FORT MYERS, Fla. – Fresh off its weekend road swing, the FGCU men’s tennis team welcomes No. 51 Minnesota for Tuesday-night dual on the courts of the FGCU Tennis Complex at 5 p.m.
“Minnesota is a great Big Ten team with a lot of tradition,” head coach C.J. Weber said. “We are looking forward to welcoming them tomorrow. I’m excited that we our challenging ourselves with a match like this, and we will see what happens tomorrow evening.”
After falling to ETSU and beating USC Upstate last weekend, the Green and Blue sit at 1-2 in the Atlantic Sun Conference and are 6-7 overall. The Golden Gophers bring to Southwest Florida the same overall record of 6-7, and are 1-1 in the Big Ten Conference.
REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE MATCH IN NOVEMBER
Ending their fall seasons at the Dick Vitale Invite, three players from FGCU met a Gopher during their run through the main singles draw. In the round of 16, No. 70 Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) shocked then-No.35 Leandro Toledo as he claimed a narrow win, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. In consolation play, Gabriel Echeverry (Popayan, Colombia/Gimnasio Calibio) topped Minnesota’s Jack Hamburg in come-from-behind fashion, 6-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7). The lone Gopher to take a victory over FGCU was Matthieu Froment with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Chris Perrigan (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay HS) in the second round of consolation play.
GET TO KNOW THE GOPHERS
- Minnesota comes to town looking to claim its first road win of the season, as the Gophers have fallen in each of their four previous away matches.
- Competing against teams that join them in the national ranks, the Gophers hold a record of 4-4, with each loss the result of an opponent ranked in the top 35 and each win coming over a team ranked 45th or higher.
- After falling to Vives in November, No. 72 Toledo will look to redeem his loss as he and Vives are projected to square off in the No. 1 singles match. Toledo is 10-3 at the leading singles position this year, with losses the result of No. 44 Denis Nguyen of Harvard and unranked players from Oklahoma State and Drake.
- Ranked 16th in the ITA, doubles partners Froment and Hamburg lead the Gophers with an impressive 9-1 record. The pair’s sole loss came from Notre Dame’s Greg Andrews and Alex Lawson, who hold the No. 18 spot nationally.
ROAD TRIP RECAP
In last weekend’s road swing, the Eagles fell 5-2 at ETSU but bounced back with a 4-3 win over USC Upstate. Highlighting play in Johnson City were Vives and Tianyu Bao (Tianjin, China/Bayshore HS), claiming singles wins over nationally-ranked opponents. Vives topped No. 105 David Biosca in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5, while Bao just needed two for a win over No. 124 Diego Nunez at 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). For its win against Upstate, FGCU used a claim of the doubles point and singles victories from Vives, Dean Tsamas (Lexington, Ky./Henry Clay HS) and Echeverry to top the Spartans.
Following their match against Minnesota, the Green and Blue will continue home play as they welcome the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a dual match on Mar. 22 at Noon. For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis against the Gophers, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_MTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.