Ryba shines as team earns 22 singles victories

Minnesota hosted the United States Tennis Association/ Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championships at Baseline Tennis Center over the weekend.

Sophomore Caroline Ryba prepares to return the ball to Penn State in the Baseline Tennis Center Friday, March 18.

Kathryn Chlystek, Daily File Photo

Sophomore Caroline Ryba prepares to return the ball to Penn State in the Baseline Tennis Center Friday, March 18.

Jack White

Minnesota gained experience at home in the form of 29 total wins over the course of a five-day fall tournament, the United States Tennis Association/ Intercollegiate Tennis Association Central Region Championships.

The team had 22 wins in singles and seven wins in doubles.

“[Fall tournaments] are pretty different honestly in terms of the team feel,” said head coach Chuck Merzbacher. “The competition is going to be the same. Our schedule is really one of the tougher schedules I put together since I’ve been here. We need to face this tough competition in this regional and everyone needed to know what they’re dealing with here come spring.”

Junior Caroline Ryba has continued her success from last season. Ryba made it to the main draw round of 16 and won three consecutive matches. Ryba also contributed to six of the 29 wins in doubles and singles for the Gophers in the fall tournament.

“It was good, it was fun,” Ryba said. “The regional is probably one of my favorite tournaments. In the past years, I’ve always seem to do pretty well in it, so I look forward to coming back always. Yeah I looked good, I felt pretty good out there. This is probably the best I’ve felt this fall.”

Ryba was paired up with freshman Cammy Frei in doubles. The pair won three matches in doubles. The freshman also won two matches in singles before losing in the round of 32. Frei said college tennis has been different from high school in terms of intensity.

“I would say it’s different because college matches definitely have more energy behind them,” Frei said. “There’s almost a lot more of a line in the matches. It’s more competitive and intense in college.”

Freshmen Tina Krenis and Karyna Bihel, sophomores Camila Vargas Gomez and Barabara Mancera and juniors Mehvish Safdar and Maja Vujic each picked up one singles victory in the main draw before losing in the following round.

Emme and Krenis paired up for a doubles victory to go into the round of 32. They fell in the next round. Ryba and Frei led the team in doubles victories with three of the seven wins for the team.

“I think for this team is to keep the main the thing, which we have been focusing on all year, and that’s getting the level of your game to best it can be,” Merzbacher said. “Hopefully we’ll turn in some positive results, but that’s the most important.”