SaturdayThe University of Minnesota women's tennis team was unable to sustain a fast start and fell to the University of Tulsa, 5-3, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, played in Tulsa, Olka., Saturday.
The Golden Gophers won the first sets in four of the six singles matches but saw the Hurricanes regroup and capture a 4-2 lead in the match after singles play. The only Minnesota wins in singles came at the No. 3 and No. 6 positions.
Senior Kim Simonsen handed the Gophers a 1-0 lead with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Tulsa's Monica Poveda at the No. 3 position. Simonsen completed an outstanding senior season with a 22-8 record, an impressive 20-2 playing in the No. 3 slot.
Junior Tammy Wang provided the other singles win, downing Marjolein van Dongen by a 6-3-6-2 count at the No. 6 spot. Wang improved to 21-5 overall and lost just once, 13-1, at that position in the lineup.
A number of close outcomes shifted the momentum to Tulsa's favor. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Sandra Olsen dropped a 7-5 tie breaker resulting in a 7-6 loss in the first set at No.2 singles. At No. 5, the Gophers' Michaela Havelkova fell 7-5 in her first set. The most drastic turnaround came in the No. 4 single match where Tulsa's Jana Sedivec recovered from a 1-6 drubbing in the first set, to defeat Minnesota's Amy Thomas, 7-5 and 6-1, to win the match.
The Gophers headed into doubles play needing a sweep to advance to Sunday's second round match and a rematch with Big Ten rival Northwestern, a 5-0 winner over Oral Robert.
"You just have to refocus and go after it," said Gopher head coach Martin Novak of his team's deficit heading into doubles action. "I really believed we could comeback and win it that didn't happen. You have to give Tulsa credit. They played well, used that extra energy from playing in front of a home crowd, and got it done."
Minnesota's top doubles tandem of Olsen and Havelkova captured an 8-2 victory to bring the Gophers with within a point at 4-3. Ironically it was Tulsa's No. 2 doubles team of Poveda/van Dongen, the only Hurricanes who lost singles matches, who clinched the match with an 8-2 win over Simsonsen and Wang. The No. 3 double match was abandoned.
The No. 28 ranked Gophers end their season with an 18-7 record. Senior Nora Sauska completes a stellar collegiate career with a school-record 93 singles victories.
2000 NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship Hosted by The University of Tulsa FIRST ROUND RESULTS SINGLES Tulsa Minnesota Winner Score No. 1 Bianca Posada Nora Sauska Tulsa 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 No. 2 Aleksandra Durska Sandra Olsen Tulsa 7-6, 6-2 No. 3 Monica Poveda Kim Simonsen Minnesota 6-1, 6-4 No. 4 Jana Sedivec Amy Thomas Tulsa 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 No. 5 Jennifer DeSpain Michaela Havelkova Tulsa 7-5, 6-2 No. 6 Marjolein van Dongen Tammy Wang Minnesota 6-3, 6-2 DOUBLES Tulsa Minnesota Winner Score No. 1 DeSpain/Sedivec Olsen/Havelkova Minnesota 8-2 No. 2 Poveda/van Dongen Simonsen/Wang Tulsa 8-2* No. 3 Durska/Posada Sauska/Jen Howard Abandoned * deciding match