The No. 40 UW mens tennis team was eliminated from the Big Ten tournament by No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday morning. The Buckeyes swept the Badgers, 4-0, in the semifinals of the conference tournament at Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Ind.
After advancing to the tournaments semifinals for the first time since 1994, the Badgers were defeated by Ohio State for the second time of the season to drop to 15-10 overall.
With the win, the No. 1 seeded Ohio State improved to 26-1 on the year and will face the winner of this afternoons matchup between No. 9 Illinois and No. 20 Michigan. The championship match will be played at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Schwartz Tennis Center.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 1-0 lead by winning two tight doubles matches.
At the No. 3 spot, Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.) and Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) were not quite able to notch a win, falling, 8-5, to Bryan Koniecko and Steven Moneke.
The No. 31 team of Drew Eberly and Justin Kronauge clinched the doubles point when they defeated Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.) and Michael Dierberger (Milwaukee, Wis.) in a close, 8-6 contest at No. 2 doubles.
Unfortunately for Lachezar Kasarov (Burgas, Bulgaria) and Moritz Baumann (Inzlingen, Germany), this meant that their match had to be abandoned, as it no longer had an effect on the overall match score. The duo was up at the No. 1 slot, 7-6, over Devin Mullings and Chris Klingemann, the No. 14 ranked duo in the nation.
In singles, the Badgers gave up three wins in the bottom half of their lineup to hand over the match to OSU.
Lachezar Kasarov was the first to fall. The senior team captain was defeated by Justin Kronauge, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 4 position.
Felipe Bellido was next, dropping the No. 5 spot to Chris Klingemann, ranked No. 105 in the nation.
The match was then decided when Drew Eberly claimed a 6-2, 6-3 win over Gian Hodgson (Savaneta, Aruba) at No. 6.
Matches being played by Moritz Baumann, Nolan Polley and Jeremy Sonkin were all abandoned. Each player had dropped the first set to their Ohio State opponent.
Now, Wisconsin will await the selection for the NCAA tournament, where it will hopefully be announced that its season will be extended for a few more matches.
The 2007 Division I mens and womens tennis selection announcements will take place on Tuesday, May 1, on ESPNEWS, with the mens bracket announced at 1:30 p.m. Wisconsin has not qualified for the tournament since 1998.
The 64-team tournament will consist of every conference tournament winner and then will be filled out with at-large bids.
Should UW qualify, first round matches for the Badgers would begin on May 11 at an on campus site to be determined.