Losing streaks continue for men, women

Both Gophers teams have lost four matches in a row.

by Dane Mizutani

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team lost matches to Louisville and Virginia Tech this weekend in Blacksburg, Va., to move its current losing streak to four.

Head coach Chuck Merzbacher said the streak isn’t indicative of the way the season will turn out.

He said the team has been plagued by injuries and misfortune that has contributed to the skid.

“We’re putting together a good doubles and singles lineup with what we have,” he said. “I can’t complain about the effort. It’d just be nice to throw our full throttle at these teams.”

Minnesota battled Louisville on Saturday but fell 4-2 in the first match of the weekend.

The Gophers earned the first point of the afternoon after wins from their No. 1 and No. 2 doubles squads.

But Minnesota dropped all but one singles bout as freshman Jessika Mozia collected the only point with a 6-3, 6-0 win.

On Sunday, against Virginia Tech, Minnesota lost the doubles point and won only two matches on the singles side en route to a 5-2 defeat.

Natallia Pintusava and Tereza Brichacova were the lone bright spots on the team, as the two bounced back from losses Saturday with wins Sunday.

Despite the four straight losses, Merzbacher said his team isn’t feeling sorry for itself.

“It’s going to be good for them in the long run,” he said. “It’s just the short term is not as much fun.”

Minnesota will continue its cross-country road trip next weekend at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.

Men also lose two

The Gophers men’s tennis team traveled across the South this weekend but couldn’t find a win.

Minnesota fell to Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., and to Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The team has now lost four straight matches.

The No. 37 Gophers hung with No. 22 Tulsa but couldn’t finish off the upset.

Minnesota failed to capture the doubles point as two match wins gave Tulsa the decision. Minnesota’s No. 1 doubles pairing of Rok Bonin and Mathieu Froment lost its first match as a duo.

The Gophers battled on the singles side as Leandro Toledo, Froment and Jack Hamburg won their respective matches. Still, Minnesota couldn’t squeak out a fourth win and fell 4-3 to the Golden Hurricane.

Minnesota fell to Arkansas 4-3 on Sunday. The Gophers’ only wins of the day came on the singles side from Toledo, Froment and Brendan Ruddock.

Minnesota will host Louisville and Boise State next week at the Baseline Tennis Center.

Palen out with mono

Senior Alexa Palen didn’t compete for the Gophers women this weekend. Merzbacher said she was diagnosed with mononucleosis.

Merzbacher said he hopes to have her back for the meat of the spring schedule.