A banged up Minnesota women's tennis team gave No. 39 North Carolina State all it could handle, but fell short in the end, losing 4-3 at the Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon. The No. 75 Gophers split six singles matches with the Wolfpack, but conceded what ended up being the decisive doubles point.
N.C. State struck first when it rallied to grab the doubles competition win. Minnesota gained an early edge when Magdalena Wiecha and Mariana Spilca made quick work of Joelle Kissel and Ashley Miller, 8-2 at the third position, but the Pack responded by claiming the top two positions to take a 1-0 lead.
Minnesota fell behind 2-0 with a loss at No. 5, but the Gophers fought back to tie the match at two. Yuliana Umanets cut the deficit in half with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Lenka Hojckova at No. 3 and Alessandra Ferrazzi fended off a comeback attempt by No. 76-ranked Sandhya Nagaraj to tie the score.
NCSU gained a 3-2 when Joelle Kissell ended Magdalena Wiecha's four-match winning streak with a 6-4, 7-5 win, but the Pack lead did not last long. No. 74 Natallia Pintusava shocked North Carolina State's Sanaa Bhambri, the 23rd-ranked singles player in the nation, in three sets. Pintusava sandwiched dominating 6-2 and 6-1 set wins around a tight 7-5 second-set loss to hand Bhambri her first loss of the season and keep the Gophers alive.
The Wolfpack went on to seal the win when Christy Sipes escaped with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win over Doron Muravnik, denying the Minnesota sophomore of her first dual match win of the year.
The Gophers' 4:30 p.m. match on Sunday against Carleton at the Baseline Tennis Center was canceled due to inclement weather. Minnesota returns to action on March 4 and 6, when it hosts Big Ten foe Wisconsin and No. 31 Nebraska after 11 days off.
2/20/2011 at Minneapolis, Minn.
(Baseline Tennis Center)
No. 39 North Carolina State 4, No. 75 Minnesota 3
1. No. 74 Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. No. 23 Sanaa Bhambri (NCSU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
2. Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) def. No. 76 Sandhya Nagaraj (NCSU) 6-4, 7-5
3. Yuliana Umanets (MINN) def. Lenka Hojckova (NCSU)
4. Joelle Kissell (NCSU) def. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 6-4, 7-5
5. Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-3, 7-5
6. Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
1. Lenka Hojckova/ Tatiana Illova (NCSU) def. Natallia Pintusava/Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 8-4
2. Sanaa Bhambri/Christy Sipes (NCSU) def. Alexa Palen/Doron Muravnik (MINN) 8-5
3. Magdalena Wiecha/Mariana Spilca (MINN) def. Joelle Kissel/Ashley Miller (NCSU) 8-2
North Carolina State 5-1; National ranking No. 39
Minnesota 4-4; National ranking No. 75
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,3,2,4,1,6)