The University of Minnesota women's tennis team upended Illinois, 5-2, today at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis, Minn., to win their second Big Ten match of the season. The Golden Gophers (5-16, 2-7 Big Ten) came from behind to win the doubles point and cruised to the team victory with a season-best 4-2 mark in singles play. At No. 1 singles, UM's Nischela Reddy posted a huge upset of 56th-ranked Macall Harkins, snapping Harkins' nine-match winning streak and handing the UI player her first loss of the conference season.
The Maroon and Gold opened the dual with a 2-1 showing in doubles action. After an 8-2 Illinois win at No. 3, Minnesota's Ida Malmberg and Nischela Reddy defeated Harkins and Emily Wang, 8-6, at No. 1. The doubles point came down to No. 2 where Danielle Mousseau and Mariana Spilca edged Shivani Dav and Brianna Knue, 9-8 (4). With the win, Mousseau and Spilca snapped a two-match losing streak.
Illinois (7-13, 2-7) began singles play with a straight-set win at No. 6 before the Golden Gophers rattled off victories at Nos. 5, 3 and 4 to clinch the team win. At No. 5, Jane Anderson broke a five-match losing streak with her 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 triumph over Dav. Mousseau gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead at No. 3 with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Knue, followed shortly thereafter with Spilca's dual-clinching 7-5, 6-3 win over Wang at No. 4.
Illinois gained its second singles win at No. 2 with Momei Qu's 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Ida Malmberg, but Reddy put an exclamation point on the afternoon with her 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-0 triumph over Harkins at No. 1. With the win, Reddy improved to 13-8 in the spring, including a 7-2 mark in the Big Ten. She is now 3-3 this spring against ranked opponents.
With the team victory, the Maroon and Gold snapped a six-dual losing streak to Illinois and posted its first two-win Big Ten season since capturing the Big Ten Regular Season Championship with a 9-1 record in 2002-03.
The Golden Gophers wrap up the regular season tomorrow with a dual against Purdue at 12 p.m., at the Baseline Tennis Center. The dual against the Boilermakers will be the last home match for the Golden Gophers' three seniors - Nischela Reddy, Shelby Rohrer and Megan Steiger.
Minnesota vs. Illinois
April 22, 2006
Baseline Tennis Center
1. Nischela Reddy (MN) def. #56 Macall Harkins (ILL), 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1
2. Momei QU (ILL) def. Ida Malmberg (MN), 4-6, 6-0, 6-2
3. Danielle Mousseau (MN) def. Brianna Knue (ILL), 7-5, 6-2
4. Mariana Spilca (MN) def. Emily Wang (ILL), 7-5, 6-3
5. Jane Anderson (MN) def. Shivani Dav (ILL), 6-3, 4-6, 6-0
6. Alejandra Meza Cuadra (ILL) def. Jenna Tellefsen (MN), 6-0, 6-0
Order of finish: 6,5,3,4,2,1
1. Malmberg/Reddy (MN) def. Harkins/Wang (ILL), 8-6
2. Mousseau/Spilca (MN) def. Dav/Knue (ILL), 9-8 (4)
3. Meza Cuadra/Qu (ILL) def. Anderson/Steiger (MN), 8-2
Order of finish: 3,1,2
Minnesota def. Illinois, 5-2