The Gophers Men’s and Women’s tennis season concluded recently. Head Coaches Geoff Young and Chuck Merzbacher reflect on the past season and talk about the state of tennis and what lies ahead for the teams in 2017-18.
Best wishes to Coach Merzbacher who announced his retirement effective the end of this season after 28 years as a D-1 head coach.
The University of Minnesota prepares you for success in the long term, and the immediate. Evidence of both is Julia Courter, a graduate of the U of M less than one year ago, who was named Hamline Pipers Head Tennis Coach for both the men’s and women’s programs just three months after receiving her degree. The opportunity at such an early stage in her professional career, and the results she has already gotten out of her young men and women, is paving the way for her to make a huge impact over her time in the coaching world. We visit with her this week to talk about her status as one of the youngest collegiate head college coaches in the country, and perhaps even more rare, her position as a woman at the head of a men’s program.
It’s a value buy on Gopher Sports Update this week, two guests for the price of one, and double the quality of a normal one guest show, so that means you get four times the show with eight times the quality in 26 minutes and 50 seconds! If those numbers don’t have your head spinning, let’s see if we can make it happen with more figures! Our first guest, Gopher Men’s Tennis Junior Matic Spec, traveled 4,736 miles to play his collegiate tennis in Dinkytown. Once here, Matic won 31 singles and 18 doubles matches his freshman year, and has been consistently excellent since. Guest two, Gopher Baseball left-handed pitcher Lucas Gilbreath, was taken in the 2014 MLB Draft with the 1,073rd pick, a selection made by his home state Colorado Rockies. Lucas passed on the chance to ‘go right out of high school straight into the pros’ (#Nelly), instead choosing Maroon and Gold pastures after getting to know our old friend Todd Oakes. Both join this week as their seasons begin to kick into full force, Matic to chat about his time as a Gopher, Lucas to regale us with tales of Todd and look ahead to the Gophers B1G title defense.
A packed show this week on GSU features previews of a packed weekend ahead in Gopher athletics! First, Gopher Football Head Coach Tracy Claeys details the team’s plans at quarterback against Maryland with Mitch Leidner in concussion protocol and Conor Rhoda poised to receive his first collegiate start under center. After that, one of Gopher Sports Update’s favorite coaches, the very youthful women’s tennis head Chuck Merzbacher, joins to chat about family, fun at the Ryder Cup, and the immediate future for the program, which comes this weekend at the Baseline Tennis Center as the Gophers host the ITA Central Regionals for the first time in 12 years.
Chuck Merzbacher has worked wonders with the Gopher Women’s Tennis team in his four years at the helm, and this year the Maroon and Gold find themselves in the thick of the Big Ten race once again. Coach Merz joins this week to talk about the development of his team throughout the season, and sophomore Caroline Ryba, who has taken the number one spot in singles for the U, checks in to talk about her success in the 2016 spring season.
With just a year and change under his belt at the University of Minnesota, Felix Corwin already has a conference title to his name and an ITA Central Region Doubles Championship as well. Felix, who won the doubles title alongside partner Matic Spec, joins to talk about their run through the central region and ensuing trip to Flushing Meadows earlier this month to compete at the ITA National Championships against the best collegiate competition in the country.
It’s been just a week, but with GSU’s unveiling of the top five moments of the Gopher sports year on the horizon, it feels like forever since we brought you a show. Thankfully, it only feels that way, because Gopher Sports Update, much like the Gophers, doesn’t take weeks off, especially with a show this big about to drop. So as we drop this week’s show, drop everything you’re doing, and buckle yourself in for the top five Gopher sports moments of the 2014-15 athletic season.
A 20-year conference championship drought at the University of Minnesota is over, as head coach Geoff Young’s University of Minnesota men’s tennis team beat No. 3 Illinois and No. 27 Northwestern this weekend to secure a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Young joins GSU this week to chat about his team’s success in the regular season, and what needs to happen in the postseason for the Gophers to continue their season-long ascension.
The Gopher men’s tennis team has already won four more matches than last season, and are tied for second in the Big Ten standings with Ohio State, who have lost just one conference match in the last ten years. Rarified air for the maroon and gold, and Minnesota has massive matches against Michigan and Michigan State this weekend, as well as clashes with No. 3 Illinois and No. 24 Northwestern next weekend. To look at how the Gophers have gotten to this point and discuss expectations for the rest of the season, senior standout Eric Frueh joins the show.
A frequent contributor to GSU, Chuck Merzbacher’s Gopher Women’s Tennis team got their season underway this past weekend, and Merz’ joins this week to chat about the prospects for his program coming off an historic season.