iGolden Gophers Continue At Home
Minnesota continues its two-match homestand to start the season on Saturday, Feb. 3. The Golden Gophers host Drake at 7 p.m. at the Northwest Athletic Club in Bloomington.
Minnesota opened its 2001 season with a win against Richmond, 5-2, in the Minnesota Court Classic, sponsored by American Airlines. The Golden Gophers opened the match by winning two of three doubles matches to earn the doubles point and take a 1-0 lead. The No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Michaela Havelkova (Liberec, Czech Republic) and newcomer Valerie Vladea (Kitchener, Ontario/Burlington Central) defeated Jeannette Cluskey and Jodi Kenoyer, 8-3, while the No. 3 team of sophomore Amy Thomas (Orchard Park, N.Y./Orchard Park) and newcomer Brandi Watts (Monument, Colo./Lewis-Palmer) swept Casey Cohen and Patty Devlin, 8-0.
The Gophers then won three singles matches to earn the victory. Thomas defeated Kenoyer, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 2 position. Senior Tammy Wang (Grand Island, Neb./Grand Island) defeated Cohen at No. 4, 6-2, 6- 0, and Watts defeated Devlin, 6-0, 6-3. Minnesota added a singles win from Vladea, who defeated Cluskey 6-2, 6-2.
About The Golden Gophers
Minnesota returns five letterwinners from last year's team that finished 18-7 overall and placed second in the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers have qualified for the NCAA Tournament four of the last five seasons. Minnesota will have to overcome the loss of two seniors to graduation: Nora Sauska, the school-record holder for career singles wins; and Kim Simonsen, the team's MVP a year ago.
About The Opponent
Drake will open its season this weekend, taking on Ball State at home on Friday before Saturday's match at Minnesota. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 16-6 after a loss to No. 7 Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the team's second straight tournament appearance after winning back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference team titles. Drake has won eight of the last 12 conference championships.
Minnesota begins an eight-match road trip by taking on Tulsa and Colorado at Colorado, Feb. 10-11. The Golden Gophers will next be home March 23, when they host Michigan State.
2000-01 Golden Gopher Statistics Singles Doubles Name Pos. Spring Overall Pos. Spring Overall Michaela Havelkova 3 0-1 5-6 1 1-0 5-7 Jennifer Howard 5 0-1 4-7 - - - Andrea Rose - - - 2 0-1 4-4 Amy Thomas 2 1-0 4-6 3 1-0 5-7 Valerie Vladea 1 1-0 2-1 1 1-0 1-0 Tammy Wang 4 1-0 3-5 2 0-1 1-5 Brandi Watts 6 1-0 4-7 3 1-0 2-6