Gophers Outlast Iowa, Advance With 4-2 Win
Few things went as planned for the Minnesota women’s tennis team on Thursday at the Big Ten tournament. Fortunately for the Gophers the one thing that did go right was the outcome of their match against Iowa.
The sixth-seeded Gophers beat No. 11 seed Iowa for the second time in five days to advance to the quarterfinals in the conference tournament. After dispatching Iowa 4-2, Minnesota will face third-seed Illinois at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Illinois beat Minnesota 6-1 at Baseline Tennis Center on April 1. Freshman Julia Courter picked up Minnesota’s lone win, which came at No. 6 singles.
Minnesota’s match against Iowa was supposed to start at 1 p.m., but inclement weather forced the match indoors and pushed the start time back nearly four hours. The match ended around 9 p.m., meaning that Minnesota missed the league banquet where sophomore Natallia Pintusava was named First Team All-Big Ten.
Last Sunday, Minnesota beat Iowa 6-1 at Baseline Tennis Center to end the regular season and then beat the Hawkeyes 4-2 today in the Big Ten tournament. The scenario that played out over the last week is exactly what happened last year as well. A year ago, the Gophers beat Iowa 6-1 on Senior Day and then eliminated the Hawkeyes 4-2 in the conference tournament.
Unlike last Sunday, Iowa won the doubles point today to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Minnesota, which swept all three matches in doubles play on Sunday, won only at the second position today. Iowa switched up all three of its pairings, while the Gophers only swapped out Aria Lambert for Yuliana Umanets on the third duo with Tereza Brichacova.
Iowa staked a 2-0 in the match when No. 69 Sonja Molnar beat Pintusava 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. It was a role reversal from last Sunday, when the unranked Gopher sophomore beat Molnar 6-4, 2-6, 1-0 (7).
Minnesota leveled the match 2-2 after Courter and Lambert won their matches at fifth and sixth singles, respectively. Courter won 6-4, 6-2 against Harazin, while Lambert posted a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Ellen Silver.
The Gophers then won the match and punched their ticket into the quarterfinals after Palen and Brichacova registered three-set wins. Palen controlled Morven McCulloch 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 at third singles, while Brichacova clinched the win for the Gophers with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 triumph against Katie Zordani.
The match at second singles between Doron Muravnik and Shelby Talcott was abandoned once Minnesota reached four points. Muravnik was leading 4-6, 7-5, 4-3 when the Gophers won the overall match.
Tennis Match Results
#34 Minnesota 4, Iowa 2