BEN SCHUH | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
The WSU tennis team (7-1) will make the nearly 2000-mile journey from Pullman to play its next match in West Lafayette, Indiana. Their opponents from the Big Ten conference, the Purdue Boilermakers (5-1), will host at their home court, the Schwartz Tennis Center.
This is Purdue’s third match at home this year after winning both prior matches there previously against DePaul University 5-2 and Butler University 4-0.
WSU has been playing on the road for nearly a full month, besting five of the six teams they’ve played.
This will be the third consecutive season in which these two teams have faced off. Most recently, WSU beat the Boilermakers 7-0 in Pullman last February and Purdue won in West Lafayette two years ago.
WSU Assistant Coach Trang Huynh believes the team will bring a challenge to their last road trip before returning home.
“I think they are a good team, and it’s tough to play them on the road,” Huynh said. “But we’re going to use our confidence that we beat them with last year at home and we want to use that momentum to be able to get our win.”
The last two wins on the road for the Cougars have been close, with 4-3 wins with an 0-4 loss to Stanford in between. Both of those final single-game wins ended in a third-set victory for WSU.
Purdue’s last three wins have been 4-3 wins with its first being against then No. 12 Ole Miss.
Junior Jovana Knezevic thinks the closer the matches are, the higher the team’s self-esteem and determination.
“I mean, it definitely feels good when you win 4-0 and shut them down,” Knezevic said. “But close matches, like against Baylor 4-3, gives us a lot of self-confidence and a lot more energy and motivation to beat the next team as it is a big win and we know we’re tight.”
WSU will face the Boilermakers in West Lafayette at 10 a.m. Saturday for its final road game before the impending home game return against Brigham Young University.