Minnesota Falls to No. 52 Illinois, 5-2
Senior Alexa Palen returned to the singles lineup and notched a two-set victory for the Gophers today in Illinois.

March 31, 2013

Final Stats

The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished out a rough weekend on the road with a 5-2 loss to No. 52 Illinois today at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in Urbana, Ill. With the loss, Minnesota falls to 8-9 in overall action and 2-3 in Big Ten Conference play. The University of Illinois moves to 8-8, 2-3 B1G.

Illinois marked the scoreboard first by winning the necessary two matches for the team doubles point. The No. 21-ranked duo of Rachael White and Melissa Kopinski defeated Natallia Pintusava and Tereza Brichacova, 8-1, at the first position to give the Illini the advantage. Alexa Palen and Doron Muravnik followed with an 8-1 win of their own over Audrey O’Connor and Breanne Smutko to even the score. In a tighter race at the third position, Paula Rincon Otero and Yuliana Umanets dropped an 8-4 outing to give the Illini a 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

Illinois won the first three individual matches to secure the victory on the day. First to finish was Brichacova and Kopinski at the second position where Kopinski ran away with a 6-0, 6-0 score. Next to wrap up was the No. 1 match-up between Pintusava and Allison Falkin. Pintusava also dropped a two-setter (6-3, 6-0) to the Illini player.

At No. 6 singles, Palen tallied a two-set victory to stall the Illini’s eventual win. She took the match over O’Connor by scores of 6-2, 6-3. The team victory was decided one dual later when Illinois’ White bested Minnesota’s Jessika Mozia in three (2-6, 6-3, 6-1).

Minnesota’s other win came from Aria Lambert at the fifth spot. After dropping the first set 6-3, Lambert rallied for a comeback to win the next two and take the match. Lambert topped Misia Kedzierski 6-2 in the second and followed with a 1-0 (10-8) score in the tiebreak.



The Maroon and Gold returns to the Twin Cities for this weekend’s upcoming competitions. First, the Gophers will host the Nittany Lions on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Two days later, the Buckeyes will visit Baseline Tennis Center for an 11 a.m. match-up.

Tennis Match Results
March 31, 2013
Urbana, Ill.
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex

#52 Illinois 5, Minnesota 2

1. #21 White/Kopinski (ILL) def. Pintusava/Brichacova (MINN) 8-1
2. Muravnik/Palen (MINN) def. O’Connor/Smutko (ILL) 8-0
3. Falkin/Kedzierski (ILL) def. Rincon Otero/Umanets (MINN) 8-4

1. Allison Falkin (ILL) def. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) 6-3, 6-0
2. Melissa Kopinski (ILL) def. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) 6-0, 6-0
3. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Paula Rincon Otero (MINN) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)
4. Rachael White (ILL) def. Jessika Mozia (MINN) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
5. Aria Lambert (MINN) def. Misia Kedzierski (ILL) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8)
6. Alexa Palen (MINN) def. Audrey O’Connor (ILL) 6-2, 6-3

Order of Finish
Doubles: 1, 2, 3
Singles: 2, 1, 6, 4, 5, 3


Gophers Hire Ward as Assistant Coach


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Meet Head Coach Catrina Thompson


Catrina Thompson sat down with GopherSports.com to talk about her vision for Minnesota tennis, her journey to becoming a head coach and her twin sister who is also a Division I Head Coach.

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