April 17, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 42nd-ranked Purdue women’s tennis team will look to end the regular season on a strong note in its home finale at the Schwartz Tennis Center Saturday and Sunday. The Boilermakers will host No. 67 Michigan State on Saturday, followed by a battle against No. 16 Michigan on Sunday. First serves for both matches is set for 12 p.m. ET and live scoring will be available here.
Purdue had its five-match winning streak come to a halt in a 5-2 loss at then-No. 49 Ohio State in its last outing on April 13. Andjela Djokovic (13-4) and Claudia Escribens (5-0) were responsible for the Boilermakers’ two points with victories at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, respectively.
The loss brought Purdue’s record to 10-8 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten. Their league mark is also mirrored by the 34th-ranked Buckeyes and No. 59 Minnesota, creating a three-team jam for third. The trio sits behind the undefeated Wolverines (17-3, 9-0 Big Ten) and No. 13 Northwestern (14-6, 8-1 Big Ten).
In the latest rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Tuesday, the Boilermakers shifted back five spots from No. 37 to No. 42. It has been three weeks since the tandem of Mara Schmidt and Krisztina Kapitany have played side-by-side due to lineup changes forced by injury, yet they continue to be recognized by the ITA. Schmidt and Kapitany (10-5) check in at No. 52 for their fourth consecutive national ranking and sixth overall ranking of the 2013-14 season.
Like Purdue, Michigan State enters Saturday’s contest off of a loss. The Spartans (17-6, 5-4 Big Ten) dropped a 4-3 match to Minnesota at home on April 13. In 23 matches played, they have captured the doubles point 17 times and they are 15-2 when winning the crucial point. Michigan State is led by Marina Bohrer. The senior is ranked 112th and has a team-best 18 singles wins. Paired together with rookie Erin Faulkner, the duo is listed at No. 62 and boasts a record of 15-4.
Purdue has won the last six meetings with the Spartans dating back to the 2009 season. Last year in East Lansing, Mich., the Boilermakers notched a 5-2 victory for their 28th win in the series. Michigan State’s last win over Purdue came on March 22, 2008, while playing at home, 6-1.
Michigan enters the final weekend of the regular season seeking its fifth straight Big Ten championship. With one win, the Wolverines will clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title and will win the title outright for the third time in the past five years with a weekend sweep. They take an 8-0 road record into a match at No. 48 Indiana on Friday before coming to West Lafayette. Michigan has won its last nine matches since falling to then-No. 5 Virginia, 5-2, on March 14.
Five Wolverines are scattered throughout the national rankings in both doubles and singles. A trio of doubles teams is listed with Ronit Yurovsky as a part of two of those duos. Paired with Sarah Lee, they are No. 31 and teamed up with Laura Ucros, they’re ranked 68th. The third ranked Michigan tandem is No. 12 Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas. Ranked singles players include: No. 9 Bektas, No. 22 Yurovsky, No. 113 Amy Zhu and No. 112 Lee.
The all-time series with Purdue favors the Wolverines, 36-14. Michigan took the regular season and Big Ten Tournament matches from the Boilermakers a year ago by a combined score of 10-1. Purdue’s last win was a memorable and historic one. The 30th-ranked Boilermakers rallied to upend No. 15 Michigan, 4-3, for their first-ever Big Ten Tournament title on April 29, 2012.