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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
UW wins two of three over break

Michalicka: Junior Marek Michalicka had his perfect record snapped Sunday against Michigan, falling dropping his first match in 15 tries.

UW wins two of three over break

The Wisconsin men's tennis team recorded its first two Big Ten wins this season with victories over No. 40 Indiana and Michigan State but stumbled in a tight 4-3 battle against Michigan.

The No. 30 Badgers (2-2 Big Ten, 13-6 overall) kicked off their spring break competition March 26 hosting No. 40 Indiana (2-2, 11-5), who posed tough opposition in doubles play before two late breaks at No. 1 and 3 earned the Badgers their first point of the competition. No. 17 senior Moritz Baumann and No. 21 junior Marek Michalicka easily topped opponents in singles competition, but freshmen Billy Bertha and Chris Freeman ultimately did the honors at the bottom of the lineup, dismissing the Hoosiers 5-2 with their individual victories.

Next the Badgers embarked on a weeklong campaign from Florida to Michigan, a road trip that was supposed to start against Florida Gulf Coast, but the match was canceled by high winds in Tampa Bay.

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Against No. 51 Miami (7-10) Wednesday, the Badgers could not hold on to the doubles point and entered singles trailing 0-1. Baumann, Michalicka and sophomore Patrick Pohlmann surged to put three points on the board for Wisconsin, but freshman Ricardo Martin had the honor of sealing the 4-3 result. The freshman from Colombia downed sophomore Ignacio Taboada 6-4, 6-4, improving his individual record to 6-5 in his debut season for UW.

Returning to conference play Saturday, Wisconsin improved to a winning conference record for the first time this season with a strong 6-1 victory over Michigan State (0-5, 11-9). The Badgers swept all three prosets in doubles, including a tiebreak at No. 1 where the No. 15 duo of Baumann and Michalicka bested sophomore Austin Brooks and junior John Stratton. Wisconsin added five of six singles points with contributions from seniors Luke Rassow-Kantor and Michael Dierberger as well as Baumann, Michalicka and Bertha.

Saving best for last, No. 26 Michigan (5-0, 9-7) proved to be the toughest competition of the outing for the Badgers, forcing them to wage an all out war for decisive third sets Sunday afternoon. After starting with another doubles deficit, the match at No. 2 was the only one settled in straight sets when Baumann took out No. 97 freshman Evan King 6-3, 6-2 to put the Badgers on the board. At No. 1, the Wolverines' No. 41 junior Jason Jung halted Michalicka's 14-0 streak, handing him his first loss of the season 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Despite wins from Pohlmann and Freeman, the Wolverines administered the final blow at No. 4, where junior Chris Madden broke Bertha late in their third set to close out the match and edge the Badgers out of the match 4-3.

The Badgers return home this weekend to host No. 48 Northwestern and Purdue. Matches start Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at noon.

— contributed to this report.


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