The Gophers men’s tennis team bounced back from one of its worst losses of the season during the weekend, and it might have earned a spot in the NCAA tournament in the process.
The Gophers beat Indiana 6-1 on Friday and beat Purdue 5-2 on Sunday. They’ve won seven of their past eight matches, and the only loss was a 7-0 defeat to conference juggernaut Ohio State last weekend.
Minnesota (11-9, 7-2 Big Ten) has two conference matches left before the postseason. It needs to finish above .500 to qualify for the NCAA tournament in a little more than a month.
Minnesota has dropped only two Big Ten matches all season.
Gophers junior tennis player Juan Pablo Ramirez may never get used to winter in Minnesota.
He grew up more than 3,000 miles away in Bogota, Colombia, and said the weather change has been a tough adjustment. This year has been especially hard, as temperatures remained in the teens into March.
But the cold weather didn’t affect his choice to play for the Gophers.
Colombian native Juan Pablo Ramirez is a regular singles and doubles player.
The Gophers’ Mathieu Froment watched his Illinois opponent’s shot sail out of bounds then looked at his teammates and let out a roar.
The sophomore was met seconds later by a mob of teammates. His three-set win capped a 4-3 comeback win over No. 19 Illinois on Sunday at Baseline Tennis Center — the Gophers’ second upset victory of the weekend.
Minnesota (8-8, 4-1 Big Ten) has won four straight matches — all against higher-ranked opponents — and looks to have hit its stride in the last few weeks.
The Gophers women lost both of their matches to higher-ranked foes.
Minnesota head women’s tennis coach Chuck Merzbacher said this week his team needed both wins over the weekend.
They got ’em.
The Gophers have struggled to start the season, but they appear to have hit their stride in the past couple of weeks. They stretched their winning streak to four matches this weekend with wins over Mississippi State and Wisconsin at the Baseline Tennis Center.
Minnesota beat Mississippi State 4-3 on Friday night and beat rival Wisconsin 7-0 on Sunday to kick off the Big Ten season.
The Gophers women's tennis team beat Mississippi State and Wisconsin over the weekend. The men lost to Wisconsin.