Bonin Drives Gophers to NCAA Second Round
May 10, 2013
The No. 35 Minnesota men’s tennis team advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament this afternoon with a 4-3 victory over No. 30 Virginia Commonwealth. After surrendering the doubles point, the squad fought back tough in the singles competition and managed to win four of six match-ups to earn their spot in the Charlottesville Regional Final. The Maroon and Gold improve their record to 15-10, while the Rams end their season with a 20-7 overall mark.
Virginia Commonwealth picked up the doubles point with early wins at the first and second positions. The Rams’ No. 44-ranked duo of Alexis Heugas and Dylan McCloskey defeated Mathieu Froment and Jack Hamburg by an 8-3 score. At No. 2, the VCU pairing of Max Wennakoski and Michal Voscek downed Rok Bonin and Juan Pablo Ramirez, 8-4, for the lead.
Leandro Toledo was the first to finish in the singles competition. The No. 83 player handily defeated No. 77 Alexis Heugas by scores of 6-2, 6-2. VCU’s Alejandro Argente answered with a win over Hamburg (6-3, 6-1) to put the Rams back up in the team count.
Froment and Ramirez notched back-to-back victories, both winning in straight sets, to help pull the Gophers ahead once again. Froment topped Voscek, 6-3, 6-3, while Ramirez overcame McCloskey in a second-set tiebreaker to win 6-4, 7-5. At No. 5 singles, Vazquez held off Weber to win 7-5, 7-6, bringing the score to a 3-3 tie and resting the team advancement in the hands of the team’s top athletes.
In the decisive match, Gopher senior Bonin, ranked No. 53 in the latest singles poll, gave a tremendous performance against Wennakoski (No. 29) to lead the team to the second round. After Bonin outlasted his opponent in the first (at 7-6 tiebreak), Wennakoski fired back in the second set for a dominating 6-0 win to force a third. Despite the setback in the second, Bonin rocked Wennakoski and put away the match with a 6-4 victory.
The Golden Gophers advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament and will face the winner of this afternoon’s match between No. 2 Virginia and Fairleigh Dickinson. The regional final will take place tomorrow, May 11, at 2:00 p.m. CT.
2013 NCAA Tournament – Charlottesville Regional
#35 Minnesota 4, #30 VCU 3
Order of Finish