The women's tennis team opens the fall season this weekend at the Drake Fall Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa. Coach Tyler Thomson is taking four of his players to compete in the Sept. 10-12 event which features seven teams.
The meet consists of three singles flights and two doubles flights. Doubles action begins at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, while singles play gets underway at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11. Competition on Sunday, Sept. 12 will begin at 9 a.m. Matches are scheduled to be played both indoors and outdoors.
Seniors Mariana Spilca and Peta Forsyth will be joined by freshmen Elianna Kantar and Emilie Renault to represent the Gophers against players from host Drake, Creighton, Iowa State, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota and Northern Iowa.
Both Spilca and Forsyth will compete in the 'A' singles flight, while Kantar and Renault will play in the 'B' singles flight. Spilca was one of four players to receive a first-round bye and will play the winner of Drake's Manca Krizman and Northern Iowa's Laia Gonzalez in the second round. Forsyth will play Phoebe Walker of Northern Iowa in the first round. Kantar begins her collegiate career against freshman Jessica Hottman of Nebraska-Omaha, while Renault makes her college debut against Drake senior Jessica Labarte.
Spilca and Renault will team up for the doubles completion, as will Forsyth and Kantar. Both duos are in the 'A' doubles flight, which consists of eight pairings. The only way the Gopher teammates could play one another is if they met in the final after both winning their first two matches. Spilca and Renault play Krizman and Gabby Demos in the first round, while Forsyth and Kantar meet Drake's Labarte and Amanda Aragon.
Minnesota was 10-14 in 2009-10. Spilca was 3-6, while Forsyth posted a 6-13 record.