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Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Editorial Cartoon: Alabama and IVF
Published March 1, 2024

Gophers tennis coach to face familiar foe

The team is preparing to go the extra mile by holding themselves accountable throughout the spring season.
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Image by Ava Weinreis
The Gophers women’s tennis is exceeding expectations.

Since taking over as head coach for the Gophers women’s tennis team, Lois Arterberry has led the squad to a 4-0 start in their spring season and will go head-to-head against her former team, St. Thomas, on Saturday.

It won’t be the first time the Gophers have played against the Tommies since Arterberry took over. The two teams met twice in the fall, first at the Gopher Invitational and most recently at the Drake Bulldog Classic.

Sophomore Anali Kocevar said the team now has a sense of their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.

 “It’s just a good opportunity to show what we have been working on,” Kocevar said.

Saturday will be the first time the two teams compete against each other in a dual matchup. Arterberry said what makes this match different from the last is the Tommies did not have all of their players. Arterberry expects a more complete roster from them on Saturday.

The Gophers ended practice Wednesday with a healthy roster and are expected to field everyone on Saturday. It is an accomplishment both the athletes and Arterberrry take pride in, especially after last season’s setback.

“It’s really important we don’t go through that again,” Arterberry said.

The team knew they were capable of improvement, so they collectively decided to show up to practice 30 minutes early to warm up and take time afterward to stretch, an improvement senior Zeyneb Sarioglan said was much needed.

“You cannot ignore the past,” Sarioglan said. “You have to take [it’s] lessons and we saw that opportunity.”

The progressively difficult schedule works in favor of a team with minimal collegiate playing experience in helping to build confidence while on the court, according to Arterberry.

Arterberry emphasized the importance of keeping athletes healthy and said the pre-practice warmups have become an injury prevention measure to keep athletes healthy for the entire season.

So far this spring, the team played Marquette, Lindenwood, North Dakota and Creighton. After playing both South Dakota and St. Thomas on Saturday, the team will travel to Boise, Idaho, to play Oregon and Boise State.

The coaching staff pushed several new developments for the Gophers team to try in their first few matches, including technical, tactical and strategic skills.

“It’s not perfect by any means and we’re still getting better,” Arterberry said about the change. “We’re still working on things, but they are doing a really good job.”

Members of the team said they felt progress was made and recognized they have come a long way since last season. According to Sarioglan, the quality of practices improved but the team “cannot control what people say” about their health or results on the court.

Kocevar and Sarioglan were the last two to leave Wednesday’s practice but, just before they did, Arterberry had one thing to say to them: “stay healthy.”

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