The Gophers men’s and women’s tennis teams will get a sneak peek of the Big Ten this weekend in the form of rival Wisconsin.
Both teams will start the bulk of their conference schedule in late March.
Women’s coach Chuck Merzbacher said Sunday’s match will serve as a measuring stick.
It’ll be the second week in a row that the women will be able to sleep in their own beds before the match. The Gophers had a brutal road stretch early in the season.
Minnesota’s women’s tennis team has struggled for most of the past month, but it bucked that trend over the weekend.
The Gophers snapped their six-game losing streak with a pair of dominant wins over Northern Iowa and Carleton on Saturday at Baseline Tennis Center.
Both opponents were second-tier competition, but head coach Chuck Merzbacher said the wins gave his squad a much-needed confidence boost.
“We felt pretty confident about the matches,” he said, “so I think these matches were used to prepare for next weekend.”
Brendan Ruddock and Jack Hamburg brought a level of intensity to the courts at Baseline Tennis Center this past weekend that few players can match.
The two Gophers tennis players, who have both returned from injuries, were paired at the No. 2 doubles slot against Louisville and Boise State.
And they let their presence be known — and heard — with cries of jubilance after almost every point scored.
The Gophers men’s tennis team split matches with Louisville and Boise State over the weekend at Baseline Tennis Center.
Minnesota snapped its four-match losing streak Friday in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 win against Louisville, but it lost 4-3 to Boise State the next night.
Brendan Ruddock was the hero Friday night as he won a three-set match that spanned more than three hours to clinch the win.
Minnesota won the doubles point against Louisville with victories by its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles squads.
Minnesota’s women’s tennis team lost matches to Louisville and Virginia Tech this weekend in Blacksburg, Va., to move its current losing streak to four.
Head coach Chuck Merzbacher said the streak isn’t indicative of the way the season will turn out.
He said the team has been plagued by injuries and misfortune that has contributed to the skid.
Minnesota’s men’s tennis team won only four matches all weekend at the ITA Kickoff Opener in Athens, Ga.
The Gophers (1-2) struggled from the start and lost 5-2 to Virginia Commonwealth on Friday. Minnesota on Saturday fell to Vanderbilt 7-0.
“It was a good experience for our team,” head coach Geoff Young said. “Now we know what we need to work on in practice this week.”
Young said every player on the team can improve different elements of his game.
A quiet murmur surrounded the courts at the US Open tennis site in Flushing, N.Y., over the weekend.
The reason for the chatter: Gophers sophomore Leandro Toledo.
Toledo fell in the second round at the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships over the weekend, but he made a name for himself in the process.
Gophers head men’s tennis coach Geoff Young said two weeks ago that his doubles pairings needed to gain confidence to take the next step forward.
This weekend might have provided that boost.
The Gophers dominated on the doubles side at the Gopher Invitational and lost one match all weekend.
Young said he was satisfied with the performance, but “that doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing what we need to be doing all the time.”
“It’s most about execution,” he said, “but I think we are doing well out there.”
Two weeks ago in Oklahoma, sophomore Leandro Toledo lost in the first round of a tournament and said he knew he could’ve played better.
This week at the ITA Central Regional Championships at the Baseline Tennis Center, he proved it.
Toledo rolled through his first three matches in the tournament and followed up with two more wins to reach the finals.
He credited his serve as the biggest difference-maker in his run through the tournament.
“It was a really big weapon,” Toledo said. “My aggressive play helped a lot as well.”
While the majority of students sauntered through campus last week, two Minnesota tennis stars were in Oklahoma making history.
Rok Bonin and Leandro Toledo both qualified for the main draw at the All-American championships in Tulsa, Okla. — the first duo to do so in more than a decade for the Gophers.
However, the run was short-lived as Bonin and Toledo both lost in the first round of the actual tournament.