Minnesota begins season with two wins

The men’s team beat Marquette and South Dakota State on Saturday.

by Danny Chen

Dropping just one match Saturday against two opponents, the Gophers men’s tennis team began the season with a 2-0 record — the first time since 2009.

The Gophers hosted Marquette University and South Dakota State University and were able to dominate the doubles competition in both meets, which gave them a one-point lead going into the singles competition.

Head coach Geoff Young said he always watches the doubles competition carefully.

“I think that’s the place where it’s really important that we are moving in the right direction,” Young said.  “The coaches can really help with the doubles a lot.  In the singles [competition], they know what they are doing.”

Against Marquette, each Gophers singles player won their first set and five of the six players won their matches.

Senior Mathieu Froment was the only one that didn’t win his match, but he had a well-fought battle.

In the first set, Froment was down 6-5 before winning his fifth game to force a 6-6 tiebreaker. 

In the tiebreaker, he was able to win 7-4 to take a first-set victory.

Froment dropped his second set 6-3, but he came back in the third set to force a third-set super tiebreaker, ultimately losing 10-6.

Minnesota’s No. 1 singles and senior Leandro Toledo, who is ranked 17th in the nation, went up against a tough opponent in Vukasin Teofanovic.

In Toledo’s first set, Teofanovic took him to the seventh game, but he won 7-5. 

In his second set, he was down 5-4 before he came back and won in tiebreaker with a score of 7-4.

“I was not feeling the best on the court yet, and I still need to work on fine tuning [my game],” Toledo said.  “My opponent was tough to read, but I think that I did a good job overall.”

Against South Dakota State, the Gophers swept their competition, winning every singles and doubles match and dropping only one set.

In the doubles competition, duos Toledo and Eric Frueh won their set 6-0 outright, as well as Froment and Ruben Weber.

For the singles competition, Young switched up his lineup a little bit to give others a chance to compete.

“When we play better teams in our schedule, we will have to play our strongest lineup,” Young said.  “We felt like [for this match], we can change the things up a little bit.”

Women’s sweep competitions

The No. 71 ranked Gophers women’s team swept Milwaukee and North Dakota, and they did it without dropping a single set.

Freshman Caroline Ryba was inserted into the No. 1 singles spot, and she excelled in both matches, winning 6-0, 6-1 against Milwaukee, and 6-1, 6-0 against North Dakota.

“Caroline is probably our first or second best player,” women’s head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “She looked great today and got the job done.”