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The Minnesota women’s tennis team had its turnaround season come to an end on Friday with a 4-1 loss to No. 28 Arizona in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The Gophers, who entered the tournament ranked No. 35, finished the season with a 16-9 record. Minnesota, which was playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003, finished the season with eight more wins than it had all of last year (Gophers were 8-16 last year).
Arizona will face No. 7 North Carolina in the second round, as the Tar Heels beat Richmond 4-0 in the afternoon match.
Arizona struck first by claiming the doubles point. Lacey Smyth and Natasha Marks, who are ranked No. 37, beat No. 57 Natallia Pintusava and Magdalena Wiecha 8-1 at first doubles. Kim Stubbe partnered with Susan McRann to beat Tereza Brichacova and Julia Courter 8-3 at the third position.
The match at second doubles between Doron Muravnik and Alexa Palen of Minnesota and Sarah Landsman and Hailey Johnson of Arizona went unfinished. The Minnesota duo was trailing 7-6 when the match was abandoned.
Wiecha won her last match as a Gopher and leveled the overall match 1-1 with a quick 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles against Laura Oldham.
However, after Wiecha’s win, Arizona rattled off three straight wins to secure the overall match. Marks, who is ranked 91st, topped No. 123 Palen 6-1, 6-1 at second singles. Kim Stubbe, who is ranked No. 107, followed suit with a 6-0, 7-5 win against Brichacova at the third position to push Minnesota to the brink.
Smyth clinched the match for Arizona with a 6-1, 7-6 (2) win against Muravnik at No. 1 singles. Muravnik, who ended the season with a 24-11 record (15-8 in dual matches), was playing No. 1 singles for the first time in her career.
Aria Lambert and Courter had their matches go unfinished. Lambert was up 7-6, 2-0 when he match was abandoned, while Courter was trailing 6-3, 4-4.
Tennis Match Results
May 11, 2012 at Chapel Hill, N.C.
(Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center)
#28 Arizona 4, # 35 Minnesota 1
1. #50 Lacey Smyth (UA) def. Doron Muravnik (UM), 6-1, 7-6 (2)
2. #91 Natasha Marks (UA) def. #123 Alexa Palen (UM), 6-1, 6-1
3. #107 Kim Stubbe (UA) def. Tereza Brichacova (UM), 6-0, 7-5
4. Sarah Landsman (UA) vs. Julia Courter (UM), 6-3, 4-4, DNF
5. Aria Lambert (UM) vs. Susan Mc Rann (UA), 7-6, 2-0, DNF
6. Magdalena Wiecha (UM) def. Laura Oldham (UA), 6-2, 6-0
1. #37 Smyth/Marks (UA) def. #57 Natallia Pintusava / Magdalena Wiecha (UM), 8-1
2. Landsman/Johnson (UA) vs. Doron Muravnik / Alexa Palen (UM), 7-6, DNF
3. Stubbe/Mc Rann (UA) def. Tereza Brichacova / Julia Courter (UM), 8-3
Minnesota 16-9; National ranking #35
Arizona 16-8; National ranking #28
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (6,2,3,1)