Gophers beat Maryland, Rutgers

Barbara Mancera improves to 15-5 on the year.

Sophomore Cammy Frei returns the ball during her singles match against the University of South Dakota at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 9.

Jack Rodgers, Daily File Photo

Sophomore Cammy Frei returns the ball during her singles match against the University of South Dakota at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday, Feb. 9.

Max Biegert

Minnesota improved to 3-0 in the Big Ten after a victory over the Scarlet Knights. 

The Gophers (11-6, 3-0) beat Rutgers (5-6, 0-2) 7-0 on Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center. Like they did in their match against Maryland on Friday, the Gophers earned the doubles point from the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles spots. From there, the rest of the team took care of their opponents in the singles portion of the dual. 

Caitlyn Merzbacher improved to 15-2 on the season after her victory in the No. 5 spot. 

“We got some tougher matches coming up,” head coach Catrina Thompson told reporters. “We have to get back to work on the practice court and keep doing the right things in practice.”

In the singles portion of the dual, Camila Vargas Gomez was first to win, beating her opponent 6-0, 6-0. She was playing in the No. 6 spot. Junior Annemarie Emme extended the Gophers lead to 3-0 after she won 6-4, 6-1. 

Barbara Mancera clinched the victory for Minnesota after she also won in straight sets — 6-3, 6-1. Her victory was the fourth point for the Gophers. Her record this season improved to 15-5 with the victory. 

After the clinching point, senior Caroline Ryba and Merzbacher both took care of their opponents in straight sets as well. 

Sophomore Tina Kreinis sealed the sweep for Minnesota in a hard fought battle winning 2-6, 6-3, 10-6. 

“We are in a good place, there is things we still need to work on, but we will continue to get better each week,” Thompson told Gopher Sports.

Gophers down Maryland 

Minnesota beat Maryland 6-1 at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday afternoon. The Gophers won the doubles point and the first three singles matches to clinch the victory. Sophomore Cammy Frei’s match in the No. 6 spot was the clinching victory for Minnesota. 

“Playing at home we had an advantage and we were able to capitalize on that today,” Thompson told Gophers Sports. “The doubles point ended up being huge today carrying that momentum into singles matches.

The Gophers needed wins from the No. 2 and No. 3 spots to clinch the doubles point of the match. Senior Mehvish Safdar and Merzbacher lost in the No. 1 spot 6-3. Ryba and freshman River Hart had their match go into a tiebreak and in that set, the duo came from behind to win.

Kreinis and Emme also had their match go into a tiebreak set. In that set they grabbed an early lead and eventually clinched the doubles point for the Gophers. 

“I love playing with Emme, we make each other feel good out there and we keep each other very positive,” Kreinis told reporters.

Kreinis picked up the first singles victory of the afternoon. She won 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 2 spot. Merzbacher won in straight sets — 6-3, 6-3. 

Frei won the clinching match 6-2, 6-3. 

Mancera and Ryba added two more victories. Emme was the only Minnesota player to drop her singles match. 

“We have to reset and every day is a new day, but I thought these girls did a great job coming back off of a couple losses and didn’t show that at all today,” Thompson told reporters.