The University of Wisconsin mens tennis team sent eight individuals to the Big Ten Indoor Championships and three of them have advanced to the round of 16 on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich. Senior Nolan Polley (Lexington, Ky.), sophomore Michael Muskievicz (Homewood, Ill.) and freshman Peter Marrack (Mississauga, Ontario) all recorded two victories on the day to pace the Badgers.
Polley had little trouble advancing in the first two rounds. The tournaments No. 5 seed, Polley won his opening match in straight sets 6-3, 6-1 over Christian Bierich of Iowa. In the second round, the Lexington, Ky. native bested Northwesterns Peter Rispoli 6-3, 6-3.
Muskievicz was also able to advance by winning in straight sets. His first opponent was Eric Ramos of Purdue. Muskievicz was able to win by a score of 6-4, 6-4. No. 14 seed Brendan Lynch of Penn State was up next for the Homewood, Ill. native in the second round. Muskievicz was pushed harder this time, but was still able to come out with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
While Polley and Muskievicz were able to advance with relative ease, Marrack had to battle in his two matches. Facing Paul Foley of Purdue in round one, Marrack won both sets in a tiebreaker as he emerged with a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory. He found an even tougher opponent in the second round. Mike OConnell of Ohio State pushed him to tiebreakers in all three sets, but Marrack was able to survive with a 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 decision.
The only other Badger to advance past the first round was sophomore Michael Dierberger. The Milwaukee, Wis. native knocked off Eren Turkmenler of Purdue in the opening round by a score of 6-2, 6-2. Phillip Eilers of Indiana proved to be too much in round two, though. Eilers prevailed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.
Seniors Felipe Bellido (Lima, Peru) and Jeremy Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill.), junior Gian Hodgson (Savaneta, Aruba) and sophomore Luke Rassow-Kantor (Westport, Conn.) were all eliminated in round one and will move on to consolation play.
Making his first appearance of the 2007-08 season, Bellido fell to the tournaments No. 1 seed Matko Maravic of host-Michigan. Maravic took the match 6-1, 7-6(6). Sonkin, the tournaments No. 3 seed, was upset by Minnesotas Dino Bilankov. Sonkin took the first set 6-4, but dropped the last two by scores of 6-4 and 6-4.
Facing Tommy McGeorge of Iowa, Hodgson dropped the first set 7-5. Hodgson bounced back in the second set, taking it with a 6-1 margin. McGeorge stormed back in the decisive set though as he swept with a 6-0 victory. Rassow-Kantors opponent was the tournaments No. 8 seed, Branko Kuzmanovic of Purdue. Kuzmanovic won in straight sets 7-6(4), 6-4.
The Badgers return to action Sunday morning with matches beginning at 7 a.m. (CT). Fans can follow the action by clicking trid=BTSMD&evid=MS&ctid=OPE&rund=1&trnam=Big+Ten+Singles+Championship+%28Main+Draw%29"> --> here or by checking back to UWBadgers.com for results.