Men sweep a pair in Mich.

Zach Eisendrath

With one month remaining in the season, Minnesota’s men’s tennis team is hitting its stride at the perfect time.

The 52nd-ranked Gophers (9-9, 3-1 Big Ten) upset 29th-ranked Michigan 5-2 on Saturday at Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

On Sunday Minnesota downed Michigan State 6-1 outdoors in East Lansing, Mich., leaving the Wolverine State with two impressive Big Ten victories.

Minnesota proved Saturday that its win over 13th-ranked Texas A&M earlier this spring was no fluke, as they fought off the highly ranked Wolverines on their own turf.

“It was a good win,” coach David Geatz said. “We played well. It was a good team effort. We were right in the middle of the action. To beat them at their place is tough.”

The Gophers ability to win the doubles point for the first time in conference play was a key factor in the win over the Wolverines.

After the No. 1 doubles team of senior Adrien Debreyne and sophomore Raoul Schwark lost 8-6 to Michigan’s Brian Hung and Matko Marvic, Minnesota’s second and third doubles teams shouldered the load.

First, the No. 3 doubles team of juniors Nic Edlefsen and D.J. Geatz upended Peter Aarts and Steve Peretz 8-5.

Then, at second doubles, the tandem of juniors Sion Wilkins and Andres Osorio came back from down 8-7 with Michigan on serve and rallied to win 10-straight points on their way to a 9-8 win to clinch the doubles point.

“It’s that type of energy we’ve been trying to get,” junior Mikey Kantar said of the comeback.

“When we’ve won the doubles point, it has made things a lot easier. We haven’t lost a match when we’ve won (the doubles point), which really shows the importance of it.”

Osorio also picked up a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Hung at No. 2 singles on a day Geatz said he played “lights-out.”

Aside from Osorio’s win, Minnesota also picked up victories at the first, fourth and fifth singles positions to secure the match.

“When we win the doubles point we are a top-20 team in the country,” David Geatz said. “The doubles point makes us competitive. Maybe it has to do with bad coaching or something. If we get the doubles point we are dangerous.”

Wilkins said the Gophers’ tough schedule might be to blame for its mediocre record thus far.

“We’re trying to show we are one of the teams that are better than our record,” he said.

Kantar said Minnesota has more work to do this year.

“We still have something to prove,” Kantar said. “We feel we are better than our ranking. We have certain expectations of ourselves and want to go ourselves, we know what we want to do; now we just have to go out and do it.”

David Geatz said his teams historically hit their stride in April because his players enjoy playing the game of tennis.

“We always knew we were good,” he said. “Some teams kind of fade at the end of the year, but we play better and better as the year goes on. It is a long season, but the reason why, historically, our kids play better at the end of the year is because they like to play.”

On Sunday D.J. Geatz led the Gophers impressive win over the Spartans at No. 1 singles. D.J. Geatz took down Nick Rinks in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

“D.J.’s playing well,” David Geatz said. “He’s playing with a lot of heart and passion.”

Women fall

Back at home for the first time since Feb. 19, Minnesota’s women’s tennis team couldn’t use the home court advantage to pick up its first Big Ten victory of the season. The Gophers (3-12, 0-4 Big Ten) fell to the Wolverine’s 5-2 Saturday and 4-3 to the Spartans on Sunday at Baseline Tennis Center.

Highlighting the weekend for the Gophers was the return of sophomore Jane Anderson. Making her return to the lineup following a number of arm injuries that kept her from playing a competitive tennis match in almost a year, Anderson downed Allie Shafner 6-4, 6-4 at No. 6 singles in a losing cause against Michigan.

On Sunday the Gophers won No. 1 and 2 doubles to take the doubles point from the Spartans but Michigan State won four of the six singles matches to hold off Minnesota.