Men extend win streak to 5; women 1-1 on weekend

Though the women lost Sunday to NC State, freshman phenom Natallia Pintusava upset the 23rd-ranked player in the country.

Samuel Gordon

The Gophers menâÄôs tennis team notched its fifth win in a row Saturday and improved its record to 6-1, much to head coach Geoff YoungâÄôs satisfaction.

âÄúTheyâÄôve come to play every match, and really competed very hard,âÄù Young said âÄúWeâÄôve beat a lot of really good teams. IâÄôm really impressed with how consistent weâÄôve been up and down the whole lineup.âÄù

Most recently, Minnesota beat No. 41 and future Big Ten opponent Nebraska in convincing fashion.

The Gophers won 6-1, taking the doubles point and winning five of six singles matches.

The tandem of junior Philip Arndt and senior Sebastian Gallego clinched the doubles point for the Gophers with an 8-3 win over NebraskaâÄôs No. 1 duo.

Arndt went on to give the Gophers a 2-0 lead with a straight set victory at No. 4 singles. Sophomore Brendan Ruddock improved his record to 7-0 with a three-set victory at No. 5 singles.

NebraskaâÄôs Sebastian Florcyzk gave the Huskers their only point with a three-set victory over Minnesota junior Julian Dehn, but the Gophers went on to clinch the match victory when senior Tobias Wernet won in three sets in the No. 3 singles match.

Gallego stepped into No. 1 singles for the first time this season, and did so nicely with a three set victory. Regular No. 1 player Rok Bonin instead played No. 2 singles and ended his five-match losing skid in the process with a three set victory.

âÄúThat was a good win for Rok,âÄù Young said. âÄúIt was a big win for him on a number of levels. It helped the team and it was also good for his confidence. He beat a very good player.âÄù


Women Split Two Matches

The womenâÄôs team split two matches, winning 6-1 over BYU on Friday and losing 4-3 to No. 39 North Carolina State on Sunday.

âÄúI think we did well. IâÄôm really satisfied with the progress weâÄôre making,âÄù head coach Tyler Thomson said. âÄúWe know that weâÄôre very near the level we need to be to reach our goals, primarily to qualify for the NCAA [tournament].âÄù

The Gophers jumped out of the gate early against BYU, winning two of three matches to secure the doubles point.

Minnesota kept its foot on the gas, taking five of the six singles matches, and clinching the match victory when sophomore Alexa Palen defeated her opponent in straight sets.

The Gophers, however, fell short to NC State on Sunday, in a match that came down to the sixth and final singles matchup.

The Wolfpack grabbed an early 1-0 lead by taking two of the three doubles matches, and extended the lead to 2-0 with a win in No. 5 singles.

Freshman Yuliana Umanets earned the first Minnesota point with a straight set victory at No. 3 singles, and senior Alessandra Ferazzi evened up with score with a straight set victory of her own in the No. 2 match.

NC State pulled back ahead 3-2 with a victory in No. 4 singles, but freshman sensation and 75th-ranked Natallia Pintusava tied up the score with a three set win over No. 23 Sanaa Bhambri.

âÄúShe definitely has the ability to beat anybody that she plays. Her talent is always going to be comparable or better, itâÄôs just a matter of how she manages the mental side of things,âÄù Thomson said of Pintusava.

NC State would seal the victory, however with a three set victory at No. 6 singles.

âÄúWeâÄôre focusing on judging ourselves not on our results, but how weâÄôre committing ourselves to the process and some of the goals that they have that arenâÄôt really results oriented,âÄù Thomson said of the weekend.

âÄúThat match could have gone either way. WeâÄôre not going to be deterred by that result.âÄù