Penn State Comes Back to Defeat Minnesota, 4-3
After dropping the doubles point and two of the first three singles matches, Penn State regained it's composure to take the final three singles matches in straight sets to beat Minnesota 4-3 in Thursday's first-round action. In doubles play, Nischela Reddy and Ida Malmberg were too much for Sasha Abraham and Jenny Shular of Penn State at No. 1. The Gophers clinched the point when Spilca and Mousseau handled BeVard and Holzberg, winning 8-3.
It seemed as if Minnesota was on their way to a sweep when Reddy and Malmberg won at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Reddy beat Abraham 6-0. 6-2 while Malmberg topped Andreea Niculescu 6-4, 6-2.
The Lady Lions then turned the momentum in their favor. In the No. 4 spot, Schular picked up Penn State's first point of the day with a 6-2 6-1 dominant win over Spilca. Leyla Morzan did her part to keep the Lady Lions alive with a hard fought 6-2, 7-5 win over Marina Bugaenco.
It was up to Lauren Holzberg to tie the match, and she found herself up a set after a 6-1 victory. Her second set was a battle with Jane Anderson, and the Gopher eventually took it with a tiebreaker. Holzberg fought back in the third game and won 6-4 for the victory.
The last completed match would turn out to be the tie-breaking point. With the match tied at three points apiece, Katelyn BeVard and Danielle Mousseau were in the heat of battle as their teammates lined up to watch. The No. 3 singles match went into three sets before BeVard clinched the match for Penn State with a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 win.
Penn State advances to face No. 1 seed Northwestern in Friday's quarterfinal round. First serve is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. from the Illini Grove tennis courts in Champaign, Illinois.