Minnesota had its season end in the opening round of the Big Ten women's tennis tournament for the first time in four years with a 4-0 loss to Wisconsin on Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa.
The ninth-seeded Gophers had a strong start to the season against a quality non-conference schedule, but struggled down the stretch with six straight losses to end the season with a 10-14 record. It was the second time Wisconsin has beaten Minnesota in less than two weeks as the eighth-seeded Badgers improved to 9-15 and set up a quarterfinal meeting with top-seeded Michigan on Friday.
Wisconsin opened with a pair of doubles victories to take the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. The Badgers' No. 2 tandem of Alaina Trgovich and Hannah Berner downed Gopher seniors Tijana Koprivica and Jackie Sperling 8-3. Wisconsin's Jessica Seyferth and Kathleen Saltarelli followed with an 8-5 win over Mariana Spilca and Magdalena Wiecha at No. 3. Minnesota's Alexa Palen and Alessandra Ferrazzi were one game away from winning at No. 1 with a 7-5 lead when the match was suspended.
The Badgers went ahead 3-0 when Angela Chupa defeated Sperling 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 and Trgovich followed with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Ferrazzi at No. 1. Wisconsin clinched the match when Seyferth rallied from dropping the first set to Muravnik at No. 6 and won 2-6, 6-1, 6-0.
Three other singles matches were suspended before completion. Wiecha dropped the first set to Saltarelli at No. 6 by a 6-3 score, but dominated the second set 6-1 to force a third set. Saltarelli was leading the third set 4-1 when the match ended. Palen and Katya Mirnova were tangled in a lengthy match at No. 3 with Mirnova prevailing 8-6 in a tiebreaker to capture a first set that lasted an hour and 15 minutes. Mirnova was ahead 3-2 in the second set. Wisconsin's Berner took the first set from Koprivica 6-4 at No. 2, but Koprivica held a 6-5 lead in the second set.
Minnesota had advanced to the quarterfinals each of the past three seasons. The Gophers lose just two seniors in Koprivica and Sperling. Koprivica concluded her career fourth on Minnesota's career singles victories list with 92 wins.
Wisconsin 4, #71 Minnesota 0
Apr 29, 2010 at Iowa City, Iowa
1. Alaina Trgovich (WIS) def. Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 6-3, 6-3
2. Hannah Berner (WIS) vs. Tijana Koprivica (MINN) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
3. Katya Mirnova (WIS) vs. Alexa Palen (MINN) 7-6 (8-6), 3-2, unfinished
4. Angela Chupa (WIS) def. Jackie Sperling (MINN) 6-0, 6-0
5. Jessica Seyferth (WIS) def. Doron Muravnik (MINN) 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
6. Kathleen Saltarelli (WIS) vs. Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 6-3, 1-6, 4-1, unfinished
1. Angela Chupa/Katya Mirnova (WIS) vs. Alexa Palen/Alessandra Ferrazzi (MINN) 5-7, unfinished
2. Alaina Trgovich/Hannah Berner (WIS) def. Jackie Sperling/Tijana Koprivica (MINN) 8-3
3. Jessica Seyferth/Kathleen Saltarelli (WIS) def. Mariana Spilca/Magdalena Wiecha (MINN) 8-5
Minnesota 10-14; National ranking #71
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,1)
Match played indoors due to high winds
Big Ten tournament opening round
Wisconsin faces Michigan in quarterfinals Friday at 10 a.m.