The No. 27 University of Wisconsin mens tennis team opened its spring season on Saturday with two dominant victories at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The Badgers bounced Butler 7-0 and earlier in the day defeated UW-Green Bay by the same score.
In sweeping Butler, the Badgers (2-0) dropped only a single set en route to the victory.
The match opened with doubles competition and the Badgers had little trouble with the Bulldogs (0-5).
Freshman Peter Marrack (Mississauga, Ontario) and sophomore Michael Dierbeger (Milwaukee, Wis.) propelled the Badgers to victory at No.1 doubles. The duo won the first 7 games on their way to defeating the Butler team of Ben Raynauld and Bryce Warren 8-1.
Sophomore Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) and freshman Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic) won at No. 2 doubles by defeating Chris Herron and Ben Shafer 8-3.
At No. 3 doubles, the team of senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and junior Gian Hodgson (Savaneta, Aruba) dropped the first game, but came back to win eight of the last nine to secure the victory over the duo of Brandon Bayliss and Sam Brown.
In singles play, Muskievicz had an easy time with Brown, winning 6-0, 6-3 at No. 5 singles. After sweeping the opening set, Muskievicz fell behind 1-2 in set number two. He righted the ship after that though and came out with the win.
Michalicka, who made his Badger debut earlier in the day against UW-Green Bay, earned UW a point at No. 2 singles. Michalicka downed Herron 6-1, 6-0.
At No. 6 singles, senior Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) won over Ben Shafer 6-2, 6-2. Bellido trailed at one point in both sets, but came back each time to earn the win.
Reynauld proved to be a bit of a challenge for Polley in the match at No. 1 singles. Polley, ranked No. 100 in the Collegiate Tennis Rankings, moved out to a 5-2 lead in the first set, but Reynauld closed the gap to make it 5-4 before Polley secured the 6-4 set victory. In the second set, Polley had an easier time. He won the set 6-2.
Dierberger faced a similar challenge from Warren at No. 3 singles. Like Polley, Dierberger emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win.
Marrack was forced to a three-set tiebreaker in his match at No. 4 singles versus Bayliss. Marrack moved out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Bayliss evened the score up eventually at 5-5. Now in the tiebreaker, Marrack emerged with a 7-6 (2) win in the first set. Bayliss played very strong in the second set, winning it 6-3. In the third set super tiebreaker, Marrack and Bayliss again played each other tight. Neither player led by more than 2 points in the set, but Marrack emerged victorious with a 10-8 win to give the Badgers a 7-0 victory for the match.
Earlier in the day, the Badgers defeated UW-Green Bay 7-0 as both teams opened their spring seasons. The Badgers lost only one set in a total of six singles matches and three doubles matches against the Phoenix (0-1).
The No. 3 doubles team of Polley and Bellido opened up the season by making quick work of their opponents. Polley and Bellido defeated the team of Mike Wesley and Brian Zaron in an 8-0 rout.
The Badgers clinched the doubles portion of the meet when Muskievicz and Michalicka beat the team of Matt Clegg and Matt Keesey 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. It was a close battle throughout as neither pair was able to extend a lead of larger than two games. After falling behind 1-2, Muskievicz and Michalicka bounced back and won three in a row to grab a lead they would not relinquish.
The third and final doubles match was pushed to a tiebreaker, but Dierberger and Marrack were able to hold off their opponents for a 9-8 (4) win at No. 1 doubles. Facing Tim Prudlow and Mark Goldin, Dierberger and Marrack jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead. The duo from UW-Green Bay would not go down quietly though, winning five games in a row to knot the match at 6-6. The teams traded games until the tiebreaker, where the Badgers closed the match out with a 7-4 win.
In singles play, Michalicka, who was playing in the No. 1 spot and making his Badger debut, easily defeated Prudlow 6-2, 6-0. Michalicka fell behind 0-1 in the first set, but prevailed after taking 6 of the next seven games.
Dierberger also won in straight sets, besting Goldin 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
At No. 5 singles, Bellido won his match against Keesey 6-3, 6-3.
Playing at No. 4 singles, Muskievicz won in straight sets over John Brough 6-4, 6-0.
Hodgson had to work in his straight-set victory over Eric Plaushines at No. 6 singles. In both sets, Hodgson trailed 3-4, but he rallied in each to claim a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
The longest match of singles play came at No. 3. where Marrack beat Clegg 6-7 (3), 6-0, 10-7. Marrack was behind for nearly all of the opening set, before forcing the tiebreaker. Clegg took that 7-3 to take the first set. Marrack came out strong in the second set, cruising to a 6-0 win. Playing in a super tiebreaker in set three, Marrack came out on top in a close 10-7 win.
The Badgers return to action tomorrow for two more dual matches. At 10 a.m. Wisconsin takes on Northern Illinois, while at 3 p.m., the team will host UW-Whitewater. Both matches will be held at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.