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No. 2 Irish to take on visiting Boilermakers

Dan Maloof | Tuesday, April 3, 2007

No. 2 Notre Dame will look to improve to 19-1 as it takes on No. 50 Purdue at 2 this afternoon at the Courtney Tennis Center.

The Irish are coming off of another successful weekend in which they defeated No. 28 Wichita State and No. 38 Tulsa each by a score of 5-2.

After playing shorthanded in the two contests, the Irish will look to get some of their players back this week, coach Jay Louderback said.

“Colleen Rielley is going to be able to play tomorrow,” Louderback said. “Brook Buck is still struggling a little bit so we’re going to wait a few more days and see how she ‘s doing. A couple of others we’re going to decide on tomorrow, but we should be at almost full strength, we’re hoping.”

Purdue, currently 10-3 overall, has won eight of its last nine matches. The team’s one loss was a 7-0 shutout against No. 10 Northwestern Sunday. While the Boilermakers are ranked only 50th, Louderback said they will challenge the Irish.

“They’re a tough team and they’re a team that’s better indoors,” Louderback said. “It’s a team we definitely were hoping to play outside, but it looks like we’re not going to get to because of rain tomorrow. They’re a bunch of big hitters. They have a lot of fire power and on the right day they’re a tough team to play.”

The Irish struggled against Purdue in last year’s matchup, barely escaping with a win over the underdog Boilermakers.

“We beat them last year at their place 4-3 and the clinching match was Brook Buck, and she was down 5-2 in both sets,” Louderback said.

The Irish, meanwhile, have been on a tear with 13 consecutive victories, but they will be coming off a weekend road trip that forced them to return to campus early Monday morning.

“We got in at 3 o’clock [Monday] morning from our trip, so it was late. We didn’t work on anything really – we just let them hit a few balls, and plus we got to get them outdoors, because it was such a nice day.”

While Louderback said Purdue’s low ranking is somewhat misleading, he is confident that his players know what they have to do to be successful today.

“They’re a team that’s not ranked real high but they’re very dangerous, especially indoors,” Louderback said. “Our kids know that though because they went through it last year, so they know these guys can play.”