Jan. 28, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin men's tennis team opened the spring season Saturday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium by earning a 6-1 victory over Butler and a 7-0 win over Western Illinois.
The Badgers started the day against Butler, and Junior Billy Bertha and sophomore Fredrik Ask got the team off to a strong start by defeating Billy Weldon and Austin Woldmoe, 8-3.
"It felt good," Ask said about playing with Bertha. "It was the first time we played, but I think we match up well together."
Sophomores Rod Carey and Petr Satral were the second team to finish. The pair took an early 4-0 lead over Zach Ervin and Sam O'Neill, but the Butler worked its way back into the match. Carey forced the match into a tiebreak with an ace before the Badger pair closed out the match in a tiebreaker, 7-4.
At three doubles sophomore Alex Robles and freshman Jack Larsen got down an early break, 3-2, but broke back and forced the match into a tiebreaker. The Badgers clinched the win with a 7-5 victory helping Wisconsin sweep doubles.
In singles, Robles set the tone for the rest of the matches by throttling Pulok Bhattacharya 6-0, 6-1. Ask, who was feeding off Robles' victory, finished up shortly after with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Woldmoe.
Bertha then clinched the match for Wisconsin with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Stephen McLoughilin.
Carey was next to close out his match with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Ervin. Sophomore Alexander Teppert was the only Badger to fall, losing 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 to Weldon.
Satral was the last match to finish for the Badgers. He closed out his match with a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
"We haven't played any matches since the Big Ten Championships in November, so it's all about trying to get a couple matches in trying to gain confidence," Wisconsin head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. "It's a totally different feeling here when you're playing against an opponent instead of playing against your teammates."
Wisconsin started the match against Western Illinois with a 1-0 lead because the Fighting Leathernecks were only able to field five players due to injuries.
Carey and Satral clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory against Jim Capalbo and Ben Yue. At No. 1 doubles Bertha and Ask easily cruised again to an 8-4 victory over Patrick Hammers and Mandela Shepard.
"It's a good contrast with a little lefty-righty action," Bertha said of partnering with Ask. "I think if we play well and keep practicing together, we will be able to be a good team in the spring and get up there in the rankings."
Taking a 2-0 lead into singles, the Badgers quickly clinched the match with two 6-0, 6-0 victories by freshman Andy Quirk and redshirt freshman Austin Akers.
Quirk, who joined the team in January and was making his Badger debut against the Fighting Leathernecks, was the first to finish when he defeated Justin Liss. Akers was quick to follow by beating Capalbo.
Robles kept the momentum going by winning 6-2, 6-4 over Yue.
Satral and Ask struggled in their second sets, but both were able to pull out victories to make it a clean sweep for Wisconsin. Satral won his match 6-1, 6-4 against Shepard and Ask closed out his match against Hammers, 6-1, 7-5.
"Today was good," Van Emburgh said. "I'm looking forward to the season. I think the guys are excited about getting it going.
"We've had a long break, but the guys have worked hard the last 15 days. I'm glad it has started, and we look forward to the Notre Dame match in two weeks."
The Badgers will be back in action at Notre Dame on Feb. 10 at 4 p.m.
WISCONSIN 6 BUTLER 1
1) Billy Bertha/Fredrik Ask (WIS) def. Billy Weldon/Austin Woldmoe (BUT): 8-3
2) Rod Carey/Petr Satral (WIS) def. Zach Ervin/Sam O'Neill (BUT): 9-8 (7-4)
3) Alex Robles/Jack Larsen (WIS) def. Ruben Geeraert/Stephen McLoughilin (BUT): 9-8 (7-5)
Order of Finish: 1, 2, 3
1) Fredrik Ask (WIS) def. Austin Woldmoe (BUT): 6-3, 6-2
2) Petr Satral (WIS) def. Tommy Marx (BUT): 6-3, 6-3
3) Billy Bertha (WIS) def. Stephen McLoughilin (BUT): 6-3, 6-2
4) Rod Carey (WIS) def. Zach Ervin (BUT): 6-4, 6-3
5) Alex Robles (WIS) def. Pulok Bhattacharya (BUT): 6-0, 6-1
6) Billy Weldon (BUT) def. Alexander Teppert (WIS): 6-3, 4-6, 10-5
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 3, 4, 6, 2
WISCONSIN 7 WESTERN ILLINOIS 0
1) Billy Bertha/Fredrik Ask (WIS) def. Patrick Hammers/Mandela Shepard (WIU): 8-4
2) Petr Satral/Rod Carey (WIS) def. Jim Capalbo/Ben Yue (WIU): 8-4
3) Wisconsin Walkover
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1
1) Fredrik Ask (WIS) vs. Patrick Hammers (WIU): 6-1, 7-5
2) Petr Satral (WIS) vs. Mandela Shepard (WIU): 6-1, 6-4
3) Alex Robles (WIS) vs. Ben Yue (WIU): 6-2, 6-4
4) Austin Akers (WIS) vs. Jim Capalbo (WIU): 6-0, 6-0
5) Andy Quirk (WIS) vs. Justin Liss (WIU): 6-0, 6-0
6) Wisconsin Walkover
Order of Finish: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1