Minnesota falls to No. 1 Wildcats at Big Tens

BY Brice lehner [email protected] The Minnesota womenâÄôs tennis teamâÄôs season came to an end Friday in the Big Ten tournament at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison, Wis., with a 4-0 loss to No. 1-ranked Northwestern âÄî but not without some bright spots. Junior Tijana Koprivica and freshman Niltooli Wilkins both had 5-4 leads in the second set of their matches after both dropped their first set, and senior Alex Seaton also was in a close match, trailing just 4-5 in the second set, but all three matches were suspended because they would not have figured in the outcome. âÄúIf a few points go here and there and we could have played it out, I feel like it would have been a close match,âÄù Gophers coach Tyler Thomson said. Unfortunately, those points werenâÄôt decided after NorthwesternâÄôs Samantha Murray defeated MinnesotaâÄôs Alessandra Ferrazzi at the No. 3 singles match for the match-deciding point. The WildcatsâÄô victory was their 75th consecutive conference win, and it snapped a three-match winning streak for Minnesota as the Gophers closed out their season with a 12-12 record. âÄúTheyâÄôre No. 1 for a reason,âÄù Thomson said. âÄúBut we made them sweat a little more than theyâÄôre used to, and I think we can be proud of that.âÄù MenâÄôs team stunned in upset The Minnesota menâÄôs tennis team was one-and-done in the Big Ten tournament after falling 1-4 to sixth-seeded Indiana on Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Hoosiers avenged a 6-1 GophersâÄô victory earlier this season by coming out ready to play, with an upset on their minds. âÄúI felt like Indiana just had more energy than we did, and by the time we realized what we were in for it was hard to get going,âÄù Minnesota coach Geoff Young said. The Hoosiers started the match by taking the doubles point after they won both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches. Then, in singles play, MinnesotaâÄôs Ishay Hadash was upset 2-6, 1-6 by IndianaâÄôs Lachlan Ferguson in the No. 1 singles match. The GophersâÄô Julian Dehn and Michael Sicora also suffered defeats in singles competition. âÄúWe were beat by a combination of a couple guys not bringing their âÄòAâÄô game, and also, we were kind of blindsided by IndianaâÄôs great effort,âÄù Young said. âÄúThey just wanted to win the match more from the get-go.âÄù Junior Dino Bilankov was the only player on MinnesotaâÄôs roster that recorded a win Friday after he posted a 7-5, 6-2 win over the HoosiersâÄô Maxime Armengaud. The loss dropped the Gophers to a record of 18-7 for the season, and they will now have to play the waiting game to see if they will be in the NCAA tournament field of 64 when the pairings are announced Tuesday. Minnesota entered the conference tournament ranked No. 32 in the nation, so the Gophers should still be able to earn an at-large bid into the field. âÄúThe loss hurt, but I think everyone learned something from it,âÄù Young said. âÄúWhen the draw comes out for the NCAAs, weâÄôll start getting excited. Hopefully, the loss will turn into a positive.âÄù