Despite having six underclassmen out of eight players, the Purdue women’s tennis team almost completed an upset over No. 23 ranked Mississippi.
Losing 5-2, the Boilers were close to their third win of the season.
In the doubles match, junior Silvia Ambrosio, a transfer from Marquette, and freshman Ena Babic brought their one set match to a tiebreaker against the No. 13 ranked doubles pair in the nation. Despite both players being new to the team, their immediate chemistry has helped them thus far into the season.
“I’m excited to be here,” Ambrosio said. “I transferred because of tennis, because I wanted more and I’m definitely getting it here. So that’s good. Everything else shouldn’t affect the way I play. Those are things that are outside tennis, and if I can’t adapt to those, well that sucks but it’s definitely not something that should affect how I play.”
They almost pulled off the upset as they took the game to a tiebreaker, eventually losing 7-6 (8-6). The doubles loss didn’t faze either of the two.
“It doesn’t matter how high they’re ranked, for us it doesn’t matter,” Ambrosio said. “They can be two or three (in the nation); this just shows us that we can play against anyone, we could be ranked that high. It was bad luck because doubles goes by so fast. Point here, point there, but it just shows us that we can beat everyone we want if we set our mind to it.”
In singles, Ambrosio, at the No. 1 spot for Purdue, faced off against Mississippi’s Arianne Hartono, whom she had just seen in the doubles match. While unable to pull off that upset, she improved from the first set to the second, ultimately losing the match 6-2, 6-4.
Babic, on the other hand, was able to upset her ranked opponent in singles. She beat No. 62 Sabina Machalova in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Confidence from the doubles match was key in her singles upset.
“(The doubles match) showed us that we can play really good,” Babic said. “I can serve good and I can do that in my singles match.”
Helping to get Purdue another point for the day was sophomore Rafaella Baquerizo, who defeated Alexa Bortles in straight sets 6-4, 6-1.
The next women’s match is Friday at the Schwartz Tennis Center. In their second doubleheader of the season, the Boilers will face off against Saint Louis and Valparaiso at 1 and 6 p.m., respectively.