Minnesota ended its season with a 5-1 loss to No. 24 San Diego in the first round of the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles. The Golden Gophers finish the season with a 15-7 record.
Minnesota's only point was scored at No. 3 singles, where senior Sitinee Rangsithienchai (Flossmoor, Ill./Homewood Flossmoor) defeated Paola Arriangoiz. Arriangoiz led in the first set, 5-3, before Rangsithienchai rebounded with four straight games to win, 7-5. Rangsithienchai won the second set, 6-4.
Junior Nora Sauska (Budapest, Hungary/ Vorosmarty) pushed No. 1-ranked Zuzana Lesenarova to three sets before falling. In the first set, the score was tied, 4-4, before Lesenarova won the final two games. Sauska won the second set, 6-2, and led in the third, 4-3, before Lesenarova won the final three games to close the match, 6-4.
San Diego started the match with a victory, as Krista Manning defeated senior Tarah Elkins (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm), 6-2, 6-4, at the No. 5 single position. Rangsithienchai's victory at No. 3 singles tied the match at 1-1. San Diego's Heather Polumbus defeated senior Jana Hrdinova (Prague, Czech Republic/Stoughton, Wis.), 6-2, 7-5, and Katarina Valkyova defeated junior Kim Simonsen (Chalfont, Pa./ Central Bucks West) at No. 2, 6-3, 7-5. San Diego closed out the victory with a win at No. 2 doubles.
MINNESOTA'S SEASON - The Gophers ended their best Big Ten regular season in team history by winning their last four matches and finishing with an 8-2 record, tied with Wisconsin for second place.
Minnesota began the conference season by winning the first three matches before falling to eventual Big Ten champion Northwestern. The Gophers defeated Indiana for the second consecutive year. Minnesota ended the conference regular season by winning four straight matches.
Minnesota entered the Big Ten Tournament as the third seed. The Gophers fell to Iowa, 5-2, in the quarterfinals. Junior Nora Sauska earned All-Big Ten honors for the third time in her career.
THE GOPHERS IN THE RANKINGS - Minnesota is ranked No. 42 in the latest ITA rankings, dated May 3.
RANGSITHIENCHAI SIXTH ON ALL-TIME LIST - Senior Sitinee Rangsithienchai ended her career with 89 career singles wins, which ties former Gopher Cathie Wadden for fifth all-time for Minnesota. Marnie Wheaton set the school record with 122 career victories from 1975-79.
Rangsithienchai led the team in singles victories this season, with 28. That total surpasses her previous season high of 24 set in her first year. She won 19 singles matches her sophomore year and 18 her junior year.
HEAD COACH MARTIN NOVAK - Martin Novak finished his ninth year as head coach of the Golden Gophers. Novak has compiled a record of 97-102 at Minnesota.