Men split home duals, women pick up road win

Tyler Rushmeyer

The Minnesota men’s tennis team ended its successful week on a downswing Sunday against border rival Wisconsin at the Baseline Tennis Center.

The 36th-ranked Gophers (14-7 overall, 4-4 Big Ten) battled a tough Badgers team, ranked No. 45, but fell 5-2, concluding a weekend that began with a 6-1 win over No. 63 Northwestern on Friday.

Coach Geoff Young said despite Sunday’s loss, the weekend as a whole was a step forward for the team.

“I think Friday was our best match of the season,” he said. “Today, Wisconsin was the better team. We didn’t play that bad, we just got outplayed.”

Perhaps the biggest factor in Sunday’s defeat was the loss of senior Andres Osorio, who was given the day off by Young.

Missing a vital part of both the singles and doubles lineup, the Gophers came out slow, ending their three-match streak of doubles victories by getting swept.

Minnesota did not fare much better in singles play, dropping four of six matches; a stark contrast to Friday’s match with the Wildcats, where the Gophers took five of six matches.

Senior captain Mikey Kantar, who finished with a 2-2 record in combined play over the weekend, said playing without Osorio against a tough opponent was not an easy task, but the team showed a lot of positive signs on Sunday.

“Of course you want to win. But there’s losing the right way and losing with energy,” he said. “We were at a crossroads at the end of last weekend, and I think we’re back on the right path.”

With just over a week remaining in the regular season conference schedule, Minnesota appears to be in good shape regarding its NCAA chances with No. 9 Illinois and unranked Purdue on the horizon.

Junior Raoul Schwark, who has posted five consecutive singles victories and is ranked No. 73 in the nation, said the team is in a good position with the season winding down, despite Sunday’s loss.

“I know the team is in a better place than we were a week ago,” he said. “With Andres, we’re a top-30 team. Hopefully he’ll be back next week and we’ll be at full strength for the Big Ten Championship.”

Women’s team hits road

The Minnesota women’s tennis team began its weekend on Saturday against a tennis powerhouse in No. 9 Northwestern.

The 53rd-ranked Gophers (10-9, 3-6) were easily swept to drop the doubles point, but faired better in singles play against a tough opponent.

The match was highlighted by unranked senior Ashley Schellhas’ upset at No. 1 singles over Samantha Murray, ranked No. 29 in the nation.

Junior Lindsay Risebrough, playing at No. 4 singles, also picked up a tight decision for the Gophers.

Facing a much more beatable opponent on Sunday, Minnesota picked up its third conference victory of the season against unranked Wisconsin, 4-3.

After dropping the doubles point, the Gophers rebounded to take four of six singles matches to help conclude the weekend on a high note.

With the victory, Minnesota’s conference win total has surpassed last year’s with two matches still remaining in the regular season.