Top-ranked Northwestern to be a tough task for women

The Minnesota womenâÄôs tennis team faces a daunting task Saturday when No. 1 ranked Northwestern visits the Baseline Tennis Center. The Gophers (9-9, 2-5 Big Ten) have not defeated the top-ranked Wildcats (17-1, 6-0) since April 2003 and have been dominated 7-0 in four of the last five years , but Gophers coach Tyler Thomson knows what a victory over the nationâÄôs top team would mean. âÄúItâÄôd be a hallmark for the program and every single player on the team,âÄù Thomson said. âÄúWhether itâÄôs Northwestern or anybody, to beat the number-one team in the nation would be a fantastic thing.âÄù Thomson said he wanted his team to try and force Northwestern into difficult situations and not let them get comfortable. âÄúWeâÄôre going to focus on being active and trying to take our game to them and make them react to us rather than us reacting to them,âÄù he said. Senior Alex Seaton âÄì who will be playing in her final home matches this weekend âÄì said that she wanted to âÄúgo out with a bang.âÄù âÄúWe want to take it to them,âÄù Seaton said. âÄúWeâÄôre ready for the challenge.âÄù Seaton said the team was working on embracing difficult situations and figuring out ways to keep battling back. âÄúIn tennis, anyone can beat anyone any given day,âÄù she said. âÄúIt might happen one out of 50 times that we beat [Northwestern], but that one time might be this weekend.âÄù Minnesota will then host Wisconsin (5-13, 0-6) Sunday, a team the Gophers defeated 7-0 last season. âÄúWisconsin is an important one,âÄù Thomson said. âÄúA win would allow us to be well positioned in the Big Ten tournament.âÄù Minnesota is currently eighth in the conference standings , but Thomson felt victories in two of the teamâÄôs final three conference matches could jump the Gophers up to a more favorable position in the standings for the conference tournament. MenâÄôs team on the road for two weekend matches Coming off the Minnesota menâÄôs tennis teamâÄôs first home loss of the season last week, the team will now be on the road for a weekend series against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday and No. 29 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. on Sunday. Both Northwestern (15-6, 3-3 Big Ten) and Wisconsin (15-6, 3-3 Big Ten) sit tied for fourth in the Big Ten conference standings, just one game behind the third-place Gophers (15-5, 4-2). Minnesota coach Geoff Young had his team focusing on winning the doubleâÄôs points to make sure both teams stay behind Minnesota in the standings following the weekend. âÄúWeâÄôre working a lot on doubles to try and get that point,âÄù Young said. âÄúIt just seems that whenever we win the doubles point we win the match, but if we lose the doubles point we tend to lose the match.âÄù Sophomore Tobias Wernet felt the team could win that point against Wisconsin, which could help Minnesota get its first victory over the Badgers since 2006 . âÄúIâÄôm really confident that if we win the doubles point against Wisconsin then weâÄôll win the match,âÄù Wernet said.