Feb. 20, 2014
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Following a weekend split that included a 7-0 loss to 29th-ranked Oklahoma State and a 6-1 bounce-back win over Oregon, the Minnesota women's tennis team will host three matches at the Baseline Tennis Center this weekend. Iowa State comes to town for a Friday match at 6 p.m. and the Gophers get back to action Sunday at 11 a.m. against No. 70 Marshall and at 6 p.m. against Carleton.
Through Eight Matches
Eight matches into the season, Minnesota has a 6-2 record after recording its first 4-0 start since 1997. The Gophers have collected 43 of 56 (76.8 percent) possible team points thus far, combining to go 36-12 in singles and 18-3 in doubles. Six of their eight matches have been played at home.
About Iowa State
The Cyclones, like Minnesota, enters the weekend with a 6-2 record. Iowa State is riding a three-match win streak after rebounding from a loss to Marquette with wins over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Florida Atlantic, and Bethune-Cookman. The Gophers last played ISU Jan. 27, 2012 in Minneapolis and came away with a 7-0 win to improve to 29-1 all-time against the Cyclones.
Marshall enters the weekend with a 5-2 mark after racking up a pair of 4-3 wins against Penn State and Penn last weekend in the Quaker State. The successful weekend moved the Thundering Herd to No. 70 in the latest ITA Rankings. Minnesota has split four meetings with Marshall, all-time. MU defeated the Gophers in the teams' last meeting, a 4-3 decision that came on Jan. 21, 2011 in Huntington, W. Va.
Ranked 29th in the ITA's Division III national preseason rankings, Carleton has started 4-0 on the 2014 season. All-time, Minnesota is 12-0 against the Knights after last played them Feb. 6, 2012, winning 7-0.
Hard to Beat at Home
Five of Minnesota's six victories this season have come at home. The Gophers have been tough to beat at the Baseline Tennis Center under Minnesota alum Chuck Merzbacher--in one-plus season with Merzbacher at the helm, the team is 13-4 at its own facility.
The Gophers look improved thus far in doubles competition. Through the first six matches, the team had swept all six doubles competitions in which it has played before it dropped a pair of matches against Oklahoma State and one more against Oregon. After going 32-32 in dual-match doubles play in 2013, the Maroon and Gold is 18-3 to start this season. Julia Courter and Natallia Pintusava are 7-0.
Match Format Changes
The experimental scoring format using to begin the college tennis season has reverted back to the old system as of Feb. 10 for the women. From this point forward, there will be three doubles matches are played to eight-game pro-sets and the team winning at least two of the matches gets one team point. If the pro-set is tied 7-7, a seven-point tiebreaker is played.
Six singles matches are then played and each are worth one team point. The matches are best-of-three sets with tiebreakers played to seven points if the set is tied 6-6. Once a team has reached four team points, it has clinched the team victory. The remaining matches are completed with a 10-point match tiebreaker played in place of a third set.