The only home fall invitational opens the University of Minnesota’s women’s tennis season this weekend as the Gophers host the Gopher Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center.
Action begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the first round in three brackets of doubles competition. Five brackets of singles competition will commence on Friday at 10:15 a.m. and continue through the rest of the day. Two rounds of doubles play will continue on Saturday at 8 a.m. with singles semifinals to follow. Finals in doubles will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday and singles finals will follow. The entire schedule is subject to change in case of rain. The event will take place on the Baseline Tennis Center’s 10 indoor courts and 12 outdoor courts.
Results will be available at the conclusion of each day at www.gophersports.com.
Along with the Gophers, other teams competing are Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Gustavus Adolphus, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisiana State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State. The top ranked player in the event is LSU senior Megan Falcon, who is ranked 15th individually in singles. Falcon and Megan Hedberg also combine as the nation’s 11th-ranked doubles team.
Minnesota is coming off a 15-11 season and returns all but three players from last season’s team. Back is sophomore Alessandra Ferrazzi, who played the No. 1 singles position her entire freshman year and posted a 23-15 record, including an individual title in her flight at the Gopher Invitational. The Gophers’ other top returnee is junior Tijana Koprivica, who led the team in wins for the second straight year with a 24-11 record last season primarily at No. 4 singles. Ferrazzi and Koprivica will team for doubles this weekend after combining for a 9-7 record in 2007-08.
Other Minnesota players in this weekend’s draw include juniors Jackie Sperling and Liz Tusler, sophomore Peta Forsyth and freshman Magdalena Wiecha.