Men’s tennis looks forward to hosting Big Ten Tourney

first_imgBilly Bertha, coupled with Marek Michalicka, have only dropped five doubles matches this season and hold a 6-3 conference record.[/media-credit]Ten teams and four days of some of the best tennis in the country are coming to Madison starting today.The University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team will play host to this year’s Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament held at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The tournament begins with three matches on Thursday, four quarterfinal matches on Friday, two semifinal matches on Saturday and will finish with the title match on Sunday at noon.To start the tournament, No. 6 Wisconsin will play No. 11 Penn State Thursday at 11:30 a.m, and the winner will face Minnesota Friday at 2:00 p.m.The youthful Badgers enter the tournament after a bittersweet weekend on the road. Wisconsin split the weekend with a 5-2 win against Iowa and a 7-0 loss to Illinois.Besides the one doubles win by Billy Bertha and Marek Michalicka, the closest the Badgers came to a point in Sunday’s match was due to freshman Petr Satral. Illinois’ Johnny Hamui and Satral went into a third set tiebreak, but unfortunately Satral fell short.“It was a tough match,” Satral said. “The guy was ranked and I think I was playing a good match, but unfortunately I lost. It was more important that we lost in general, 7-0.”Now, Iowa and Illinois are a thing of the past and all that is left to do is look toward Penn State.“We had a great win against Iowa, it was a tough team on the road, but Illinois just played a little bit better than us,” UW head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. “We just have to regroup, learn something from the loss, move forward and get ready for tomorrow’s match.”It hasn’t been that long since Wisconsin last faced Penn State. Nearly two weeks ago the Badgers beat the Nittany Lions 6-1 to honor lone senior Marek Michalicka on Senior Day.The last time Penn State faced Wisconsin, Van Emburgh made several changes to the lineup, and this week it looks like there may be a couple more adjustments as well.No matter what kind of changes come, freshman Alexander Teppert, who has been playing a couple matches in the No. 3 doubles spot with Ricardo Martin, is just looking forward to getting some Big Ten experience after redshirting his first season.“It would be nice playing singles. I just want a match and Big Ten experience,” Teppert said. “The only singles matches I’ve played are against lower level teams, it’ll be good to get some experience in general with these guys.”Van Emburgh says the criteria for who plays where is pretty simple.“We’re just looking for teams that are playing their best. Fred and Rod have been playing some good tennis. Alex and Petr and Ricardo have also been playing good tennis, we’ll see how they are,” Van Emburgh said. “We just go by each match, whoever’s ready to play, whoever’s playing the best and go in order to that.”But the tournament is much more than just one match. Seven of the 10 Badgers are unfamiliar to the Big Ten tournament and look forward to gaining experience.As such, the main goal for this weekend is pretty simple for freshman Rodney Carey.“Just get a lot of experience and be able to manage my game on the court and handle the pressure,” he said. “It’s special to have a home court advantage with all the fans, I heard it’s pretty good so it’ll be exciting.”For a freshman, the pressure of hosting their first Big Ten tournament is immense, but it’s also a privilege. One very familiar to such a feeling is Michalicka.“I’m just feeling a little bit sad that almost three and a half years are coming to an end. I’ve had a great time at UW so it’s nice to look back,” Michalicka said.Whether it’s a freshman looking for experience or a senior playing what could be his last match, this weekend proves to be an exciting event for all.“It’s great to be able to showcase your venue and your school and the University of Wisconsin, so as coaches we’re really excited about it,” Van Emburgh said. “We’re glad we’re able to host it. I know the players are excited to play on their home courts and showcase their university.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *