April 7, 2013
The Minnesota women’s tennis team dropped a close match this afternoon at Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The Golden Gophers fell short against No. 52 Ohio State, 5-2, to fall to 9-10 on the season, 3-4 in the Big Ten. Ohio State improved to 10-9, 3-4.
“We didn’t give them anything. They took it,” said head coach Chuck Merzbacher. “I have to give my hats off to them. They played really well. I’m sure they had this date circled on their calendar as a match they really wanted to play well.”
Ohio State marked the scoreboard first with a team win in doubles. The Buckeyes won out matches at the first and third positions to notch the point and move ahead 1-0 on the day. The No. 3 spot was the first to finish with the U’s Tereza Brichacova and Jessika Mozia falling to OSU’s Kelsey Becker and Grainne O’Neill by a score of 8-4. The ones wrapped up shortly after, Kara Cecil and Kelsey Dieters finishing on top of Natallia Pintusava and Paula Rincon Otero.
On the singles side, the two teams traded points back-and-forth to keep the score close to the end. The No. 6 spot wrapped up first with OSU’s Nicole Flower defeating Minnesota’s Doron Muravnik by scores of 6-1, 6-1. Finishing next was Pintusava who overcame a ranked opponent, No. 54 Kelsey Dieters, to winning 6-1, 6-0 and put Minnesota on the board. Brichacova notched another win for the Gophers at the second position by defeating Cecil 6-3, 6-3 to tie the score at 2-2.
The Buckeyes won out the remaining matches to seal the team victory. Manashirova defeated Aria Lambert and O’Neill topped Mozia each by scores of 6-4, 6-4. In the day’s only three-set match, Rincon Otero fought hard against Gabby Steele. After losing the first set 2-6, Rincon Otero came back for a 6-2 victory in the second. The girls battled in the third, but Steele came out on top to mark the ‘W’.
“Our intensity level was up there against both Penn State and Ohio State. That’s the thing to take away from this weekend. We really did play hard in every match. I’m disappointed we didn’t get both wins but I’m very pleased with the way we played well and hard across the board.”
With only four matches left on the regular season schedule, the women’s tennis team takes to the road next weekend. First, the girls will stop in Bloomington, Ind. on April 13 for a match at 11 a.m. against the Hoosiers. The Gophers will play the Boilermakers the next day at noon in West Lafayette, Ind.
Tennis Match Results
April 7, 2013
Baseline Tennis Center
#52 Ohio State 5, Minnesota 2
1. Cecil/Dieters (OSU) def. Pintusava/Rincon Otero (MINN) 8-4
2. Manashirova/Steele (OSU) vs. Muravnik/Palen (MINN) 6-4 unfinished
3. Becker/O’Neill (OSU) def. Brichacova/Mozia (MINN) 8-4
1. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Kelsey Dieters (OSU) 6-1, 6-0
2. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) def. Kara Ceil (OSU) 6-3, 6-3
3. Gabby Steele (OSU) def. Paula Rincon Otero (MINN) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
4. Fidan Manashirova (OSU) def. Aria Lambert (MINN) 6-4, 6-4
5. Grainne O’Neill (OSU) def. Jessika Mozia (MINN) 6-4, 6-4
6. Nicole Flower (OSU) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 6-1, 6-1
Order of Finish
Doubles: 3, 1
Singles: 6, 1, 2, 5, 4, 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.