MINNESOTA AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: The No. 38-ranked Golden Gopher tennis team will bring in experience and youth to the 1999 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., this weekend. Minnesota received a bid to play No. 24- ranked University of Washington, May 15, 1999. On the flip side of the bracket, fourth-ranked Georgia will play No. 55 Georgia State. The winners will play eachother Sunday, May 16. This is the sixth straight year Minnesota has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
ABOUT THE HUSKIES: The University of Washington Huskies enter the NCAA Championships with a 24th overall national ranking. Washington has an overall record of 16-8 including a 3-4 record in the Pac-10 Conference.
Leading the Huskies is sophomore Robert Kendrick, who plays No. 1 singles at Washington. Kendrick has a 29-7 overall record, including a 9-0 mark at the No. 1 singles position. He is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation. Senior Eric Drew is the other ranked player for Washington. Drew is ranked 58th nationally and currently has a 17-7 overall record. He is 8-5 at the No. 1 singles position and 8-1 at No. 2 singles.
Together, Drew and Kendrick combine to form the nation's 14th-ranked doubles team. Drew and Kendrick currently have a 14-4 overall record and a 13-1 record at the No. 1 doubles position.
The head coach of the Huskies in his fifth season is Matt Anger. He is assisted by Gordon O'Reilly in his sixth year.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR: Last year Minnesota won the NCAA Region IV Championships in South Bend, Ind. The Golden Gophers surprised a lot of folks after placing only fifth at the Big Ten Tournament and then beat several ranked teams en route to winning the NCAA Region IV title.
Minnesota first defeated Notre Dame 4-3 on the strength of winning four singles matches. No. 1 singles player Tom Chicoine defeated Ryan Sachire 6-3, 7-6, senior Adam Selkirk defeated Jakub Pietrowski 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2. At the No. 4 position, sophomore Jon Svensson defeated Danny Rothschild 6-3, 7-6 and sophomore Tyson Parry defeated Eric Enloe 6-4, 7-6 at the No. 6 singles position. Minnesota dropped two of the three doubles matches to lose the doubles point.
In the second match, Minnesota topped Northwestern 4-2, claiming three singles matches and two of the three doubles matches to earn the victory. At No. 1 singles, senior Tom Chicoine won again beating Alex Witt, 6-1, 6-3. Sophomore Jorge Duenas defeated Martin Bengsston 6-1, 6-2 at the No. 5 singles position. Sophomore Tyson Parry also won his match at the No. 6 position, with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Brad Erickson.
In the championship final, Minnesota topped No. 1- seeded Duke 4-3 to win the title and shock the rest of the region. The Golden Gophers won three singles matches, but clinched the doubles point to win the title.
Chicoine won his third match of the Region IV Championships, a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Doug Root at No. 1 singles position. Also winning matches was Duenas at the No. 5 singles position, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0. The other Golden Gopher to win his singles match was Parry with a three-set 6-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Marko Cerenko at No. 6 singles.
The doubles point turned out to be crucial for Minnesota. At No. 1 doubles, Chicoine and Michalowski defeated Root and Ramsey Smith, 8-6. Also winning at No. 3 doubles was Martin Kristoffersen and Selkirk 8-6 over Andreas Pedroso and Rueger.
CHICOINE RECEIVES AUTOMATIC NCAA BID: Senior Tom Chicoine received one of the four automatic bids from Region IV to compete in the singles competition of the NCAA Championships, May 26-30 in Athens, Ga. This is the second consecutive year Chicoine has received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. He is joined by Ryan Sachire of Notre Dame, Oliver Freelove of Illinois and Mark Loughrin of Wisconsin. Two at-large selections from the region include Northwestern's Doug Bohaboy and Iowa's Tyler Cleveland. Seeding for the individual championships will take place on Monday, May 24.
INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS: Senior Tom Chicione is currently ranked 27th in the nation in singles. He is the second highest ranked Big Ten individual under Illinois' Oliver Freelove, who is ranked ninth overall.
Minnesota's No. 1 doubles team of Chicoine and junior Martin Michalowski is currently ranked 50th overall. However, the latest ITA rankings came out before the Big Ten Championships where the doubles team defeated Illinois' Oliver Freelove and Cary Franklin, the third highest ranked doubles team in the nation. Previously in the polls, Chicoine and Michalowski have been ranked as high as 31st and were at 38th two weeks ago.
