Men win 2, women split vs. Michigan teams

Michigan snapped the women’s team’s six-match winning streak.

Nate Gotlieb

The Gophers women’s tennis team’s six-game winning streak was snapped Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center.

Minnesota lost to No. 9 Michigan 6-1, falling to 8-7 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

The Gophers performed well on the doubles side during their six-game winning streak.

They looked in position to capture the doubles point again Sunday as the No. 3 doubles pair won its match 8-2., but the No. 1 and 2 doubles teams both lost.

“We just needed to be a little more aggressive on one and two doubles,” head coach Chuck Merzbacher said. “We had some opportunities and didn’t cash in on those.”

The Gophers lost five of their six singles matches — only sophomore Tereza Brichacova won at No. 2 singles.

Michigan’s top singles player, 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Emina Bektas, beat the Gophers’ top singles player, junior Natallia Pintusava, 6-0, 6-0.

Merzbacher said he was pleased with his team’s performance against the toughest opponent has played so far.

The Gophers were 2-6 before the six-game streak started with a 7-0 victory over Northern Iowa on Feb. 16. The team notched victories over lower-tier opponents like Wisconsin and Michigan State during the streak.

“It was really just getting healthier and getting the lineup that we really wanted to put out there,” Merzbacher said about the streak. “Some of the things just came together for us as far as being healthy and getting our doubles lineup the way we want.”

Merzbacher said seniors Alexa Palen and Doron Muravnik are still recovering from injuries and illness, but he said he is pleased with the team’s progression so far.

“We’re playing the best tennis that we’ve played all year,” Merzbacher said.

Men win a pair

The Gophers men’s tennis team won a pair of road matches this weekend, defeating both Michigan State and Michigan 4-3.

The Gophers were 1-6 in matches decided by one point before this weekend.

Tied 3-3 Saturday against Michigan State, Minnesota’s No. 1 singles player, senior Rok Bonin, won the last two sets of his match, clinching the team victory.

The Gophers faced a similar situation against Michigan. Tied 3-3, junior Juan Pablo Ramirez won his singles match over Michigan’s Michael Zhu.

With the victories, the team improved to 6-8 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.

The Gophers have won three of their past four matches. They lost 4-3 to Miami last Tuesday.

“We can still play better on a more consistent basis,” head coach Geoff Young said, “but we’re working towards that.”