Peterson, Hjarrand both lose in tennis NCAA first round

by Michael Rand

Lars Hjarrand, a junior on the Gophers men’s tennis team, lost in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday afternoon in Athens, Ga.
Hjarrand, ranked No. 29 in the country, lost 6-2, 6-2 to No. 26 George Bastl of South Florida. Because the tournament is single elimination, the men’s tennis season is now officially over. Minnesota lost in the first round of the national team tournament to Mississippi this weekend.
Hjarrand, a junior, played No. 1 singles and teamed with Erik Donley at No. 1 doubles. He had two key wins in the Gophers NCAA Region IV win, which earned the team a trip to the national tournament.
The Norway native was also named to the All-Big Ten team for the third consecutive year earlier this month. During the fall season, he captured the singles championship of the Rolex Region IV tournament.
Peterson loses
Gophers women’s tennis player Dana Peterson also lost in the first round of the NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla.
Like Hjarrand, Peterson was defeated 6-2, 6-2. The senior from Apple Valley, who is ranked 89th in the country, lost to No. 30 Jean Okada from the University of California-Santa Barbara.
Peterson was only the second player in Minnesota women’s tennis history to qualify for the singles championship. Tiffany Gates, a junior who redshirted this season because of an injury, became the team’s first-ever qualifier last season.
Playing primarily at No. 1 singles, Peterson was 23-14 this season and qualified for the All-Big Ten team for the first time in her career.
Peterson was only 18-40 in her first two seasons at Minnesota. But she won 15 matches as a junior, earning her the team’s most improved player award.