Badgers Flirt with Wildcats in Losing Battle
MADISON, Wis. – Despite multiple close matches, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team was only able to record one win against No. 15 Northwestern in a 6-1 loss Sunday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
The Badgers surrendered the loss to their highest-ranked opponent of the season, falling to 10-7 overall and 1-4 in the Big Ten. Northwestern is also now 10-7 overall but 4-1 in the conference.
For the second straight match, UW was blanked in doubles after being swept by Illinois’ doubles teams on March 31.
At courts one and two, both Wisconsin doubles teams suffered 8-4 defeats. At No. 1, Nida Hamilton and Veronica Corning ousted junior Hannah Berner and senior Alaina Trgovich, while sophomore Nicky Stracar and freshman Nova Patel were upended by Brittany Wowchulk and Belinda Niu at No. 2.
The senior duo of Aleksandra Markovic and Angela Chupa were held to just one game at court three, losing to Katie Turvy and Stacey Lee, 8-1.
With all but two of the singles courts pushing the matches to extra games or sets, Wisconsin tested Northwestern, but ultimately could not knock off the Wildcats.
“We had a little talk after the doubles and the girls actually went out there and believed they could win the singles matches,” UW head coach Brian Fleishman said. “It makes a big difference, just by having that belief you can actually do something. You’ve got to believe before you can.”
Despite the team’s best efforts, Patel represented UW’s only win of the match after her Wildcat opponent, Lee, retired. Lee won the first set, 7-6, and was up, 3-2, in the second when she retired, handing the Badgers their lone victory of the match.
At court six, Chupa trailed Hamilton, 5-0, in the first set, before staging a comeback to even things at 5-5. Hamilton went on to win the first set, 7-5, followed by a 6-3 win in the second.
After dropping the first set, 6-3, Berner came back to edge No. 62 Wowchulk, 7-5, in the second set at the No. 3 spot. In a tiebreak played in lieu of a full third set, however, Berner was unable to get past Wowchulk, losing, 10-8.
At No. 4, freshman Sarah Loebel was the last Badger off the court after falling short in three sets to Corning. Loebel took the first set but was unable to finish off the Wildcat, losing, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Trgovich and Stracar both suffered straight-set defeats at courts one and two, respectively.
At the top spot, Trgovich was bested, 6-2, 6-0 by 21st-ranked Turvy, while Niu defeated Stracar, 6-2, 6-3 at court two.
The Badgers hit the road next weekend, making stops at Ohio State and Penn State. The matchup with the Buckeyes is set for 2 p.m. (CT) on Friday, April 6, while the meeting with the Nittany Lions is set for Sunday, April 8 at 10 a.m. (CT).
No. 15 Northwestern-6 Wisconsin-1
1.) Nida Hamilton/ Veronica Corning (NW) def. Hannah Berner/ Alaina Trgovich (UW), 8-4
2.) Brittany Wowchulk/ Belinda Niu (NW) def. Nicky Stracar/ Nova Patel (UW), 8-4
3.) Katie Turvy/ Stacey Lee (NW) def. Aleksandra Markovic/ Angela Chupa (UW), 8-1
Order of finish:
1, 3, 2
1.) No. 21 Katie Turvy (NW) def. Alaina Trgovich (UW), 6-2, 6-0
2.) Belinda Niu (NW) def. Nicky Stracar (UW), 6-2, 6-3
3.) No. 62 Brittany Wowchulk (NW) def. Hannah Berner (UW), 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-8)
4.) Veronica Corning (NW) def. Sarah Loebel (UW), 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
5.) Nova Patel (UW) def. Stacey Lee (NW), 6-7 (5), 2-3 (ret.)
6.) Nida Hamilton (NW) def. Angela Chupa (UW), 7-5, 6-3
Order of finish:
1, 2, 6, 5, 3, 4