The Gophers men’s tennis team split matches with Louisville and Boise State over the weekend at Baseline Tennis Center.
Minnesota snapped its four-match losing streak Friday in dramatic fashion with a 4-3 win against Louisville, but it lost 4-3 to Boise State the next night.
Brendan Ruddock was the hero Friday night as he won a three-set match that spanned more than three hours to clinch the win.
Minnesota won the doubles point against Louisville with victories by its No. 2 and No. 3 doubles squads.
The Gophers dropped three out of six singles matches and were forced to lean on No. 5 and No. 6 singles at the end.
Ruben Weber fought back to win at sixth singles after losing the first set. His coach Geoff Young said he was impressed with how the freshman battled.
“He lost the first, and he was down 3-0 in the third, but I think he learned a lot that match,” Young said. “He showed some patience and finished.”
Weber’s comeback paved the way for the senior Ruddock to play hero.
Ruddock missed last spring’s season with severe knee tendinitis, but he looked fine Friday night.
Players from both teams watched and cheered as Ruddock battled his Louisville opponent. Ruddock finished the match with a powerful serve. He then pounded his chest, let out a scream, looked at his teammates and shook hands at the center of the net.
“We’ve been working so hard, and we’ve had a lot of close matches,” Ruddock said.
Young and his squad looked tired after the match, and he said Friday that the team needed to get some rest for Boise State the following night.
But the Gophers started slowly Saturday, dropping the doubles point to start the match, and they couldn’t rebound.
No. 1 singles player Leandro Toledo struggled throughout the weekend and lost both of his singles matches.
The Gophers women lost at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma over the weekend, extending their losing streak to six matches.
Minnesota was shut out Saturday against Oklahoma State and scored only one point Sunday against Oklahoma.
Sophomore Tereza Brichacova and freshman Jessika Mozia battled tough in their singles losses Saturday. Both players endured a 20-game third set but ultimately lost.
On Sunday, sophomore Aria Lambert was the only Gophers player to win against Oklahoma.
Minnesota competed without senior Alexa Palen for the second consecutive weekend. Merzbacher said last week that Palen was diagnosed with mononucleosis.