April 18, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 27 Purdue women’s tennis team hosts its final home match of the season on Friday as it is scheduled to face No. 16 Northwestern for senior day and cancer awareness day. The Boilermakers will then travel to No. 47 Illinois on Sunday.
Purdue (15-3, 7-2 B1G) will say goodbye to its lone senior on the roster, Gisella Pere. Pere will leave Purdue as the winningest player in terms of team wins in program history. The Guayaquil, Ecuador, native has been on the team for 63 dual-match victories in her career including the 15 this season. Last year’s three senior, Jennifer Rabor, Kay Kay Magi, and Anna Dushkina, were the winningest class prior to Pere as they totaled 57 dual match team wins. Pere has accrued 55 individual dual match singles wins and 43 dual match doubles wins in her career.
The Boilermakers swept a pair of conference matches last weekend. The team knocked off Wisconsin, 5-2, and Minnesota, 6-1. Purdue has won three straight and four of the last five matches overall. The Boilers are 5-0 at home this year with all five matches coming during conference play. They currently sit in a third-place tie in the Big Ten with Northwestern, both with 7-2 conference marks. Michigan and Nebraska are atop the conference with 8-1 records each. The Boilermakers have the fewest overall losses among Big Ten teams with three. Nebraska and Michigan each have four.
Northwestern (13-8, 7-2) has won two in a row and five of its last six matches. The lone loss was 4-3 to No. 8 Michigan. Purdue and Northwestern met earlier this season in Evanston, Ill., during ITA Kick Off Weekend, though the match did not count for conference standings. The Wildcats won that match, 4-3, and the recap and box score can be found here. Last season, the two teams met in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament with Purdue ending the Wildcats’ 13-consecutive-year run of conference tournament championships with a 4-2 win. Kate Turvy leads Northwestern as the No. 49 singles player in the country. Veronica Corning is also ranked as the No. 122 singles player nationally. The Wildcats also have a ranked doubles pair as Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton are No. 18.
Illinois (12-9, 5-4) has won three in a row and six of its last seven. The Fighting Illini have beaten the Boilermakers eight-straight times with the last Purdue win in the series coming in 2007, 6-1. Illinois has a ranked doubles pair with Melissa Kopinski and Rachael White coming in at No. 25 in the nation. Kopinski is also ranked in singles as she is No. 109 nationally. Allison Falkin is also ranked and comes in at No. 102. The match will be a bit of a homecoming for Purdue assistant coach Ric Mortera who was an assistant with the Illini for the past two seasons.
Friday’s cancer awareness match against Northwestern will raise money and awareness for various cancer related needs. The team encourages fans to wear pink to the match. There will also be different prizes at the event including a tennis racket. This can be won in a contest where fans will purchase pink tennis balls to throw onto the court towards a target. If there are multiple contestants that hit the target, one winner will be drawn at random from the qualifiers. All proceeds will be donated.
Friday’s match against Northwestern is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET at the Schwartz Tennis Center. Live results and a live blog will be available on PurdueSports.com for fans to interact. Sunday’s match is scheduled for noon.