A young team; an eager team

It can be safely said that Minnesota menâÄôs tennis is more than ready to get things started Friday night when they host the Marquette Golden Eagles at Baseline Tennis Center . For most of the team, itâÄôs been months since actual competition; the last of which came in early November when two Gophers faced off in the Big Ten singles semifinal match. The two doubles partners in the semifinal match, junior Dino Bilankov and sophomore Sebastian Gallego, had distinguished fall seasons. Bilankov finished with 6 wins, Gallego with 9. Fall is simply a memory now. The juices are flowing again and head coach Geoff Young can feel this seasonâÄôs vibes already. âÄúWeâÄôre anxious to start the season,âÄù Young said. âÄúI think we are ready. I think weâÄôre more than ready. WeâÄôve been waiting for this for a long time.âÄù Some are not feeling the same vibes, however. It is true that this is one of the youngest and perhaps most inexperienced Minnesota tennis teams in years. And itâÄôs also true that this has been the issue most pointed to by almost everybody who knows the program. What is absolutely certain is that the 2009 Gophers, who return only one senior and welcome seven freshmen , want to quiet the opposition. To do this itâÄôs important they do it on the court this weekend. Two very new faces should assist in this respect: Israeli brothers Ishay and Jonathan Hadash join the Gophers for the spring with a wealth of experience. Minnesota, who did not claim a spot on the charts of the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, will encounter some opposition from a strong Marquette team on Friday and No. 66 ranked DePau l on Saturday. With all of the built up energy and anticipation, the long drought of completion and a lot to prove, coach Young knows his team will show up and perform both days. âÄúWe believe we have the talent that will come out on top if we come out and really play hard and channel our emotions in a positive way.âÄù