Badgers look to carry early season momentum to West Coast

Image By: Katie Scheidt and Katie Scheidt

The Wisconsin men’s tennis team will attempt to win its first matches of the spring season away from Madison this weekend, when it travels west to face some unfamiliar foes.

After an encouraging weekend that saw the team go 2-0 at Nielsen Tennis Center and push its record to 4-2 on the season, the team will look to build on its strong start. It will be no easy task for the Badgers, as they will face two formidable opponents on their home courts.

On Friday night, the Badgers face a daunting task when they take on Oregon (4-2). The Ducks have posted similar results as Wisconsin so far this season. Just like the Badgers, Oregon has been perfect when playing at home. Not only have they yet to lose a match at home, but they have also not surrendered a single point, shutting out all visitors to Eugene so far this season.

Oregon also boasts a powerful doubles lineup, losing the point only once in that area to No. 5 Stanford. They possess two pairs ranked in the ITA top-40, including the No. 17 duo of Cormac Clissold and Thomas Laurent. Wisconsin will counter with a highly-ranked pair of their own, with seniors Chema Carranza and Josef Dodridge climbing to the No. 3 doubles spot this week.

Wisconsin is coming off of its best singles performance of the season, notching its first shutout victory of the season this past Saturday against Green Bay. Oregon will likely present a much tougher challenge however, as it has shut out four of its six opponents this year and are led by the No. 12 singles player in the nation, junior Thomas Laurent.

After a day of rest on Saturday, UW will head north to take on the Washington Huskies for the first time in three years. Washington has an impressive 4-1 record, with its only loss coming at the hands of No. 13 Michigan.

Just as is the case with Oregon, the Huskies have only lost the doubles point once this season. Despite their strong play in the area they are without a ranked pair, the Badgers will look to capitalize on their advantage in that area by claiming the first point of the match, just as they have done at every opportunity so far this season.

The Huskies will have the highest ranked player on the singles side, with senior Jake Douglas rising to the No. 48 spot this week in the ITA rankings.

The Badgers will take on Oregon Friday at 6 p.m. in Eugene, Ore., followed by their match against Washington on Sunday at noon in Seattle.

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