MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin women’s tennis team just can’t seem to catch a break lately, as it came up short in matches against Mississippi State (4-2) and No. 65 Minnesota (6-6) this weekend in Minneapolis.
“Overall, the team competed extremely hard this weekend against two quality opponents,” said Wisconsin head coach Brian Fleishman. “Our doubles continue to get better and I am sure we will start winning more doubles points and matches.”
The Badgers (1-8) fell to Mississippi State on Saturday afternoon, 4-3. It was the second-consecutive 4-3 loss for UW, which lost to Marquette on Wednesday by the same score.
While the Badgers jumped out to a big lead against Marquette but failed to hold on, on Saturday it was UW that found itself in a big early deficit.
Fresh off their first doubles point of the year against Marquette, the Badgers couldn’t find a way to make it two-in-a-row against the Bulldogs.
MSU’s Georgiana Parrasc and Petra Ferancova snatched an early win for the Mississippi State in the No. 3 doubles match by sweeping Hannah Berner and Helen Rabot, 8-0. Lauren Chypyha and Lauren Burich evened the score with a 8-2 win in No. 2 doubles, defeating Lien Van Geel and Sarai Flores. With the doubles score tied at 1-1, MSU claimed the point when Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran upended Katie Hoch and Anastasia Tripolskaya in the No.1 match, 8-5.
Wisconsin never recovered from the early loss, as Mississippi State reeled off three quick singles wins to clinch the match. Hannah Berner’s 6-2, 6-2 loss to Perper in her first game back at No. 1 singles put the Badgers in a 2-0 hole.
The deficit quickly became 3-0 after the No. 6 singles match, where Rabot was defeated by Flores, 6-1, 6-2. MSU clinched the match with Patrasc’s 6-0, 6-3 win over Chypyha at No. 2.
The Badgers fought back to cut the final margin to 4-3 behind wins at No. 3, 4 and 5 singles.
At No. 3, Hoch continued her hot run, outlasting Tran, 6-4, 1-6, 1-0 (5). Burich also made it two singles victories in a row, when she won the No. 4 match by beating Ferancova, 7-6 (6), 3-0 (ret.). Tripolskaya had the third singles win for the Badgers, beating Van Geel in the No. 5 match, 6-4, 6-4.
“Mississippi State is a tough team that pushed us to stay focused,” Fleishman said. “Hannah Berner coming back into the lineup helped us to stay deep, and Hoch and Burich continue to play competitive tennis and were great in singles against MSU.”
Wisconsin was unable to snap its four-match losing streak against No. 65 Minnesota on Sunday, but the 7-0 final score obscured a surprising competitive match.
Once again, the Badgers lost the doubles point by a 2-1 margin. The lone win came at No. 3, where Berner and Rabot pulled out a razor-thin victory over Jessika Mozia and Yuliana Umanets, 8-7 (9-7). At No. 1, Paula Rincon Otero and Natallia Pintusava beat Chypyha and Burich, 8-2, and Hoch and Tripolskaya dropped the No. 2 match to Tereza Brichacova and Doron Muravnik, 8-1.
While the Badgers didn’t get a win in singles, many of the matches were very competitive—though none of them went UW’s way. Three of the six singles matches went to three sets, all won by the Gophers.
Muravnik opened the action by breezing past Rabot in the No.6 match, 6-0, 6-2. Wisconsin found itself down 3-0 after Hoch lost at No. 3 singles for the first time in three matches, falling to Rincon Otero, 6-1, 6-4. After Burich’s two-match winning streak was snapped in the No. 4 match by Mozia, 6-3, 6-3, the Gophers took a 4-0 lead and claimed the match.
The day’s action concluded with Pintusava beating Berner in the No. 1 match, 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10), Tripolskaya dropping the No. 5 match to Aria Lambert, 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-1) and Chypyha falling to Brichacova in the No. 2 match, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
“I was proud of how our No. 3 doubles team fought its way back into the match and finally pulled it out in the end,” said Fleishman. “In singles, we competed and fought hard for every point.”
Wisconsin heads south for a pair of matches in Texas this next week. UW squares off against SMU on March 2 at noon, before taking on top-25 opponent Texas Tech on March 3 at 11 a.m.
Mississippi State 4, Wisconsin 3
1. Alexandra Perper/Naomi Tran (MSU) def. Katie Hoch/Anastasia Tripolskaya (UW) 8-5
2. Lauren Chypyha/Lauren Burich (UW) def. Lien Van Geel/Sarai Flores (MSU) 8-2
3. Georgiana Patrasc/Petra Ferancova (MSU) def. Hannah Berner/Helen Rabot (UW) 8-0
1. Alexandra Perper (MSU) def. Hannah Berner (UW) 6-2, 6-2
2. Georgiana Patrasc (MSU) def. Lauren Chypyha (UW) 6-0, 6-3
3. Katie Hoch (UW) def. Naomi Tran (MSU) 6-4, 1-6, 1-0(5)
4. Lauren Burich (UW) def. Petra Ferancova (MSU) 7-6(6), 3-0 (ret.)
5. Anastasia Tripolskaya (UW) def. Lien Van Geel (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Sarai Flores (MSU) def. Helen Rabot (UW) 6-1, 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1) Singles (1,6,2,4,5,3)
No. 65 Minnesota 7, Wisconsin 0
1. Rincon Otero/Pintusava (MINN) def. Chypyha/Burich (WIS), 8-2
2. Brichacova/Muravnik (MINN) def. Hoch/Tripolskaya (WIS), 8-1
3. Berner/Rabot (WIS) def. Mozia/Umanets (MINN), 8-7 (9-7)
1. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Hannah Berner (WIS) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10)
2. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) def. Lauren Chypyha (WIS) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
3. Paula Rincon Otero (MINN) def. Katie Hoch (WIS) 6-1, 6-4
4. Jessika Mozia (MINN) def. Lauren Burich (WIS) 6-3, 6-3
5. Aria Lambert (MINN) def. Ana Tripolskaya (WIS) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-1)
6. Doron Muravnik (MINN) def. Helen Rabot (WIS) 6-0, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles: (2,1,3) Singles: (6,3,4,1,5,2)