March 27, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 46 Purdue women's tennis team (5-7, 1-2 Big Ten) will hit the road for a pair of weekend Big Ten matches at No. 63 Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Boilermakers are set to meet the 63rd-ranked Gophers (13-3, 3-0 Big Ten) at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis Friday at 6 p.m. ET. They will then travel to Madison for a contest against the 7-4, 2-1 Big Ten Badgers at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
Purdue is looking to close out a tough month of March on a winning note. All five of the Boilermakers' opponents this month have been ranked among the nation's top 50, to which they have posted a mark of 1-4. Stepping outside of the Big Ten during spring break, they suffered a 5-2 defeat at the hands of then-No. 25 Arizona State and were shutout for the first time this season by then-No. 45 Arizona, 7-0.
Despite an upset loss to the Sun Devils No. 1 doubles team, Purdue's tandem of Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany maintained a position on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) national rankings. The duo, who are 9-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play, slipped from 45th to 70th.
Minnesota has won its last six matches, including three wins in Big Ten action to earn a share of the top spot in the league with Michigan and Northwestern. In their last outing on March 23, the Gophers notched a 4-2 road win over Nebraska. They are 8-2 when playing on their home courts.
Purdue is vying for its fifth consecutive win over Minnesota dating back to 2010, although the Gophers lead the all-time series 27-13.
Wisconsin will host No. 35 Indiana and looking for its fourth straight victory on Friday before welcoming the Boilermakers on Sunday. After starting the month with back-to-back losses, the Badgers took down their next three opponents, including Nebraska and then-No. 65 Iowa, both by a score of 4-3. The win over the Hawkeyes was Wisconsin's first over a ranked team this season.
The series between Purdue and Wisconsin has been in the Old Gold & Black's favor since 2006, taking nine straight matches from the Badgers. Wisconsin owns an all-time mark of 28-12 over the Boilermakers.