The University of Minnesota men's tennis team is headed to California to face Fresno State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The winner of the Minnesota-Fresno State match will face the winner of the match between host California and Marist. The competition will be played May 13-15.
The Gophers met Fresno State on January 29 in a neutral-site match at UCLA earlier this season. Minnesota prevailed 4-2 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
"We played them early in the season and they are very good," said Minnesota coach Geoff Young. "It was a close match when we played before and we are looking forward to it. It will be a little bit similar to before, being in the state of California and playing outside again. Hopefully we can get some outdoor practice in here in the next two weeks and be ready."
When the two teams met in January the Gophers were 1-1 on the year and ranked No. 33. Fresno State was also 1-1 on the season and was ranked No. 28 in the country. Nearly four months later the Gophers are ranked 19th after a 19-5 season in which they finished second to No. 4 Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament last weekend.
The Bulldogs are ranked 38th and finished the year 16-8 and won the Western Athletic Conference tournament last weekend against No. 57 New Mexico.
California is ranked No. 15 and Marist is unranked.
This is the third straight year and fourth time in five seasons under Young that Minnesota has earned a bid in the NCAA tournament. The Gophers beat No. 30 Arizona 4-1 in the first round last season before falling to third-ranked Texas in the second round.