Minnesota heads to the west coast this weekend to face off with Oregon on Friday in Eugene, Ore and square off with Washington on Sunday in Seattle, Wash.
Minnesota, ranked 52nd nationally, is coming off a strong weekend at the Baseline Tennis Center where the Gophers took down Missouri 6-1 and Wisconsin-Milwaukee 7-0. The Gophers returned home after a weekend away from competition and had their most successful weekend of the season.
Alessandra Ferrazzi and Magdalena Wiecha both posted perfect 6-0, 6-0 scores over Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This was also a weekend in which the Gophers did not lose any doubles matchups to either team. The wins improved the Gophers overall record to 5-2 for the season. The Gophers hope to carry that momentum into this weekend of highly powered matchups.
Oregon, ranked 74th nationally, is coming off a weekend that saw a 7-0 victory to Nevada and a 7-0 loss to Colorado. The 5-2 Ducks have been strong at home this season, posting four of their five wins at the Student Tennis Center in Eugene. The last time the Gophers faced the Ducks was on Feb 8, 2004 in Eugene. That match ended with the Ducks pulling out a 6-1 victory over Minnesota. The series is split between Minnesota and Oregon 1-1.
The Gophers coaching staff has close ties with the Ducks. Assistant Coach, Daria Panova, is the most decorated player in Oregon history with 93 singles victories over her career. She was also ranked as high as No. 7 nationally and the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2003.
Minnesota will then face off with Washington on Sunday in Seattle. Washington is 5-1 for the season with its sole loss coming at the hands of 17th ranked Arkansas. The Huskies, 21st ranked nationally, boast two of the nation's top-ranked players. Denise Dy is ranked 3rd in the country while her teammate, Venise Chan, is ranked 11th. These two will be the highest ranked singles opponents the Gophers have seen all season.
Last year the Huskies and Gophers faced each other at The Baseline Tennis Center on Feb. 15 with the Gophers falling to Washington 5-2. In that match, Ferrazzi took Dy into a deciding third set, but Dy prevailed 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Minnesota leads the all-time series 3-1.