Jan. 21, 2012
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin women’s tennis team opened the season in dominating fashion, Saturday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. In the first round of Saturday’s doubleheader, Wisconsin defeated Eastern Michigan, 6-1, before topping Illinois-Chicago, 5-2, in the second match.
With the win over Eastern Michigan, the Badgers remain undefeated against the Eagles. UW now leads the all-time series, 5-0.
Meanwhile, the victory over UIC marks the second-straight year the Badgers have defeated the Flames by a score of 6-1 in Madison. Last season’s defeat over the Flames also came in Wisconsin’s home opener.
“Everybody just went out and did their jobs,” said UW head coach Brian Fleishman. “Of course, we had some losses, but for the most part we stepped away with a win.”
At No. 1 singles, junior Hannah Berner recorded Wisconsin’s first singles victory with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Eastern Michigan’s Miriam Westerink. In her second match, however, the junior was the last Badger off the court after snatching a hard-fought 6-3, 7-5 victory over Mariya Kovaleva of UIC.
Freshman Sarah Loebel endured Wisconsin’s only loss to Eastern Michigan at the hands of Nino Mebuke at the No. 2 spot. Mebuke edged Loebel 6-3, 6-4. Loebel ended the day with a win over UIC’s Teona Tsertsvadze, 6-3, 6-4.
Senior Aleksandra Markovic competed at No. 3 singles and also went 1-1 on the day. She defeated Ankita Bhatia of Eastern Michigan, 6-4, 7-5, before falling to UIC’s Elisa Simonetti, 6-2, 7-5.
Senior Alaina Trgovich recorded two victories at the No. 4 spot. First Trgovich claimed a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Eastern Michigan’s Mariya Toncheva. Resilience and experience led Trgovich to victory in her second match. After dropping the first set, 6-3, to Jana Knoppe of UIC, Trgovich battled back to grab the next two sets, 6-1, 6-1.
“I was really impressed with how Alaina (Trgovich) came back after losing the first set and winning the next two in a very dominant fashion,” said Fleishman. “She really stepped up and performed like a senior should perform.”
At No. 5 singles, senior and team captain Lauren Gruber recorded a win over Eastern Michigan’s Marcela Rivero, 6-2, 6-3. The senior later fell to Haley Craig of UIC, 6-2, 6-3.
Rounding off Wisconsin’s singles, sophomore Caroline Bauer clinched two victories at No. 6 singles. Before dropping the first set to Eastern Michigan’s Daphne Friedrichs, 4-6, Bauer rallied to win the second set, 6-3, and the tiebreak, 10-5. In her next match, Bauer topped Kathryn Sharples of UIC, 6-2, 6-3.
UW’s doubles teams went undefeated on the day, picking up the doubles point in both matches. UIC forced both No. 1 and No. 3 doubles’ teams to tiebreaks but UW prevailed in both challenges.
The Badgers return to Nielsen Tennis Stadium tomorrow as they close out opening weekend with matchups against in-state rivals Green Bay and Milwaukee. Wisconsin will face the Phoenix at 9 a.m. followed by a meeting with the Panthers at 2:30 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Eastern Michigan Final Results:
1. Hannah Berner/ Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Miriam Westerink/ Nino Mebuke (EMU), 8-3
2. Caroline Bauer/ Lauren Gruber (UW) def. Mariya Toncheva/ Georgia de’Lisle-Tarr (EMU), 9-7
3. Angela Chupa/ Aleksandra Markovic (UW) def. Ankita Bhatia/ Marcela Rivero (EMU), 8-5
1. Hannah Berner (UW) def. Miriam Westerink (EMU), 6-2, 6-4
2. Nino Mebuke (EMU) def. Sarah Loebel (UW), 6-3, 6-4
3. Aleksandra Markovic (UW) def. Ankita Bhatia (EMU), 6-4, 7-5
4. Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Mariya Toncheva (EMU), 6-4, 6-2
5. Lauren Gruber (UW) def. Marcela Rivero (EMU), 6-2, 6-3
6. Caroline Bauer (UW) def. Daphne Friedrichs (EMU), 4-6, 6-3 (10-5)
Wisconsin vs. UIC Final Results:
1. Hannah Berner/Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Elisa Simonetti/ Teona Tsertsvadze (UIC), 9-8 (7-2)
2. Angela Chupa/ Aleksandra Markovic (UW) def. Haley Craig/ Mariya Kovaleva (UIC), 8-5
3. Caroline Bauer/ Lauren Gruber (UW) def. Jana Knoppe/ Kathryn Sharples (UIC), 9-8 (7-0)
1. Hannah Berner (UW) def. Mariya Kovaleva (UIC) 6-3, 7-5
2. Sarah Loebel (UW) def. Teona Tsertsvadze (UIC), 6-3, 6-4
3. Elisa Simonetti (UIC) def Aleksandra Markovic (UW), 6-2, 7-5
4. Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Jana Knoppe (UIC), 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
5. Haley Craig (UIC) def. Lauren Gruber (UW), 6-2, 6-3
6. Caroline Bauer (UW) def. Kathryn Sharples (UIC), 6-2, 6-3