Women’s team wins last home dual

The men’s team lost its last two duals of the regular season over the weekend.

Gophers Senior Paula Rincon-Otero plays against Rutgers University in the Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

Joe Sulik

Gophers Senior Paula Rincon-Otero plays against Rutgers University in the Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

Jack White

The Minnesota women’s tennis team rebounded from a loss on Friday against Maryland to earn a senior-day victory on Sunday against Rutgers at the Baseline Tennis Center. 
 
 
“I’m just proud of the team,” head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “You look at the Big Ten, and everybody can beat everyone. Everyone is a good win. We played pretty well against Maryland. We pull out [redshirt senior Julia Courter], and everyone steps up. We were one tiebreaker away from winning that match. These kids are just leaving it out there.”
 
 
The Gophers (13-11, 5-6 Big Ten) won the doubles point against the Terrapins on Friday with victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles spots. Senior Paula Rincon-Otero earned her first doubles victory since Feb. 26 in the dual.
 
 
Minnesota then lost four of six singles matches for a narrow 4-3 loss. Rincon-Otero earned one of the Gophers’ singles victories, as did sophomore Mehvish Safdar, who competed in the singles lineup for the first time since March 20.
 
 
The Gophers then hosted the Scarlet Knights on Sunday in their last home dual and lost the doubles point.
 
 
Minnesota came back and won four out of six matches to take the dual by a score of 4-3. Rincon-Otero earned a two-set victory in her singles match on senior day. 
 
 
“It’s amazing,” Rincon-Otero said. “There’s no better way to finish my career here at Minnesota than getting a point for my team, so it was awesome.”
 
 
The Gophers earned the No. 8 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will play Wisconsin on Thursday.
 
 
Men lose two
 
 
The Gophers lost their last two regular season duals of the season over the weekend to finish 3-8 in the Big Ten.
 
 
Purdue defeated Minnesota 4-2 on Friday, and Indiana won 4-0 on Sunday.
 
 
Friday night’s match, it was a close match, and it went down to the very end, and I think it’s good for us to be in that situation. It was a very close battle,” head coach Geoff Young said. “[Sunday], we did not play our best [in] doubles.”
 
 
Minnesota won the doubles point on Friday with victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. Sophomores Matic Spec and Felix Corwin won their third consecutive match at the dual.
 
 
The Gophers then dropped four out of five singles matches with the final one going undecided. Senior Ruben Weber was the lone victor for Minnesota in singles play.
 
 
“He played very well,” Young said. “He played his game very aggressive. He had lots of winners, [and] it was fun to watch.”
 
 
The Gophers struggled in their last regular season dual against Indiana, losing the doubles point to go down 1-0. The Hoosiers then won three consecutive singles matches to clinch the dual.
 
 
Minnesota is the No. 10 seed in the Big Ten tournament and will host the event at the Baseline Tennis Center starting Thursday.
 
 
“We’re working hard and trying to get better every day, and I think that it will help us playing at home,” Young said.