On Senior Day at the Baseline Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon, the Minnesota women's tennis team finished its regular season strong, dominating Iowa 6-1. Seniors Mariana Spilca, Alessandra Ferrazzi, and Peta Forsyth each contributed to the team's third consecutive home victory, which put UM in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Big Ten with the Hawkeyes and Indiana.
"The seniors were great," said Gopher head coach Tyler Thomson. "I'm really proud of the whole team right now. Top to bottom, we're really doing a nice job."
Minnesota began the match by winning its first doubles competition since March 11 and first doubles competition overall in conference action. Forsyth and Magdalena Wiecha started out by making quick work of Ally Majercik and Alexis Dorr, 8-1 at the third position.
Ferrazzi and Doron Muravnik gave UM the win by upsetting 71st-ranked Sonja Molnar and Lynne Poggensee-Wei 8-6 at the top spot and Spilca and Alexa Palen sealed the team's first doubles sweep of the season with an 8-6 triumph at No. 2.
"We had some inconsistencies today," said Thomson. "We made some adjustments throughout the match and it was nice to see them come back and get the sweep-it was great."
To add to an impressive doubles effort, the seniors went out with a bang in singles, more than making up for the absence of No. 81 Natallia Pintusava who also missed Friday's match against Illinois.
Ferrazzi put a halt to an eight-match losing skid by vanquishing Jessica Young in straight sets at No. 2 and Muravnik put the Gophers on the threshold of victory by winning her fourth consecutive match at the No. 4 position.
Sixth-year senior Spilca ended a perfect final weekend at home in singles and doubles with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ally Majecik to clinch Minnesota's third win in the Big Ten and first multi-win weekend of 2011.
"It's a great feeling," said Spilca. "I really wanted to end my last home matches this way and I was really dedicated to putting every ball in and playing as well as I could. It happened in both [singles and doubles] and I'm proud of myself for doing it."
Yuliana Umanets made it 5-0 with a win at No. 5 and Wiecha added a sixth point with her team-high tenth dual match victory of the year. Iowa avoided being swept when 110th-ranked Molnar broke away from Palen in a three-set affair.
"You hope that you peak at the end of the season and that's what we're doing right now," Thomson said. "Everybody's playing inspired tennis and I think we'll be confident and eager whoever we play against [next]. We don't feel like our season is done yet. We still have things to accomplish."
Minnesota will start Big Ten Tournament competition next Thursday in Ann Arbor, Mich with a rematch against the Hawkeyes. If the Gophers win, they will face top-seeded and tenth-ranked Michigan in the second round.
Minnesota 6, Iowa 1
April 24, 2011
Baseline Tennis Center • Minneapolis, Minn.
1. No. 110 Sonja Molnar (IOWA) def. Alexa Palen (MINN) 6-1, 4-6, 6-1
2. Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) def. Jessica Young (IOWA) 6-0, 6-4
3. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) def. Lynne Poggensee-Wei (IOWA) 7-5, 6-1
4. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Christina Harazin (IOWA) 6-0, 6-3
5. Yuliana Umanets (MINN) def. Christina Escobar (IOWA) 6-2, 6-3
6. Mariana Spilca (MINN) def. Ally Majercik (IOWA) 6-2, 6-3
1. Alessandra Ferrazzi/Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. No. 71 Sonja Molnar/Lynne Poggensee-Wei (IOWA) 8-6
2. Alexa Palen/Mariana Spilca (MINN) def. Christina Harazin/ Jessica Young (IOWA) 8-6
3. Magdalena Wiecha/Peta Forsyth (MINN) def. Ally Majercik/Alexis Dorr (IOWA) 8-1
Iowa 6-15 (3-7 Big Ten)
Minnesota 7-15 (3-7 Big Ten)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,4,6,5,3,1)