March 7, 2014
After downing Border Battle rival Wisconsin in its first Big Ten match of the season, the Minnesota will head back to the Badger State to take on Marquette Saturday at 10 a.m. in a non-conference affair. It will be the Gophers’ only match of the weekend.
After jumping out to its 4-0 start since 1997, the Gophers have dropped matches to Washington State and nationally-ranked foes Oklahoma State and Marshall, but have also added wins against Montana, Oregon, Iowa State, Carleton, and Wisconsin. Tereza Brichacova has led the team at No. 1 singles, going 5-5 at the position and 6-5 overall. Julia Courter is 9-2 on the season in singles and doubles and is 9-1 in doubles with Natallia Pintusava.
Marquette is off to a 6-3 start to the season and enters this weekend’s match hot—the Golden Eagles have won their last four matches. Last time out, MU defeated IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. Vanessa Foltinger bounced back against Miloslava Shustova at the No. 4 singles slot, taking the match 1-6, 6-2, 6-0. Sophomore Erin Gebes made quick work of her opponent, defeating Sofia Sorokina 6-2, 6-0 in the first match to finish.
Against the Golden Eagles
Minnesota leads the all-time series against Marquette 7-1 and has won five consecutive matches against the Golden Eagles, including last year’s season-opener, a 5-2 decision.
Looking for More Road Wins
Seven of Minnesota's nine 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 15-5 at its own facility. After going winless on the road in 2013, the Gophers have won their only two road matches of this season with a 7-0 triumph against Montana and a 4-3 win against Wisconsin.
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 played before it dropped a pair of matches against Oklahoma State Feb. 21. After going 32-32 in dual-match doubles play in 2013, the Maroon and Gold is 26-5 to start this season. Julia Courter
and Natallia Pintusava
are 9-1 after an 8-0 start.
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.