April 3, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - After nearly a month on the road, the 37th-ranked Purdue women's tennis team will return to the Schwartz Tennis Center to host a pair of Big Ten foes Saturday and Sunday. The Boilermakers (7-7, 3-2 in Big Ten) will first meet Iowa (8-8, 2-3 Big Ten) Saturday, followed by a battle with Nebraska (7-10, 0-5 Big Ten) Sunday. Both matches are slated for 12 p.m. ET starts.
After dropping the first three of a five-match road swing, Purdue recovered with impressive wins over then-No. 63 Minnesota (4-3) and Wisconsin (5-2) on March 28 and 30, respectively. The return to the Schwartz Tennis Center is a welcomed one as the Boilermakers boast a 3-1 record on their home courts.
The two wins last weekend were pivotal for Purdue in the Big Ten standings. At 3-2, the Boilermakers are in a three-way tie for fourth with No. 34 Illinois and Michigan State. No. 17 Michigan and No. 11 Northwestern are tied for the top spot at 5-0, followed by No. 55 Minnesota at 4-1. Purdue has registered wins over the Fighting Illini (5-2) and Golden Gophers. The Spartans and Wolverines both have to travel to the Schwartz Tennis Center to take on the Boilermakers in the final weekend of regular season play April 18 and 20, respectively.
Purdue boasts the nationally ranked doubles team of Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany. The senior/sophomore tandem is listed at No. 70 and carries an overall record of 10-5, including a 3-1 mark in league play. Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum has been solid for the Boilermakers in Big Ten singles action, compiling a spotless 5-0 record while playing at Nos. 3 and 4. She is 10-5 overall in her sophomore campaign.
Iowa is coming off back-to-back Big Ten losses, Michigan State (4-3) and Michigan (7-0), in its last outing. The Hawkeyes have lost five consecutive matches and are 3-4 when playing on the road. Ruth Seaborne is ranked 108th nationally in singles competition, where she owns a 10-5 record. Paired with Morven McCulloch, the Iowa duo is 11-2, including a 4-0 mark in conference play, and has won seven straight doubles matches.
The Spartans and Wolverines were also responsible for dealing Nebraska a pair of losses last weekend, mirroring their scores against Iowa, 4-3 and 7-0, respectively. Like Iowa, the Huskers have been struggling, losing their last six dual matches dating back to March 14.
Iowa leads the all-time series with Purdue, 24-22; however the Boilermakers have won the last three matches against the Hawkeyes by a combined score of 15-6. A season ago as the nation's 13th-ranked squad, Nebraska notched its second win in the series with a 6-1 decision. The Boilermakers' lone win in the three-match series came in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships as they upset the No. 17 Huskers, 4-2.