Badgers victorious over pair of Big Ten opponents

first_imgWisconsin got back on track this weekend, downing both No. 48 Northwestern and Purdue 5-2. The Badgers dominated the courts at Nielsen Tennis Stadium, dropping only four points on the weekend, and regained some confidence after a heartbreaking loss to Michigan the previous weekend.Saturday the Badgers faced the Boilermakers, jumping ahead 1-0 after winning the doubles point. Senior Michael Dierberger and sophomore Patrick Pohlmann paired up at the No. 3 doubles spot and quickly took care of business, allowing Boilermakers Eric Ramos and Paul Foley one game point as they defeated them in commanding fashion 8-1.Senior Moritz Baumann and junior Marek Michalicka found similar success, albeit with more frustration. Baumann and Michalicka were down 4-5 until they were able to turn things around and fought back for the 8-5 win, securing the doubles point for the Badgers.“We were up 40-love in the first game and we didn’t make the break,” Michalicka said. “I was just frustrated that I wanted to move so much. I felt like I was ready to go, but then you miss a couple balls because you get more and more frustrated, it just gets worse and worse. But we made it, we just got through it.”In singles play, the Badgers again swiftly took out the Boilermakers.Baumann quickly jumped ahead of Slavko Bjelica 5-1, but Bjelica was not going to give up easily, fighting back to only a game behind at 5-4. Baumann caught the break closing the first set out 6-4 and didn’t allow Bjelica another game point, shutting him out in the second set.“It started out well; he wasn’t really into the match for whatever reason,” Baumann said of his match. “Then I was up 5-1 and I thought I was just going to finish the set, and I lost a little focus there and didn’t quite close the set down and he came back a little bit. I think I closed it at 5-4, and then the second set was pretty easy. I think he kind of gave up then.”Baumann was not the only one with swift success as Michalicka, Pohlmann and freshman Chris Freeman all notched wins, securing the 5-2 win over the Boilermakers.While Freeman notched his third singles win in a row, fellow freshmen Billy Bertha and Ricardo Martin were unable to finish out their matches with similar success. Despite the differing outcomes, all three freshmen found substantial court time this weekend.“The freshmen, they’re used to playing a lot of matches, they’re still trying to improve,” Baumann said. “I mean they played well yesterday. [Freeman] is doing a really good job the last three matches — he won all of them — Michigan and this weekend. [Martin] won yesterday, a big match for us. He’s struggling right now, but just keep on improving and practicing, I think they’re doing fine.”“I think we’re trying to get those guys as much experience as possible, and late in the season now they’ve played a bunch of matches and they know what to expect and I think that’s why their results are starting to show up a little more,” assistant coach Evan Austin added. “I think if we keep working hard in practice and the more matches those guys play they’re going to get their wins.”While Freeman found success on Saturday, he also notched a win Friday against Northwestern’s Alex Sanborn, helping Wisconsin pull out a 5-2 win.After dropping the doubles point, UW had to fight back in singles play. Again the Badgers took care of business, winning five out of the six matches to redeem their loss against the Wildcats last season.“It was pretty nice. You want redemption, especially when you lose the year before, so it was a good feeling,” Baumann said of the win. “Especially after the frustrating Michigan loss — we should have won — we want to get back on track on the home matches and really take care of those matches, especially Northwestern who we lost to last year. [Friday] and [Saturday] were like we should win for sure, so I think we took care of business.”With only four matches left before the Big Ten Tournament, the two wins this weekend helped the team get back on track and set the tone for the rest of the season.“Going into the Big Ten Tournament and everything, we just need a lot of matches behind us — a lot of confidence — going into these matches,” Freeman said. “They’re just trying to get us through all the tough ones. It’s really good for us to get some good wins out here, even it it’s a little easier team for us to just set the tone and show that we’re out here to win.”last_img

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