Gophers’ sweep two opponents on East Coast trip, extending their winning streak

Minnesota extended its winning streak to four matches as they traveled out east and won two conference matches over the weekend.

Sophomore Camila Vargas Gomez cheers at Baseline Tennis Center on Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017. The Gophers played against the University of Wisconsin.

Chris Dang

Sophomore Camila Vargas Gomez cheers at Baseline Tennis Center on Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017. The Gophers played against the University of Wisconsin.

David Mullen

The Gophers continued their success from last weekend with two victories against conference opponents this weekend.

The Gophers (9-6, 2-1 Big Ten) took an east coast trip to start the year, as they opened up Big Ten play against Rutgers and Maryland.

“To get back, especially on the road and get two big conference wins that we really needed confidence wise, … was huge for the girls,” said head coach Catrina Thompson.

On Sunday, it looked as if the Gophers’ momentum from the previous three matches was not carrying over after the Terrapins took the doubles point.

The Gophers’ No. 1 doubles duo, anchored by Bita Mancera and Camila Vargas, got the job done. However, at No. 2, that duo was dropped, forcing it to the third team.

After tying the match up at 4-4, the No. 3 doubles eventually dropped the match 6-4, giving Maryland a 1-0 lead. The next six points went in favor of Minnesota, as all six singles matches swept the Terrapins. 

“To turn around and win six single matches, all six matches, especially on the road against a tough conference opponent, that was big for us,” Thompson said. 

No. 1 singles Tina Kreinis quickly tied up the match for the Gophers winning 6-2, 6-2. 

From there, the dominos fell into place and the Gophers won 6-1.

Friday at Rutgers

Unlike the match against Maryland, the Gophers’ doubles came out firing against the Scarlet Knights as the No. 1 and No. 2 teams quickly won. This added one point for Minnesota’s effort in the match.

No. 1 was the Kreinis and Tiffany Huber duo, who won 6-1. No. 2 was made up of Cammy Frei and Caitlyn Merzbacher, who took the match 6-2. 

In singles for the Gophers, Mancera started things off fast. Before most had even reached the second set, she won 6-0 and 6-1. She is 11-2 on the season.

Now in the No. 5 spot was Juliet Zhang, who followed Mancera and extended the Gophers’ lead to 3-0. 

Frei took care of her match at the No. 4 singles winning in a tight match 7-5 and 7-6. 

River Hart, new at the No. 6 singles, rounded things out for the Gophers with a 7-6 (7-5), 4-6 and 10-8 match.

Thompson said she was happy with the overall performances from the weekend and discipline will be the main factor in carrying over the momentum.

“Each moment that we have to step out on the practice court is an opportunity to get better, so we have to make sure we have solid practices all week,” Thompson said.

Minnesota returns home Friday to host Indiana.