Minneapolis, Minn. - After dropping her second set in No. 2 singles, Tina Kreinis fought back with the match on the line to secure the 4-3 win over Wisconsin Saturday.
“I just really wanted to win for the team,” Kreinis said. “I didn’t care how I felt, I just thought that we all wanted to win against Wisconsin, so I just have to do my job for all 11 of us on the team.”
Kreinis won her first set 6-4 against Wisconsin’s Sara Castellano, but fell in the second set, losing 1-6. She worked her way to match point at 5-4 in the third and final set, but Castellano clawed back to force an extra game. Kreinis outlasted her opponent in the final two games, winning 7-5, and giving Minnesota the win.
While Kreinis was working through her third set, teammate Caroline Ryba was in a dogfight of her own in the No. 1 singles spot. While Ryba finished after Kreinis and eventually lost 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3), the two were able to feed off of each other’s energy to keep battling.
"To have your teammates out there battling with you, knowing they're still going and still fighting, it gives you that extra energy," head coach Catrina Thompson said. "I know Tina was tired at the end, lost a couple match points, but she did a great job staying composed and mentally engaged. She did an unbelievable job, and having Caroline still competing there next to her makes a huge difference."
Minnesota took the doubles point, being led by the ever consistent duo in the No. 1 spot of Mehvish Safdar and Caitlyn Merzbacher. After dropping No. 2 doubles 6-0, Safdar and Merzbacher finished second, and won 6-2. Ryba and her partner River Hart were left on the court in the No. 3 spot, where they earned the doubles point with their 6-3 win.
Along with Kreinis’ win in the No. 2 spot, Minnesota gained points from the bottom half of the lineup with wins in the No. 4 and No. 6 spot. Barbara Mancera was in control for the entirety of her match, winning the No. 4 spot 6-1, 6-3, while Cammy Frei won the No. 6 spot 6-2, 6-1.
Minnesota will travel to Fort Myers, Fl. next weekend to face hosts Florida Gulf Coast on Monday and Notre Dame on Tuesday.
MINNESOTA 4, Wisconsin 3
- Alexis Keherle (WISC) def. Caroline Ryba (MINN) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (3)
- Tina Kreinis (MINN) def. Sara Castellano 6-4, 1-6, 7-5
- Maryann Rompf (WISC) def. Annemarie Emme (MINN) 6-2, 7-6 (2)
- Barbara Mancera (MINN) def. Kelsey Grambeau (WISC) 6-1, 6-3
- Melissa Pick (WISC) def. Caitlyn Merzbacher (MINN) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
- Cammy Frei (MINN) def. Michelle Linden (WISC) 6-2, 6-1
- Caitlyn Merzbacher/Mehvish Safdar (MINN) def. Sara Castellano/Maryann Rompf (WISC) 6-2
- Kelsey Grambeau/Alexis Keherle (WISC) def. Tina Kreinis/Annemarie Emme (MINN) 6-0
- Caroline Ryba/River Hart (MINN) def. Melissa Pick/Michelle Linden (WISC) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2, 1, 3); Singles (4, 6 , 3, 5, 2, 1)
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