The No. 32 University of Wisconsin mens tennis team defeated No. 53 Iowa 6-1 Saturday afternoon at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Wisconsin won the doubles point and then took five of the six singles matches. With the victory Wisconsin improves to 14-8 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten. Iowa falls to 10-8 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten with the loss.
The Badgers took a 1-0 lead as they won the doubles point.
Sophomores Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) got things going with a win at No. 2 doubles. The pair defeated Patrick Dwyer and Gregory Holm 8-2 to improve to 3-4 in dual matches and in the Big Ten and 2-3 at the No. 2 position.
The clinching doubles point came with a Badger win at No. 1. Senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and sophomore Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany) topped the 40th-ranked team of J.P. Ritchie and Bart van Monsjou, 9-7. Trailing 40-15, Wisconsin rallied and won the game to tie the match at 6-6. Iowa pulled ahead 7-6, but Wisconsin won the next two sets to move ahead 8-7. With the match win, Polley and Baumann move to 6-7 in dual matches, 4-4 in the Big Ten and 4-6 at the No. 1 spot.
Iowa was able to win at No. 3 doubles. Reinoud Haal and Christian Bierich topped the duo of senior Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Marek Michalicka (Ricany, Czech Republic), 8-7 (5). It was the first loss at the No. 3 spot for the Badger duo. They fall to 2-3 in the Big Ten and dual matches.
Michalicka won at No. 3 singles to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead. Facing Bierich, Michalicka won 6-3, 6-1. The match was tied 2-2 in the first set before Michalicka jumped ahead and won four of the next five games. In the second set, Michalicka moved out to a 5-0 lead before closing out Bierich. With the win, Michalicka improves to 18-2 overall, 6-2 in the Big Ten and 7-1 at the No. 3 spot.
It became 3-0 when Sonkin secured the win at No. 4 singles. He bested Haal 6-1, 6-3. In the first set, Sonkin opened by taking the first five games. The second set saw him fall behind 1-0, but Sonkin rallied back to win and move to 7-11 in dual matches, 4-2 in the Big Ten and 5-6 at the No. 4 spot.
Iowa trimmed the lead to 3-1 when van Monsjou beat Baumann in a match of nationally-ranked players. Ranked 69th, van Monsjou beat Baumann, ranked 44th, 6-2, 7-5. Baumann was never able to take the lead in the opening set. He trailed 3-2 before van Monsjou took the remaining three games. The second set was a back and forth affair as the match was tied at 1-1, 2-2, 4-4 and 5-5. Van Monsjou eventually prevailed, dropping Baumanns record to 8-9 in dual matches and at the No.1 spot and 4-4 in the Big Ten.
The clinching point came when Polley defeated Ritchie at No. 2 singles by a score of 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2. In the first set, Ritchie held a 5-4 lead but Polley won the next two games to move ahead 6-5. Ritchie rallied and forced a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, the match was tied a 4-4, but Ritchie pull ahead and took three of the last four points. Polley had a 4-3 lead in the second set before taking the last two games and forcing a third-set tiebreaker.
Polley improves to 15-4 in dual matches, 7-1 in the Big Ten and 8-4 at the No. 2 spot.
Senior Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) made it 5-1 Wisconsin when he scored a win at No. 5 singles over Tommy McGeorge, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2. In the first set Bellido cut the lead to 4-3, but McGeorge won the last two games to take the one-set advantage. After a clean sweep in the second set, Bellido jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third set. He had to withstand a small comeback but Bellido won out and moved to 10-5 in dual matches, 3-3 in the Big Ten and 5-3 at the No. 5 spot.
Dierberger finished off the scoring for the Badgers with a win at No. 6. singles. Facing Holm, Dierbeger trailed 5-2 in the first set before rallying and forcing a tiebreaker. Holm prevailed however with a 7-6 (5) win. Dierberger came back and won the second set 6-4. After the completion of the second set, Dierberger and Holm waited for 20 minutes to see if Bellido and Polley could close out their match and let them play a super-tiebreaker instead of a full third set. With Polleys victory, a super-tie breaker was played and Dierberger prevailed 11-9 to improve his record to 12-4 in dual matches, 6-1 in the Big Ten and 6-2 at the No. 6 spot.
The Badgers return to the court tomorrow as they take on Minnesota in their last home match of the season. Match time is set for 12 p.m. at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Fans can follow the action via the gameday blog (found blogid=830"> --> here ).