Gophers sweep Michigan State; postpone Sunday match against Michigan

Minnesota clinched the victory over the Spartans in 90 minutes

Senior Matic Spec returns the ball during a game against Ohio State at Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, March 30.

Image by Max Ostenso

Senior Matic Spec returns the ball during a game against Ohio State at Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, March 30.

by Max Biegert

Ninety minutes into the dual match against Michigan State, Minnesota had clinched its sixth Big Ten victory of the season. 

The No. 36 Gophers (13-6, 6-2 Big Ten) beat Michigan State (8-15, 1-7 Big Ten) 7-0 on Friday night at the Baseline Tennis Center. All six of the Gophers won their matches in straight sets. Senior Matic Spec and sophomore Stefan Milicevic extended their singles winning streaks. 

Head coach Geoff Young wasn’t surprised with the way the team performed. 

“Surprised is the wrong word because I am always wanting to come out the right way,” Young said. “Today they really did, they played well, the shots fell in our favor; it was fun to watch.” 

Minnesota went with the same doubles lineup it went with the past two weekends. In the No. 2 doubles spot, the duo of Spec and Eli Ogilvy got the Gophers off to a good start by winning 6-3. Milicevic and Marino Alpeza clinched the doubles, cruising to a 6-2 victory. 

Coming off the doubles victory, No. 80 Milicevic conceded just one point in his singles match against Michael Dube — 6-1, 6-0 — which extended Minnesota’s lead to 2-0. The victory also extended his match win streak to six in a row. 

No. 101 Felix Corwin followed Milicevic with a 6-1, 6-1 victory. No. 99 Spec won his match 6-1, 6-3.

Spec, in his senior year, continues to be a reliable player for the team. He has won seven straight singles matches. 

Josip Krstanovic won in the No. 4 spot, Jackson Allen won in the No. 5 spot and Ogilvy completed the sweep in the No. 6 spot. 

“When we play opponents that aren’t as good as other Big Ten teams, we tend to start slow, but today we battled our hearts out and we were able to beat them,” Milicevic said. “It was nice because we didn’t spend a lot of time on the court.”

Minnesota was set to play No. 12 Michigan on Sunday, the team’s senior day, but the match was postponed to a later date due to weather. The original plan was to push the start to a later time to allow Michigan time to travel, but they decided to postpone it.