Sebastian Gallego, ranked 80th-nationally, came up with a big win over #22 Marek Michalicka at No. 1 singles in a 5-2 loss to 32nd-ranked Wisconsin Sunday at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis.
After Gallego dropped his first set to Michalicka 2-6 he came back with wins over the next to sets with scores of 6-4 and 6-2. Gallego pulled out the victory and much like the rest of the team had to go into a deciding third set. Minnesota pushed Wisconsin into tie-breaking third sets in four of six singles matches.
The Gophers were celebrating senior day as this was the last home match of the season. The Gophers lone senior on the roster is Dino Bilankov who played at No. 3 doubles and No. 4 singles. After losing his doubles match he faced Chris Freeman in singles. Bilankov lost his first set with Freeman 6-1, but fought back strong in the second set taking it 7-5. He eventually fell to Freeman with a 6-1 score in the third. Bilankov has a 16-15 overall record his senior season in singles and is 10-10 in conference play.
Wisconsin controlled the match early earning the doubles point and getting a quick point at the No. 3 singles from Patrick Pohlmann who defeated Rok Bonin 6-4, 7-5 to start singles play. Then the Gophers Gallego came through with his big win at the No. 1 singles spot and three of the next four matches were decided in the third set and although the Gophers pushed the Badgers they eventually fell to their border rivals.
Minnesota now holds a 4-4 record in the Big Ten and are currently placed fifth trailing the Badgers who moved to 6-2 in conference play. Minnesota holds the all-time series record over Wisconsin 55-46.
The Gophers return to action next weekend as they travel to West Lafayette to play Purdue on Saturday, and then head to Iowa City for a matchup with the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
#32 Wisconsin 5, #37 Minnesota 2
1. #80 Sebastian Gallego (MINN) def. #22 Marek Michalicka (WIS) 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. #17 Moritz Baumann (WIS) def. #102 Tobias Wernet (MINN) 6-4, 7-5
3. Patrick Pohlmann (WIS) def. Rok Bonin (MINN) 6-3, 6-1
4. Chris Freeman (WIS) def. Dino Bilankov (MINN) 6-1, 5-7, 6-1
5. Phillip Arndt (MINN) def. Luke Rassow-Kantor (WIS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Billy Bertha (WIS) def. Brendan Ruddock (MINN) 6-1, 6-7, 6-2
1. Moritz Baumann/ Marek Michalicka (WIS) def. Sebastian Gallego/ Phillip Arndt (MINN) 8-2
2. Tobias Wernet/ Rok Bonin (MINN) def. Luke Rassow-Kantor/ Chris Freeman (WIS) 8-5
3. Patrick Pohlmann/ Michael Dierberger (WIS) def. Dino Bilankov/ Julian Dehn (MINN) 8-2
Minnesota 11-9, 4-4 Big Ten; National Ranking #37
Wisconsin 17-6, 6-2 Big Ten; National Ranking #32
Order of finish: Singles (3,1,4,2,6,5)