Dual Season Opens Saturday At No. 49 Minnesota
Jan. 14, 2015
The Marquette University men’s tennis team opens the dual match portion of its 2014-15 campaign on Saturday, Jan. 17 when the squad travels to No. 49 Minnesota.
Opening serve for the campaign lidlifter is set for 12 p.m. CT at the Baseline Tennis Center.
“The Gophers have their strongest team in several years and should be very good in the Big Ten this year,” head coach Steve Rodecap said. “They are led by one of the elite players (Leandro Toledo) in the country and the highest ranked player in the Big Ten. It’s a tough opener for us on the road, but it will be both a great opportunity and a great test for this group.”
Along with a team national ranking, Minnesota’s roster also features three nationally ranked singles players and one top-ranked doubles tandem.
The Golden Eagles return six letterwinners from last season’s squad and feature their deepest team in recent years. The group posted a 41-34 overall record during the fall tourney slate and collected a 20-14 mark in doubles action. Sophomore Kristiyan Trukov led the way with eight singles wins and freshman Andre Romanello chipped in a 7-3 mark for a solid start to his career.
“I feel this team has the capability of being really good and it will depend heavily on how consistent we can perform,” Rodecap said. “It will be key for us to establish a standard early in the season that we never stray from, regardless of how well we are playing.
“Our depth this year is good, and it will be important for our staff to determine which six guys have that edge to them because we need every position in our lineup to be strong,” Rodecap added. “Although individual performances are important in our sport, it’s crucial that we have excellent team performances every day.“
The 2015 dual match season will mark several changes to the format, which has been experimented with in recent months. Highlights of the changes include: no-ad scoring in singles and doubles, three doubles matches of one set played to six (tiebreak at 6-all), six singles matches (2-of-3 sets) with tiebreak at 6-all and no warm-up with opponents in singles or doubles. Once the doubles point is clinched the remaining match will be suspended, but all singles matches will be played to their conclusion.
“I believe we are at a time where a shortened format is needed for the success of our sport in college athletics, and I am very happy that we took these initial steps in doing it,” Rodecap said. “We have some experience with the no-ad scoring as we have been experimenting with it recently. It certainly adds an exciting component for fans as the deciding 3-3 all points are pressure packed.”
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