Using a trio of three-set wins in singles play, the 41st-ranked University of Minnesota men's tennis team upset No. 22 LSU today, 4-2, to advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships in Coral Gables, Fla. The Golden Gophers (14-12) lost the doubles point and trailed 2-1 in singles play before rattling off three consecutive victories to move to the second round of the national tournament for the first time since 2003. Minnesota will face ninth-ranked Miami tomorrow at 12:30 p.m.
The Tigers (15-10) opened the morning's dual with two quick wins in doubles action to take the early 1-0 lead. LSU's 38th-ranked duo of Danny Bryan and Colt Gaston downed D.J. Geatz and Andres Osorio, 8-3, at No. 2 before 14th-ranked Mark Growcott and Ken Skupski defeated Adrien Debreyne and Raoul Schwark, 8-3, at No. 1.
The Maroon and Gold bounced back quickly as Schwark cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win over James Cluskey at No. 5 singles to tie the dual at 1-1. Schwark's win was the lone match to go straight sets. With his triumph, Schwark won for the 15th time in the last 16 matches and improved to 20-6 in duals. LSU then responded at No. 1 with 20th-ranked Ken Skupski's 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory over No. 59 D.J. Geatz to gain the 2-1 lead.
From there, Minnesota prevailed in three three-set matches to post its second win over a top 25 opponent this season. At No. 4, Debreyne knotted the dual at 2-2 with his 5-7, 6 -2, 6-3 win over Bryan. Debreyne has now won 10 of his last 13 matches. Nic Edlefsen then gave the Golden Gophers their first lead of the morning at No. 3 with his 4-6, 7-6, 6 -4 triumph over Gaston. With the win, Edlefsen improved to 11-14 in the dual season.
With Osorio up 6-5 in the third set of his match against Growcott at No. 2, junior Brian Lipinski clinched the team win for the Maroon and Gold with his 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Kevin Desauer at No. 6. Lipinski, playing in his first match since Feb. 11, improved to 2-5 on the season.
Today's match marked Head Coach David Geatz's 650th career dual. He owns a 430-220 career record, including a 310-155 mark at Minnesota. Geatz has announced that he will resign his position at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season.
#41 Minnesota vs. #22 LSU
NCAA Championships - First Round
May 13, 2006
Coral Gables, Fla.
Neil Schiff Tennis Center
1. #20 Ken Skupski (LSU) def. #59 D.J. Geatz (MN), 6-3, 1-6, 6-3
2. Andres Osorio (MN) vs. Mark Growcott (LSU), 6 -3, 6-7, 6-5, abd.
3. Nic Edlefsen (MN) def. Colt Gaston (LSU), 4-6, 7-6, 6-4
4. Adrien Debreyne (MN) def. Danny Bryan (LSU), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
5. Raoul Schwark (MN) def. James Cluskey (LSU), 6-4, 6-4
6. Brian Lipinski (MN) def. Kevin Dessauer (LSU), 7-5, 3-6, 7-5
Order of finish: 5,1,4,2,6
1. #13 Growcott/Skupski (LSU) def. Debreyne/Schwark (MN), 8-3
2. #39 Bryan/Gaston (LSU) def. Geatz/Osorio (MN), 8-3
3. Cluskey/Paul White (LSU) led Edlefsen/Sion Wilkins (MN), 7-4, abd. Order of finish: 2,1
#41 Minnesota def. #22 LSU, 4-2