Feb. 14, 2014
After having its four-match winning streak snapped by back-to-back 4-3 losses to No. 34 Tulsa and No. 25 Harvard, the 39th-ranked Minnesota men’s tennis team will travel to Iowa Sunday to open conference action. The Gophers and Hawkeyes will get underway at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex at noon.
Minnesota is off to a 4-4 start after sandwiching a four-match winning streak between losses to four opponents currently ranked in the top-35 in the country. The Gophers have been led by the 23rd-ranked doubles tandem of Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment and 80th-ranked singles player Leandro Toldeo, who are 5-1 and 6-2 on the spring, respectively.
The Hawkeyes, who didn’t play a match until February, enter the weekend with a 3-0 record after defeating Illinois State, Western Illinois, and UMKC to start the season. They play Northern Illinois Friday in their final tune-up before Sunday. Iowa, which went 7-17 with an 0-11 Big Ten mark in 2013, is led by seniors Brian Alden, Jonas Dierckx, and Juan Estenssoro, who are a combined 8-0 in singles on the spring.
Against the Hawkeyes
Sunday’s meeting between Minnesota and Iowa will be the 92nd between the two Big Ten schools. The Gophers are 61-30 against the Hawkeyes all-time and have won the last 15 meetings dating back to 1998. Last season, the Maroon and Gold closed out its regular season with a 7-0 blanking of the Hawkeyes at the Baseline Tennis Center and defeated Iowa 6-1 in Iowa City to conclude the 2012 season.
Toledo Earns B1G Honor, Rejoins Rankings
Gopher junior Leandro Toledo picked the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week award for the second time in his career two weeks ago. The Hamburg, Germany native, who earned his first-career win at No. 1 singles with a triumph of 22nd-ranked Greg Andrews of Notre Dame before claiming a second win at the position the following day against BYU. Minnesota’s Toledo, Rok Bonin, and Juan Pablo Ramirez gave the team three award winners in 2013.
Since winning the award, Toledo push his win streak to five matches with wins against Green Bay, Marquette, and Arkansas before falling to No. 44-ranked Denis Nguyen of Harvard. Toledo did recover the following day, however, to take down Tulsa’s Japie DeKlerk. Toledo is now ranked 80th nationally after starting the spring unranked.
Hamburg and Froment Move Up
After an 11-2 record in the fall that put them at No. 47 entering the spring season, doubles partners Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment were unable to finish their first match and dropped their second match, but have won their last five matches, including a 6-4 triumph over No. 17 Denis Nguyen and Casey MacMaster of Harvard to move up to No. 23 in the ITA rankings.
After serving as the Gophers’ No. 1 doubles team in 2013, Hamburg and Froment entered the spring with an 18-10 overall record together—they are now 23-11.
Match Format Changes
The experimental scoring format using to begin the college tennis season has reverted back to the old system as of Feb. 10 for the women. From this point forward, there will be three doubles matches are played to eight-game pro-sets and the team winning at least two of the matches gets one team point. If the pro-set is tied 8-8, a seven-point tiebreaker is played. If one team wins two doubles matches, the third match is finished and a tiebreaker is played at 7-7. Six singles matches are then played and each are worth one team point. The matches are best-of-three sets with tiebreakers played to seven points if the set is tied 6-6. Once a team has reached four team points, it has clinched the team victory. The remaining matches are completed with a 10-point match tiebreaker played in place of a third set.