Gophers Blank Lobos to Open NCAA Tournament
May 8, 2009
Courtesy of GopherSports.com
Three Minnesota players posted straight-set wins as the Gophers rolled past New Mexico 4-0 in an NCAA men's tennis first round match on Friday in Los Angeles.
The Gophers, making their 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament, won an NCAA postseason match for the first time since beating LSU in 2006. It marked Minnesota's first shutout win in the NCAA tournament since blanking Binghamton in the first round in 2003.
Minnesota is now 19-7 overall and faces either eighth-seeded Southern California or UC-Santa Barbara on Saturday at 3 p.m. (Pacific time) at USC's Marks Stadium. New Mexico ended its season at 20-6.
Phil Arndt and Ishay Hadash got the Gophers off to a good start, downing New Mexico's Graeme Kassautski and Joe Wood 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. The Gophers then clinched the doubles point when Sebastian Gallego and Julian Dehn defeated Ben Dunbar and Carl Ho 8-4. The Lobos' Miles Bugby and Johnny Parkes were ahead of Tobias Wernet and Michael Sicora 7-6 at No. 1 when action was suspended.
Dino Bilankov was the first Gopher to add to the lead in singles when he bested Dunbar 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4. Soon after, Dehn, at No. 5 singles, beat Phil Anderson, 6-2, 6-3, to put the Gophers ahead 3-0. Dehn won five straight games to close out the second set.
While the sets were split on courts 1, 2 and 6, all eyes turned to Gallego at No. 3 singles. Gallego took the first set 6-0, but Bugby made the second set a battle. Gallego, however, was able to end the match before a New Mexico rally started, clinching the match with a 6-4 second set.
(1) Tobias Wernet-Michael Sciora (Minn) vs. Miles Bugby-Johnny Parkes (UNM), 6-7, susp.
(2) Phil Arndt-Ishay Hadash (Minn) def. Graeme Kassautzki-Joe Wood (UNM), 8-4
(3) Sebastian Gallego-Julian Dehn (Minn) def. Ben Dunbar-Carl Ho (UNM), 8-6
Order of Finish: 2,3
(1) Ishay Hadash (Minn) vs. Johnny Parkes (UNM), 6-7 (4-7), 3-0 susp.
(2) Tobias Wernet (Minn) vs. Graeme Kassutzki (UNM), 6-1, 4-6, 1-1 susp.
(3) Sebastian Gallego (Minn) def. Miles Bugby (UNM), 6-0, 6-4
(4) Dino Bilankov (Minn) def. Ben Dunbar (UNM), 6-4, 6-1
(5) Julian Dehn (Minn) def. Phil Anderson (UNM), 6-2, 6-3
(6) Phil Arndt (Minn) vs. Carl Ho (UNM), 6-2, 4-6 susp.
Order of Finish: 4,5,3