NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 37-ranked Gopher Men’s Tennis team earned an upset 4-3 victory over No. 19 Georgia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the Headington Family Tennis Center on the campus of No. 14 Oklahoma.
No. 37 Minnesota (16-8) will take on the winner of Friday’s second match-up between the host Sooners and No. 43 Utah in the second round Saturday at 12 p.m.
No. 53-ranked Felix Corwin earned the come-from-behind 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 victory over No. 37 Wayne Montgomery at #1 singles, clinching the win for the Maroon & Gold after No. 19 Georgia (13-11) had manufactured a comeback of its own, knotting the match-up at 3-3 after the Gophers had built up a 3-1 lead.
— Minnesota M Tennis (@GopherMTennis) May 11, 2018
The Bulldogs’ two ranked pairs rolled to claim the doubles point for Georgia, but Stefan Milicevic and Marino Alpeza made a fight of it with a win at #3 doubles, 6-4 over Alex Diaz and Emil Reinberg. Minnesota came out firing in singles play, taking 4-of-6 first sets with Marina Alpeza coming back from down 5-2 to win in a tiebreaker and take #6 singles in straight sets.
No. 85 Matic Spec and Josip Krstanovic also picked up straight-set victories to help the Gophers amount their 3-1 lead. Spec defeated No. 42 Jan Zielinski 7-6 (4), 6-1 at #2 singles, while Krstanovic defeated No. 70 Emil Reinberg 6-4, 6-3. Georgia would force a third set on #2, where No. 97 Nathan Ponwith edged out No. 79 Stefan Milicevic for the win. Jackson Allen forced a third set against No. 58 Walker Duncan but could not secure the upset.
“I was very proud of the guys. After losing the doubles point, they really came out in singles and gave a great effort and played very aggressive,” said head coach Geoff Young. “They didn't take many points off during the entire singles run. That's what it took to beat a great team like Georgia.”
Minnesota last earned a victory at the NCAA Tournament on May 8, 2015, a 4-1 victory over Princeton in Charlottesville, Va.
1. #53 Felix Corwin (MINN) def. #37 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
2. #85 Matic Spec (MINN) def. #42 Jan Zielinski (UGA) 7-6 (7-4), 6-1
3. #97 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) def. #79 Stefan Milicevic (MINN) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
4. Josip Krstanovic (MINN) def. #70 Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-4, 6-3
5. #58 Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Jackson Allen (MINN) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
6. Marino Alpeza (MINN) def. Robert Loeb (UGA) 7-6 (7-5), 7-5
1. #63 Robert Loeb/Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Felix Corwin / Josip Krstanovic (MINN) 6-3
2. #47 Walker Duncan/Wayne Montgomery (UGA) def. Matic Spec / Justyn Levin (MINN) 6-2
3. Stefan Milicevic / Marino Alpeza (MINN) def. Alex Diaz/Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-4
Minnesota awaits the victory of Friday’s second, first-round match-up in Norman for its opponent. The Gophers will compete in the second round at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
Corwin Advances to Day Two in Straight Sets
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Senior Felix Corwin will play another day at the NCAA Singles Tournament after picking up a victory in the round of 64 on Wednesday afternoon.
Corwin Begins NCAA Singles Tournament Wednesday
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Senior Felix Corwin begins his quest for an NCAA Singles Championship on Wednesday at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Gophers Take Home ITA Regional Honors
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Three individuals from the Gopher Men’s Tennis team received postseason honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Monday.