As the Wisconsin men’s tennis team (6-6 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) reached the halfway point of the spring season, this weekend produced a familiar set of results. The Badgers continued their dominating play at home and in doubles action but were again unable to break through and capture that elusive first win of the season away from Madison.
On Friday afternoon, the team welcomed the University of Pennsylvania (4-7) to Nielsen Tennis Center. Wisconsin had never defeated the Quakers in program history, most recently dropping a narrow 4-3 decision when the two teams met last year.
This time around, though, the Badgers limited the drama by efficiently disposing of Pennsylvania by a score of 6-1.
Wisconsin opened the match by breezing through doubles play to capture the first point of the match. In the No.1 spot, the new pair of senior Josef Dodridge and junior Osgar O’Hoisin continued their strong play by taking their match at a convincing score of 6-1. The duo has yet to lose a match this season when playing together. The sophomore pair of Daniel Soyfer and Chase Colton followed suit by winning 6-2.
In singles, the Badgers continued to roll, winning all but one of their matches. Colton, Soyfer and Dodridge carried their success in doubles into singles action with all three taking their matches in straight sets. Freshman Jesper Freimuth also took his match in straight sets at a score of 6-2, 6-3 while O’Hoisin pulled out a hard fought match 7-5, 4-6, 10-2.
After once again successfully defending their home courts, the Cardinal and White headed south to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to square off against Middle Tennessee State (10-2). The Blue Raiders presented a tough challenge, having not lost a match at home this season and already shutting out five of their opponents.
Wisconsin came close to notching its first road victory of the season, but ultimately fell in a dramatic and heartbreaking match.
The match started in usual fashion for the Badgers as they jumped out to a 1-0 lead. O’Hoisin and Dodridge continued their dominating play, defeating the MTSU pair of Chris Edge and Tom Moonen, 6-4. Senior Chema Carranza and freshman Jesper Freimuth took care of business next by overpowering Glan Issa and Jan Porteset by a score of 6-2.
The Badgers started off singles play encouragingly with sophomore Daniel Soyfer taking his match in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and pushing his record to a perfect 10-0 in singles on the season.
Things would take a turn for the worse from that point however, as MTSU took the next three matches to take a 3-2 lead. After Dodridge evened the score at 3-3 with a 7-6, 6-1 victory, the match came down to senior Chema Carranza’s battle with Tom Moonen at the No. 2 spot.
Carranza lost the first set in a 7-6 tiebreak but stormed back to capture the second set 6-1. He put in a strong effort in the third set, leading 5-4 over Moonen. Unfortunately for the Badgers, Moonen would come back to take the set 7-5, giving the Red Raiders the victory.
Head coach Danny Westerman acknowledged that the result was tough to swallow for the team, but was optimistic that the tough situation would benefit the Badgers going forward.
“This one stings. We need to keep working. We put ourselves in these situations so we can eventually get over the hump,” Westerman told UWBadgers.com.
Wisconsin will look to bounce back next weekend when its welcome Cornell and UW-Green Bay to Nielsen Tennis Center for a Sunday doubleheader.