No. 11 Seed Purdue Upsets Minnesota, 4-1
April 26, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Home, sweet home. The 2007 Big Ten Championship host Purdue pulled off a monumental upset on its home court with a 4-1 win over sixth-seeded Minnesota on Thursday at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The Boilermakers became the first No. 11 seed to earn a victory in the event since Penn State upset Iowa in 2003.
The Boilers improved to 9-13 overall after avenging a narrow 4-3 loss to the Gophers on Sunday that concluded regular season play and secured Purdue's last-place finish in the Big Ten. Minnesota earned the sixth seed in the postseason event with a 5-5 record in conference action, and fell to 15-9 overall after Thursday's setback.
Purdue notched an early lead by winning the doubles point in heated competition. Branko Kuzmanovic and Paul Rose gave the Boilermakers and early advantage with an 8-2 win over Nich Edlefsen and Sion Wilkins in the No. 1 doubles match. The Gophers rebounded with an 8-6 victory in the No. 2 match behind Mikey Kantar and Raoul Schwark.
Emotions were tense in the decisive No. 3 contest, as Purdue's Paul Foley and Griffin Nienberg fought their way out of an early deficit against Minnesota's Andres Osorio and Chi-Lang Pham. The Boiler pair broke serve to level the match at 5-all. The teams traded service games until the match went into a tiebreaker at 8-all. The Boilers' momentum gave them the first match point of the closely contested game at 7-6 when Minnesota was dealt a point penalty for a code violation to give Purdue the win.
In singles, the Gophers leveled with match with a straight-set victory from Sion Wilkins at No. 6 singles. But the Boilers' Eric Hodgman quickly regained the team lead with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Edlefsen in the No. 3 match. Minutes later, his teammate Paul Rose followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Osorio to stretch the Boiler lead to two team points. Notching a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mikey Kantar, Kurt Zaske sealed the upset and received a prodigious ovation from the Black and Gold contingent in attendance.
The Boilermakers advance to Friday's quarterfinal round, where there will take on third-seeded Illinois at the Schwartz Tennis Center at 2 p.m. ET.