The No. 31 ranked Wisconsin mens tennis team opened up its spring season Saturday morning with a 4-3 win over in-state rival UW-Green Bay Phoenix.
The Badgers came out strong as they opened the match with doubles wins from the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Wisconsin team of junior Moritz Baumann and sophomore Peter Marrack dominated their opponents Matt Clegg and Matt Keesey in an 8-1 win, their first of the season.
The clinching doubles point came when the pair of junior Michael Muskievicz and sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor came from behind to beat Henning Jess and Eric Plaushines. After going down 3-1 early in the match, the Badger duo won the next three sets to go up 4-3, and never looked back as they went on to win 8-5.
The freshman team of Michael Koval and Varun Chari did not have as good of luck, however. In a very close and well-played match, the Badger pair fell to Paul Swanson and Brian McCarthy in a tiebreaker 8-7. Despite the loss, the Badgers still recorded the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead before singles play.
Wisconsin recorded quick wins at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions to take a 3-0 lead. No. 117 ranked Baumann carried his overwhelming play from doubles over to singles as he took on Matt Clegg. After taking the first set 6-1, Baumann didnt let up, as he took the second set again, 6-1.
In the No. 2 spot, Rassow-Kantor also showed strong play as he defeated Eric Plaushines in straight sets. After taking the first set 6-3, Rassow-Kantor stepped up his game and didnt allow Plaushines a single game, and he won the second set 6-0.
Charis was looking for his first singles win of the season as he faced off against Keesey. However, Keeseys play was too much for Chari. After Keesey won the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6, he came back and put Chari away 6-1.
The score was 3-1 when Marrack defeated Jess in straight sets for his first singles win of the season. After winning the first set 6-2, Marrack continued his strong play as he wrapped up the match with a 6-3 win in the second set.
At the No. 5 position, Koval was looking to bounce back from his doubles loss as he went up against Mike Wesley. Koval came out strong and won the first set 3-6. However, Wesley would go on to win the match as he took the second and third sets 6-3, 10-8.
The score was then 4-2 when Muskievicz fell in a third set tiebreaker to Swanson. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6, Muskievicz came back as he had in the doubles match and won the second set 6-3 to force a third set. Muskievicz jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but Swanson came back after a back-and-forth tiebreaker set, finally won 11-9.
The Badgers followed up their season opening win against Green Bay by beating the Butler University Bulldogs 6-1 in their second match of the day on Saturday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.
Again, Wisconsin grabbed the doubles point as they recorded wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. The Badger team of sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor and junior Micheal Muskievicz moved up to the No. 1 spot where they cruised to an 8-2 win over Chris Herron and Bryce Warren.
At the No. 2 position senior Michael Dierberger teamed up with sophomore Peter Marrack as they took on the pair of Ben Raynauld and Stephen McLaughlin. The match started out even, but the Badgers began to take it away after an early 3-3 tie, as they went on to win the match 8-4 for the doubles point.
Junior Moritz Baumann was paired up with freshman Michael Koval as they faced Zach Ervin and Lanz Theodor at the No. 3 spot. Wisconsin was down by one game most of the match, but after forcing a tiebreaker, the Badger duo couldnt finish out as they fell 8-7.
With the 1-0 lead, the two teams took to the courts for singles play. Baumann finished his match first in the No. 1 position, as he continued his strong singles play and defeated Raynauld in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
Muskievicz, in the No. 5 position was next to finish as he defeated Ervin. After a strong win in the first set 6-3, Muskievicz didnt give any ground as he won the second set 6-4 to give the Badgers a 3-0 lead.
Wisconsin got another win as Marrack defeated Bayliss for his fourth win of the day. Marrack won the first set in commanding fashion, 6-2, and didnt let up as he took the second set 6-3.
With the score 4-0, the Badgers suffered their first loss as Rassow-Kantor was defeated by Warren in straight sets. After losing the first set 4-6, Rassow-Kantor came back and was winning for most of the second set until Warren won the last two games to take the set 7-6.
Dierberger got his first singles win of the season as he defeated Herron in the No. 3 position. After winning the first set 6-4, Dierberger won the second in a tiebreaker 7-6 to give the Badgers a 5-1 lead.
In the No. 6 spot, Koval pulled out a very difficult win over Theodor to end the day. After winning the first set 7-5, Koval fell 5-7 in the second forcing a third set. Koval bounced back however, and won the final set 11-9 to give the Badgers a 6-1 win.
The Wisconsin mens tennis team will continue play Sunday morning as they take on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks.