The annual rivalry tennis match between IU and Purdue will take place Wednesday as the Hoosiers travel to West Lafayette.
A win for IU would tie up the score in the battle for the Governor’s Cup at 5.5 points apiece, while Purdue has the chance to give itself a two-point lead.
It will be a quick turnaround for the IU team that just suffered a loss to No. 24 Texas Tech on Saturday. Meanwhile, Purdue has had over a week off since their last match when they fell to No. 12 Baylor.
“With playing out Saturday against a very good team, we should be ready competitively and level-wise,” IU coach Jeremy Wurtzman said. “We got to make sure that our minds are in the right place to be ready to go Wednesday night.”
Overall, IU has had more success this season than their in-state rivals. The Hoosiers will go into Wednesday’s match with a record of 5-4 while the Boilermakers’ record sits at 3-5 on the season.
Scheduling will likely benefit Purdue, though, as they have had 10 days of rest heading into the match. IU has had only three days between matches, two of which were spent traveling.
The home and away splits could make a difference as well. IU has only won one match on the road this season, while Purdue has earned all of its victories at home. Especially with the match being a part of a large rivalry, the Hoosiers could face a hostile environment.
“They’re going to have a ton of fans there,” sophomore Bennett Crane said. “They know it’s a big rivalry, so I think we’re going to have to be united as a team and really stay strong.”
Wurtzman said he is not worried considering his team’s experience on the road and the fact that Wednesday night matches do not typically draw as large of a crowd.
“We don’t expect it to be much different, even though it is Big Ten in-conference match,” Wurtzman said. “There is more on the line, but I think we definitely are prepared.”
As a team, IU has had the better season, but individually, the Boilermakers will have the advantage in the rankings.
Purdue senior Gergely Madarasz is currently ranked No. 61 in the nation in singles. In doubles, Madarasz and his partner, sophomore Athell Bennett, are ranked No. 44. Meanwhile, IU no longer has any ranked players, as senior Raheel Manji fell out of the top 125.
The match in West Lafayette will be the last of three consecutive road matches for the Hoosiers. Afterwards, they will return to Bloomington for two matches on Sunday.
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