The No. 24 University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team continued its successful weekend Sunday, defeating Michigan State 6-1 at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Now 13-5 overall, the Badger men have won three straight matches and have extended their home win streak to five in a row after defeating Michigan on Saturday afternoon to cap an undefeated weekend.
Wisconsin men’s tennis head coach Greg Van Emburgh felt good about his team’s chances going into the matches today.
“We felt very confident coming into today,” he said. “We came out strong and overall had a pretty good weekend. It was great for us to come out and beat Michigan on Saturday because they’re always a struggle for us.”
The Badgers’ success began with junior Moritz Baumann and sophomore Marek Michalicka defeating Michigan State senior John Allare and junior Jason Norville in the No. 1 doubles competition 8-4.
Michalicka and Baumann’s doubles success has earned them the No. 17 national ranking in doubles.
The Badgers then secured the doubles point with an 8-2 win as freshman Patrick Pohlmann and sophomore Peter Marrack defeated Michigan State sophomore Clark Richardson and junior Brendan Kinkopf at No. 3 doubles.
Wisconsin swept doubles play as the junior pair of Michael Muskievicz and Luke Rassow-Kantor defeated the duo of sophomore John Stratton and senior Alex Forger at No. 2 doubles.
The team’s success carried into singles matches as the Badgers won five of six to record an easy 6-1 victory.
Baumann and Michalicka again delivered huge performances as they both recorded victories this weekend to add to their recent success.
Baumann, who is ranked at No. 47, extended his singles match win streak to 18 after defeating Michigan State senior Alex Forger in No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-3.
“I just wanted to play my game and dictate my play,” Baumann said. “I have been playing my style of tennis my last 18-matches, and I knew if I continued playing that way I would hopefully win.”
His victory Sunday afternoon keeps Baumann undefeated on the season at 18-0 and gives him a lot of confidence going into Big Ten play.
“My confidence rises all the time, and I have been feeling really comfortable on the court as of late,” Baumann said. “Knowing that I have been doing so well recently really helps me out a lot in pressure situations.”
Michalicka also recorded a huge victory over senior John Allare in No. 2 singles winning a 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 super tiebreaker. Michalicka struggled early in the first set, digging himself into an early hole, but quickly found his stroke in the second and third sets.
“I had to change my state of mind — that was my biggest problem,” Michalicka said. “I tried to change my game somewhat and play more balls, and in the end it worked for me. I wanted to beat him in every aspect, and I also tried to stay focused. Unfortunately it didn’t go too well during the first set.”
Michalicka quickly recovered to win the last two sets to continue his recent individual success, which has earned him a No. 37 ranking in the latest ITA rankings.
The Badgers went on to record victories at No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6 singles with Pohlmann, Muskievicz and Marrack all winning their individual matches. Wisconsin’s sole loss came in No. 4 singles as junior Michael Dierberger was defeated by Michigan State freshman Ronnie Hulewicz 6-2, 6-4, 10-8 in a super tiebreaker. The Badger’s now are 2-2 in Big Ten play and have some momentum going into their next few Big Ten matches.
“We really felt good about how things went today. We knew we were favored in a lot of spots and we really built off of the tough win yesterday against Michigan,” Van Emburgh said. “Our guys came out and played loose and relaxed today. We were able to build a lot of momentum for our match Friday against a tough Northwestern team.”