Gophers continue to roll, down UW

by Dan Miller

Andres Osorio had far more screams than winning points during his match at No. 3 singles in Minnesota’s men’s tennis team’s 7-0 victory over Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon.

Osorio used emotion and speed to beat the Badgers’ big-serving Scott Green 6-4, 6-2, helping the 31st-ranked Gophers push their winning streak to five.

“I was way faster than the guy,” Osorio said. “I moved him from backhand to forehand and back to backhand. And it helped that my shots were very consistent, I didn’t miss much.”

Minnesota (11-7, 6-1 Big Ten), has now won seven of its last eight dual matches, and will play Indiana on Saturday. The match will be one of the three the Gophers have leading up to the Big Ten Championships on May 2.

The Gophers’ 53rd-ranked Aleksey Zharinov and 56th-ranked Chris Wettengel had victories at the Gophers’ top two singles spots.

In the No. 2 spot, Zharinov easily downed David Hippee 6-0 in the first set but had to rally back in the second to win 7-5.

Wettengel pushed his winning streak to eight matches by outlasting Alexander Kasarov 4-6, 6-1, (10-5) at No. 1. Wettengel has not lost a match since March 16 at Fresno State.

The Gophers also swept the rest of the singles matches. Clay Estes made quick work of Mark Weinig 6-2, 6-1. Brian Lipinski beat Pete Amundson 6-4, 6-1 and Dusan Tabak won 6-2, 6-3 over the Badgers’ Mike Goodman.

“The guys are feeling good about themselves,” Minnesota coach David Geatz said. “We only lost one set Ö so when everyone wins their singles matches they feel a lot more like practicing.”

Top-ranked Illinois, who has the longest winning streak in the nation, beat 19th-ranked Ohio State 4-3 Sunday to put itself in the driver’s seat on the road to the Big Ten title.

Minnesota’s senior captain Avery Ticer did not compete Sunday because of an ankle injury, but said he might not return to the lineup until the Gophers face Ohio State on April 25.

Without Ticer, the Gophers might have problems matching up against the Hoosiers on Saturday. Indiana beat Michigan State 6-1 Friday. The Spartans pushed the Gophers to their, limit on April 4 in the Gophers 4-3 victory.

“We are going to have a tough time beating Indiana without Avery in the lineup,” Geatz said. “Indiana has a good team.”

Women down again

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team failed to win a match Sunday in Madison, Wis., as the 66th-ranked Badgers swept the Gophers 7-0.

In doubles action, the Gophers combination of Angela Buergis and Nischela Reddy had their three-match winning streak snapped as they fell to 38th-ranked Lindsay Martin and Katie McGaffigan. The duo is now 3-4 in Big Ten play.

Buergis, ranked No. 69, lost in a tiebreaker to 85th-ranked McGaffigan 4-6, 6-4 (10-5).

The Gophers (2-16, 0-7 Big Ten) play host to Indiana at 10 a.m. on Sunday.