Men hosting ITA Regional at Baseline this weekend

The Gophers will compete against all Big Ten teams except for Penn State.

Zach Eisendrath

Anyone looking to watch elite collegiate tennis should look no further than the Baseline Tennis Center this weekend.

The Minnesota men’s tennis team will host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Midwest Men’s Regional Championships, with play set to begin today and concluding on Monday. A 64-person singles qualifying draw begins today with eight spots up for grabs for the 64-person main draw that begins on Saturday. The 64-team doubles draw starts on Friday.

The Gophers have seven participants in the tournament, which features all Big Ten teams other than Penn State, which is considered out of the Midwest region in Happy Valley.

Senior Pierre Dumas, junior Adam Altepeter, sophomore Dino Bilankov and redshirt freshman Derek Peterson will participate in the 64-person qualifying draw. Senior Raoul Schwark and freshmen Tobias Wernet and Sebastian Gallego are already locked into the main draw.

Schwark, ranked 41st in the country in the preseason ITA rankings, is the Minnesota player coach Geoff Young said he thinks can make the longest run in the tournament.

The Dalheim, Germany native has compiled a 6-2 record during what has been a busy fall for the senior. Schwark has already won an individual tournament – the Princeton Invitational in late September – and competed against the nation’s best at the Men’s All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., earlier this month.

Young said he is also curious as to see what the two freshmen in the main draw, Wernet and Gallego, can accomplish against the most talented players in the Midwest.

Last weekend, the pair of teammates squared off in the Flight A singles final at the Northwestern Invitational in Evanston, Ill. Wernet went 4-0 on the weekend, beating Gallego in the straight-sets, 7-5, 6-4 to win the draw.

Young said he hasn’t been surprised with how well his two prized recruits have been playing this fall.

“Last weekend they did well, clearly, they made it to the finals. But I’m not surprised,” Young said. “They had some tough matches along the way but came through.”

“I’m excited to see what they can do (this weekend),” Young said. “They are still experiencing college tennis for the first time, but they are learning on their way.”

Women head to Michigan

The Minnesota women’s tennis team is bringing five players to the ITA Midwest Women’s Regional Championships which will be held at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. this weekend.

Senior Danielle Mousseau and junior Mariana Spilca will partake of the 64-person qualifying draw which begins today. The two upperclassmen need to finish within the top eight spots to advance to the tournament’s main draw.

Junior Karina Chiarelli, sophomore Tijana Koprivica and freshman Alessanda Ferrazzi, all already have spots secured in the 64-person main draw which starts on Saturday.

Coach Tyler Thomson didn’t want to put too many expectations on his players, but said his team is at least capable of sending a few players to the final 16 of the singles draw, as was the case last season.

Thomson said he also hopes the Gophers can continue the trend they started two weekends ago at the Northwestern Invitational, of pulling upsets.

“We’ll have plenty of opportunities to upset people. This is a very good tournament with very good players,” he said. “It’s an honor to be selected to this tournament.”