April 26, 2012
The Minnesota men’s tennis team will face Indiana in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The annual conference tournament is being held in Evanston, Ill., and is being contested at Northwestern’s Vandy Christie Tennis Center.
The fifth-seeded Hoosiers beat No. 12 seed Iowa 4-0 in the first round of the tournament this morning in Evanston, Ill. The Gophers are seeded fourth, and along with the top three seeds, received a bye into the quarterfinals.
The winner of the Minnesota and Indiana match will most likely face No. 1 seed and third-ranked Ohio State in the semifinals. The Buckeyes will face Nebraska in the quarterfinals after the Cornhuskers blanked Wisconsin 4-0 this morning.
Minnesota and Indiana have played some tight matches recently. The Gophers rallied to squeeze out a 4-3 road win at Indiana on April 14 this year. The Hoosiers built a 3-1 leads, but Minnesota stormed back to win the overall match after Rok Bonin, Julian Dehn and Phillip Arndt won their matches in singles play. Bonin and Dehn won three-set affairs, while Arndt beat Jeremy Langer 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) at the third position to complete the dramatic comeback for the Gophers.
“Indiana was a tough match and was very close,” said coach Geoff Young. “It will be a good close match tomorrow. I think we will play them indoors so it could be an identical match as before with very similar lineups.”
The weather forecast for Evanston tomorrow calls for only a high of 49 degrees, so that is why play could be contested indoors.
Last year, the Hoosiers beat Minnesota 4-3 in Minneapolis, but the Gophers then eliminated second-seeded Indiana in the Big Ten tournament semifinals with a 4-0 win.
The Gophers advanced to the Big Ten tournament final a year ago after wins against Wisconsin and Indiana. Minnesota then dropped a 4-0 decision to Ohio State in the tournament final. It was Minnesota’s first appearance in the conference final since 2003.
Minnesota enters this year’s Big Ten tournament on a four-match winning streak. The Gophers were 4-3 in the conference before they rolled off four straight Big Ten wins to finish 8-3 in the Big Ten and 13-6 overall.
“It was nice to get those wins and have most of the guys in the lineup feeling good about their game,” said Young.