Gophers men, women blow past Nebraska

Minnesota junior Jack Hamburg plays against Nebraska at Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday during a doubles match. Doubles tandem Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment have reached No. 16 in the country with a nine-match winning streak this season.

Lisa Persson

Minnesota junior Jack Hamburg plays against Nebraska at Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday during a doubles match. Doubles tandem Jack Hamburg and Mathieu Froment have reached No. 16 in the country with a nine-match winning streak this season.

Dane Mizutani

The Gophers men’s tennis team hadn’t played a home match in nearly a month. It was a clear Sunday afternoon, and the team was happy to be home.

Minnesota, back at the Baseline Tennis Center for the first time in three weeks, used an impressive performance on the doubles side and a few quick wins in singles to top Nebraska 5-2.

“I think the guys were playing aggressive, and we’re doing a pretty good job at keeping up good energy,” head coach Geoff Young said. “It was all around a good match for us.”

The Gophers now have two conference wins under their belt after losing their Big Ten opener to Iowa. Minnesota players know the importance of conference wins — which are especially important later in the season.

“Those wins are really big for a possible NCAA bid for us at the end of the year,” junior Leandro Toledo said. “We had a rough start, but we bounced back.”

The Gophers have won four of their last six matches after the loss to the Hawkeyes.

That success has seemed to hinge on the team’s success at doubles. Minnesota has won all four matches in which it’s taken the doubles point to start the match.

“It’s good going into singles knowing we only have to win three matches,” Young said. “We always play to win all matches, though, because if we take our foot off the gas, we know what can happen.”

The Gophers didn’t take their foot off the gas one bit in the win over the Cornhuskers. They got out to an early advantage after they earned the doubles point, and they didn’t look back.

Minnesota left no doubt and put the match away with wins at No. 3 singles, No. 4 singles and No. 2 singles, respectively.

The Gophers got two wins from the bottom half of their lineup, a contrast to the start of the season when the team couldn’t buy a win in those spots.

“It’s been good as of late, but we know those guys can get better,” Young said, “and they’re going to need to be better for us down the stretch.”

Gophers senior Juan Pablo Ramirez won his first match of the season with a 7-6, 6-3 victory at No. 5 singles.

“I was getting a little frustrated with myself,” he said, “so it was really nice to get this first victory under my belt. I’ve been working hard for it.”

Toledo, who lost his match at No. 1 singles, said it was good to see Ramirez get his first win of the season.

Still, he said the team can’t be satisfied at this point in the season.

“We know we’re not perfect,” he said. “We need to get more mental toughness. That’s going to be important toward the end of the season when we are in some big matches.”

Women also top Nebraska

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team followed in the footsteps of the men’s squad with a 4-2 win over Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., over the weekend.

The Gophers took the doubles point and tacked on three singles wins to come out on top.

Minnesota improved to 13-3 this season and moved to 3-0 in the Big Ten with the win.