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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Badgers take down Boise State, DePaul in home stint

The Wisconsin Badgers women’s tennis team went undefeated in back-to-back sweeps against Boise State and DePaul.

The No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers women’s tennis team (8-2) returned to the Nielsen Tennis Center after a restful bye week for a weekend of home matchups against Boise State and DePaul on Friday, March 1 and Sunday, March 3. 

Friday’s matchup against Boise State saw familiar pairings come together in the doubles portion. Xinyu Cai and Ellison Reynoldson, who share a dominant 3-1 record when paired, broke away for an early lead against Boise State. The duo rallied off four consecutive games against the Broncos’ Pauline Ernstberger and Shauna Heffernan to take the match 6-1. 

Breaking into the head-to-head with an early lead, Wisconsin looked to Maria Sholokhova and Alina Mukhortova on court one. The Badgers duo struggled against powerful serves from Nicole Discenza and Lorelyz Marruffo, who pulled off a 6-2 win over the Badgers and evened the score. 

Wisconsin fought back and secured the doubles point with a 6-2 victory featuring strong performances from Taylor Cataldi and Rosie Garcia Gross. 

In a lively singles portion, the Badgers showcased one of their most powerful performances of the season so far. Every set went to Wisconsin, displaying their ability to create openings on the court and gain control of each game.  

Wisconsin clinched the overall victory with three straight wins from Cai, Garcia Gross and Mukhortova for a 4-0 lead. No. 123 Cai displayed her prowess on the court as she swept Heffernan in the first set 6-0 before taking the second set 6-1.

The Badgers continued their win streak as Cataldi and No. 86 Sholokhova followed suit and took down their opponents. Court five saw the toughest matchup between Wisconsin’s Ariel Johnson and Boise State’s Nicole Discenza. Johnson emerged with a 7-5 win after a cat-and-mouse exchange in the first set before sweeping the second set 6-1. 

The Badgers built off their winning momentum Sunday to conclude their non-conference stint with a sweep over the DePaul Blue Demons (9-6). The team played until clinch — where they needed to acquire four out of the seven available points to come out victorious — and that’s exactly what happened for Wisconsin. 

Garcia Gross and Cataldi were the first Badgers duo to come out victorious, dominating against their opponent in a 6-1 takedown. However, the Blue Demon pairing of Emily Casati and Yuliya Kizelbasheva bested Cai and Reynoldson 6-3 on court two, tying doubles play. 

Heads turned to court one, where Sholokhova and Mukhortova were stuck in a 4-4 stalemate against Greta Carbone and Hannah Smith. In a close fifth set, the Badgers managed to break the Blue Demons’ serves and took the match. 

Moving into singles play with the doubles point, Wisconsin continued to deliver strong performances. Sholokova was the first Badger to walk away victorious with two 6-2 sets. Mukhortova followed suit shortly after with a sweep in the first set and a 6-3 victory in the second.

Wisconsin secured its victory with its fourth point of the matchup, and Cataldi answered with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Carbone. 

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Coming out of a home stint with two satisfying wins, Wisconsin will head into its first Big Ten matches of the season this weekend on an away tour against Purdue and Indiana on Saturday and Sunday. 

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