March 4, 2012
MADISON, Wis. - The 61st-ranked Wisconsin women's tennis team suffered a 5-2 defeat in Sunday's border-battle with No. 31 Minnesota at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
With each team playing in its Big Ten opener, UW fell to 7-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference, while the Gophers recorded their sixth-straight win and improved to 9-1 and 1-0 in the league.
Despite getting off to an early lead courtesy of the doubles point, the Badgers were unable to carry that success into singles play.
"We definitely started off playing well in doubles, and put ourselves in a good position by winning the doubles point, which is great, and we've been practicing to do that," Wisconsin assistant coach Mira Radu said. "Unfortunately, we didn't really carry that momentum into singles."
For the first time this season, UW lost the match after recording the doubles point. Wisconsin's doubles victories came from courts one and three.
At court one, junior Hannah Berner and Alaina Trgovich recorded an 8-5 victory over Alexa Palen and Yuliana Umanets.
Over on court three, sophomore Nicky Stracar and freshman Nova Patel cruised to an 8-1 win over Tereza Brichacova and Julia Courter.
The senior duo of Angela Chupa and Aleksandra Markovic suffered Wisconsin's only doubles loss, falling 8-4 to Natallia Pintusava and Magdalena Wiecha.
Although the Badgers had their chances, Trgovich represented Wisconsin's lone singles victory of the match. She controlled the tempo on court three, handing Umanets a 6-3, 6-0 loss.
"We had our good win at No. 3, which Alaina has been playing so well at lately," Radu said. "Unfortunately, on the other courts we got close but just couldn't close the matches."
Competing at the top spot for Wisconsin, Stracar was unable to get past Pintusava, losing, 6-4, 6-3.
Freshman Sarah Loebel suffered a 6-3, 6-0 defeat at the No. 4 spot for Wisconsin. She was defeated by Courter.
With three singles matches in the books, the match was locked up at 2-2.
At No. 6 singles, Markovic's second set rally fell short, putting the Gophers just one win away from victory. Markovic dropped the first set, 6-1, and trailed 5-4 in the second before tying it at 5-5. In the end, Markovic endured a 6-1, 7-5 loss to Brichacova.
With Minnesota leading 3-2, Wisconsin needed wins from both courts two and five. UW, however, was unable to come out on top in those two matches that both came down to tiebreaks.
Berner put up a fight at court two, but was unable to stop Minnesota's Palen from recording her ninth-straight victory. Berner was defeated 7-5, 7-6 (3).
After defeating Doron Muravnik in the first set, 6-4, Patel was unable to close out the match. Patel dropped the second set in a tiebreak and fell in a super tiebreak in lieu of a third set. The Wisconsin freshman was defeated 4-6, 7-6 (5), 1-0 (4) at No. 5.
Wisconsin is back on the road next weekend, making stops at Old Dominion and William & Mary. The Badgers meet up with Old Dominion on Saturday, March 10 at 9 a.m. CT in Norfolk, Va., before facing William & Mary on Sunday, March 11 at 10 a.m. CT in Williamsburg, Va.
No. 31 Minnesota 5, No. 61 Wisconsin, 2
1.) Hannah Berner / Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Alexa Palen/ Yuliana Umanets (Minn.), 8-5
2.) Natallia Pintusava/ Magdalena Wiecha (Minn.)def. Angela Chupa / Aleksandra Markovic (UW), 8-4
3.) Nicky Stracar / Nova Patel (UW) def. Tereza Brichacova/ Julia Courter (Minn.), 8-1
Order of Finish:
3, 1, 2
1.) Natallia Pintusava (Minn.)def. Nicky Stracar (UW), 6-4, 6-3
2.) Alexa Palen (Minn.) def. Hannah Berner (UW), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3)
3.) Alaina Trgovich (UW) def. Yuliana Umanets (Minn.), 6-3, 6-0
4.) Julia Courter (Minn.) def. Sarah Loebel (UW), 6-3, 6-0
5.) Doron Muravnik (Minn.) def. Nova Patel (UW), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-4)
6.) Tereza Brichacova (Minn.) def. Aleksandra Markovic (UW), 6-1, 7-5
Order of Finish:
4, 3, 1, 6, 2, 5