The Minnesota men’s tennis team improved to 15-3 overall and 6-1 in Big Ten play at the Baseline Tennis Center on Friday afternoon, prevailing convincingly over Penn State, 6-1. The 24th-ranked Gophers, who have followed each of their losses this spring with multiple wins, earned their second consecutive victory after losing for the first time in conference play against Indiana last week.
“They have a pretty good team and we won 6-1, so it was a good result,” said Minnesota head coach Geoff Young. “We played pretty well in singles and in doubles it was close, but we ended up winning.”
UM emerged from a highly contested doubles competition not only with the first point of the match, but also with victories at all three positions. Juan Pablo Ramirez and Tobias Wernet got the Gophers going with an 8-5 win at No. 3, meaning Minnesota would only need to win at one of the top two positions to take the point.
Both of the top two flights ended up being tied 8-8 and were decided by tiebreaking 17th games. Phillip Arndt and Brendan Ruddock finished first with a 7-5 tiebreaker win at No. 1 to clinch the 1-0 advantage going into singles play. Rok Bonin and Julian Dehn completed the doubles sweep with a 9-7 win in the tiebreaker at No. 2.
Minnesota didn’t waste much time sealing its third straight win over the Nittany Lions, taking the first five matches of the singles competition to finish in straight sets.
Dehn, Arndt, and Bonin capped of two-set wins within ten minutes of each other to secure the win. Arndt followed Dehn’s 6-3, 6-3 win at the fifth position with a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 4. Two minutes after Arndt finished, Bonin claimed the decisive fourth point for UM with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph at No. 2.
The Gophers added to their score with wins at the bottom and top positions. Michael Sicora beat his PSU counterpart Chris Young handily, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 6 and No. 101 Wernet put Minnesota on the cusp of a sweep by defending his ITA-ranked status with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Eddie Bourchier at the top position.
Penn State would avoid being swept for a third time in Big Ten play, however, when Russell Bader rallied past Ruddock at No. 3 to make it a 6-1 final.
“The doubles could have gone either way,” said Young. “It was more comfortable during singles because we had a lead early and kept it the whole time.”
On Sunday, Minnesota will celebrate its senior class of Wernet, Sebastian Gallego, and Derek Peterson in a home match against Ohio State at 11 a.m. The Gophers will play at 17th-ranked Illinois and No. 60 Iowa next week to conclude regular season play.
No. 24 Minnesota 6, Penn State 1
April 15, 2011
Baseline Tennis Center · Minneapolis, Minn.
1. No. 101 Tobias Wernet (MINN) def. Eddie Bourchier (PSU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Rok Bonin (MINN) def. Jason Lee (PSU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Russell Bader (PSU) def. Brendan Ruddock (MINN) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Phillip Arndt (MINN) def. Bryan Welnetz (PSU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Julian Dehn (MINN) def. Christopher Hasyn (PSU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Michael Sicora (MINN) def. Chris Young (PSU) 6-1, 6-2
1. Phillip Arndt/Brendan Ruddock (MINN) def. No. 67 Russell Bader/Eddie Bourchier (PSU) 9-8 (5)
2. Rok Bonin/Julian Dehn (MINN) def. Jason Lee/Chris Young (PSU) 9-8 (7)
3. Juan Pablo Ramirez/Tobias Wernet (MINN) def. Bryan Welnetz/Christopher Hasyn (PSU) 8-5
Penn State 10-14 (0-7 Big Ten)
Minnesota 15-3 (6-1 Big Ten); National ranking No. 24
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,4,2,6,1,3)