Gophers upbeat after near-miss versus Buckeyes

Bob Wothe

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team did everything but take home a victory Sunday.

The Gophers led Ohio State 3-1 after sophomore Lindsay Risebrough put the finishing touches on an inspired comeback victory.

But it only went downhill from there for the 60th-ranked Gophers (5-7, 0-2 Big Ten), who lost their last three matches to the 75th-ranked Buckeyes (6-11, 1-1) and left the Baseline Tennis Center with a narrow 4-3 loss.

Even so, coach Tyler Thomson said he was content with his team.

“It was a great match,” Thomson said. “We did as well as we could, and I was pleased with the way we competed.”

Things looked up for the Gophers after Risebrough came back from a first-set loss and a 5-4 third-set deficit to win her match at No. 4 singles.

But then, Marina Bugaenco lost her match at No. 6 singles in a straight-set match that assistant coach Luciano Battaglini said could only be called slow.

“It was a very slow match, and both players lost their concentration a bit,” Battaglini said. “There were scoring discrepancies, and they had to play a game over to see who would be ahead in the second set.”

Then, in a contentious match that involved lots of yelling

– not only at themselves but also at each other and even fans – Jane Anderson finally relented to Ohio State’s Emily DeCamilla.

Suddenly, the pressure shifted to Gophers freshman Danielle Mousseau, who had fought back from a first-set loss to take the second and a 4-1 lead in the third.

But with both teams lining her court, Mousseau was outdueled in the end, dropping the set’s last five games as Minnesota saw victory slip out of its grasp.

The loss was the Gophers’ third-straight and the team’s fourth in its last five games.

But junior Nischela Reddy, who easily disposed of Ohio State’s Lindsey Adams at No. 1 singles, said it was a positive match for the team.

“A lot of people lost the first set and came back to force a third,” Reddy said. “It’s hard to do that, and I think that shows the mental toughness of our team.”

Thomson, who had said Minnesota would win this match on paper, was anything but disappointed.

“We didn’t give them anything,” Thomson said. “We competed hard, and the attitudes were good. We’ll be better because of this match.”

Men lose in Columbus

Minnesota’s men’s tennis team also fell 4-3 to the Buckeyes on Sunday, with their match being held in Columbus, Ohio.

The Gophers (3-8, 1-1) won the doubles point with an upset at No. 1 doubles but lost four of six singles matches.