The fifth-seed Purdue women’s tennis team took home the Big Ten tennis tournament crown Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, while the Illinois men upset No. 1 seed Ohio State to nab the men’s championship in Evanston, Ill. Read more about the winners in this post, plus find links to relieve the action.
FIFTH-SEED PURDUE WOMEN TAKE CROWN
Fifth-seeded Purdue rallied from a 3-2 deficit with wins at the No. 5 and 2 positions to edge second-seeded Michigan, 4-3, giving the Boilermakers their first Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament title.
The Wolverines, who claimed a share of their second straight Big Ten Championship with a 10-1 regular season record, earned the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead with a clinching 9-8 victory at No. 1 doubles by the duo of Brooke Bolender and Emina Bektas, ranked 10th in the nation.
The Boilermakers reclaimed the lead with straight-set victories by Gisella Pere (6-0, 6-2) at No. 6 singles and Mara Schmidt (6-1, 6-3) at No. 3 singles. Michigan’s Mimi Nguyen knotted the team score at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-2, triumph at the No. 4 position before teammate Bektas, ranked 12th in the country, pushed the Wolverines to a 3-2 lead and one point from the tournament title with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles.
Purdue’s comeback began at the No. 5 singles position, as Imogen Golder held on for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 triumph to even the team score at 3-3. The tournament would be decided at No. 2 singles, where Purdue’s Lynda Xepoleas won a third-set tiebreaker to claim a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 victory and give the Boilermakers their first tournament title.
ILLINOIS RALLIES PAST NO. 1 OHIO STATE FOR MEN’S TITLE
Third-seeded Illinois rallied from a 3-1 deficit with victories at the No. 5, 6 and 2 singles positions to knock off top-seeded Ohio State and earn the Illini’s first tournament title since 2005. In the clinching match at the No. 2 spot, Illinois’ Roy Kalmanovich knocked off the Buckeyes’ Blaz Rola, ranked sixth nationally, to end OSU’s six-year run as tournament champions.
Ohio State, which claimed its seventh straight Big Ten Championship with an unblemished 11-0 regular season record, earned the doubles point and an early 1-0 lead with victories at the No. 2 and 3 doubles positions.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 2-0 advantage after 11th-ranked Chase Buchanan earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over the Illini’s eighth-ranked Dennis Nevolo at No. 1 singles. Illinois’ Tim Kopinski put his team on the board with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph at the No. 4 position before OSU’s Peter Kobelt earned a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles to put his team up 3-1, just one point from clinching the tournament crown.
Needing to win the three remaining singles matches, Illinois’ comeback began at the No. 5 position where Stephen Hoh claimed a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 victory before teammate Ross Guignon earned a 7-6, 6-4 win at the No. 6 spot to knot the team score at 3-3.
The tournament would be decided at No. 2 singles, where Illinois’ Kalmanovich registered a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph to give the Illini their first tournament title since 2005.