With a talented team to work with and a strong opening weekend at the ITA kick-off event, the Purdue women’s tennis team has high hopes for the upcoming season.
After knocking off No. 42 Washington 4-2 in their first match of last weekend’s event, the Boilers suffered a 5-0 shutout loss to No. 14 Clemson, falling one win shy of qualifying for the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. It was a tough outing for Purdue, which was outmatched in every contest except for junior Deborah Suarez’s tough loss to Clemson’s Tristen Dewar.
Despite the opening weekend loss to Clemson, it was a positive start to the season for the Boilers. The ITA event gave the team an opportunity to work through its early season nerves, and its matchup with the highly ranked Tigers was a good indication of the level of play the team needs to achieve this year.
“The first weekend there are a lot of nerves, but we got a really good win against Washington,” head coach Laura Glitz said. “Against Clemson, we just didn’t play well enough to beat them. The good thing is that we’re still improving. We want to get better from (last) weekend and I think we got a lot out of it.”
The talent of the team this year bodes well for the Boilers, though, with Glitz going so far as to say that this year’s squad is the most talented group she’s had at Purdue. With only two teams currently ranked above Purdue in the ITA polls, the Boilers will be one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten this season.
“I think we still have another level that we haven’t gotten to yet,” Glitz said. “I think when we get there, we’re going to be able to beat teams. I think this is one of our most talented teams. The girls are ready; they’re fired up about improving. Looking at our schedule, there’s no team that we can’t beat. That doesn’t mean we’ll win all our matches, but we’re capable of winning them all.”
With a weekend off to continue to hone their game, the Boilers should be more than prepared for their next match. Purdue takes the court again on Feb. 7 when the team battles the Golden Hurricanes of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma.