No. 56 Hoosiers hose No. 75 Badgers 7-0

first_imgUW AthleticsDespite a valiant effort and close matches across the board, No. 75 Wisconsin fell 7-0 to No. 56 Indiana Sunday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.“The losses are never easy,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Van Emburgh said after the match. “[Indiana] competed well and they played the important points really well.”Wisconsin (11-10, 2-7 Big Ten) fell behind 2-1 in doubles play to give Indiana (16-11, 6-3) the doubles point.The first match to wrap up was court No. 2 doubles, where the Badgers’ duo of freshman Alexander Kokorev and junior Petr Satral lost 8-2 to the Hoosiers’ Daniel Bednarczyk and Josh MacTaggart.On court No. 1, Wisconsin’s best doubles pairing made up of seniors Billy Bertha and Alexander Kostanov faced the No. 21 ranked doubles tandem in the nation, Indiana’s Sam Monette and Isade Juneau. It was knotted up at 7-7 until the Hoosiers were able to break Bertha’s serve and go on to win the match 9-7, clinching the point for Indiana.UW freshmen Jakhongir Jalalov and Oskar Wikberg were able to come from behind and beat Chris Essick and Dimitrije Tasic 8-7 (7-5) for Wisconsin to avoid the doubles sweep.In between doubles and singles play, Van Emburgh told the team “to compete hard and try to win,” according to Satral, who believed the team still had a chance to come away with a win as six points still remained up for the taking. After all, the team had come back from a deficit just two days ago to steal a win away from Purdue.“We won two other conference matches after losing the doubles point so I told the team that we’ve come back before and I felt that we were even or better in most of these matches,” Van Emburgh said. “We were ready for a long day and I told the guys that we were going to have to fight like we did on Friday night [against Purdue].”The Hoosiers, however, were able to carry over the momentum from doubles and bring it to the court for singles play. First to finish was court No. 2, where MacTaggart beat Satral soundly 6-2, 6-1. The resounding victory was followed shortly after by Essick defeating Wisconsin freshman Frederik Strabo in No. 6 singles 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.After dropping his first set against Juneau in No. 3 singles 6-0, Bertha fought his way back into the match with a 7-6 (8-6) tiebreaker in which Bertha was awarded the second set after Juneau received a point penalty. Juneau, however, kept his composure to win the final set 6-3.For the first time all season, Kostanov found himself playing at the No. 1 position for Wisconsin and competed against freshman phenom and No. 106 Monette. After dropping the first set 7-5, Kostanov pushed the second set to a tiebreak, but came up just short 7-6 (7-3), ending the match in two sets.On court five, Jalalov and Bednarczyk played three extremely close sets, but in the end the Badgers couldn’t hold on to a one-set lead as Jalalov fell 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 1-0 (10-7).For the second time in as many matches, Wikberg played in the final match. After losing the first set, 6-1, the freshman pulled out a second set win, 7-5. In the third set, which lasted over an hour, including a 16-minute final game, Tasic won 7-6 (7-4) after fighting off five match points to secure the 7-0 victory.“Oskar had three or four match points so I’m sure he’s a little upset about that,” Satral said. “But he played extremely well and that was just another example of a great match with a bad ending.”The Badgers will head to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes Friday with hopes of finishing the season off strong.“We want to try and have a good couple of days of practice this week,” Van Emburgh said. “Iowa is a good team and even though they’re last in the conference right now, they have good players that are going to try to go out, compete and beat us. We just have to be ready for their best day and we have to make sure that we [give them] our best day.”last_img read more