Men’s tennis finishes with wins

by Jim Schortemeyer

With two Big Ten wins over the weekend, the Minnesota men’s tennis team finished a season-long message to the rest of the conference: The Gophers are back in contention for a Big Ten title.
Minnesota’s wins over Purdue and Indiana this weekend gave the Gophers a 9-1 record in the Big Ten, good for second place and a No. 2 seed at next weekend’s Big Ten tournament.
The team responsible for the one blemish on Minnesota’s record is top-seeded Illinois.
“Our match against Illinois was tough because we were two points from winning the Big Ten,”senior captain Martin Michalowski said.
With the top seeds in the Big Ten tournament, Illinois and Minnesota figure to make runs to the championship match. If that happens, Michalowski expects the final to be a hard-fought, maybe even emotional battle.
“There’s kind of a little revenge factor there,”he said. “We felt the regular season was ours to take.”
The Gophers will have their work cut out for them though. The Illini have history on their side — they’ve won the last three Big Ten tournaments and figure to be a favorite headed into next weekend’s championship.
“Illinois is going for their fourth-straight title and we’re going to go balls-out to stop them,”Michalowski said.
The first round of the tournament starts Wednesday, while Minnesota’s action starts on Thursday.

Jim Schortemeyer is the sports editor and welcomes comments at [email protected]