The seventh-seeded University of Minnesota women's tennis team opened the 2007 Big Ten Championship today with a 4-0 win over No. 10 seed Illinois at the outdoor courts of the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis. The 60th-ranked Golden Gophers (12-10, 4-6 Big Ten) made quick work of the Fighting Illini (5-17, 1-9) in doubles play with two comvincing wins before cruising with a trio of straight-set singles victories to advance to the second round of the conference tournament for the first time since 2003. Minnesota will take on No. 2 seed and 25th-ranked Indiana at 2 p.m., on Friday at the Baseline Tennis Center. Admission to the Big Ten Championship is free.
The Maroon and Gold opened the afternoon with quick doubles wins at Nos. 1 and 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. At No. 1, Lindsay Risebrough and Ashley Schellhas dispatched Megan Fudge and Emily Wang, 8-2, to post the duo's third straight victory. The Golden Gophers clinched the doubles point with Karina Chiarelli and Tijana Koprivica's 8-3 triumph at No. 3 over Kristina Minor and Momei Qu. With the win, Chiarelli and Koprivica improved to 2-1 as a doubles team this season.
Minnesota rolled to the team win with singles wins at Nos. 2, 4 and 5. Chiarelli gave the Golden Gophers the 2-0 lead with her dominating 6-1, 6-1 victory over Wang at No. 5. The win moved Chiarelli's dual record to 7-11 this season. Koprivica then notched her sixth win in her last nine matches with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Qu at No. 2. Koprivica is now 11-10 in the dual season and 6-5 against Big Ten opponents this spring.
The Maroon and Gold wrapped up the shutout at No. 4 with Lindsay Risebrough's 7-5, 6-2 win over Minor. The triumph pushed Risebrough's winning streak to six matches and moved her dual record to 11-11.
The 2007 Big Ten Championship at the Baseline Tennis Center continues through Sunday, April 29.
#7 Minnesota vs. #10 Illinois
2007 Big Ten Championship First Round
April 26, 2007
Baseline Tennis Center
1. #90 Ashley Schellhas (MINN) vs. Megan Fudge (UI), 3-6, 3-3, abd.
2. Tijana Koprivica (MINN) def. Momei Qu (UI), 6-2, 6-1
3. Ida Malmberg (MINN) vs. Shivani Dav (UI), 7-6 (3), 3-3, abd.
4. Lindsay Risebrough (MINN) vs. Kristina Minor (UI), 7-5, 6-2
5. Karina Chiarelli (MINN) def. Emily Wang (UI), 6-1, 6-1
6. Danielle Mousseau (MINN) vs. Alejandra Meza Cuadra (UI), 6-2, 5-4, abd.
Order of finish: 5,2,4
1. Risebrough/Schellhas (MINN) def. Fudge/Wang (UI), 8-2
2. Malmberg/Mousseau (MINN) vs. Dav/Meza Cuadra (UI), 5-4, abd.
3. Chiarelli/Koprivica (MINN) def. Minor/Qu (UI), 8-3
Order of finish: 1,3
#7 Minnesota def. #10 Illinois, 4-0
Minnesota: 12-10, 4-6 Big Ten
Illinois: 5-17, 1-9 Big Ten