Women win consolation match at ITA Kick-Off

Jack White

The women’s team lost their first match of the International Tennis Association Kick-Off in College Station, Texas, but bounced back to win its consolation match.
 
 
No. 61 Minnesota lost to No. 37 Wichita State 4-1 on Saturday but defeated No. 73 South Alabama 4-1 on Sunday.
 
 
“You [have] to get really, really tough on the big points,” head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “I think we learned from the Wichita State match. We played our big points well.”
 
 
Minnesota (3-1) earned the doubles point to start out the match against the Shockers. Senior Paula Rincon-Otero and freshman Annemarie Emme won in the No. 1  doubles spot,  and redshirt senior Julia Courter and sophomore Caroline Ryba won in the No. 3 spot to give Minnesota the team point.
 
 
“You [have] to get that doubles point. It’s a point of pride for us,” Merzbacher said.
 
 
The Gophers struggled in singles play against the Shockers, though. Four Minnesota players were defeated in singles, and the other two matches were left unfinished. 
 
 
The Gophers earned the doubles point again in their consolation match against South Alabama, with the No. 1 and No. 3 pairs winning their matches again.
 
 
Minnesota won three of the four singles matches that were finished to defeat the Jaguars. Senior Jessika Mozia won her match 7-5, 7-5 to clinch the victory.
 
 
“Knowing that your match is the one that clinched the win for [the] team is a great feeling, but I couldn’t have done [it] without my teammates and my coaches for support,”
Mozia said.
 
Men lose one match
 
Minnesota fell to Columbia 4-0 on Sunday in its only match of the ITA Kick-Off.
 
 
The Gophers (2-1) were scheduled to play again on Monday in New York City, but their match was canceled due to flight concerns. Rain delayed the team’s first match from Saturday to Sunday.
 
 
“I thought that we competed pretty well and gave a good effort,” head coach Geoff Young said. “The second weekend of competition of this season, we were tested more than last weekend and [were] provided a lot of information for us to get better.”
 
 
Freshman Josip Krstanovic and freshman Justyn Levin were the only Gophers pair to win a doubles match, and the team lost the doubles point.
 
 
The Gophers lost the three singles matches that were finished, giving Columbia a 4-0 victory.