ALL-BIG TEN PERFORMERS: Senior Tom Chicoine and sophomore Tyson Parry were just two of the 12 Big Ten athletes selected to the 1998-99 All-Big Ten team April 30, 1999. In addition, freshman Thomas Haug was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Illinois' Oliver Freelove was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year and Northwestern's Doub Bohaboy was named Sportsman of the Year. Illinois Head Coach Craig Tiley received Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
CHICOINE ON A ROLL: Minnesota senior Tom Chicoine of Neenah, Wis., is having his best year yet as a Golden Gopher. Last year, Chicoine was the most successful Golden Gopher having compiled an overall record of 27- 18. He went on to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships, the first Minnesota player to do so since 1993.
Chicoine started the fall with a 13-3 record in tournament play. He did very well in the fall season, capturing two individual tournament titles. In Philadelphia, Pa., Chicoine won the Penn Fall Classic and a week later won first place at the ITA Region IV Championships in East Lansing, Mich. He also put together a string of 16 straight wins from 10/23/98 to 1/6/99.
At the Regional Championships, Chicoine won all seven of his matches and came just one victory shy at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic of winning another tournament. Chicoine also lost the Big Ten Singles title to Purdue's Jason Marshall, 7-6 (4), 6-1, in early January.
Chicoine was ranked 14th in the nation, according to the ITA Fall rankings that came out in early December of 1998. That marked the highest ranking ever for Chicione on the national scene and is the highest for a Golden Gopher in the past three years.
BREAKING RECORDS: Senior Tom Chicoine currently has a 114-62 career record at Minnesota. His record establishes himself as the winningest player at the University of Minnesota. Previously, Ross Loel Jr. (1991-95), had compiled a 111-38 career record. Rick Naumoff (1990-94) is third with a 104-49 mark. Paul Pridmore (1991-95) 95-39 and Ben Gabler (1994-97) 95-54 are next in line.
SVENSSON LOOKS TO STREAK AGAIN: Sophomore sensation Jon Svensson is looking to break his streak, which was set last season. The streak consisted of 16 consecutive matches won from January 16 to April 22. It marked the fourth longest dual match win streak in school history, and the only freshman streak among the top five. His streak came to an end when he lost to Illinois' Jakub Teply 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.
So far this season, Svensson has not been able to put together a streak like last years. He has two five- match winning streaks, but nothing longer than that.
PARRY PERFECT: Sophomore Tyson Parry will aim for perfection this weekend also. He will look to come on his sophomore season after a strong first year with the program. The Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, native received a tie for 81st in the ITA Fall rankings in December. He has since dropped out of the rankings. Parry has been playing the No. 2 singles position and has filled in at No. 1 singles occasionally as well. He is currently 21- 18 overall and 6-4 in the Big Ten.
SENIOR POWER: Seniors Adam Selkirk of St. Joseph, Mo., and Martin Kristoffersen of Portsgrunn, Norway, will look to lead the Golden Gophers to another NCAA Region IV title. Selkirk has been playing at No. 3 singles this year, while Kristoffersen has been playing with Martin Michalowski at No. 1 doubles off and on throughout the season. Selkirk, Kristoffersen and Chicoine make up the trio of seniors on the team this season, the first time the team has had senior members since 1996-97.
THE BIG HAUG: Freshman Thomas Haug of Zurich, Switzerland, was a late addition to the Golden Gopher men's tennis team in January. Haug joined Minnesota in competition with the Ice Volleys Tournament in January. He has since been a member of the starting lineup at either the No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5 position. Haug has been impressive since joining the lineup and has compiled a near flawless Big Ten record at 9-1. Most recently he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He is also 13-7 overall. Haug along with freshman Ryan Davies have also put together quite the tandem at No. 3 doubles.
THE NEW GUYS: Three freshmen have joined the Golden Gopher team for the 1998-99 season. Thomas Haug of Zurich, Switzerland, Ryan Davies of Corpus Christi, Texas and Karl Sloss of Kildeer, Ill. All three have extensive credentials from their prep careers. Sloss and Davies played in several Fall tournaments, while Haug joined the team in January. So far in the dual meet season, Davies and Haug have teamed up at No. 3 doubles, while Haug plays singles at various positions.
