The University of Wisconsin mens tennis team picked up two more victories on the young spring season Sunday at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Wisconsin (4-0) took out Northern Illinois 5-2 in the morning and followed that up by defeating UW-Whitewater 7-0 in the afternoon.
In the morning session, Northern Illinois (1-2) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, sweeping the doubles portion of the match. The Badgers battled back though and won five of the six singles matches to record the 5-2 victory.
The Huskies first victory came at No. 2 doubles. The team of Jimmy Chu and Alex Friesen knocked off the Badgers duo of sophomores Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic) 8-4. Dierberger and Michalicka trailed throughout the match, coming closest at 4-3. Chu and Friesen then scored four of the next five points to grab the win.
Northern Illinois took their only lead of the match at 1-0 as the No.3 doubles team of Alfonso Monroy and Diego Zegarra-Ballon bested the Wisconsin team of sophomore Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) and freshman Peter Marrack (Mississauga, Ontario) 9-7. The match proved to be highly contested as neither team had a lead larger than two. Muskievicz and Marrack had their backs against the wall down 7-5, but managed to rally back and tie the match up at 7-7. The Huskies took over from there though, winning the last two games.
Playing in their first match since earning the ranking of No. 26 in the nation, the Wisconsin pair of senior Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) fell to the Northern Illinois team of Brian Livingston and Adam Ford at No. 1 doubles, 9-8 (2). The match was even more tightly contested than that at No. 3 doubles. The battle at No. 1 featured eight ties and neither team led by more than one game. After the Badgers scored to cut the lead to 3-2 in the tiebreaker, the Huskies rattled off the next five points to take the match.
Things turned in the Badgers favor when the match turned to singles play. Dierberger made quick work of Chu, winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles. Dierberger lost the first game in the first set before winning the next six to win the set. Sitting at 1-1 in the second set, Dierberger won the next five to close the match out.
Senior Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) cruised in his match against Zegarra-Ballon, winning 6-0, 6-0 at No. 6 singles.
At No. 3 singles, Rassow-Kantor emerged over Ford 7-6 (1), 6-1. In the close first set, Rassow-Kantor never trailed, but was pressed to the tiebreaker.
The lone hiccup in singles play for the Badgers came at No. 1. Sonkin fell to Livingston 6-2, 7-5. Sonkin fell behind 0-4 in the first set, before cutting it to 2-4. Livingston closed the set out from there though. In the second set, Sonkin held a 5-3 lead, but Livingston rallied and won the final four games to earn the second point of the day for the Huskies.
Marrack won his match over Javier Bernabe 6-2, 6-4 at No. 5 singles. Marrack won the first set easily, but had to overcome a deficit in the second. Marrack came out with a 2-1 lead, before falling behind 3-4. He was able to earn Wisconsins fourth point of the day, however, by winning the final three games and taking the match.
The last match against Northern Illinois came at No. 2 singles. Michalicka had little trouble taking care of Friesen, winning 6-2, 6-3.
Sunday afternoon saw Wisconsin taking on intrastate foe UW-Whitewater (0-1). The Badgers had little trouble against the Warhawks, winning 7-0. The victory marked the Badgers third sweep in four matches this weekend.
In doubles play, the No. 2 team of Muskievicz and Michalicka defeated the team of Gian Heyer and Erich Palecek 8-2. With the match tied 2-2, the Badgers duo reeled off six games in a row to take the match.
At No. 3 doubles, Marrack and junior Gian Hodgson (Savaneta, Aruba) knocked off the team of Kelvin Caiati and David Stefanik 8-3 to secure one point for the team score.
Wisconsin made it a clean sweep by taking the match at No. 1 doubles. Sonkin and Rassow-Kantor teamed up again and this time were able to take down the team of Robin Borg and Alex Lowe. The UW pair won the match 8-3.
In singles competition, the Badgers had two players win by the score of 6-0, 6-0. Hodgson did it by defeating Tim Moller at No. 6 singles, while Bellido beat Johnny Reed at No. 4 singles.
Rassow-Kantor also won easily in his singles match at No. 2. The sophomore never trailed en route to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Heyer.
Marrack also won in straight sets. Playing at No. 5 singles, Marrack won 6-3, 6-2 over Danny Glinert. After getting through the first set without falling behind, Marrack found himself down 1-2 in the second set. He gathered himself from there and stormed back to win the next five games and take the match.
At No. 3 singles, Muskievicz bounced Lowe 6-2, 6-2. Muskievicz won both sets by taking the final three games in each.
The final match of the day found Sonkin taking on Borg at No. 1 singles. It proved to be a close match, but Sonkin prevailed with a 6-4, 6-4 win. Sonkin fell behind early at 0-2, but was able to come all the way back and take a 5-3 lead. Borg took one more game before Sonkin was able to finish him off and close out the set. In the second set, Sonkin again fell behind, this time at 1-2. But like the first set, he was able to stage a comeback and take a 5-3 lead. Borg once again forced the match to 5-4, but Sonkin pulled it out and giving the Badgers the 7-0 win.
The University of Wisconsin mens tennis team returns to action February 2nd and 3rd when it travels to North Carolina to take on North Carolina State and Wake Forest, respectively.