For the first time this season, the Minnesota women's tennis team was unable to bounce back from a loss the first match of a weekend with a win in the weekend finale, falling 7-0 to No. 36 Nebraska at the Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday. The loss, which came without three of the team's top players, dropped the No. 59 Gophers to 4-6 on the season.
"I couldn't be prouder [of the players who played on Sunday]," said Minnesota head coach Tyler Thomson. "All we're looking for is a consistent level of fight and heart and we got that today. Once we establish consistency with the way we compete and the way we fight, when we get healthy we're going to be a great team."
Playing with three new doubles tandems, the Gophers lost all three doubles matches for the second consecutive match. UNL's Madeleine Geibertand and Stefanie Weinstein, the 76th-ranked doubles duo in the country, going things started by defeating Minnesota's Magdalena Wiecha and Alexa Palen 8-4 in the top flight. The Cornhuskers sealed the doubles point with wins at Nos. 2 and 3 shortly after.
Using a shuffled lineup due to the absence of 54th-ranked Natallia Pintusava, senior co-captain Alessandra Ferrazzi, and freshman Yuliana Umanets, Minnesota did not fare much better in the singles competition.
With Nebraska already up by a point, the Cornhuskers gained a 2-0 edge when Maike Zeppernick spoiled Minnesota freshman Elianna Kantar's career dual-match debut, winning in straight sets. UNL's Madeleine Geibert then put her team on the brink of victory when she dispatched UM's Magdalena Wiecha 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1. It was the Gophers junior's first career match at the top position.
The Cornhuskers earned the decisive fourth point when Jennifer Holmberg took down Gopher senior Peta Forsyth in straight sets. Nebraska added hard-fought wins against Alexa Palen and Doron Muravnik at the second at third positions to complete the sweep. It was second time UM was swept all season.
"Regardless of who was on the court today, I was very proud of them," Thomson added. "I feel a lot better after today's match than I did after Friday's [6-1 loss to Wisconsin]."
Minnesota will get back to action next Friday when it heads to Columbia, Mo. to take on Drake and Missouri before heading to North Carolina for spring break for matches against UNC-Wilmington, William & Mary, and North Carolina. The Gophers will return home on April 2 to play Michigan. Michigan State comes to town the following day.
Women's Tennis: No. 36 Nebraska at No. 59 Minnesota
March 6, 2011
Baseline Tennis Center · Minneapolis, Minn.
Final Score: Nebraska 7, Minnesota 0
1. Madeleine Geibert (NEB) def. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
2. Patricia Veresova (NEB) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
3. Stefanie Weinstein (NEB) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 7-6 (5), 6-2
4. Janine Weinreich (NEB) def. Mariana Spilca (MINN) 6-1, 6-2
5. Jennifer Holmberg (NEB) def. Peta Forsyth (MINN) 6-4, 6-2
6. Maike Zeppernick (NEB) def. Elianna Kantar (MINN) 6-1, 6-0
1. Madeleine Geibert/Stefanie Weinstein (NEB) def. Magdalena Wiecha/Alexa Palen (MINN) 8-4
2. Janine Weinreich/Jennifer Holmberg (NEB) def. Doron Muravnik/Mariana Spilca (MINN) 8-3
3. Maike Zeppernick/Patricia Veresova (NEB) def. Peta Forsyth/Elianna Kantar (MINN) 8-4
Nebraska 10-1; National ranking No. 36
Minnesota 4-6; National ranking No. 59
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,1,5,4,3,2)