Tribe buries Gophers, 5-2


William and Mary scored a 5-2 victory over Minnesota Tuesday, sweeping all three doubles matches and ultimately moving to No. 43 in the national rankings.

The Tribe started strong, taking the first overall point of the day by winning all three doubles matches.
The College’s pairing of freshmen Marivick Mamiit and Jeltje Loomans dismantled Eliana Kantar and Peta Forsyth in the three slot by a score of 8-1, despite Looman being forced to serve underhand due to an injury, and it being the first time the two played together.

“This team has accepted the mindset of whatever it takes, we’re not going to worry about how we win, we’re just going to find a way to win,” Coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said.

After that match had finished, the Tribe’s one-slot duo of sophomore Anik Capeda and freshman Hope Johnson — the No. 50 doubles team in the nation — squeezed out a 8-6 victory. The last doubles match of the day ended with the same score as junior Katie Kargl — who recently underwent back surgery — and sophomore Marlen Mesgarzadeh ground out a win over the Golden Gophers in the two-spot.

Johnson came back to face fellow freshman Natallia Pintusave, the No. 65 player in the nation, in the No. 1 singles match. But Pintusava, while visibly hindered by an injured left knee, was too much for Johnson, who struggled with her serve throughout the match, double-faulting on numerous points.

But what set the College apart from the Golden Gophers was the play of the middle of its lineup.

Mesgarzadeh handily beat Minnesota’s Magdalena Wiecha, 6-3 and 6-1 in the second seed, and Loomans won a hard-fought match 7-5, 7-5 in the third slot. Cepeda also won her No. 4 singles match in straight sets, and the only third set of the day came when Mamiit faced off with Minnesota’s Forsyth once again, winning a third-set tiebreaker for the third-straight and team-leading 18th win of the season.

The Tribe didn’t just have to fight injury. The match was the first of the season played outdoors, and the temperature was in the low 50s.

“It was a pretty solid performance given that it was cold. The weather wasn’t ideal,” Walton said. “But if we [have to] win ugly, we’ll win ugly.”