The 16th-ranked University of Minnesota men's tennis team won its seventh straight match on Friday as it felled St. Mary's College 5-2 in a neutral-site match in Seattle. The Gophers, who improved to 8-1 on the season, play a road match against No. 23 Washington on Saturday in one of their biggest non-conference matches of the season.
Minnesota won the doubles point against St. Mary's with wins at first and second doubles. Phillip Arndt and Sebastian Gallego improved to 6-3 at the No. 1 doubles position and won their third straight match with an 8-2 victory against Jerry Ellison and Maxime Olivan. Rok Bonin and Julian Dehn beat Gavin Leon and Luca Tirelli 8-4 at the second position. It was only the second match that Bonin and Dehn have played together this year and they are now 2-0.
Coach Geoff Young paired Tobias Wernet and Brendan Ruddock together for the first time this season and the Gopher duo was defeated 8-6 by Joakim Norstrom and Steven Dawson at No. 3 doubles.
In singles, Minnesota won three matches in straight sets and one in three sets. The two matches that the Gophers lost went to three sets. Dehn posted his most dominant win of the season with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Leon at No. 6 singles.
Wernet and Arndt had much closer matches, but both Gophers won in two sets. Wernet posted a 6-4, 6-4 win against Sherif Hamdy at the third position, while Arndt won 7-5, 7-5 against Saad Benkirane. Wernet is now 6-1 at No. 3 singles and has won four straight matches. Arndt bounced back from his first loss of the season at No. 4 singles and is now 5-1 at the fourth position this year.
Bonin won his third straight match and second straight at No. 1 singles when he dispatched Olivan 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-3.
Ruddock, who did not play last weekend against Drake, suffered his first loss of the year. Ruddock lost a three-set match to Norstrom 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 and is now 6-1 on the year at No. 5 singles. Gallego was tripped up at No. 2 singles by Tirelli 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
After facing No. 23 Washington on Saturday, the Gophers return home for a pair of matches against No. 60 Northwestern (March 25) and Denver (March 26).
No. 16 Minnesota 5, St. Mary's College 2
No. 1 Rok Bonin (MINN) def. Maxime Olivan (STM) 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-3
No. 2 Lucas Tirelli (STM) def. Sebastian Gallego (MIN) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
No. 3 Tobias Wernet (MIN) def. Sherif Hamdy (STM) 6-4, 6-4
No. 4 Phillip Arndt (MIN) def. Saad Benkirane (STM) 7-5, 7-5
No. 5 Joakim Norstrom (STM) def. Brendan Ruddock (MIN) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
No. 6 Julian Dehn (MIN) def. Gavin Leon (STM) 6-1, 6-1
No. 1 Sebastian Gallego/Phillip Arndt (MIN) def. Jerry Ellison/Maxime Olivan (STM) 8-2
No. 2 Rok Bonin/Julian Dehn (MIN) def. Gavin Leon/Luca Tirelli (STM) 8-4
No. 3 Joakim Norstrom/Steven Dawson (STM) def. Tobias Wernet/Brendan Ruddock (MIN) 8-6