-5 record, its five losses have come to No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Northwestern, No. 8 Duke, No. 14 Kentucky and No. 34 Harvard.

Wake Forest, meanwhile, is 3-1 before playing at Indiana on Feb. 12. The Demon Deacons have two ranked singles players: No. 16 Karin Coetzee and No. 77 Ashlee Davis. The doubles team of Coetzee and Davis is ranked 33rd.

Purdue is not without its own firepower. No. 1 singles player Hala Sufi, a sophomore, is ranked 71st. Both she and freshman No. 2 player Stephanie Wooten have perfect 3-0 records on the young season. Sufi's first win of the year came against 50th-ranked Sabita Maharaj of Tennessee on Jan. 29.

Texas A&M leads the all-time series with Purdue 1-0, while Wake Forest is 2-0 against the Boilermakers. Purdue and Texas A&M last met in 1995. The last meeting between Purdue and the Demon Deacons took place in 1989.

Though history and rankings are on the side of his competitors, Iandolo believes his team has an equal chance to win both matches. Should the Boilermakers pull out an upset in either match, it would be their first win over a top 30-ranked opponent since April 1, 2004, when they beat No. 27 Notre Dame 4-3 at the Lafayette Sports Center.

"Anything could happen," says Iandolo. "We just have to go out there and compete."

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