Feb. 8, 2013
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin women’s tennis team (1-4) dropped its home-opener, falling to No. 35 Utah (2-1), 6-1 on Friday afternoon at the Nielsen Stadium.
“Utah’s a very good team, based on their ranking,” said Wisconsin head coach Brian Fleishman. “The unforced errors on our side of the net were a deciding factor in today’s match. That’s what we talked about after the match—we’ve got to get that cleaned up.”
For the fifth time in a row this season, the Badgers found themselves on the losing end of the doubles point, despite three closely-contested matches. The No. 1 doubles team of Lauren Chypyha and Lauren Burich fell into an early 6-1 hole against Utah’s Tereza Bekerova and Paige Miles. Although they fought back to cut the deficit to 6-4, Bekerova and Miles rebounded to take the match, 8-4.
The No. 3 doubles match pitted Helen Rabot and Pernilla Wohlstrom against Lucia Kovarcikova and Natasha Smith. The Badgers led most of the way, but could never open up more than a two game advantage. Eventually, the match came down to a tiebreaker that Smith and Kovarcikova won, giving them the match, 8-7 (7-3).
The loss gave the doubles point to Utah, and halted a competitive No. 2 doubles match. Katie Hoch and Anastasia Tripolskaya faced off against Callie Craig and Sarah Pham, and raced out to a 7-3 lead in the match, before the Utes roared back to tie things up at seven. The Badgers held a 1-0 edge in the tiebreak when the match was called.
While the doubles competition resulted in a familiar result, the highly competitive matches were a step in the right direction for the Badgers.
“It was very competitive. I was very pleased with how (the) No. 2 and 3 (teams) competed today to put themselves in a great position,” Fleishman said. “Overall, I think the doubles was the highlight today. I thought we were right there, and I thought that would have been the momentum that we would have needed going into singles.”
Faced with a 1-0 deficit as singles action began, the Badgers fell deeper into the hole after losses in both the No. 2 and 6 matches. After Wohlstrom lost to Miles in No. 6 singles, 6-1, 6-1, No. 2 Hoch fell to Bekerova, 6-2, 6-4 to put the Badgers in a 3-0 hole.
The Utes took a 4-0 lead and clinched the match with Craig’s 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Tripolskaya in No. 3 singles. Rabot and Elena Najera-Salas squared off in the No. 5 matchup. A disputed second set call provided breathing room for Utah as Najera-Salas went on to win, 7-5, 6-2, giving the Utes a 5-0 lead.
The final two matches of the day came in No. 1 and 4 singles. Burich rallied back from an early deficit against Kovarcikova to give the Badgers their only point of the day, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 10-1 in the No. 4 match.
In her debut at No. 1 singles in place of the injured Hannah Berner, Chypyha took on Pham in a three-set match. After taking the first set, 6-3, Chypyha dropped the second, 6-4. In the third set, Pham surged to a 6-2 victory, to take the match for Utah and set the final score of the day at 6-1.
The Badgers will head to Louisville for their next match, a Feb. 16 tilt against the Cardinals, set to kick off at 11 a.m.
No. 35 Utah 6, No. 75 Wisconsin, 1
1. Bekerova, Tereza/Miles, Paige (UUWOMEN) def. Lauren Burich/Lauren Chypyha (WIS) 8-4
2. Katie Hoch/Anastasia Tripolskay (WIS) vs. Craig, Callie/Pham, Sarah (UUWOMEN) 7-7 (1-0), unfinished
3. Kovarcikova, Lucia/Smith, Natasha (UUWOMEN) def. Helen Rabot/Pernilla Wohlstrom (WIS) 8-7 (7-3)
1. Pham, Sarah (UUWOMEN) def. Lauren Chypyha (WIS) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Bekerova, Tereza (UUWOMEN) def. Katie Hoch (WIS) 6-2, 6-4
3. Craig, Callie (UUWOMEN) def. Anastasia Tripolskay (WIS) 6-2, 6-2
4. Lauren Burich (WIS) def. Kovarcikova, Lucia (UUWOMEN) 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 10-1
5. Najera-Salas, Elena (UUWOMEN) def. Helen Rabot (WIS) 7-5, 6-2
6. Miles, Paige (UUWOMEN) def. Pernilla Wohlstrom (WIS) 6-1, 6-1