Gophers upset two nonconference foes

Minnesota won 10 of 12 singles matches against No. 75 Wake Forest and No. 46 North Carolina State.

by Charlie Armitz

The Gophers women’s tennis team rebounded from its home loss to No. 28 Washington on Feb. 5 by upsetting No. 75 Wake Forest and No. 46 North Carolina State on the road over the weekend.

Minnesota (5-1) beat Wake Forest 5-2 in Winston Salem, N.C., and beat North Carolina State 5-2 in Raleigh, N.C., despite losing the doubles point in both matches.

The Gophers dominated in singles, winning 10 of 12 individual matches.

Alexa Palen replaced Natallia Pintusava at No. 1 singles and won all four sets she played without needing a tiebreaker. She defeated Wake Forest’s Ryann Cutillo 7-5, 6-0 on Saturday and upset North Carolina’s 52nd-ranked Joelle Kissell 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.

Palen is 5-0 on the season with three wins at second singles and two wins at first singles.

Julia Courter (No. 4 singles) also posted two straight-set wins, each of which required a tiebreaker.

Pintusava, playing at No. 2 singles, recovered from her 6-3, 6-4 loss Saturday to 81st-ranked Kayla Duncan of Wake Forest by defeating North Carolina’s Tatiana Illova 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 on Sunday.

At No. 3 singles, Yuliana Umanets won in three sets Saturday and in straight sets Sunday.

Unranked all season, Minnesota is now 3-1 this season against opponents in the top-75.