The Wisconsin’s men’s tennis team (3-2 Big Ten, 11-7 overall) split their two home conference matches against ranked opponents this past weekend at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The team got off to a great start by knocking off No. 44 Penn State (1-4, 11-9) on Friday, 4-3 in a tightly contested match. The Badgers scored an important win over a ranked opponent and improved to a perfect 10-0 at home this year.
They started out the match in doubles the way they nearly always do, taking the opening doubles point. The No. 5 ranked pair of seniors Josef Dodridge and Chema Carranza first scored an easy 6-1 win over Alp Sentay and Christos Antonopoulos. Osgar O’Hoisin and Daniel Soyfer followed with a 6-3 win over Christian Lakoseljac and Matt Galush.
O’Hoisin got Wisconsin off to a good start in singles, beating Galush 6-2, 6-1 to extend his winning streak to five-straight matches and extending the Badgers’ lead to 2-0. Carranza also came out firing, finishing off Gabriel Nemeth 6-3, 6-2.
With their backs against the wall, though, the Nittany Lions began to put together a rally. Antonopoulos battled back to beat Soyfer 1-6, 7-6, 6-4. Lakoseljac downed Lamar Remy 7-6, 6-1 and Constant De La Bassetiere took care of Dodridge 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to suddenly even the match at 3-3. However, freshman Robert Krill came through in the clutch for the Badgers, defeating Ben Lieb 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 to clinch the decisive point and a 4-3 victory.
“We’re doing the basics well,” coach Danny Westerman told UWBadgers.com. “We’ve been playing as a team, and when we do that, these matches usually go our way.”
The Badgers faced another tough test on Sunday, going up against the No. 2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0, 18-2). The Cardinal and White would see its five-game winning streak as well as its perfect record at home this spring come to an end at the hands of the high-powered Buckeyes.
Ohio State has been dominant this season, shutting out nine of the 18 teams it has defeated so far. Early on it looked as if things could be going downhill fast for the Badgers after they dropped the doubles point for just the third time this season. Carranza and Dodridge were unable to finish their match, ending prematurely at 4-4 after Ohio State took the other two matches.
The Badgers put up a fight in singles, forcing three of the six matches to be determined by a third set. Junior Osgar O’Hoisin continued his hot streak, taking down No. 42 ranked Kyle Seelig 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 for his sixth straight victory.
In the end however, Ohio State’s powerful singles lineup featuring four ranked players proved to be too much for the Badgers, as they lost their remaining matches and fell by a score of 6-1.
Wisconsin will be back in action next weekend for a pair of matches in Indiana. UW matches up against Purdue on Saturday at 11 a.m. followed by Indiana on Sunday morning.