PurduAbout The Golden Gophers
Minnesota (11-8, 3-7) heads to the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. As the No. 8 seed, the Gophers play Thursday, April 26, against No. 9 seed Purdue.
Big Ten Championship Notes
Northwestern, with a 10-0 record, enters the tournament as the conference's No. 1 seed and is also the defending champion for the past two years. Indiana has won 13 team titles, Northwestern has won four while Michigan and Wisconsin have each won one title. Northwestern is the highest-ranked Big Ten school at No. 11. Ohio State is No. 33, Illinois No. 34, Indiana No. 35, and Iowa is No. 40.
Minnesota's Big Ten History
Last year, the fourth-seeded Gophers had a bye in the first round. In the quarterfinal round, Minnesota defeated Iowa 4-1, followed by a 4-2 win against Ohio State in the semifinals. That sent the Gophers to their first-ever tournament final. They eventually lost to Northwestern, 4-3.
Minnesota finished the Big Ten regular season with a 3-7 record after losing both matches on the road over the weekend. The Gophers lost a close match to Wisconsin on Friday, losing 4-3. Saturday, Iowa defeated the Gophers 5-2. Minnesota lost the doubles point in both matches. As for singles, No. 1 Valerie Vladea (Kitchener, Ontario/Burlington Central), No. 4 Tammy Wang (Grand Island, Neb./Grand Island), and No. 6 Brandi Watts (Monument, Colo./Lewis-Palmer) all won their matches against Wisconsin. In the Iowa match, Michaela Havelkova (Liberec, Czech Republic/Gymnazium F.X. Saldy), at No. 3, and Watts, playing at the No. 5 spot, earned victories in their matches.
Minnesota is ranked No. 71 in the latest national poll, released April 18. Minnesota's highest ranking of the season was No. 35. The next rankings will be released Wednesday.
Purdue heads into the tournament as the No. 9 seed with a record of 7- 14 overall and 3-7 in the Big Ten. Earlier in the season, the Gophers defeated the Boilermakers 4-3 by winning the doubles point and the No. 1, No. 3, and the No. 4 singles spots. Minnesota has beat Purdue the past five times they have met, but Purdue holds a commanding lead in the all-time series with a record of 20-6.