Gophers Erase 2-0 Deficit, Top Wake Forest 5-2
Feb. 18, 2012
The Minnesota women's tennis team rallied to earn its fourth win of the season on Saturday morning in Winston-Salem, N.C., erasing a 2-0 deficit to defeat No. 75 Wake Forest 5-2. The Gophers bounced back from their first loss of the season, which came 13 days ago against No. 27 Washington.
Saturday's match was also Minnesota's first road match of the season and the victory gave UM a 3-1 all-time record against the Demon Deacons.
For the second time in a row, the Gophers dropped the match's first point by losing the doubles competition.
The match began auspiciously for Minnesota when sophomores Natallia Pintuasava and Yuliana Umanets downed Brigita Bercyte and Karen Forman of Wake Forest at the No. 3 doubles position.
The Deacons, however, would even things up with an 8-2 win of their own by 44th-ranked Kayla Duncan and Kathryn Talbert at the top spot. Wake Forest earned the point after Ryann Cutillo and Rebecca Siegler finished of Julia Courter and Doron Muravnik at No. 2, winning by an 8-5 score.
The Gophers fell in a 2-0 hole in singles when 81st-ranked Duncan topped Pintusava 6-3, 6-4 at the top spot.
Minnesota began its rally at No. 1, where Alexa Palen handed Cutillo her first singles loss of the season with a 7-5, 6-0 triumph. The Gophers knotted the score with a Muravnik win over Forman at No. 5 and pulled ahead when Umanets took a win at No. 3 in three sets over Talbert, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.
Freshman Aria Lambert secured the team victory with a tidy 6-2, 6-1 win over Bercyte at No. 6. After escaping the first set with a 7-6 (6) triumph, fellow first-year player Julia Courter capped the match with a 6-4 win in the second set, making it 5-2.
Lambert advanced 3-0 in singles play in the match, while Palen (4-0) and Courter (4-1) each earned their team-leading fourth wins of the year.
The win was the Gophers' second over a ranked opponent this season. They also defeated then-No. 52 William & Mary 5-2 on Feb. 3.
UM will wrap up its road trip tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with a visit to 46th-ranked North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. Minnesota will look to avenge a narrow 4-3 loss at the hands of the Wolfpack at the Baseline Tennis Center last year.
After playing NCSU, the Gophers will play their next three matches at home. Minnesota will face Missouri next Friday and will welcome 62nd-ranked Virginia Tech and Carleton, the 21st-ranked team in the ITA's Preseason Division III rankings, to town on Sunday.
Feb. 18, 2012