March 23, 2014
The Minnesota women’s tennis team beat Nebraska 4-2 on the road on Sunday afternoon to improve to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play this year.
The Gophers, who walloped No. 65 Iowa 6-1 at home on Friday, outlasted the Huskers at the Lincoln Racket Club to win their sixth straight match.
“We played in very tough conditions on three very fast courts,” said Minnesota’s coach Chuck Merzbacher. “It was to their advantage, but this team was very resilient and played our way through this one. It was a six-hour match, but everyone stayed focused and got the job done. Certainly, we were Minnesota tough today.”
The Huskers seemed poised to win the doubles point as Maggy Lehmicke and Mary Hanna dropped Tereza Brichacova and Jessika Mozia 8-4 at first doubles to win the first match of the day. However, the Gophers would rally and stake a 1-0 lead in the match with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
At second doubles, Natallia Pintusava and Julia Courter def. Izabella Zgierska and Maike Zeppernick 8-5 before Aria Lambert and Paula Rincon Otero outlasted Lisa Andersson and Hannah Sulz 8-7 (6) at the third spot. After going 32-32 in dual-match doubles play in 2013, the Maroon and Gold is 33-8 this season. Pintusava and Courter lead the doubles charge with a 13-2 record this spring.
Pintusava put Minnesota up 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Zgierska at No. 2 singles, but Lehmicke cut trimmed Nebraska’s deficit to 2-1 with a 7-6 (0), 7-6 (3) victory against Brichacova at No. 1 singles.
Courter put Minnesota ahead 3-1 with a quick 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 4 singles against Andersson. Nebraska once again cut into the Gophers’ lead as Sulz dispatched Rincon Otero in three sets 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2.
Mozia then clinched the win for Minnesota with a thrilling 7-6 (7), 7-5 victory against Hanna at third singles. With the win, Mozia moved to 12-3 in the spring and 3-0 in Big Ten play.
Lambert’s match against Zeppernick at fifth singles was abandoned once Minnesota clinched the match.
Minnesota returns to action when it hosts Purdue (March 28) and Indiana (March 30) at Baseline Tennis Center.
Minnesota 4, Nebraska 2
March 23, 2014
Lincoln Racket Club | Lincoln, Neb.
1. Maggy Lehmicke (NU) def. Tereza Brichacova (UM) 7-6 (7-0), 7-6 (7-3)
2. Natallia Pintusava (UM) def. Izabella Zgierska (NU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Jessika Mozia (UM) def. Mary Hanna (NU) 7-6 (9-7), 7-5
4. Julia Courter (UM) def. Lisa Andersson (NU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Maike Zeppernick (NU) vs. Aria Lambert (UM) 6-3, 4-6, 0-2, unfinished
6. Hannah Sulz (NU) def. Paula Rincon Otero (UM) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 1, 4, 6, 3
1. Maggy Lehmicke/Mary Hanna (NU) def. Tereza Brichacova / Jessika Mozia (UM) 8-4
2. Natallia Pintusava / Julia Courter (UM) def. Izabella Zgierska/Maike Zeppernick (NU) 8-5
3. Aria Lambert / Paula Rincon Otero (UM) def. Lisa Andersson/Hannah Sulz (NU) 8-7 (8-6)
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
Gophers Hand Out Team Awards at Banquet
The University of Minnesota women’s tennis team held their team banquet Sunday where they handed out team awards and celebrated the season.
Ryba Earns All-Big Ten Honors
Caroline Ryba was named to the All-Big Ten Team for the second time in her collegiate career and was also named the team's Sportsmanship Award recipient.
Comeback Falls Short for Gophers
No. 8 seeded Minnesota fell in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament to No. 9 seeded Nebraska, 4-3, after falling in the final set.