MAGICAL MICHALOWSKI: Junior Martin Michalowski of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is the lone third-year player on the team this season. Michalowski had an outstanding season last year, with a 19-20 overall record. So far this season, Michalowski has only lost 12 matches and has won 28. He is also 8-2 in the Big Ten Conference. He usually plays at the No. 4 singles position and teams up with senior Tom Chicoine or senior Martin Kristoffersen at the No. 1 doubles position.
DOUBLES POWER: The No. 1 doubles team of senior Tom Chicoine and junior Martin Michalowski has made quite an impression on the tennis courts this year. Chicoine and Michalowski have compiled a 9-8 record overall and are 1-3 in the Big Ten. While the records aren't tremendously impressive, the team moved up from 39th to 38th in the doubles rankings, but recently fell to 50th. However, the most recent ITA ranking was before the team put together two impressive wins at the Big Ten Championships. At No. 2 doubles, senior Adam Selkirk and sophomore Tyson Parry have put together some impressive numbers as well. The team is currently 7-6 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten Conference. At the No. 3 doubles spot, freshmen Ryan Davies and Thomas Haug have put together some great wins as well. The No. 3 team is currently 7-5 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten.
DUENAS RETURNS: Sophomore Jorge Duenas of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, returns for his second year with the Golden Gophers. Duenas has played mostly at No. 6 singles consistently. He is currently 23-15 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten Conference. Duenas came on strong last year and finished his rookie season with a 21-21 overall record.
COHEN IS HIRED AS ASSISTANT COACH: The University of Minnesota Men's Athletics Department named former Golden Gopher Adam Cohen as the new Assistant Men's Tennis Coach in September of 1998. Cohen replaced P.J. Priest, who left after two years as the assistant coach to become the Junior Development Coordinator of the North Tennis Association at the 98th Street Racquet Club in Bloomington.
Cohen, a native of Buffalo, Minn., was a two-time letter winner at Minnesota from 1993-95. During his time as a Golden Gopher, Cohen compiled a 29-13 overall record in singles play and a 9-4 overall record in doubles. He was also a member of two Big Ten champion teams in 1994 and 95.
Before playing at Minnesota, Cohen was a three-time letter winner at Southern Illinois in Edwardsville, Ill. As a Cougar, Cohen compiled an overall record of 23-1 and an overall doubles record of 19-15.
Last year he was an assistant coach at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Prior to that, Cohen was an assistant coach at Forest Lake High School for three years, assisting with both the boys and girls teams.
"I'm excited to be back in Minnesota," Cohen said. "Hopefully I can help Coach Geatz bring back a Big Ten championship to Minnesota, something that hasn't been accomplished since I was here in 1995."
GEATZ RETURNS FOR HIS 10TH SEASON: Head Tennis Coach David Geatz returns for his 10th season with the Golden Gophers. In 10 seasons, Geatz has compiled a 178-71 overall record in dual meets. That equals a 72 winning percentage. In addition, Geatz has led the Golden Gophers to five Big Ten Championships in nine seasons at the helm. He has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year three times (1991,'92 and '94) and was named Region IV Coach of the Year in 1994. In 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach, his teams have put together 20- win seasons on 10 occasions.
MINNESOTA FINISHES 1998 STRONG: The U of M defeated three teams among the nation's top 35 to win the NCAA Region IV Championships and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Minnesota, the sixth-seeded team at the regional, first knocked off No. 3 seed Notre Dame, 24th in the nation, 4-3, on May 15. The Golden Gophers then beat No. 2-seeded Northwestern, 32nd in the nation, 4-2, on May 16 and No. 1-seeded Duke, 11th in the nation, 4-3 on May 17. The regional crown is Minnesota's second in the last three seasons. It also marked the U of M's second trip to the NCAA Championships in the last three seasons.
At the NCAA Championships, Minnesota lost 4-0 to No. 1 ranked and undefeated Stanford in the round of 16 in Athens, Ga. It was Minnesota's fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships, and third under Head Coach David Geatz. All five appearances have been in Athens, Ga.
"SURF THE NET": Information on the University of Minnesota Men's Athletics Department is now available on the Internet. The World Wide Web site contains news releases, statistics, rosters, schedules, student- athlete/coach/administration profiles, departmental directory, ticket & merchandise information and much, much more. The Web page can be accessed at: http:// www.gophersports.com.