Riding the momentum from a big upset win over then No. 47 Indiana, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team hopes its confidence will carry it to more wins in the last weekend of the regular season.
On Friday, Wisconsin (11-10, 2-7 Big Ten) will travel to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Iowa (8-12, 2-7 Big Ten) is coming off a loss at No. 14 Michigan and are losers of four out of its last five matches.
Head coach Brian Fleishman can sense the confidence that his team has from the win over Indiana last Sunday and hopes that will factor into strong play from the team this weekend.
“For coaching girls, confidence is everything, momentum is everything,” Fleishman said. “So I think us having that big win on Sunday, the girls are going to go against Iowa thinking that we did a great job against a quality team in Indiana, let’s go out and do the same thing against Iowa.”
Wisconsin beat the Hawkeyes last year in a close 4-3 match.
This year Iowa features Sonja Molnar, who is ranked No. 65 in the ITA rankings in singles play.
Molnar is coming off of a huge singles win over No. 11 Emina Bektas of Michigan.
Fifth-year senior Alaina Trgovich is coming off an important singles win of her own after taking down then No. 65 Leslie Hureau of Indiana last weekend.
Trgovich knows that the win over Indiana will help them as they ready for a matchup with Iowa Friday.
“We are going to go in there with a lot of confidence,” Trgovich said. “That was a huge win against Indiana. We are going to go in there with a lot of momentum and expecting to win. They are a good team; they have kind of been struggling a little bit like us, so I think it is going to be a good match.”
Sunday the Badgers wrap up the regular season at home against No. 18 Nebraska (21-3, 7-2 Big Ten). The upcoming matchup with the Cornhuskers marks the end of the regular season and senior day for the Badgers’ veterans.
Nebraska is the No. 4 team in the Big Ten and is coming off a win at Michigan State last weekend.
Although Sunday’s match marks the first Big Ten meeting between Nebraska and Wisconsin, the Badgers did play the Cornhuskers last season, losing 6-1. While the Badgers lost last year’s matchup, Wisconsin still leads the all-time series 4-2.
Fleishman knows Nebraska is going to be a major test for his team but is looking forward to it.
“Nebraska is a great team. They had made the Big Ten that much tougher,” Fleishman said. “It’s going to be a tough match, but if we can use the home court to our advantage that will sort of be an equalizer. If the girls compete well it will be a good match.”
The Cornhuskers have two players ranked in the top 100 in singles play, with No. 45 Mary Weatherholt as their top threat.
Nebraska also boasts a doubles pair in the ITA rankings with Madeleine Geibert and Stefanie Weinstein coming in at No. 53. The duo has only lost five matches this season.
Junior Hannah Berner is looking forward to the matchup with the Cornhuskers but is sad to see the end of the season so near.
“I can’t believe the season is ending already,” Berner said. “I’m so excited [to play Nebraska]. We played them last year, fortunately, so we got a little scouting from that. They are a very tough team, but I feel like we have played better and better as the season has gone on so I think it’s going to be our best match so far.”