Sept. 15, 2011
Gopher Invitational brackets
The University of Minnesota women's tennis team is hosting the Gopher Invitational this weekend at Baseline Tennis Center. The Sept 16-18 tournament features participants from Minnesota, Bradley, Gustavus, Iowa, Iowa State, LSU, Missouri, UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The tournament is free to the public.
Minnesota did not host a fall tournament last season, but coach Tyler Thomsonis glad that the Gopher Invitational is back on the schedule this year.
"It is great to host a tournament for many reasons," said Thomson. "You do not have to travel and are able to play on your own courts. We have a pretty good field coming, and I think it will be a good test for everyone regardless of what flight they are playing in. There is a nice flavor of teams from a few major conferences and a few local schools. We should have good competition and will have some opportunities to see some doubles competition and an opportunity to see the freshmen play."
The tournament is divided into four flights in singles and two in doubles. The three-day event begins at 10 a.m. on Friday with doubles competition, while singles play begins at 1:30 p.m.
Senior Magdalena Wiecha and junior Doron Muravnik are playing in the top singles flight. Freshmen Julia Courter and Aria Lambert will make their collegiate debut in the second singles flight, while sophomore Pauline Gilbertwill also make her maroon and gold debut in the third flight.
Junior Alexa Palenand Wiecha are teaming up for doubles competition in the top singles flight. They are joined by the duo of Courter and Lambert in the same flight, but the Gopher tandems will only play one another if they both advance to the championship match.
In addition to keeping an eye on his Gophers, Thomson said he would also be paying attention to a few other teams as well.
"We will certainly be taking notes on players from the teams that we will play in the spring (Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin)," said Thomson. "We will be watching a little more closely the players who will probably be in the starting lineup and do some scouting on them. It will be nice to see the freshman from the other Big Ten schools as well."
The Gopher Invitational is the first of six fall tournaments that Minnesota will compete in this year.