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Fleishman previews Big Ten tournament

ON WISCONSIN <b>Coach Fleishman and the Badgers upset then-No. 47 Indiana on April 15.</b>
Coach Fleishman and the Badgers upset then-No. 47 Indiana on April 15.

April 24, 2012

Fleishman's Press Conference Small Video Graphic

-- Wisconsin women's tennis coach Brian Fleishman met with the media Monday as the Badgers prepare for their Big Ten tournament this week. Archived video of his appearances can be found above, while a complete transcript can be found below.

Brian Fleishman: Right now we're 12-11 on the season, 3-8 in the Big Ten. It's been a tough season in the Big Ten. I think we had nine teams ranked in the top 75 this year, which is probably the more competitive Big Ten season since I've been here. Everybody's kind of beating up on each other.

We did beat Indiana a couple weeks ago here at home. Again, we have a different lineup now going into the Big Ten tournament. They have a different lineup with some small changes in the lineups. But I think we match up pretty well against them, and we're looking for a good result there against Indiana on Thursday.

QUESTION #1: What's it like knowing that pretty much every match in this league is going to be in for a very difficult team.

FLEISHMAN: It's good and bad. You'd love to have some easy matches. But this year in the Big Ten, it's been really competitive, which is a good thing. Because if we can get by Indiana, who is a top 50 program, and we take on another top 15 program, and you beat them, and you make the NCAA tournament. There is incentive. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

That is the good thing about having a tough conference. Because if you can beat a seeded team or highly-ranked team at the end of the year, that can get you in the door.

QUESTION #2: Can you take confidence from your win over Indiana or do you have to be careful and guarded against that?

FLEISHMAN: Ever since I've been coaching it's tough to beat the same team in the same year twice, so we're not going to let our guard down. But you have to take everybody seriously. You have to make sure you don't underestimate anybody. That will be the message tomorrow in practice. That will be the message on Wednesday in practice. And that will be the message right before the game on Thursday.

QUESTION #3: Who has been your most consistent player and who has picked up their play of late?

FLEISHMAN: Well, I have to give a lot of credit to our fifth year senior at the top who has accepted the number one role and position of the season, Alaina Trgovich from Munster, Ind. From the time that she transferred in from Kentucky until now, she's improved immensely. She used to miss several backhands, and now she doesn't miss backhands. So it's not a weakness anymore.

I have to give a lot of credit to her for accepting that role. I think my two freshmen in the middle of my lineup, Sarah Loebel from Germany, and Nova Patel from India have come in and done a good job as freshmen. Those two have been my most consistent throughout the season.

QUESTION #4: Do you prepare any differently going into a tournament format as opposed to just a normal dual weekend?

FLEISHMAN: The good thing about a tournament is you can just focus on that team that you have in front of you and try not to have the team look ahead to the next match. It's tough to do, because some of the girls love looking at the draw, some of the girls don't look at draws. They bring that in from their junior careers. Some players love to see who they have to play next and who they have to beat. Some girls don't even want to look at the draw. So it's a personal preference.

From a coaching standpoint, we have to put the emphasis on Indiana. We have to learn from what we did last time against them, look at our scouting notes that we took away from that match and prepare accordingly.

QUESTION #5: The team's 11 2 this year in winning the doubles point. How important is it to get that opening point to set the tone for the match?

FLEISHMAN: Early on in the season, our first Big Ten match we played Minnesota. We came out and won the doubles point, and then we ended up losing the match. I think we learned a lot from that match moving forward to the season that the doubles point is very important. Even though it's one point, it just kind of sets the stage for the rest of the match and gets everybody prepared and kind of fired up for the singles. I think we learned from that match early on in the season against Minnesota you can't let your guard down even if you win the doubles point. So I think we've grown a lot since then, and our record speaks for it. When we win the doubles point, we usually win the match.

The girls know how much importance I put on the doubles points. We try to get them fired up and ready for the doubles point as best we can.

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