MINNEAPOLIS -- The Maryland women's tennis team defeated host Minnesota in the opening round of the 2018 B1G Tournament by a score of 4-2 on Thursday. It was Maryland's first conference tournament victory in program history and advanced the Terrapins into Friday's quarterfinal round against top-seeded Northwestern.
"I'm very proud of the way we competed today," head coach Daria Panova said. "Before the match we asked the team to play with a lot of grit and to make an extra effort to get to every ball, and they did a great job with that today. This may not have been our best match of the year, but it was the toughest we've played all season. We're excited for an opportunity against Northwestern tomorrow."
Maryland earned the doubles point to begin the match, picking up victories at first and third doubles.
Minnesota got the early advantage with a win at second doubles, but the Terps' top duo of Eva Alexandrova and Millie Stretton posted a 6-3 victory to even the first part of the match. With all eyes on the deciding match at third doubles, Maryland's Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka and Saya Usui prevailed with a 6-4 win to give the Terps the early 1-0 lead.
The Gophers quickly evened the score when singles play began, winning in straight sets at fifth singles. Stretton then was able to put the Terrapins in front once again, dominating at third singles with a 6-1, 6-2, victory.
Minnesota responded with a victory at sixth singles, but senior Ekaterina Tour propelled the Terrapins back in front with a straight-set victory at first singles. With the Terps needing one more point to clinch the win, Alexandrova came through with a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, win at second singles over Kreinis to win the match.
The Terps will now play Northwestern on Friday, with the winner advancing to the semifinals against either Purdue or Ohio State. Opening serve from Minneapolis is slated for 12:30 p.m. (ET).
For full results from Maryland's victory over Minnesota, please see below.
Maryland 4, Minnesota 2
Order of Finish: (2, 1, 3)
1. Ekaterina Tour (MD) def. Ryba (MINN), 6-3, 6-4
2. Eva Alexandrova (MD) def. Kreinis (MINN), 3-6, 6-1, 6-2
3. Millie Stretton (MD) def. Emme (MINN), 6-1, 6-2
4. Arnelle Sullivan (MD) vs. Mancera (MINN), 7-5, 1-6, 3-3 UF
5. Merzbacher (MINN) def. Zoe Kulkarni (MD), 6-1, 6-0
6. Frei (MINN) def. Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka (MD), 6-2, 6-4
Order of Finish: (5, 3, 6, 1, 2*)