Gophers continue home-court success

Both the men’s and women’s teams defeated two Big Ten opponents.

Freshman Matic Spec returns a volley at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday against Purdue.

Image by Liam James Doyle

Freshman Matic Spec returns a volley at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday against Purdue.

by Danny Chen

The Gophers men’s tennis team has struggled on the road this season, compiling a 2-4 record.

But it has had no trouble at home, and this weekend was no exception.

With victories against Purdue and No. 39 Indiana, No. 31 Minnesota improved to a perfect 10-0 at the Baseline Tennis Center over the weekend with the Gophers sweeping both teams 4-0.

“We played well in front of a big crowd, especially against Indiana, [which] is a good  team,” head coach Geoff Young said.

Young said senior Leandro Toledo helped provide a cushion for the team in each meet by winning both of his matches.

The team’s No. 1 singles player defeated both of his opponents in straight sets.

Against Purdue, Toledo won 6-2, 6-4.

“I think Purdue was a little shaky,” Toledo said. “The guy that I played against loved sliders and awkward balls, but I managed to play pretty well. In the second set, I was actually down the whole time, but I stayed in there and got the win.”

With Indiana, Toledo said he had a good start and felt great on the court. He only gave up three total games, winning 6-2, 6-1.

“I served really big, and that gave me a lot of easy points,” Toledo said. “And after that, I cruised through the guy and the whole match.”

Toledo’s counterpart for doubles, Felix Corwin, has performed well in his first season at Minnesota.

Corwin’s 6-1, 6-3 victory against Purdue tied him for the most singles victories on the season with 24. The teammate tied with him for most singles victories is fellow freshman Matic Spec.

“Because Matic won against Indiana, he is tied with me now,” Corwin said. “It’s kind of a funny competition that we have. Nothing serious, but we are happy that we are both doing well. And we are kind of a team in that way. We are proud to be the two freshmen that are doing well.”

Young said that every one of his players — not just Toledo and Corwin — performed well this weekend, but the real test will come next weekend when the team plays Ohio State.

“Our doubles teams played well, and we are all getting better in a lot of areas,” Young said. “I’m looking forward to the upcoming matches on the road next weekend. It will be tough.”

Gophers win on the road

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team shook off its road blues over the weekend, racking up two road victories against Rutgers and Maryland in 5-2 and 4-3 decisions, respectively.

“We have been out there grinding, and it’s difficult to play on the road,” Merzbacher said. “The other team is always more comfortable.”

But the Gophers didn’t let that faze them.

Freshman Caroline Ryba competed well for the team, winning both of her matches. She said she turned her game on after losing the first set against Rutgers.

Now, the Gophers will head back home.

“We got two road wins this weekend, and it will only build our confidence moving forward,” Merzbacher said.