Gophers’ southern road trip results in two victories

The Gophers men’s tennis team went down to sunny Alabama over the weekend and came away with two wins.

Freshman Jackson Allen returns the ball during his singles match at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2.

Jack Rodgers

Freshman Jackson Allen returns the ball during his singles match at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 2.

David Mullen

The Gophers men’s tennis team (5-1) took a road-trip down south to Alabama over the weekend and came out with two victories over SEC opponents. 

“I thought we played well pretty much up and down the entire lineup,” said head coach Geoff Young.

On Sunday, in their second match of the weekend, the Gophers swept Auburn (9-3), 7-0 after Josip Krstanovic clinched a victory over Filippo Mora in the No. 1 singles match 7-6, 7-5.

“I thought we came out a little careful, but as the matches went on, it got a little better,” Young said.

Minnesota’s doubles had no trouble against the Tigers as the No. 1 doubles tandem of Krstanovic and Justyn Levin won 6-3. The No. 2 doubles pair of Eli Ogilvy and Jackson Allen won handily 6-2 to clinch the doubles point.

In singles, every Minnesota player participating won and only three of the six matches were forced to a third set. 

In the No. 3 singles spot, Allen was forced to play a little longer than most, but came out on top 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (10-8). 

No. 4 singles Marino Alpeza came out victorious after two identical sets, 6-2, 6-2 over his opponent Tim Dollman. 

Alabama

On day one of the Gophers’ trip down south, they upset No. 19 Alabama (6-1) in Tuscaloosa 4-3. 

“I thought it was a really good performance,” Young said.

A thrilling match-up between Krstanovic and No. 24 Mazen Osama with the score tied 3-3, proved to be the deciding match.

Krstanovic took the first set 7-6, but Osama answered and won 6-2 in the second. 

With the game on the line, Krstanovic answered the call and won 6-3 in the No. 1 singles spot, winning the game for Minnesota.

“That’s a big win for him and I know he’s playing at a level that he can anchor our lineup there at number one,” Young said. “I’m glad he’s getting the results, because he’s worked hard.”

Minnesota’s top doubles got toppled 6-3. However, its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles picked up the slack and won both of their matches, gaining the crucial doubles point for the Gophers’ upset bid. 

Although the Gophers came out of Alabama with two wins, Young said there are still improvements to be made, but is really proud of the way the team has been competing. 

The Gophers will return to action Friday when they host Dartmouth.