The Wisconsin mens tennis team capped a successful season-opening home stand with an impressive 7-0 victory against the DePaul Blue Demons Wednesday afternoon at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Wisconsin (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) earned its second victory of the season and sixth straight against DePaul (1-3, 0-0 Big East). The Badgers are off to a quick start this spring, having yet to lose a match in singles play while the top two doubles tandems remain undefeated as well.
(DePaul) can really sneak up on you, head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. They came in here and they wanted to compete hard. They werent going to be afraid to try to come out of here with a win. Those are the teams that you have to make sure that youre ready to play against. You have to know that its not going to be the most perfect tennis match but you need to make sure that youre taking care of business and that youre getting it done. We felt like we did that tonight.
Six Badgers are currently 2-0 in singles play this spring, led by sophomores Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.). Sonkin defeated Gabe Inchauste 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 1 slot. Polley earned his first win in the No. 2 position with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against George Wang.
The Badgers began the afternoon by taking two of three doubles matches from the Blue Demons. Wisconsins top two doubles combinations both moved to 2-0 with 8-6 victories. Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) and Polley defeated Inchauste and Jack Komar in the second slot while the No. 1 team of Lachezar Kasarov (Bourgas, Bulgaria) and Sonkin defeated Eric Huffman and Austin Doerner in the decisive contest of the doubles point.
The doubles point could have gotten away from us, Van Emburgh said. You can quickly lose the point if one or two guys arent as intense. Doubles is only decided by a point or two, here and there. Its really important that everyone is ready to play because doubles goes so quick. You dont have a lot of time to figure out things."
After an eight-day lay off, Wisconsin plays its first road match of the season at noon on Friday, Feb. 2 at Loyola-Marymount. The match is the first of a three week, four match trip for the Badgers, who will also travel to No. 9 Pepperdine, Western Michigan and No. 23 Notre Dame.
Its important for the guys to build momentum before our trip to California, Van Emburgh said. (The win tonight) is another good win for us but I think we know that we have to keep raising our level every match from here on out.