Both men and women take to the road

Gophers menâÄôs tennis is getting first-time tournament action this weekend in Evanston, Ill. at the Northwestern Invitational, and the action is all for the freshmen. Minnesota will send four freshmen to Northwestern this weekend to play against Big Ten rivals such as the Wildcats, Iowa and Michigan State. Senior Adam Altepeter will join his freshman teammates in traveling to Evanston. Other teams include Midwest teams such as Bradley, Illinois State, Toledo and Western Michigan. It appears to be a long and tiring weekend ahead, with the team playing Friday through Sunday in two flights for singles and doubles. No. 14 seeded and two-time Minnesota state champion freshman Michael Sicora will lead the singles flights today by facing off against Kevin Hayward of Western Michigan. Freshmen Phil Arndt and Jake Annear will also be competing against rivals and tournament hosts Northwestern later today. The doubles team of Annear and Svenda lead the doubles flight for the Gophers, starting this afternoon. After their singles matches, Sicora and Arndt will also pair up to play Michigan State. The Gophers, a team characterized by injury and dismay last season will attempt to redeem themselves against some tough Big Ten and nonconference teams this weekend. All appears in MinnesotaâÄôs favor with a healthy, fresh and more optimistic team this season. Women to Drake While Gophers menâÄôs tennis is just beginning, the Minnesota womenâÄôs tennis team is just coming off a decent showing in an incredibly competitive Gopher Invitational almost two weeks ago. Since then, the team has been rigorously training and preparing for this weekendâÄôs Drake Invitational. Top-ranked Gophers singles player Alessandra Ferrazzi and doubles partner Tijana Koprivica, along with the rest of the team, will push to surpass just a mediocre finish at their last home invitational. This seems likely considering the absence of the forceful LSU team which without a doubt had the most distinguished showing of the weekend. Also, only two teams who competed at the Gopher Invitational will attend the Drake Invitational: Northern Iowa and Iowa State. Both teams posted impressive yet comparable results to the Gophers when tournament play finished at Baseline.