Gophers finish Michigan road trip by downing the Michigan State Spartans

Over the weekend the Gophers lost to Michigan but ended the weekend on a high note beating Michigan State.

Senior Josip Krstanovic returns the ball on Friday, March 22 at the Baseline Tennis Center. 

Image by Courtney Deutz

Senior Josip Krstanovic returns the ball on Friday, March 22 at the Baseline Tennis Center. 

by David Mullen

The Gophers hit the road this weekend and made two stops in Michigan. 

On Sunday, Minnesota was in East Lansing, Michigan, to take on Michigan State a day after falling to the University of Michigan. This time however, the Gophers dominated their opponents as they came out ahead 6-1 over the Spartans. 

“Anytime you’re on the road, its definitely tough and, after a lackluster start in doubles, I thought we did a really good job in singles,” head coach Geoff Young said. 

Although the Spartans took the doubles point, Minnesota was not stopped and won each of the singles matches. Five of the six single matches took only two sets to get an end result.

No. 78 Josip Krstanovic rebounded after dropping his match on Saturday by topping No. 101 Jack Winkler in two sets: 6-3 and 6-4. Krstanovic is now 15-10 this season season at the No. 1 singles spot for Minnesota.

Stefan Milicevic finished the weekend undefeated and got a victory for the second straight day and quickly finished his match winning in two: 6-2 and 6-2.

“His game is coming together at the right time,” Young said.

Freshman Sebastian Vile filled in for the Gophers in the No. 6 singles spot, replacing sophomore Vlad Lobak who returned Saturday from illness after missing more than a week. Vile won his match on Sunday, battling to win 7-6 and 6-3. 

Young hopes that the success that Minnesota had on Sunday carries over throughout the week and into the team’s final regular season matches next weekend.

“The guys will know that we have two really tough matches and good opponents next weekend, so I’m sure we will be playing good tennis,” Young said.

On Saturday, the Gophers opened their road trip in Ann Arbor, Michigan, facing off against the conference-rival Wolverines in a battle over the ‘Little Brown Jug’ in tennis.

Michigan was overwhelming early on in the match and was too much for the Gophers to handle. The Wolverines started off the match with a quick six points.

The lone bright spot for the Gophers on Saturday was Milicevic in the No. 2 singles spot. He put Minnesota on the board in the final game of the afternoon, upsetting No. 53 Mattias Siimar in three back-and-forth sets: 7-6 (7), 6-7 (6) and 1-0 (9).

“He’s doing well, particularly [against Michigan]; I thought he played really good tennis at the end of the match,” Young said. “It’s good practice for him for this upcoming weekend.”

The Gophers will be back in action Saturday as they host the University of Illinois at Baseline Tennis Center.