Men’s tennis loses in final of Ice Volleys

No. 40 Kansas knocked off the 23rd-ranked Gophers men’s tennis team in the championship match of the Ice Volleys Showcase at the Burnsville Racquet Club this weekend.
“We had a great win against 38th-ranked South Alabama (on Friday),” Minnesota coach David Geatz said. “It was a tremendous effort, but Kansas was very disappointing. I thought we’d win every match, so maybe the overconfidence of the coach got to the players.”
Minnesota lost the first three singles matches before sophomore Jorge Duenas got the Gophers on the board with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Alex Barragan in the number four slot.
Junior Martin Michalowski and freshman Thomas Haug went on to win their matches. But it was too little, too late.
Minnesota could only muster one doubles win: Tom Chicoine and Martin Michalowski defeating Louis Uribe and Ed Dus of Kansas at the No. 1 position.
The Gophers pounded South Alabama 7-0 on Friday, winning all six singles matches and two of three doubles matches.
Chicoine won his singles match at No. 1, defeating Julien Raynal 3-4, 6-3, 6-4. He and Michalowski then teamed to win 8-5 in doubles over Rynal and Paul McInerney.
Sophomores Tyson Perry and Jorge Duenas and senior Adam Selkirk won their singles matches.
South Alabama went on to beat Western Michigan in the consolation match 5-2.
But Geatz was just as unhappy about Saturday as he was happy about Friday.
“We think we can be an elite team this year,” Geatz said. “We finished last season very well and made the final 16 (in the NCAA Championships) last year. But if you want to be an elite team, you don’t lose at home to Kansas.”
Minnesota now must travel to Illinois this weekend.
“We have to go to Illinois, which is indoors,” Geatz said. “And as an indoor team, they’re probably the best in the country.”
Women’s tennis
Minnesota women’s tennis won the consolation match of the Federated Insurance Classic on Saturday, beating DePaul 6-1 at the Northwest Racquet Club in Bloomington.
The tournament marked the opening of the spring season for the Gophers.
Minnesota was forced into the consolation match after losing to 15th-ranked Pepperdine on Friday.
Against DePaul, the Gophers swept the doubles point, as Jana Hrdinova and Kim Simonsen, Alice Rangsithienchai and Tarah Elkins, and Nora Sauska and Jenny Howard won their matches.
Those same six players also competed in singles, where only Rangsithienchai lost to Barbara Fuzesi in straight sets.
“We aim to bring in really good, established teams to kick start our season,” Gophers coach Martin Novak said. “We played well, but we have some kinks to work out.”
Against Pepperdine, Minnesota could only win one doubles match, Sauska/Howard, as they lost the doubles point early on.
Rangsithienchai and Sauska won their singles matches at No. 1 and 3 positions respectively. But Simonsen, Hrdinova, Howard and Elkins lost their matches.
“We were pretty close,” Sauska said. “We lost the doubles point which we always seem to do, but we had a chance.
“It’s good that we’re playing these good teams right away so we know what we need to work on,” she said. “You learn a lot more losing than winning.”
Women’s track and field
Junior Gena Johnson won the 800-meter run to lead the Gophers women’s track and field team to a fifth place finish at the Wisconsin-Stout Invitational.
“I felt pretty good this weekend,” Johnson said, who finished in 2:17.77. “My goal time is 2:16, so I have something to shoot for.”
Wisconsin-La Crosse won the meet with 239 points. Minnesota finished with 48, but the Gophers didn’t bring a full team.
“Our first-team ran last weekend,” Johnson said. “So I think this weekend gave some others a chance.”
Men’s track and field
Iowa defeated Minnesota men’s track and field this weekend in a home dual meet at the Minnesota Fieldhouse.
Senior Marc Johannsen jumped a personal-best 7 feet, 1/2 inch to win the high jump for the Gophers. Seniors Benjamin Jensen and Chad Johnson won the pole vault and 3,000-meter run respectively.
Junior Fred Rodgers set a Minnesota team record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.90 seconds to finish second.
The Gophers will host the Minnesota Classic Invitational this Saturday at the University Fieldhouse.
Men’s gymnastics
The Minnesota men’s alumni gymnastics team defeated the varsity team 220.500-206.100 in this weekend’s alumni meet at the Sports Pavilion.
Former three-time Big Ten all-around champion Tim LaFleur led the alumni with two first-place finished in the floor exercise and parallel bars. Frank Ticknor won the all-around title with 54.750.
For the varsity team, senior Jason Krob had the highest score of the meet, a 9.800 on the pommel horse. Junior Ryan Winterbourne won the still rings competition with a score of 9.500.
The Gophers travel to Iowa this weekend to face the Hawkeyes in their first dual meet of the year.
Baseball
The Minnesota baseball team is ranked 26th in Baseball America‘s preseason national rankings and the highest ranked team in the Big Ten.
Baseball America also named senior Rob Quinlan as its preseason Big Ten player of the year and junior left-hander Ben Birk as its Big Ten pitcher of the year.
Minnesota is returning 15 of 18 letter-winners from a team that finished 45-15 last season.
Softball
Former associate head coach Julie Standering has been named a co-head coach of the Gophers softball team.