Several tight matches did not end up going in Wisconsins favor, as the No. 45 UW mens tennis team was unable to upset conference powerhouse No. 2 Ohio State. The Buckeyes defeated the Badgers, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
The loss dropped Wisconsin to 11-9 overall and 3-4 in the Big Ten, while OSU picked up its 20th win to go along with just one loss. Ohio State also improved to a perfect 6-0 in conference.
Our objective today was to come out and compete hard at all spots, and as the scores show, we did that today, head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. We had a tight match against one of the very top teams in the country.
Wisconsins one point came from Moritz Baumanns (Inzlingen, Germany) 6-4, 6-3 win at the No. 1 spot over No. 34 Devin Mullings. The freshman handed Mullings just his fifth loss in 33 singles matches this season.
Moritz was absolutely great in the way he stepped up at No. 1 and beat one of the top players in the nation, Van Emburgh said.
Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) was incredibly close to picking up a big win of his own. After splitting the first two sets at No. 2 singles with Steven Moneke, ranked No. 10 in the nation, Polley could not finish Moneke off in the third. Down 5-0, Moneke fought back to 6-6 to force a tiebreaker, which he won, 7-1.
At No. 3, No. 111 Jeremy Sonkin could not overcome No. 25 Bryan Koniecko, losing, 6-3, 6-1.
Felipe Bellidos (Lima, Peru) 10-match win streak was broken by No. 75 Chris Klingemann, who won, 6-3, 6-3.
At the bottom of the lineup, Lachezar Kasarov (Burgas, Bulgaria) dropped the No. 5 spot, 6-1, 6-1, to Justin Kronauge, while Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) fell short, 6-3, 6-2, against Drew Eberly at No. 6.
Prior to singles play, the Buckeyes took the doubles point from UW, though it was no easy task.
After Moneke/Koniecko took care of Sonkin/Bellido, 8-1, at No. 3 doubles, two fantastic matches were played at the No. 1 and No. 2 slots.
Playing at No. 2, Baumann/Kasarov gave No. 31 Eberly/Kronauge all they could ask for. The two teams swapped games throughout the eight-game proset, which was eventually sent to a tiebreaker. Baumann and Kasarov, however, were unable to hold on, and lost, 9-8 (7-2).
Dierberger/Polleys match against No. 22 Mullings/Klingemann at No. 1 singles followed a similar script. Each duo continually traded games, with Mullings and Klingemann stepping up in the tiebreaker to win, 9-8 (7-4).
The Badgers now shift their focus to another big weekend within the conference. UW will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to face the Hawkeyes on April 14 and then head straight to Minneapolis, Minn., to play Minnesota on April 15.