The Big Ten season opens this weekend for the Minnesota women’s tennis team as the Gophers travel to Iowa for a dual against the Hawkeyes on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Minnesota enjoyed a solid start to the season in non-conference play with a 5-3 record and two wins over ranked opponents. All three of the Gophers’ losses came to ranked teams as they enter this weekend’s match ranked 52nd in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Minnesota is coming off a 5-2 road win over Missouri last weekend.
The Gophers were 3-7 in Big Ten play last season and opened the season with a 6-1 loss to Iowa as the Hawkeyes have beaten Minnesota five straight years.
The Hawkeyes are currently 5-5 overall and coming off a weekend split with a 5-2 win over Kansas and a 5-2 loss to DePaul. The Gophers also faced DePaul and dropped a 4-0 decision, though they led the other three matches when the Blue Demons had clinched the victory.
Tijana Koprivica has had a perfect dual meet season for the Gophers with a 7-0 singles record to push her overall mark to 14-8 for the year.
Alessandra Ferrazzi took over at the No. 1 singles position last weekend against Missouri and posted a victory to raise her season record to 12-7. Ferrazzi was the Gophers’ No. 1 singles player during all of her freshman year in 2007-08.
Karina Chiarelli has won both of her matches at the No. 2 position and is 9-9 overall, including the Gophers’ only head-to-head singles meeting with Iowa. Chiarelli beat the Hawkeyes’ Jessica Young in straight-sets in the opening round of the ITA Midwest regional tournament in October.
Minnesota has over two weeks off following Sunday’s match before its spring break trip to South Carolina, beginning March 16.