Doubles Win Lifts Gophers to Sweep of Indiana
April 13, 2012
For the first time since 2003, the Minnesota women's tennis team defeated Big Ten foe Indiana, sweeping the 47th-ranked Hoosiers 7-0 on Friday afternoon at the Baseline Tennis Center. The win for the No. 31 Gophers was their seventh all-time in 39 matches against Indiana and improved the team's conference record to 4-4.
"It was a great team performance from top to bottom," said head coach Tyler Thomson. "Everybody competed extremely well."
A momentous doubles competition victory helped propel Minnesota to its 14th overall win on the spring season.
The 45th-ranked duo in the nation of senior Magdalena Wiecha and sophomore Natallia Pintusava got the match started by improving to 11-2 with an 8-4 triumph over Indiana's Sophie Garre and Kate Klyczek.
At No. 2 after falling behind 6-1 early, the junior tandem of Alexa Palen and Doron Muravnik fought its way back for a point-saving 9-7 win to clinch the point. Palen and Muravnik are now 5-2 together.
"Winning the doubles point really made the difference," Thomson said. "We just stole the point and got a huge amount of momentum because of it. It was a really clutch comeback by Palen and Muravnik.
The Gophers worked quickly to secure the team victory after taking the 1-0 lead.
After all six singles players won their first sets for Minnesota, Muravnik cushioned the Gopher lead by finishing off a 6-2, 6-2 win. Sophomore Yuliana Umanets, the last player to finish her first set, then put Minnesota on the brink of the team win by completing a straight-set victory over Kayla Fujimoto at the sixth position, 6-4, 6-4.
Freshman Tereza Brichacova made the final result definite by dispatching Alecia Kauss 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 and Lambert defeated Murdy at No. 5 in straight sets soon after to make it 5-0.
Palen added to the Gophers' point total by topping Evgeniya Vertesheva 6-2, 6-4 to improve to 13-5 and put a halt top a five-match losing streak. Pintusava then completed the sweep by upsetting 65th-ranked Hureau in three sets at the top position.
"We have a great level of competitiveness as a team right now," said Thomson. "We're definitely gaining a lot of confidence with every match."
The win came nine years to the day after the Gophers last beat Indiana, a match that Minnesota also swept 7-0.
The Gophers will wrap up the week with a home match against No. 34 Purdue at noon on Sunday. Minnesota will then finish out the regular season with a road match at No. 17 Nebraska on Apr. 20 and one final home match against Iowa two days later.
Apr. 13, 2012