The Wisconsin mens tennis team entered the new season in full swing on Saturday. The Badgers swept Butler 7-0 in the morning and followed their performance with a 6-1 defeat of Northern Illinois to go 2-0 on the days doubleheader at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
With UWs top two players, Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.), out of the singles lineup against Butler, team captain Lachezar Kasarov (Burgas, Bulgaria) filled in the No. 1 slot with great poise. The senior fought through a tough match with James Low and eventually came out on top, 6-4, 3-6, 10-7. Against NIU, Kasarov moved to the three spot and again pulled out a win, beating Adam Ford, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 10-3.
Wisconsins newest arrival, Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) displayed awesome talent in his first taste of action as a Badger. Baumann, who joined Wisconsins roster this month, showed no signs of his lack of experience, stepping up at No. 2 singles against both Butler and Northern Illinois. The import first beat the Bulldogs Evan West, 6-3, 6-1, in the morning and then cruised versus NIUs Alex Friesen, 6-2, 6-2.
Also achieving perfection in singles on the day were Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru), Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) and Gian Hodgson (Savaneta, Aruba), each of whom now boast 2-0 records on the young season. Brennen Phippen (Bradenton, Fla.) added a win against Butlers Sam Brown, 6-0, 6-1, in his only match of the day. Playing No. 1 singles against NIU, Nolan Polley battled back after a first set loss to take the second from Brian Livingston, but couldnt quite hold on in the third set, losing, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4.
Wisconsin was perfect in doubles, giving them a 1-0 advantage before singles play against both the Bulldogs and the Huskies. With lefties Nolan Polley and Moritz Baumann playing No. 1, freshmen sensations Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Michael Muskievicz at No. 2 and veterans Felipe Bellido and Lachezar Kasarov at the No. 3 slot, UW finished 6-0 at doubles on the day, sweeping both opponents.
The Badgers will now look forward to experiencing warmer weather down south, as they travel to Florida next week for a two-game trip. Florida Gulf Coast will host Wisconsin at noon on Feb. 3. The next day, UW will travel to Miami for a match against the Hurricanes at noon on Feb. 4.