The sixth-seeded University of Minnesota men's tennis team was upset in the first round of the 2007 Big Ten Championship today, falling 4-1 to 11th-seed and host Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind. The 37th-ranked Golden Gophers (15-9, 5-5 Big Ten) narrowly lost the doubles point and failed to rally in singles play to go one-and-done in the conference tournament for the second consecutive year.
The Boilermakers (9-13, 1-9) opened the dual with a 2-1 showing in doubles action to take the early 1-0 lead. After an 8-2 Purdue win at No. 1, Minnesota rebounded with Mikey Kantar and Raoul Schwark's 8-6 victory over Jose Fuenmayor and Eric Hodgman at No. 2. With the win, Kantar and Schwark snapped a three-match losing streak and improved to 12-11 in duals this spring. The doubles point came down to No. 3 where Paul Foley and Griffin Nienberg edged Andres Osorio and Chi Pham in a tiebreaker, 9-8.
The Maroon and Gold looked to shift the momentum in singles play, beginning with Sion Wilkins' win at No. 6, but the Boilermakers cruised to three straight-set win at Nos. 2-4 to gain the upset victory. At No. 6, Wilkins snapped a three-match losing streak, overwhelming Nienberg, 6-1, 6-2. With the win, Wilkins moved his dual record to 7-4.
From there, it was all Purdue. At No. 3, Hodgman defeated Edlefsen, 6-4, 6-3, to give the Boilers the lead for good. Purdue pushed its advantage to 3-1 at No. 2 with Paul Rose's 6-4, 6-2 triumph over Osorio. The loss was Osorio's seventh in his last eight matches. Kurt Zaske wrapped up the dual at No. 4 with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Kantar.
The Golden Gophers now look to gain a berth in the NCAA Championships. The team selections for the national tournament will be announced onTuesday, May 1.
#6 Minnesota at #11 Purdue
2007 Big Ten Championship First Round
April 26, 2007
West Lafayette, Ind.
1. #64 Raoul Schwark (MINN) vs. Branko Kuzmanovic (PUR), 7-6, 2-4, abd.
2. Paul Rose (PUR) def. Andres Osorio (MINN), 6-4, 6-2
3. Eric Hodgman (PUR) def. Nich Edlefsen (MINN), 6-4, 6-3
4. Kurt Zaske (PUR) def. Mikey Kantar (MINN), 6-3, 6-4
5. D.J. Geatz (MINN) vs. Paul Foley (PUR), 5-7, 3-3, abd.
6. Sion Wilkins (MINN) def. Griffin Nienberg (PUR), 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: 6,3,2,4
1. Kuzmanovic/Rose (PUR) def. Edlefsen/Wilkins (MINN), 8-2
2. Kantar/Schwark (MINN) def. Jose Fuenmayor/Hodgman (PUR), 8-6
3. Foley/Nienberg (PUR) def. Osorio/Chi Pham (MINN), 9-8
Order of finish: 1,2,3
#11 Purdue def. #6 Minnesota, 4-1
Minnesota: 15-9, 5-5 Big Ten
Purdue: 9-13, 1-9 Big Ten