Minnesota picked up its first Big Ten win of the season and snapped a five-match losing streak with a 6-1 win over Michigan State on Friday at the Baseline Tennis Center.
The match started outside and finished inside as a brief passing shower moved the matches indoors following a 40-minute delay midway through the completion of the singles matches.
The Spartans won two of three doubles matches to take a 1-0 lead before Minnesota claimed the first set in all six singles matches. Dino Bilankov and Sebastian Gallego teamed for an 8-3 win at No. 1 doubles for Minnesota, but the Spartans won tight matches at the other two positions for the team point.
Minnesota sealed three of the singles matches in straight sets for a 3-1 advantage. Raoul Schwark cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles, handing Michigan State’s Nick Rinks just his fourth loss in 18 matches this season. Pierre Dumas followed with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6 and Tobias Wernet added a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2.
Michigan State battled back to force third sets in the remaining three matches, but Chi Pham clinched the Gophers’ team victory with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 win at No. 5. The Gophers also pulled out wins at the other two spots as Dino Bilankov held on for a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win at No. 3 and Sebastian Gallego emerged with a 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 win at No. 4.
The Gophers are now 3-14 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten, while Michigan State slipped to 11-9 overall and 0-6 in the conference. Both teams departed for Iowa City as Minnesota plays at Iowa on Saturday and the Spartans face the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
Minnesota 6, Michigan State 1
1. Dino Bilankov/Sebastian Gallego (MINN) def. Alex Forger/Billy Gardner (MSU) 8-3
2. Adam Monich/John Allare (MSU) def. Tobias Wernet/Chi Pham (MINN) 9-7
3. Nick Rinks/Tyler Sauerbrey (MSU) def. Raoul Schwark/Derek Peterson (MINN) 8-6
Order of finish: 1,3,2
1. Raoul Schwark (MINN) def. Nick Rinks (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
2. Tobias Wernet (MINN) def. Alex Forger (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Dino Bilankov (MINN) def. John Allare 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
4. Sebastian Gallego (MINN) def. Adam Monich (MSU) 6-2, 6-7 (7-2), 7-5
5. Chi Pham (MINN) def. Clark Richardson (MSU) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
6. Pierre Dumas (MINN) def. John Stratton (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
Order of finish: 1,6,2,5,3,4