Feb. 21, 2014
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Having lost three consecutive matches by 4-3 scores, the No. 49 Minnesota tennis team will face another tough test Saturday night when it hosts 45th-ranked Drake at the Baseline Tennis Center at 6 p.m.
Minnesota is off to a 4-5 start on the season after dropping its first Big Ten match of the season last week to Iowa. It was the Gophers' first loss to the Hawkeyes since 1998. Like the two matches before it against No. 34 Tulsa and No. 25 Harvard, the final score was 4-3. Minnesota has posted wins over two ranked foes this season in BYU and Arkansas and has a 4-2 ledger at home.
Drake enters Saturday's match with a 5-3 record after posting three wins in a row over Wisconsin, Kansas City, and Green Bay. Alen Salibasic leads the 45th-ranked Bulldogs in singles with a 4-3 mark at the No. 1 singles position. Benn Lott is 5-3 with a win at No. 1 and a 4-3 record at No. 2. In doubles, Robin Goodman and Ravi Patel are 1-3, but are the No. 36-ranked tandem in the nation.
Against the Bulldogs
The Gophers' most common non-conference opponent in recent years, Drake won the last time the two schools met in 2013 by a score of 4-3 at the Baseline Tennis Center. All-time, Minnesota is 9-2 in 11 meetings against Drake.
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 in the team's second week of play. 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 pushed his win streak to six and is now 7-2 on the year. He climbed back into the national rankings at No. 80.
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 six 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 24-11.
Hamburg Heating Up
In addition to being 6-1 with a six-match win streak in doubles with Mathieu Froment, Jack Hamburg has also been reliable at No. 3 singles. The Rapid City, S.D. native is currently on a five-match win streak and is 5-2 on the season. Two of his wins have come against ranked opponents.
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 using eight-game pro-sets and the team winning at least two of the matches gets one team point. If the pro-set is tied 7-7, a seven-point tiebreaker is played. If one team wins two doubles matches, the third match will go unfinished.
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.