Coach predicts top finish

by Stephanie Strommen

After finishing last season with a decisive loss to an undefeated Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Gopher men’s tennis team is looking to bounce back this season.
Minnesota is coming off a mediocre year overall, compiling a 14-13 record. But the team rallied near the end of the season to take a first place finish in regions that paved the way for the unexpected trip to the NCAAs.
This year the team hopes to learned from its early mistakes last season. With the full starting lineup returning, this could be the year the Gophers return to their usual spot atop the Big Ten standings.
“We kept getting better and better as the year went on,” coach David Geatz said. “We played the best tennis of the year at the end of the season.”
With a national ranking of No. 84, Senior Tom Chicoine said he hopes Minnesota will be among the top 15 teams in the country.
“I think we have a great chance to have a great year with the whole team coming back,” Chicoine said. “The freshmen have gained experience in some tough on-the-line matches and know how to deal with things.”
Coach David Geatz said he feels Chicoine has been a leader at first singles as a determined competitor who fights hard.
“He could be the best player in the Big Ten and he might even win the NCAAs,” Geatz said. “He competes well because he fights hard and cares.”
Seniors Chicoine, Adam Selkirk, and Martin Kristoffersen will likely make up the top of the lineup, joined by sophomores Jorge Duenas, Tyson Parry, and Jon Svensson.
Coach David Geatz said he’s unsure of the exact lineup because of the changes players go through over the summer months. He said Parry has worked hard and may be a pleasant surprise this season.
The younger Gophers should have an edge over the other teams from the additional year of match play — and the experience that comes with it.
“The bottom of the lineup has always been a strength,” Chicoine said. “Our number four through six players are 90 percent better than the other teams.”