Feb. 24, 2010
The Purdue women’s tennis team puts its unbeaten start to the 2010 season on the line once again this weekend when it welcomes two opponents into the Schwartz Tennis Center.
“I believe the team is ready to take on Oregon and Harvard,” head coach Laura Glitz said. “Both teams have good programs. What we will have to do is what we have been doing all season, which is go out and compete and hustle for every point. In our last match, I thought our singles play was very strong, but we will need to start off just as strong in doubles. If we take care of all these things, it will be a successful weekend for us.”
Purdue (7-0) is off to the best start in program history, a mark the team extended last Wednesday with its 5-2 defeat of Western Michigan. The Boilermakers have put together a perfect 6-0 mark at home and won their only road match of the season Feb. 7 at Missouri.
Sophomore Jennifer Rabot and junior Bhavani Tirumurti lead the team with seven singles wins each. Rabot, who has played her entire season at the No. 2 position, also has teamed with senior Michelle Sammons to post a 7-0 mark at the top of Purdue’s doubles lineup. Tirumurti, playing her first season at Purdue, has only dropped one set while appearing exclusively at the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Three Boilermakers enter the weekend with 6-1 marks in singles play this season. Sammons, who has lost only one game in her last two matches, has played at the top of Purdue’s singles lineup all season. Sophomore Anna Dushkina has earned her record at No. 4, while freshman Imogen Golder has posted her record from No. 5. The Auckland, New Zealand, native has teamed with Tirumurti for a 5-2 showing at No. 3 doubles, and Dushkina has coupled with classmate Remi Martin to put up a 4-3 mark at No. 2 doubles.
Freshmen Gisella Pere
has settled into the No. 6 position in the singles lineup after joining the Boilermakers as a mid-term enrollee. The Guayaquil, Ecuador, native won her first two collegiate singles matches but has lost her last two, including a three-set contest against Western Michigan. Sophomore Kay Kay Magi
, who is 3-0 in singles play this season, gives Glitz another option for the lineup.
Oregon (5-4) travels to West Lafayette on a three-match losing streak. The Ducks, who had appeared in the national rankings all season until this week, have dropped each of the three matches to ranked opponents, including 52nd-ranked Minnesota and 53rd-ranked Alabama last weekend. Oregon features one ranked singles player and one ranked doubles duo. Freshman Julia Metzger is the 96th-ranked singles player in the country, while juniors Pavlina Smatova and Emmanuelle Cor make up the 45th-ranked doubles team in the NCAA.
Harvard (5-2) is coming off a third-place finish at the ECAC Indoor Tennis Championships. The Crimson fell to Yale in the semifinal round but defeated Princeton in the third-place match on Feb. 14. Sophomore Holly Cao is ranked 57th in singles with her 5-0 record, all of which has been earned from the No. 1 position. Freshman Hideko Tachibana, the 115th-ranked singles player in the NCAA, is 5-1 this season while playing exclusively at No. 2.
Purdue has met Oregon and Harvard just one time each in the program’s history. The Ducks earned a 4-3 home victory in 2008, and the Boilermakers earned their first NCAA Tournament win by defeating the Crimson 4-2 in the first round of the 2006 tournament.
Purdue faces Oregon on Friday at 1 p.m. ET before taking on Harvard on Saturday at noon. Admission to the Schwartz Tennis Center is free, and live results from both matches can be found at purduesports.com.