|| NCAA Tournament - Charlottesville Regional
||Friday, May 10
9:00 a.m. - VCU vs. Minnesota
12:00 p.m. - Virginia vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
Saturday, May 11
2:00 p.m. - Men’s Second Round
||Charlottesville, Va. - Snyder Tennis Center
||Facebook | @MN_MTennis
May 9, 2013
The No. 35 Minnesota Golden Gophers will play No. 30 Virginia Commonwealth at 9 a.m. on Friday in the Charlottesville Regional of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Fairleigh Dickinson and No. 2 host Virginia round out the regional field. The winners of the two first round matches will meet in the regional final on Saturday, May 11 at 2:00 p.m.
Minnesota is playing in its fifth consecutive NCAA tournament. The Gophers are only one of four Big Ten teams, and one of 27 schools from the current field, to qualify for the past four NCAA tournaments. Last year, the Maroon and Gold lost in the first round of the tournament to then No. 20 Tulsa. In 2011, Minnesota was upset in the first round of the tournament, 4- by Fresno State in Berkeley, Calif. In 2010, Minnesota beat Arizona in the first round and then lost to Texas in the second round. In 2009, the Gophers topped New Mexico in the first round and then fell to USC.
Overall, this year’s apperance marks the 19th time the Gophers will compete in the event during the program’s history and is the sixth time in seven years under the direction of Head Coach Geoff Young.
Scouting Virginia Commonwealth
Virginia Commonwealth finished the regular season with a 20-6 record overall and a perfect 3-0 record in the Atlantic 10 Conference. VCU will be making its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance under Coach Kostin. For the third year in a row, the men's squad will make the short trek to Charlottesville for its opening round.
The Rams are lead by senior Max Wennakoski but have a strong lineup across the board. Wennakoski, the 2013 Atlantic 10 Most Outstanding Player, is coming off a historic season where he played for 32 overall wins. Along with Wennakoski, juniors Alejandro Argente and Alexis Heugas were named to the Atlantic 10 First Team, while senior Jaime Vazquez and freshman Michal Voscek earned spots on the Atlantic 10 Second Team.
Minnesota and VCU squared off earlier in the season as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend in Athens, Ga. The Rams came away with a 5-2 victory.
Minnesota senior Rok Bonin has received an at-large bid into the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship, which will be conducted May 22-27 as the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill. following the conclusion of the team championship. Bonin is one of four representatives from the Big Ten that will compete in the event, joining Peter Kobelt and Blaz Rola (Ohio State), Jared Hiltzik (Illinois), and Evan King (Michigan).
Among the Ranks
Bonin and Toledo have been consistently ranked among the ITA national polls throughout the season. Bonin ended the regular season at the No. 53 spot in the nation, while Toledo checked in at No. 83.
The Golden Gophers finished the regular season with a 14-10 overall record, a .583 winning percentage. The team also marked a 9-2 success rate in the Big Ten to tie for second in the conference, the program’s highest finish since 2000. After a tiebreaker, Minnesota was tabbed as the No. 2 team and earned a first-round bye headed into the Big Ten Tournament. The squad defeated Michigan State (4-0) in the quarterfinals, before falling short to Michigan (4-3) in the semifinals.
As the leading members of the Minnsota squad, Rok Bonin and Leandro Toledo were tabbed to the All-Big Ten First Team. With the second unanimous selection of his career, Bonin picks up his third first-team honor, becoming only the sixth Gopher in Minnesota history to receive a nomination for three consecutive years. Toledo earned the second nod of his career after being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2012.
Five of the Gophers’ starting six have reached double digits in singles wins this spring. Bonin and Toledo lead the way with a 16-6 and 16-7 dual records, respectively. They are followed by Mathieu Froment who is 11-11. Ruben Weber is 10-12, while Jack Hamburg is 10-13.
Leandro Toledo and Eric Frueh have emerged as Minnesota’s most deadly doubles weapon. The duo have combined for an 11-5 record at the No. 3 position and ran through league play to an 8-3 mark. Mathieu Froment and Jack Hamburg teamed up and found success as the Gophers’ top pairing. They went 7-6 in dual matches. Rok Bonin and Juan Pablo Ramirez are 9-6 at No. 2, including a 6-4 mark in the Big Ten.
Against Ranked Foes
Entering the NCAA Tournament, Minnesota has a 10-10 mark against ranked opponents this spring. These ten wins came against No. 35 Louisville, No. 14 Washington, No. 53 Michigan State, No. 31 Michigan, No. 26 Northwestern, No. 19 Illinois, No. 56 Indiana, No. 58 Purdue, No. 62 Nebraska, and Michigan State again in the Big Ten Tournament.