Future looks bright for women’s tennis with return of Anderson

David McCoy

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team has had a tough go of things all season.

The Gophers (3-10, 0-1 Big Ten) have suffered through a difficult season with three of their top eight players injured, including two of last year’s starters.

But that might start to change this weekend when Minnesota faces Ohio State at 11 a.m. Saturday.

That’s because coach Tyler Thomson said there’s a good chance one of those two starters, sophomore Jane Anderson, could return to the lineup.

“I’d say right now there’s a better than 50 percent chance she’ll play this weekend,” Thomson said.

Thomson said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of Anderson’s injury because of federal privacy laws. But Thomson did say doctors had cleared Anderson to play and that she has been practicing the past couple of weeks after not practicing all season beforehand.

Anderson played as high as No. 2 singles last season for the Gophers.

While Anderson’s return would bolster Minnesota’s singles lineup, senior Nischella Reddy said it will be its doubles pairs that will need to carry the team this weekend.

“It’s just nice going into the match with the doubles point because you know you just have to split the other six singles to win the match,” Reddy said. “It’s just comforting. It’s good momentum.”

Reddy and junior Ida Malmberg have experienced a great deal of success this season as a doubles pair. Despite the team’s struggles overall, Reddy and Malmberg are 10-3.

“I think our combinations are looking pretty good,” Reddy said. “We’ve got a lot of confidence, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t beat them or at least have a shot at beating them.”

Men face big test

Minnesota’s men’s tennis team will face one of the best teams in the nation this weekend when No. 7 Ohio State comes to the Baseline Tennis Center at noon Sunday.

It is Minnesota’s first home dual meet since losing to Texas 5-2 Jan. 28.

The day before, then-54th-ranked Minnesota knocked off then-No. 13 Texas A&M 4-3, and coach David Geatz said there’s no reason his 46th-ranked Gophers shouldn’t feel like another big home upset can happen.

“I think our guys always think we can win,” Geatz said. “If we can get a good effort out of six guys, who knows? Our guys all think they can win, I think we win too.”