Minnesota beats Marquette 6-1

The Gophers lost two matches on the men’s side over the weekend.

Minnesota’s Tereza Brichacova plays against Ohio State on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Baseline Tennis Center.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Minnesota’s Tereza Brichacova plays against Ohio State on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the Baseline Tennis Center.

by Jace Frederick

Gophers women’s tennis head coach Chuck Merzbacher can see the confidence growing in his players.

That’s what three straight wins can do for a team.

Minnesota (10-3) defeated Marquette 6-1 on Saturday to stretch its winning streak to three matches. The Gophers won four straight matches to start the spring season.

“There were some really tough points [on Saturday], and we really hunkered down,” Merzbacher said. “We did a good job when we really needed to get tough.”

That toughness was on display over the weekend when the duo of junior Aria Lambert and sophomore Paula Rincon Otero trailed 2-4 in their doubles match. Lambert and Rincon Otero rallied to win the next six points to take the match and secure the doubles points for the Gophers.

“We were playing a little nervous,” said Lambert. “We just figured we needed to be aggressive … and it went well after that.”

Minnesota went on to win five of the six singles matches, but the win wasn’t as easy as the score suggested.

Three of the six matches against Marquette went to a third set. The Gophers swept the three-set matches to take full control.

Rincon Otero coupled her doubles win with a victory at No. 6 singles. She fought back from a first-set loss.

“It was a thriller,” Merzbacher said. “It was a really, really good match, and I was really proud of her to finish that one off.”

The Gophers will travel to Fort Myers, Fla., next week, looking to continue their three-match winning streak in a match against Florida Gulf Coast.

Gophers men lose two on road

No. 42 Minnesota came into the weekend fresh off a Big Ten win over border rival Wisconsin, but it failed to build on that momentum.

The Gophers suffered a pair of 5-2 losses — the first Friday at the hands of Washington and the second Sunday against Boise State.

Minnesota dropped to 6-7 on the season with the losses.

A bright spot amid the two losses was the play at No. 1 singles.

Gophers junior Leandro Toledo won both of his contests.

“It’s always frustrating,” he said. “We try to look at what the other team did well and what we can do better.”