Minnesota tops No. 21 Wake Forest

Gophers take down Wake Forest in heated Baseline battle Friday night

Sophomore captain Tobias Wernet knew that if he and the rest of the men’s tennis team came out with fire on Friday night, they could bring home their fourth straight victory. The fire lasted all night long as the Gophers defeated No. 21 Wake Forest in a heated and fiery match (5-2). And heated it was. From questionable line calls to questions about tennis ball quality, there were some interesting moments. Freshamn Ishay Hadash, who eventually won his match to capture the win for Minnesota, even believed he dropped his first set due to questionable calls and distractions from an opponent who was less than favorable. âÄúIt kind of got into my mind, and I kind of lost the situation,âÄù Hadash said. âÄúI got back. I knew that IâÄôm better than him and I knew that the team needs me. ItâÄôs all about the team anyway.âÄù Hadash lost only one point on his serve in the 3rd set en route to winning the deciding match 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. âÄúHe played more aggressive at the beginning of the second set and he never stopped,âÄù coach Geoff Young said. Coach Young was aware that the match wasn’t going to be just a friendly little game. âÄúAny time you have two teams this close playing against each other itâÄôs going to be heated and competitive for sure,âÄù Young said. With momentum from 3 previous matches, the biggest crowd of the season, and the chance to take out a top 25 ranked team for the first time in 2 years, the Gophers had the adrenaline flowing from the start. The team used the crowd to its advantage. Multiple times during his singles match, Wernet faced the crowd to share his energy and emotions. âÄúIf you come out of the locker, and you come out on the court and see 400 people there, you just get goose bumps.âÄù Minnesota (No. 60), jumped out ahead of Wake Forest early by winning the doubles point. Freshmen Phillip Arndt and Ishay Hadash won their 4th straight doubles match, defeating Wake opponents 8-5 Friday night. With junior Dino Bilankov out, freshman Julian Dehn made his dual meet debut to pair up with sophomore Sebastian Gallego. The two rolled to an 8-2 win. At the No. 1 spot, Wernet and freshman Michael Sicora struggled, losing 8-2. It was an unlucky night for the two, who both went on to lose their respective singles matches. Coach Geoff Young felt Wernet and Sicora didn’t keep their aggression strong; both went on the defensive later in their matches. But for Gophers who won, Young was thoroughly impressed. Phillip Arndt continued his win streak (now at 7) in what was perhaps the most heated battle of the night. Fans stayed to watch as Arndt proved stronger in a tiebreaker win: 4-6, 7-6, (10-8). Julian Dehn continued to impress by also winning his No. 6 singles match 6-2, 6-3. Rankings and national tennis exposure will change, but Wernet may have said it best after the match. âÄúI think the tennis program is back,âÄù Wernet said.