No. 19 Alabama men’s tennis suffered its first loss of the 2019 campaign on Friday night after falling 4-3 in a tough battle against Minnesota inside the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Indoor Tennis Facility. With the loss the Crimson Tide falls to 6-1 on the season, while the Golden Gophers improve to 4-1.
“Great effort tonight from Minnesota, I give them a ton of credit for their courageous effort out here,” said head coach George Husack. “They played more fearless than we did. We spent a lot of time in practice talking about four concepts – building, capitalizing, attacking and finishing – tonight we built many points to go our way and we capitalized when we could, but we did not attack enough.“
For the first time this season, Alabama dropped the doubles point and trailed 1-0 heading into singles action.
Minnesota extended its lead to 2-0 after picking up a win on court four. The Tide quickly responded with a straight-set victory from sophomore Jeremy Gschwendtner over Sebastian Vile, 6-4, 7-5, to make it 2-1.
The Golden Gophers went up 3-1 after a victory on court six, when seconds later sophomore No. 41 Patrick Kaukovalta, pull the Tide back within one with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, battle over Jackson Allen. Junior Edson Ortiz improved his dual match singles record to 7-0 after coming from behind to defeat Stefan Milicevic on court two, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The match was tied 3-3 and it came down to senior Mazen Osama, who trailed 2-5 in the third set. Josip Krstanovic closed out the match on court one to seal the 4-3 victory for the Golden Gophers.
Next up for Alabama is its first road trip of 2019, when the team goes out to California to play against San Diego State (Feb. 8) in San Diego, Calif., and Pepperdine, Feb. 10 in Malibu, Calif.