Minnesota’s season ended at the hands of the nation’s top-ranked team as the Gophers fell to Northwestern 4-0 on Friday in Madison, Wis.
The Gophers had a three-match winning streak snapped and ended the year 12-12, losing to Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals for the second straight year. Northwestern, the 10-time defending tournament champion, won its 75th straight match against a Big Ten foe and improved to 23-1 for the season.
The Wildcats captured the doubles point with two victories, including a matchup of ranked pairs at No. 1. The 21st-ranked tandem of Lauren Lui and Georgia Rose handed 51st-ranked Karina Chiarelli and Alessandra Ferrazzi their first loss of the season and fourth in 25 career matches with an 8-0 decision. Samantha Murray and Elena Chernyakova clinched the point at No. 3 with an 8-2 win over Alex Seaton and Magdalena Wiecha.
In singles, Chiarelli had an early break of serve against the nation’s No. 1 player, Maria Mosolova, but the Russian sophomore was dominant from that point with a 6-1, 6-1 victory to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Nazlie Ghazal put Northwestern ahead 3-0 at No. 5, but her win was delayed when Wiecha fought off several match points to stay alive before succumbing 6-2, 6-2.
Northwestern clinched the match when 44th-ranked Murray downed Ferrazzi 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3. Unfortunately for Minnesota, the Gophers were leading in the second set of two of the other three matches when the team decision was clinched. In fact, Tijana Koprivica held a set point against 20th-ranked Rose with a 5-4 lead and Wilkins also led 106th-ranked Lui 5-4. Alex Seaton dropped her first set to Chernyakova 6-4 and trailed 5-4 in the second set when the match was suspended.
#1 Northwestern 4, #72 Minnesota 0
1. #21 Lauren Lui/Georgia Rose (NU) def. #51 Karina Chiarelli/Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 8-0
2. #33 Maria Mosolova/Keri Robison (NU) vs. Jackie Sperling/Tijana Koprivica (MINN) 7-4, unfinished
3. Samantha Murray/Elena Chernyakova (NU) def. Alex Seaton/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 8-2
1. #1 Maria Mosolova (NU) def. Karina Chiarelli (MINN) 6-1, 6-1
2. #20 Georgia Rose (NU) vs. Tijana Koprivica (MINN) 6-2, 4-5, unfinished
3. #44 Samantha Murray (NU) def. Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 6-3, 6-4
4. #106 Lauren Lui (NU) vs. Niltooli Wilkins (MINN) 6-2, 4-5, unfinished
5. Nazlie Ghazal (NU) def. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 6-2, 6-2
6. Elena Chernyakova (NU) vs. Alex Seaton (MINN) 6-4, 5-4, unfinished
Minnesota 12-12; National ranking #72
Northwestern 23-1; National ranking #1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (1,5)