The No. 48 UW men’s tennis team played
neck-and-neck with No. 28 Michigan but fell just short, losing Saturday
afternoon’s dual at Nielsen Tennis Stadium, 4-3.
“The way the team played today would normally be good enough for us
to be celebrating in our huddle,” head coach Greg Van Emburgh said.
With the loss, the Badgers dropped to a 9-7 overall record, including
2-3 in conference. The Wolverines picked up their third straight win and
improved to 12-4 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten.
Several Wisconsin players had trouble finishing off their Michigan
“You have to find a way to close the matches out when you’re ahead
and take advantage when you’re up a set,” Van Emburgh said.
Michigan’s No. 61 Brian Hung clinched the match with a
come-from-behind win over No. 98 Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) at No. 2
singles. Up 4-1 in the second set after cruising to a 6-0 win in the
first, Sonkin was unable to finish Hung off. Hung fought back to tie the
set at 6-6, win the tiebreaker, 7-5, and used his momentum to win the
third set, 6-2.
Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) also lost a tight match to a ranked
Michigan opponent, dropping No. 1 singles, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, to No. 55
Matko Maravic. Michael Dierberger was defeated as well, 6-1, 6-4, to
Steve Peretz at No. 5 singles.
Looking at the more positive side for UW, the Badgers were able to win
three of the six singles matches.
Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) continued his impressive freshman
campaign, claiming No. 3 singles with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Ryan Heller.
Baumann now stands at 10-4 on the season playing mainly in the top-half
of UW’s lineup.
After a wet court put the No. 6 singles match on hold until one of the
other five matches finished, Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) made quick work
of Scott Bruckmann. Bellido triumphed, 6-1, 6-1, and improved to 12-2 on
the season, including a perfect 7-0 at the No. 6 spot.
Lachezar Kasarov (Burgas, Bulgaria) concluded Saturday’s dual with a
6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles over Andrew Mazlin.
Michigan got off to a 1-0 lead in the match by coming out on the
winning end of three close doubles matches.
No. 44 Polley/Baumann held their own at No. 1 doubles against one of
the nation’s top tandems, No. 3 Hung/Maravic, but couldn’t quite
pull off the upset, falling, 8-5.
George Navas and Mike Sroczynski clinched the doubles win for the
Wolverines when they defeated Dierberger and Brennen Phippen (Bradenton,
Fla.) at No. 3 doubles, 8-4.
Soon after, Sonkin/Kasarov’s shot at No. 35 Heller/Mazlin at No. 2
doubles fell just short. After quickly falling down by three games in
the set at 5-2, Sonkin and Kasarov fought back to put themselves just
one game back of the Michigan duo at 5-4. The pair, however, could not
maintain their momentum, losing, 8-5.
UW will now look forward to spending its spring break in Texas for two
dual matches. Wisconsin faces Texas Christian at 6 p.m. on April 3,
followed by SMU at 4 p.m. on April 4.