MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - A come-from-behind three-set singles victory from senior Jean Erasmus (Windhoek, Namibia) sparked the 27th-rated Drake men's tennis team to a dramatic 4-3 victory over No. 66 Minnesota on Friday (March 1).
The win was the 12th straight for the Bulldogs and provided Drake its initial triumph past the Golden Gophers since an identical 4-3 victory during the 2008 campaign.
Drake head coach Davidson Kozlowski mixed up the doubles rotation and the results paid off as the Bulldogs stole the early momentum in the affair securing the doubles point with wins at the Nos. 2 and 3 slots.
Clinching the tally on the No. 2 court was the tandem of freshman Ben Lott (Newcastle, England) and senior James McKie (Edinburgh, Scotland), who bettered Rok Bonin and Juan Pablo Ramirez, 8-4.
Junior Robin Goodman (Cambridge, England) kicked off singles for Drake besting Jack Hamburg at the No. 3 position, 6-3, 6-2, to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 2-0.
Minnesota erased the deficit on the strength of consecutive triumphs at the Nos. 1, 2 and 6 positions to assume a 3-2 lead.
After dropping his first set versus Mathieu Froment on the No. 4 court, sophomore Alen Salibasic (Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina) began Drake's comeback staging a 1-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 victory to square the affair at three. The win was even more impressive for Salibasic as he faced match point, down 5-2 in the second set, including 15-40 in the game, before staving off eight match points to claim the set in the tiebreaker.
Erasmus also fell in his initial set, 6-2, against Ramirez at No. 5, but displaying the fortitude of a senior he claimed the next two frames, including 7-6 (1) in the second set, to garner the win, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4.
The victory was the third of the season versus a Big Ten Conference school for Drake after posting earlier wins over Nebraska and Iowa.
The Bulldogs return to action battling No. 14 Washington on Saturday (March 2). Match time is slated for 2:00 p.m.
NO. 27 DRAKE (12-1) DEF. MINNESOTA (3-7), 4-3
MARCH 1, 2013 • MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
No. 1 No. 48 Rok Bonin (MINN) def. No. 49 Anis Ghorbel (DU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 No. 94 Leandro Toledo (MINN) def. No. 96 James McKie (DU), 7-5, 2-6, 6-1
No. 3 Robin Goodman (DU) def. Jack Hamburg (MINN), 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 No. 121 Alen Salibasic (DU) def. Mathieu Froment (MINN), 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3
No. 5 Jean Erasmus (DU) def. Juan Pablo Ramirez (MINN), 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-4
No. 6 Ruben Weber (MINN) def. Ben Mullis (DU), 7-6 (5), 6-3
Order of finish: 3,2,6,1,4,5
No. 1 Froment/Hamburg (MINN) def. Erasmus/Salibasic (DU), 8-5
No. 2 Ben Lott/McKie (DU) def. Bonin/Ramirez (MINN), 8-4
No. 3 Ghorbel/Goodman (DU) def. Frueh/Toledo (MINN), 8
Order of finish: 3,1,2