Pullman, Wash. – The University of Minnesota women’s tennis team (8-4, 0-0 Big Ten) finished their doubleheader with a 1-1 record after a 4-3 defeat against Washington State and a 6-1 win over Eastern Washington.
Caitlyn Merzbacher moved to 11-1 on the season with both of her wins at the No. 5 position, and is off to an 11-1 start this season in singles. Her 11-1 start is the best start to a singles season since Doron Muravnik back in 2012, who also started 11-1.
The Gophers would open play in Washington by dropping their doubles point for just the third time this season. After a pair of ranked victories last week, the pair of Caitlyn Merzbacher and Mehvish Safdar had their match unfinished at 3-3. The No. 2 and No. 3 spot for the Gophers both were defeated by Cougar duos, both scores ending in 6-0.
After No. 34 Michaela Bayerlova defeated Carolina Ryba 7-5, 6-2, the Gophers began to make up the doubles point lost. Minnesota picked up two straight wins from Tina Kreinis and Annemarie Emme to tie the dual at 2-2 with three matches to go.
In a three set thriller, Barbara Mancera was unable to pick up the win in the No. 4 spot, forcing the Gophers into the corner, needing wins at No. 5 and No.6 to win the dual. Caitlyn Merzbacher would once again step up for the Maroon and Gold, picking up a straight sets victory, moving her season record to 10-1, but in the end, Minnesota dropped the No. 6 singles spot, and fell for the third straight time, 4-3.
Minnesota would bounce back in their second dual of the day, picking up the doubles point for the ninth time this season. The Gophers No. 1 pair of Merzbacher and Safdar rolled to a 6-2 win, and Kreinis and Emme secured the doubles point with a 6-1 victory over the Eagles No. 2 pairing.
Minnesota continued to play well in singles, with Ryba rolling to a straight set victory, 6-2, 6-1 after her loss earlier in the day. Mancera rebounded after dropping her first set in her match to pick up second and third set wins by scores of 6-4, 6-2.
Tina Kreinis was credited with the dual clinching victory when she took down Rylee Braeden after dropping the first set. Emme followed that up with a victory at No. 3 after a back and forth match with Zoey Nelson. Caitlyn Merzbacher and Cammy Frei capped off the sweep with victories at the No. 5 and No. 6 spot. With the win, Merzbacher is now 11-1 in singles this season.
Minnesota will return home and have an early Big Ten match with rival Wisconsin on March 3 at Baseline Tennis Center, with the dual starting at 11:00 a.m. Minnesota overwhelmingly defeated the Badgers last season at Baseline, taking the win by a 7-0 score. The Gophers have won the last two matchups, and six out of seven with the Badgers.
WASHINGTON STATE MATCH-BY-MATCH
1. Barbora Michalkova/Melisa Ates vs. Mehvish Safdar/Caitlyn Merzbacher 3-3 (unfinished)
2. Guzal Yusupova/Tiffany Mylonas def. Tina Kreinis/Caroline Ryba 6-0
3. Michaela Bayerlova/Aneta Miksovska def. Annemarie Emme/Camila Vargas Gomez 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 3
1. No. 34 Michaela Bayerlova def. Caroline Ryba, 7-5, 6-2
2. Tina Kreinis def. Guzal Yusupova, 6-4, 6-4
3. Annemarie Emme def. Tiffany Mylonas, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
4. Aneta Miksovska def. Barbara Mancera, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Caitlyn Merzbacher def. Barbora Michalkova, 6-1, 6-4
6. Melisa Ates def. River Hart, 6-0, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
EASTERN WASHINGTON MATCH-BY-MATCH
1. Mehvish Safdar/Caitlyn Merzbacher def. Janeya Smith/Rylee Braeden, 6-2
2. Tina Kreinis/Annemarie Emme def. Zoey Nelson/FayeWorrall, 6-1
3. Stephanie Broussard/Rachel Swindell def. Cammy Frei/Carolina Ryba, 6-2
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Caroline Ryba def. Janeya Smith, 6-2, 6-1
2. Tina Kreinis def. Rylee Braeden, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Annemarie Emme def. Zoey Nelson, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
4. Barbara Mancera def. Fay Worrall, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
5. Caitlyn Merzbacher def. Stephanie Broussard, 6-4, 1-6, 10-3
6. Cammy Frei def. Rachel Swindell, 6-3, 6-3
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2, 3, 5, 6
Gophers Add Transfer Zhang from UNLV
6/15/2018 - W. Tennis
The University of Minnesota women’s tennis team announced today the addition of Juliet Zhang, a sophomore who will compete for the Gophers this upcoming fall.
161 Gophers Receive Academic All-Big Ten Honors
5/30/2018 - W. Tennis
A total of 161 student-athletes were honored by the Big Ten Conference on the Academic All-Big Ten Team.
Ryba, Safdar Earn All-Big Ten Honors
5/3/2018 - W. Tennis
The Big Ten Conference office announced today the All-Big Ten selections for the 2017-18 season.