4/28/17 Illinois, Benjamin Ugarte

Redshirt senior Benjamin Ugarte prepares to return a ball during Purdue's 4-1 loss to Illinois in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on April 28 at Schwartz Tennis Center.

Despite a strong opening from No. 6 seed Purdue, it wasn't able to get the singles points it needed to close out the dual and fell to No. 3 seed Illinois, 4-1.

The point point for the Boilers came from two doubles wins by the No. 2 pairing of senior Ricky Medinilla and freshman Stephan Koenigsfest and the No. 3 pairing of senior Benjamin Ugarte and junior Renan Hanayama. Both ended with a score of 6-4.

Ugarte went on to be the best chance the Boilers had of keeping the dual going. Behind 5-0 in his first set in the No. 3 singles position, he was able to win three games before falling 6-3.

"One of the things that differenciates me from other players is that I play pretty fast, my ball is pretty fast" Ugarte said. "But somehow, (Illinois freshman Aleks Kovacevic's) ball was faster. ... It was a tough beginning, (Kovacevic) came in locked in from the first point."

Head coach Pawel Gajdzik thought that Ugarte could have beat his opponent any other day.

"He fell behind very quickly but, he got his groove (back). ... I think if they played again Benny (would win)."

A win here would have firmly locked Purdue into a NCAA tournament spot, but the team feels confident they will make it in for the first time since 2012.

The Boilers will find out their NCAA tournament fate on Tuesday during the NCAA selection show.

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