The No. 48 University of Wisconsin mens tennis team used four victories in singles play to knock off the 36th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions 4-3 on Sunday. With the win Wisconsin improves to 10-7 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten, while PSU falls to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin had to battle back from an early deficit as Penn State took the doubles point with wins at the first and second positions.
The 34th-ranked team of Brendan Lynch and Michael James defeated senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and sophomore Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) 8-4 at No. 1, while Adam Slagter and Ryan Gormley bested sophomore Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic) and senior Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) 8-5 at No. 2 doubles to earn the matchs first point.
The Badgers were able to take the match at No. 3 doubles. Sophomores Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) were victorious over Eddie Bourchier and James Dwyer in a tough 9-8 (12) match.
Penn State pushed the lead to 2-0 with a win at No. 2 singles. Slagter handed Michalicka his first loss of the year with a 6-3, 6-3 win. Michalicka, ranked 120th in the country, had won his first 14 matches of the season before falling on Sunday.
Wisconsin rallied from the 2-0 deficit and claimed the next four matches to secure the win.
Baumann, ranked 44th in the nation, got things rolling with a win at No. 1 singles. Facing No. 52 James, Baumann won with a 6-2, 7-6 (3) straight-set victory.
Polley evened the score with a win at No. 3 singles. After dropping the first set to Lynch 6-3, Polley rallied and closed the match out by winning 7-6 (3), 6-1 in the final two sets.
The Badgers grabbed the lead when Sonkin got a victory over Bourchier at the No. 4 spot. Like Polley, Sonkin fell behind as he dropped the first set 6-1. He bounced back though and won the next two sets in tiebreakers. Set No. 2 went to Sonkin 7-6 (2), while the third set was 7-6 (1) in favor of Sonkin.
The clinching point for Wisconsin came when Dierberger won at No. 5 singles. Dierberger defeated Gormley 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to keep the Badgers undefeated in Big Ten play.
Penn State closed the match out with a win at No. 6 singles. Dwyer defeated sophomore Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
The Badgers return to action this weekend as they host Purdue on Saturday, March 29 and Illinois on Sunday, March 30. Both matches are set to begin at 12 p.m. at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.