Gophers split third consecutive weekend

The men’s team lost both of its duals to drop to 0-5 in the Big Ten this season.

Camila Vargas Gomez returns a shot during a match against Michigan State University Friday at Baseline tennis center. The Gophers defeated Michigan State University 5-2.

Sam Harper

Camila Vargas Gomez returns a shot during a match against Michigan State University Friday at Baseline tennis center. The Gophers defeated Michigan State University 5-2.

Jack White

The Minnesota women’s tennis team split a pair of Big Ten matches for the third weekend in a row, defeating Michigan State but falling to Michigan at the Baseline Tennis Center.
 
 
The Gophers won 5-2 over the Spartans, but the No. 11 Wolverines defeated Minnesota 6-1.
 
 
“I just want us to play our game. A couple kids, I think they can play their game better,” head coach Chuck Merzbacher said.
 
 
Minnesota (12-8, 4-3 Big Ten) led the entire way through its dual against Michigan State on Friday. The Gophers started by taking the doubles points with victories in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.
 
 
The team then secured the dual with three consecutive victories to open singles play. Redshirt senior Julia Courter won the deciding match in the No. 3 spot.
 
 
The Gophers played another home dual against Michigan on Sunday and were swept in doubles.
 
 
Minnesota then lost five of six singles matches to concede the dual. Freshman Camila Vargas Gomez earned the Gophers’ only singles victory in two sets.
 
 
“I think that I’ve been practicing a lot and trying to make less errors and mistakes on the court,” Vargas Gomez said. “In my last matches, I was making a lot of mistakes, and that’s not the way to play.” 
 
 
Men lose two
 
 
The Gophers men’s tennis team continued its rough start to the spring, dropping two Big Ten duals on the road over the weekend.
 
 
Minnesota (6-13, 0-5 Big Ten) lost to No. 15 Illinois 4-0 on Friday and No. 13 Northwestern 4-0 on Sunday. The team is off to a 0-5 start in Big Ten play, after going 10-1 in conference last year and earning a share of the Big Ten title.
 
 
“Well, we just got to make sure we keep our confidence high and not give in to the doubts and trust our shots,” head coach Geoff Young said.
 
 
The Gophers lost two of three doubles matches at Illinois on Friday, with sophomore Matic Spec and junior Jeremy Lynn earning the team’s lone doubles victory.
 
 
“We both have big serves, and we try to be as aggressive as possible and get to the net as soon as possible,” Lynn said. “I think the way that we complement each other is that we’re both big servers.”
 
 
In singles play, Minnesota dropped the first three matches to lose the dual, with the final three matches going unfinished.
 
 
Northwestern authored a similarly dominant performance on Sunday against the Gophers, winning every match that was finished.
 
 
Minnesota lost the only two doubles matches that were played out and lost all three finished singles matches.
 
 
“In practice, during the week, we just got to keep getting back to the things we’re trying to work on” Young said. “Work on keeping a strong belief with our shots.”