Gophers Face Drake At Rochester Athletic Club
The No. 48 Minnesota men’s tennis team faces another ranked opponent this week when they entertain No. 39 Drake at 5 p.m. on March 9, at the Rochester Athletic Club in Rochester, Minn.
Both teams bring impressive win streaks into the dual match. Minnesota has won four straight matches, while Drake has won 12 straight. The Bulldogs are 13-1 this year with their only loss coming to No. 73 Harvard early in the season.
The Gophers are 0-2 in neutral-site matches this year, while Drake is 3-0. Minnesota lost to No. 27 San Diego and No. 32 LSU in the ITA Kick-Off event in Berkeley, Calif., earlier this season. After starting the year 1-4, Minnesota has appeared to turn the corner with four straight wins with its last triumph being a 4-3 upset at No. 40 Virginia Tech last weekend.
Minnesota, which is 5-3 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten, has been dominant in doubles recently. The Gophers have not dropped a doubles match in their last four contests, going a combined 12-0. Leading the charge has been Rok Bonin and Julian Dehn who are ranked No. 50.
Bonin and Dehn are 7-0 in the spring season (5-0 at No. 1 and 2-0 at No. 2), but will surely be tested this week against the Bulldogs. Drake’s top duo of Cesar Bracho and Alen Salibasic is 9-2 in the spring and ranked 31st.
Drake has two wins against Big Ten opponents this season as it won 4-3 at No. 38 Nebraska and also posted a 7-0 home win against Iowa. Minnesota handed Drake one of its three losses last year as the Gophers beat the Bulldogs 5-2 last year at Baseline Tennis Center.
The teams’ only common opponents this year are DePaul and Marquette. Minnesota beat DePaul 5-2 at home, while Drake topped DePaul 4-2 to begin the year at the Harvard Kick-Off Invitational. Minnesota also beat Marquette 7-0 to begin its season at home on Jan. 21, while Drake squeaked out a 4-3 road win against Marquette on March 4.
After Friday’s match the Gophers head back to California for spring break where they will face No. 8 California (March 15) and No. 56 Cal Poly (March 17).