Men roll into postseason

The women lost two more matches in the last regular-season weekend.

Doron Muravnik returns a ball Friday, April 19, 2013, at Baseline Tennis Center. The Gophers were defeated 6-1 by No. 14 Nebraska.

Image by Emily Dunker

Doron Muravnik returns a ball Friday, April 19, 2013, at Baseline Tennis Center. The Gophers were defeated 6-1 by No. 14 Nebraska.

by Dane Mizutani

The No. 32 Gophers men’s tennis team ended its successful regular season with decisive wins over Nebraska and Iowa.

Minnesota beat Nebraska 5-2 on the road Friday and Iowa 7-0 at home Sunday. The victories made Minnesota a lock for the NCAA tournament next month.

Young said he was satisfied with the way his team handled the weekend.

“This was a tough weekend … because the guys are all pretty tired but also because the Big Ten tournament is right around the corner, and we didn’t want to look ahead to that,” he said.

His team came focused and took care of business.

Minnesota’s only lost points during the weekend came from Jack Hamburg at No. 3 singles and Mathieu Froment at No. 4 singles against Nebraska. Those two bounced back from the losses with wins Sunday against Iowa.

The Gophers’ victory against Iowa was their first sweep of the season.

Minnesota has won nine of its past 10 matches heading into this week’s Big Ten tournament, and head coach Geoff Young said his team is peaking at the right time.

“It was a big turnaround from the start of the season,” he said. “We lost a lot of 4-3 matches at the start of the season, and then right around the start of the Big Ten season, we started winning some of those matches.”

That has equated to a very successful season. In fact, it’s been one of the best seasons in recent memory.

Minnesota will finish tied with Michigan for second in the Big Ten — the first time since 2000 the team finished as high as second in the conference.

“I always say there are three seasons,” Young said. “There’s the nonconference season, the conference season and now the postseason.

“We’re done with season two, and now it’s time for season three.”

Women close out season with two losses

Minnesota’s women’s tennis lost a pair of 6-1 matches to Nebraska and Iowa during the weekend.

The Gophers have lost eight of their past nine matches after their six-match winning streak in the middle of the season.

“We knew Nebraska was a good team,” head coach Chuck Merzbacher said, “but as a team, we’re disappointed in the loss to Iowa.

“We could have really helped our seeding with a win, and as a whole we’re disappointed.”

Merzbacher said he wants his team to use the loss as incentive to perform better at the Big Ten tournament next weekend.

Minnesota’s only points during the weekend came from victories by freshman Jessika Mozia against Nebraska and sophomore Aria Lambert against Iowa.

The Gophers will need to win next weekend’s Big Ten tournament to make the NCAA tournament in a few weeks.

“We’ve got to be really tough right now,” Merzbacher said. “We need to buckle down and really get mentally tough.”