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.
Weber Finishes Second at Lakewood
Ruben Weber finished second at Lakewood while Matic Spec and Felix Corwin picked up a consolation win in doubles at the NIIC.
Gophers Closing Out Fall Season
Felix Corwin and Matic Spec are heading to the NIIC to compete in doubles while four other Gophers wrap up their season at Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Alpeza Has Strong Tournament
Marino Alpeza won a doubles match and picked up two singles wins at the Big Ten Indoor Championships this weekend.