The University of Minnesota women's tennis team saw its 2005-06 season come to an end today in a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Penn State in the first round of the 2006 Big Ten Championship in Champaign, Ill. The Golden Gophers (5-18, 2-8 Big Ten) won the doubles point, but failed to win three singles matches as the Nittany Lions (9-12, 2-8) rallied from a 3-1 deficit to advance to the quarterfinals.
Minnesota opened the dual with two convincing wins in doubles action to take the early 1 -0 lead. Danielle Mousseau and Mariana Spilca began the morning with an 8-3 victory at No. 2 over Katelyn Bevard and Lauren Holzberg. At No. 1, Ida Malmberg and Nischela Reddy clinched the doubles point with an 8-5 win over Sasha Abraham and Jenny Shular. With the win, Malmberg and Reddy moved their dual record to 16-7.
The Maroon and Gold used the momentum from the doubles wins to take a 3-1 lead in singles play. At No. 1, Reddy dispatched Abraham, 6-0, 6-2, while Malmberg downed Andrea Niculescu, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 2 to put Minnesota within one more singles win of advancing to the quarterfinals. Penn State knotted the match at 3-3 with straight-set victories at Nos. 4 and 6, setting up the deciding match at No. 3 between Mousseau and Bevard.
PSU's Bevard opened the match with a 6-4 win before Mousseau struck back in dominating fashion with a 6-0 second-set win. With the dual coming down to the third set, Bevard broke Mousseau once, leading to the 6-4 triumph and the Penn State team victory.
Minnesota (9) vs. Penn State (8)
2006 Big Ten Championship - First Round
April 27, 2006
1. Nischela Reddy (MN) def. Sasha Abraham (PSU), 6-0, 6-2
2. Ida Malmberg (MN) def. Andrea Niculescu (PSU), 6-4, 6-2
3. Katelyn Bevard (PSU) def. Danielle Mousseau (MN), 6-4, 0-6, 6-4
4. Jenny Shular (PSU) def. Mariana Spilca (MN), 6-2, 6-1
5. Lauren Holzberg (PSU) def. Jane Anderson (MN), 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-1
6. Leyla Morzan (PSU) def. Marina Bugaenco (MN), 6-2, 7-5
1. Malmberg/Reddy (MN) def. Abraham/Shular (PSU), 8-5
2. Mousseau/Spilca (MN) def. Bevard/Holzberg (PSU), 8-3
3. Anderson/Bugaenco (MN) led Dohanics/Morzan (PSU), 7-3
Penn State def. Minnesota, 4-3