MADISON, Wis. – Despite a doubles victory and Frederik Strabo’s dominant singles play, the Badgers fell to Penn State, 4-2, on Sunday in University Park, Penn.
“We’re positioning ourselves where we need to be,” said head coach Greg Van Emburugh of the Badgers’ performance Sunday. “Getting the doubles point and (Frederik) Strabo finding a way to win down at six. But, we’re still looking for our team to step up and come together on the singles court.”
Wisconsin (10-9 overall, 1-6 Big Ten) started the day on a high note, taking the doubles point, 2-0 over Penn State (8-12, 2-4).
Jakhongir Jalalov and Oskar Wikberg grabbed their first win at the No. 2 court, defeating Roman Trkulja and Chris Young, 8-2.
The Badgers clinched the doubles point with Alexander Kostanov and Frederik Strabo’s 8-4 victory over Tomas Hanzlik and David Kohan. The win marked the first for the duo, playing together for just the second time this season.
With the point decided, play was called in the remaining match where Russell Bader and Guanhua Chen led Alexander Kokorev and Petr Satral, 6-3.
Wisconsin improved its lead to 2-0 when Strabo claimed his second victory of the day, defeating Ramy Labna, 6-3, 6-0 at court six.
The Nittany Lions claimed their first point at court one, where Bader defeated Satral, 6-3, 6-2. PSU evened up the score as Wikberg fell, 6-3, 6-1 to Matt Barry.
Kostanov started out strong in his match, but couldn’t quite take Hanzlik, falling 7-5, 6-1.
With the match point on the line, Kokorev rallied back from a 7-5 first set loss to C.J. Griffin, taking the second set, 6-3. In a thrilling third set, Kokorev ultimately fell to Griffin, 6-3, solidifying the win for Penn State.
Despite a 1-1 third set tie score between Jalalov and Trkulja, play was called giving the Nittany Lions the 4-2 victory.
“Right now we’re lacking a little confidence and a little belief,” said Van Emburgh. “Once we can get over that, I think we can get back on track for the remainder of the season.”
Wisconsin returns to Nielsen Tennis Stadium next weekend as it hosts Purdue on Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. and Indiana on Sunday, April 14 at 1 p.m.
Prior to Friday’s match against Purdue, Wisconsin is hosting a Tennis 101 for Kids event. The event is set to begin at 5 p.m. and includes a pizza party and an official Wisconsin tennis t-shirt. Attendees can register for the event online at www.uwbadgers.com.
PENN STATE 4 WISCONSIN 2
1. Russell Bader/Guanhua Chen (PSU) vs. Alexander Kokorev/Petr Satral (WIS) 6-3, unfinished
2. Jakhongir Jalalov/Oskar Wikberg (WIS) def. Roman Trkulja/Chris Young (PSU) 8-2
3. Alexander Kostanov/Frederik Strabo (WIS) def. Tomas Hanzlik/David Kohan (PSU) 8-4
Order of Completion: 2, 3
1. Russell Bader (PSU) def. Petr Satral (WIS) 6-3, 6-2
2. Tomas Hanzlik (PSU) def. Alexander Kostanov (WIS) 7-5, 6-1
3. Matt Barry (PSU) def. Oskar Wikberg (WIS) 6-3, 6-1
4. Roman Trkulja (PSU) vs. Jakhongir Jalalov (WIS) 6-2, 3-6, 1-1, unfinished
5. C.J. Griffin (PSU) def. Alexander Kokorev (WIS) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
6. Frederik Strabo (WIS) def. Ramy Labna (PSU) 6-3, 6-0
Order of Completion: 6, 1, 3, 2, 5