Dino Bilankov rolled to wins in singles and doubles, but they were the only highlights for the Minnesota men’s tennis team in a 6-1 loss to Middle Tennessee State on Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center.
After Middle Tennessee State took two of three doubles matches for a 1-0 lead, Bilankov cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory to tie the match. However, the Blue Raiders took the ensuing five singles contests for the team victory as Minnesota dropped to 0-2 for the season.
Bilankov and Derek Peterson teamed for a 9-7 win at No. 3 doubles for the Gophers’ lone doubles win. After taking the No. 2 doubles match, Middle Tennessee State picked up the doubles point when John Peers and Morgan Richard outlasted Minnesota’s Raoul Schwark 7-2 in a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles.
Schwark, ranked 46th nationally in singles, lost for the second time on the weekend with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Marc Rocafort. After losing the first set and falling behind a break in the second, Schwark broke back to tie the second set at 4-4. However, Rocafort broke Schwark on the ensuing service game and fought off a break point in the final game to seal the win.
Adam Altepeter lost his No. 5 singles match 7-5, 6-2 as the Gophers fell behind 3-1 and Chi-Lang Pham dropped a second set tiebreaker 7-4 at No. 4 singles for a 6-1, 7-6 defeat. Derek Peterson lost his opening set at No. 6 singles, but battled back to take the second set before succumbing to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 setback.
Pierre Dumas won his opening set 6-4 at No. 3 singles, but Peers fought back to win the next two sets 6-2, 6-1.
The Gophers are home again on Sat., Feb. 9 when they take on Wisconsin-Green Bay at 10 a.m. and Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m.
Men's Tennis - Sunday, February 3
Baseline Tennis Center - Minneapolis, Minn.
Middle Tennessee State University 6, Minnesota 1
1. Marc Rocafort (MTSU) def. #46 Raoul Schwark 6-2, 6-4
2. Dino Bilankov (Minn.) def. Morgan Richard 6-2, 6-1
3. John Peers (MTSU) def. Pierre Dumas (Minn.) 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
4. Richard Cowden (MTSU) def. Chi-Lang Pham (Minn.) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
5. Chris Nowak (MTSU) def. Adam Altepeter (Minn.) 7-5, 6-2
6. Joao Paoliello (MTSU) def. Derek Peterson 6-2, 3-6, 6-0
Order of finish: 2, 1, 5, 4, 6, 3
1. Peers/Richard (MTSU) def. Schwark/Pham 9-8 (7-2)
2. Cowden/Paoliello (MTSU) def. Altepeter/Dumas 8-4
3. Bilankov/Peterson (Minn.) def. Rocafort/Nowak 9-7
Order of finish: 2,1,3 (MTSU wins doubles point)
Minnesota ranked #40, Middle Tennessee State ranked #59