April 23, 2014
Tournament Central | Tournament Bracket | Gophers' Spring Statistics
The No. 65 Minnesota women's tennis team, coming off a 16-8 regular season with a 6-5 mark in Big Ten play, will play Wisconsin at 2 p.m. Thursday in Evanston, Ill. in the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers come in as the No. 5 seed after posting their highest conference win total in over a decade and will take on the No. 11 seeded Badgers. The winner will face No. 3 Ohio State in the tournament quartfinals Friday at 2 p.m. CT.
Big Ten Tournament
All 12 conference teams travel to Evanston, Ill., for the 2014 Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament. The tournament, hosted by Northwestern University, will begin on Thursday and conclude with the championship match on Sunday.
Friday's quarterfinals will begin at 10 a.m., with top-seeded Michigan facing the winner of Michigan State-Iowa and fourth-seeded Purdue taking on the winner of Illinois-Nebraska. Second-seeded Northwestern will take on Indiana or Penn State, while third-seeded Ohio State will face the winner of Minnesota-Wisconsin at 2 p.m.
The Gophers, who went 10-16 in Chuck Merzbacher's first season as the Gophers' head coach in 2013, improved to 16-8 in 2013, upped their regular-season win total to 16 in 2014. The 16-win total is the team's highest in a regular season since 2003--the last time the Gopher won more than 16 matches before conference tournament play was in 1988 when it had 18.
Minnesota has been led by Tereza Brichacova and Natallia Pintusava, who have each posted 11 wins at the top two positions. Julia Courter, Aria Lambert, Jessika Mozia, and Paul Rincon Otero have also reached double digit wins--Courter and Lambert have 16 apiece. In double, the Gophers have had 40 wins after going 32-32 in doubles last year. Courter and Pintusava have combined to go 17-4, primarily at the No. 2 position.
Gophers in the Big Ten
The Gophers went 6-5 in the Big Ten, posting their best conference record since they went 9-1 in 2003.
-March 2 at Wisconsin (W 4-3)
-March 21 vs. No. 65 Iowa (W 6-1)
-March 23 at Nebraska (W 4-2)
-March 28 vs. No. 46 Purdue (L 3-4)
-March 30 vs. No. 35 Indiana (W 5-2)
-April 4 at No. 53 Ohio State (L 0-7)
-April 6 at Penn State (W 4-3)
-April 2 at No. 14 Michigan (L 0-7)
-April 13 at No. 60 Michigan State (W 4-3)
-April 19 vs. No. 43 Illinois (L 3-4)
-April 20 vs. No. 13 Northwestern (L 0-7)
Wisconsin, which played Minnesota closely despite only having five available players in the teams' first meeting, enters the Big Ten tournament with a 7-12 record that includes a 2-9 conference ledger. UW's two Big Ten wins came against then-No. 65 Iowa and Nebraska.
Lauren Chypyha has been the team's go-to player at No. 1 singles, posting a 14-5 record at the position. She is 2-7 at the top doubles spot with partner Lauren Burich.
Against the Badgers
The Gophers trail the all-time series against Wisconsin 38-17, but defeated an undermanned Badgers squad March 2 in Madison, Wis. back on March 2 in the teams' first Big Ten match. The Gophers also topped UW in 2012 in Minneapolis.
Match Format Experiment Over
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. Going 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.
Gophers Wrap Up Fall Season
Ryba, Safdar and Vujic wrapped up the Gophers fall season this weekend at the Thunderbird Invitational with Vujic picking up two singles wins.
Gophers Add Bihel, Kreinis
Minnesota has signed two student-athletes to National Letter of Intents for the 2016-17 season.
Minne-Tennis Tips: Finishing Your Shot
Check out the latest Minne-Tennis Tip With Chuck Merzbacher as he teaches you how to finish your shot.