The Minnesota women's tennis team was unable to avenge its 2010 Big Ten Tournament knockout loss on Friday night, losing to No. 66 Wisconsin 6-1 at the Baseline Tennis Center. The No. 59 Gophers dropped the first four points of the match before sophomore Doron Muravnik provided the team with its only positive note of the match with a win at No. 5.
"We just got outcompeted tonight. That's the bottom line," said Minnesota head coach Tyler Thomson. "We're going to have to right the ship in terms of competitiveness if we're going to be successful."
Minnesota's struggles began in doubles play, where it fell at all three positions. The Badgers clinched the point with an 8-1 win at No. 3 and an 8-3 win at No. 2. Natallia Pintusava and Alexa Palen lost 8-5 at No. 1 after a comeback attempt fell short.
The Badgers didn't take long to seal their eighth victory of the season, winning the first three singles competitions. Mariana Spilca, the 54th-ranked Pintusava, and Alessandra Ferrazzi all lost in straight sets.
After the match had been decided, Wisconsin's Jessica Seyferth forced Muravnik to a match tiebreaker with a 6-3 second-set win. However, one match removed from being defeated in a three-set heartbreaker against North Carolina State, Muravnik grinded out an 11-9 win to earn her first singles victory of the spring and help the Gophers avoid being swept.
"[Doron] was one of the few people tonight who was exemplary with her heart and her competitiveness from start to finish," said Thomson. "I don't think it's any coincidence that she's the player that won for us tonight."
After Muravnik made the score 4-1, Palen lost 10-5 in her super-tiebreaker and Magdalena Wiecha was unable to pull out a win in her own three-set match, falling 6-1, 0-6, 5-7.
The Gophers will wrap up a string of seven home matches on Sunday when they take on No. 36 Nebraska at 11 a.m.
No. 66 Wisconsin 6, No. 59 Minnesota 1
March 4, 2011
Baseline Tennis Center · Minneapolis, Minn.
1. Nicky Stracar (WIS) def. No. 54 Natallia Pintusava (MINN) 6-2, 6-3
2. Jenny Hois (WIS) def. Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
3. Alaina Trgovich (WIS) def. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 1-6, 6-0, 7-5
4. Hannah Berner (WIS) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (5)
5. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Jessica Seyferth (WIS) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (9)
6. Angela Chupa (WIS) def. Mariana Spilca (MINN) 6-2, 6-0
1. Nicky Stracar/Alaina Trgovich (WIS) def. Natallia Pintusava/Alexa Palen (MINN) 8-5
2. Jenny Hois/Angela Chupa (WIS) def. Alessandra Ferrazzi/Doron Muravnik (MINN) 8-3
3. Hannah Berner/Jessica Seyferth (WIS) def. Magdalena Wiecha/Mariana Spilca (MINN) 8-1
Wisconsin 8-2; National ranking No. 66
Minnesota 4-5; National ranking No. 59
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,1,2,5,4,3)