It’s all about practice for the women

The talk of Gophers womenâÄôs tennis this week has been about practice, but, contrary to NBA superstar Allen Iverson , they take the idea a little more seriously. This week in practice, Minnesota has been unexpectedly fresh after being swept in Los Angeles at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships. UCLA and DePaul destroyed the Gophers in 0-4 losses, but no one got down. The reason? The women simply knew there was work to be done, as the season is only beginning. âÄúEverybody returned immediately ready to roll and ready to work hard with a forward-looking attitude,âÄù coach Tyler Thomson said. The Gophers seem to be aware that they are hosting a trio of teams this weekend in Iowa State (a team theyâÄôve beat every year since 1977); Miami, Ohio; and Carleton. But the competition isnâÄôt the focus right now âÄî practicing to improve as a team is. âÄúWeâÄôre trying to focus on ourselves and understand that if we take care of ourselves and the things that we want to accomplish that the results will take care of themselves,âÄù Thomson said. For example, Thursday the women took an in-practice quiz entitled, âÄúThe Ten Golden Rules of Gopher Doubles,âÄù in which Coach Thomson made the players memorize each and every rule. Thomson realizes that better things will come with constant reinforcement in practice. âÄúWe need to remain dedicated to the things weâÄôve been doing in practice, and they will come to fruition in matches,âÄù he said. Minnesota has brought back two highly regarded players who look to help the Gophers make it happen on the court. First-year Niltooli Wilkins is already alternating with junior Karina Chiarelli for the No. 1 singles spot. Alex Seaton, a fifth-year senior , is the teamâÄôs ultimate doubles partner. Both Seaton and Wilkins rolled to victories in the season opener over Drake . Minnesota menâÄôs tennis wonâÄôt be playing on any bluegrass in freshman Phillip ArndtâÄôs home state of Kentucky this weekend. However, they will find some adversity against the Big EastâÄôs Louisville. The Cardinals are ranked 43rd in the country and are 5-1 on the season . But Arndt and the rest of the Gophers are prepared to show Kentucky and the rest of the nation what theyâÄôre all about. âÄúWeâÄôve known that we have a very deep team, we have a very good team,âÄù head coach Geoff Young said . âÄúThe only thing left to do is go do it.âÄù