Feb. 19, 2012
The Minnesota women’s tennis team continued a successful start to its 2012 spring season by downing 46th-ranked North Carolina State 5-2 at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh, N.C. on Sunday. The Gophers wrapped up their first road trip of the season advanced to 5-1.
With the win, Minnesota improved to 3-1 against ranked opponents and avenged a 4-3 home loss to the Wolfpack 364 days previous. The Gophers are now 3-2 all-time against NCSU.
The match got off to a rocky start for UM, who lost the doubles competition for the third straight time.
Tandems of Joelle Kissell and Ashley Miller at No. 1 and Sophie Nelson and Christy Sipes at No. 3 pulled out 8-6 and 9-7 wins, respectively, to give N.C. State the match’s first point. Natallia Pintusava and Yuliana Umanets earned a 9-7 win at the second spot to help the Gophers avoid being swept.
Needing to win four of six singles matches to get its fifth win, Minnesota rattled off five straight singles victories.
Umanets kicked off the competition with a straight-set win over Elisha Hande. Alexa Palen gave UM the lead by upsetting No. 52-ranked Kissel at the top flight 6-4, 6-2.
Palen is now 5-0 on the season, with all but one win coming in straight sets. The lone three-set win came in a 10-4 match tiebreaker win against Washington.
Following Palen, Julia Courter put the Gophers within one win of victory with a straight-set win at No. 4. Natallia Pintusava clinched UM’s second straight triumph by pulling out a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win at No. 2 over Tatiana Illova.
Playing in a match tiebreaker at the fifth spot, Doron Muravnik, finished off her second victory of the weekend by defeating Miller. NSCU then capped the scoring when Sipes beat Aria Lambert at the sixth position.
Minnesota has now won five of its first six matches for the first time since 2007-08.
The Gophers will pick up play next weekend with 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. 19, 2012
J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center • Raleigh, N.C.
Minnesota 5, No. 46 North Carolina State 2
1. Alexa Palen (MINN) def. No. 52 Joelle Kissell (NCSU), 6-4, 6-2
2. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Tatiana Illova (NCSU), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
3. Yuliana Umanets (MINN) def. Elisha Hande (NCSU), 6-3, 6-1
4. Julia Courter (MINN) def. Chloe Smith (NCSU), 6-4, 7-6
5. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Ashley Miller (NCSU), 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (7)
6. Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Aria Lambert (MINN), 6-4, 6-2
1. Joelle Kissell/Ashley Miller (NCSU) def. Julia Courter/Alexa Palen (MINN) 8-6
2. Natallia Pintusava/Yuliana Umanets (MINN) def. Tatiana Illova/Nicole Martinez (NCSU) 9-7
3. Sophie Nelson/Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Aria Lambert/Doron Muravnik (MINN) 9-7
No. 46 North Carolina State 3-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (3,1,4,2,5,6)