Men’s upset streak continues at home

The Gophers women lost both of their matches to higher-ranked foes.

Minnesotas Juan Pablo Ramirez serves the ball on Sunday, March 31, 2013, at the Baseline Tennis Center.

Emily Dunker

Minnesota’s Juan Pablo Ramirez serves the ball on Sunday, March 31, 2013, at the Baseline Tennis Center.

by Dane Mizutani

The Gophers’ Mathieu Froment watched his Illinois opponent’s shot sail out of bounds then looked at his teammates and let out a roar.

The sophomore was met seconds later by a mob of teammates. His three-set win capped a 4-3 comeback win over No. 19 Illinois on Sunday at Baseline Tennis Center — the Gophers’ second upset victory of the weekend.

Minnesota (8-8, 4-1 Big Ten) has won four straight matches — all against higher-ranked opponents — and looks to have hit its stride in the last few weeks.

“I’m so proud of the guys and so happy for them,” head coach Geoff Young said Sunday. “They won’t roll over. [Illinois] plays with more energy than any team we have played. It was a wake-up call for our guys, and they responded.”

Minnesota beat Northwestern 4-3 on Friday night after defeating Michigan State and Michigan a week ago.

The Gophers won the doubles point against Northwestern, which proved pivotal in the win.

But against Illinois, they squandered a match point in doubles and allowed the Illini to take a 1-0 lead.

Rok Bonin, Leandro Toledo, Jack Hamburg and Froment all won singles matches to lead Minnesota’s comeback Sunday.

Young hugged Froment after the match and reiterated he feels that his team is starting to hit its stride. But Young said winning against higher-ranked teams doesn’t hold much merit in his mind.

“We don’t really pay too much attention to the rankings,” Young said. “It’s a good win because it’s a win. It’s an indicator that we’re getting better.”

Women drop two on the road

The Gophers women’s tennis team battled two of the better teams in the Big Ten over the weekend, and it showed.

Minnesota fell to 2-3 in the Big Ten (8-9 overall) with a 7-0 loss at Northwestern on Saturday and a 5-2 loss at Illinois on Sunday.

Both matches were played outside, which put the Gophers at a disadvantage, as they have yet to practice outside this season.

Aria Lambert and Alexa Palen were the only singles players to win for the Gophers over the weekend. Palen won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6 singles Sunday in her first singles match back from mononucleosis.