Gophers women’s tennis finish off the regular season with three straight victories at home over the weekend

It was a successful senior weekend for the Gophers as they hosted their final three regular season duals of the year, and won all three

by David Mullen

It was senior weekend at the Baseline Tennis Center for Minnesota’s women’s tennis team.

And it was a successful won as the Gophers concluded the regular season by winning not two, but three straight matches to finish the season over .500: 12-10, 5-5 Big Ten. 

“This weekend was an emotional one for our team and we celebrated the the careers of our four seniors,” head coach Catrina Thompson said.

The Gophers began their hot start Saturday as they hosted Nebraska and got the opportunity to play outside for the first time all-season.

For the first time in over a month the Gophers began the match ahead 1-0, getting a much needed doubles point, which is something Thompson has preached all season long. 

“Huge relief to get the doubles point, and it’s just a huge momentum swing,” Thompson said.

From there the pieces of the puzzle began to fall as the Gophers took a quick 2-0 lead after No. 3 single’s senior Bita Mancera returned to the Minnesota lineup in similar fashion, winning in two quick sets: 6-2 and 6-2. 

Senior Camilla Vargas followed in Mancera’s footsteps by winning her battle at the No. 6 spot 6-2 and 6-2. From there however, momentum swung in favor of the Cornhuskers as they fought back. 

Nebraska took the No. 5 singles spot and inched their way within two with three matches still in-play, but No. 4 junior Tiffany Huber would not let that happen.

Huber fell behind in her first set 3-6, but from there it was all her. After some initial changes in her play, and adjusting to the outside conditions she dominated her match, winning the final two sets and clinching the match for the Gophers: 6-3 and 6-4. 

“Going into this weekend we wanted to win for the seniors… so that was on [the teams] mind and motivated us,” Huber said.

Minnesota topped Nebraska 4-3. 

On Sunday the Gophers hosted both the University of Iowa and Green Bay. Even though Minnesota’s senior day included two matches they came away victorious. 

In the first match against the Hawkeyes, Minnesota soared past them coming up on top after falling behind early. 

The Hawkeyes took an early lead after taking the doubles point, but that wouldn’t last long as Huber tied the match up at one after taking her match in the No. 2 singles spot: 6-2 and 6-0.

Mancera, again like she has all season has been a nearly automatic point and she proved it again at No. 3 winning 6-4 and 6-1. Junior Cammy Frei at the No. 4 spot followed suit with a victory of her own 6-1, 2-6 and 6-0.

The Gophers went onto win the match 5-2 after Vargas and senior Caitlyn Merzbacher won their matches. 

In the second match on Easter Sunday, the Gophers hosted Green Bay.

Minnesota had no problems with the Phoenix as they swept them 7-0. 

None of the Gophers matches went into a third set and the Phoenix only managed to take nine games in the 72 sets played in singles.

Although the Gophers finished the weekend on fire they now turn their focus to the Big Ten Tournament next weekend.

“We now turn our attention to the Big Ten tournament where we will face the #3 seed Illinois,” Thompson said.