The Wisconsin women’s tennis team is ready to leave it all on the court.
Returning home for its final matches of the regular season, Wisconsin (12-10, 3-5 Big Ten) will host Iowa (6-13, 3-5 Big Ten) Saturday and Illinois (9-10, 5-3 Big Ten) Sunday.
After a confidence building 4-3 win at Penn State last weekend, the Badgers are looking to end the season on a high note.
“It was a pretty exciting match so we’re still kind of talking about it,” head coach Brian Fleishman said. “The momentum thing is basically what you make of it. We have momentum, now what we have to do is go out on Saturday against Iowa and use the positive experience we had at State College and believe that we can beat Iowa. That’s basically it. There’s no secrets now at this end of the season. Everybody knows everybody – weaknesses and strengths.”
With only two more matches until the Big Ten Tournament, the Badgers are hoping for a successful weekend to help carry even more momentum into the postseason.
Being back at home gives UW a perfect opportunity to continue its success.
“I think it’s a great advantage for us,” senior Jessica Seyferth said. “We’re more comfortable here. We want to defend our own home turf. We’re just motivated to win, it’s the last hurrah at the end of the regular conference, so we’re going to leave everything we on the court we have.”
Seyferth is the only senior on the squad this season. With the final home match Sunday, the team will honor her and hopes to end her career on a high note.
Seyferth’s doubles partner, sophomore Hannah Berner, wants nothing more than a win for Seyferth.
“I think I’m going to get emotional,” Berner said. “She’s one of my close friends and I look up to her a lot. She’s had a great career so far and we’ve had a really impressive doubles season. I really want to just show her off at the end of the day and have a great time. At least have fun this last weekend to finalize her career.”
Despite the special weekend at home, Fleishman wants to make sure his team stays focused.
“You don’t want to change up the routine, Fleishman said. “You don’t want to change up how we prepare going into the matchup.”
While the Badgers picked up an uplifting win over Penn State last weekend, they lost the doubles point. Having to rely heavily on the singles matches to get them the win isn’t the position they want to face in any matchup.
Heading into the weekend, the Badgers are focusing on winning that doubles point and also finding ways to get ahead in singles play rather than having to play catch up throughout the match.
“At this time in the season it’s same old, same old,” Fleishman said. “We’re working on some doubles, trying to get stronger in doubles, trying to get more confident. Also working on singles, trying to dictate the points early as opposed to just being defensive.”
Wisconsin feels confident about its chances this weekend despite the losses it has collected through the Big Ten season so far.
“I don’t want to reveal any strategies,” Berner said. “It’s all about who wants it more at the end of the day with these teams because the Big Ten is really kind of balanced. Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. Whichever team shows up that day is going to take it. We can take both matches this weekend. For sure, we have a chance.”