Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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UW victorious in home finale

Under sunny skies, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team took
down Michigan State to gain their third conference victory of the season with a
decisive 5-2 win. Sunday’s match was not only the last match of regular season
play, but it also marked Senior Day at Nielsen Tennis Stadium. “The two
seniors did a great job of closing out their careers here at Wisconsin,”
said UW head coach Brian Fleishman. “The seniors led us today.”

Seniors Chelsea Nusslock and Morgan Tuttle each earned
victories in both their doubles and singles matches.

Starting with a sweep of the Spartans’ doubles lineup,
Wisconsin carried a strong drive throughout the entire competition. Matched
against the Spartans’ Whitney Wilson and nationally ranked Christine Bader,
Nusslock and freshman Jessica Seyferth led the No. 1 doubles match early.
Moving their opponents around the court, the Wisconsin pair never fell behind,
defeating Michigan State 8-4.

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The combination of Tuttle and Elizabeth Carpenter at No. 2
doubles also proved successful. Although having to stay on their toes and fight
the entire match, Tuttle and Carpenter topped the Spartans 7-2 in a tiebreaker,
winning their match 9-8. Emese Kardhordo and Katya Mirnova finished out the
doubles sweep, coming from behind to defeat Stephanie Kebler and Lindsey
Lonergan, 9-7. The strong doubles start gave the Badgers the momentum they
needed to come away with a victory in their last home showing.

Doubles had been the key to the Badgers’ late-season
success.

“All season we’ve been talking about doubles and,
really, our doubles getting better is helping our singles,” Fleishman
said.

That proved true Sunday, as Wisconsin went on to win four of
six singles matches against the Spartans.

At the No. 1 position, Carpenter continued to prove she has
what it takes to help lead her team to victory, winning in straight sets 6-4,
6-1. Tuttle and Mirnova also found easy victories against MSU. Tuttle defeated
Ally Wickman 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6, while Mirnova won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4.?
Nusslock started out her singles play strong, earning a 6-4 victory in the
first set before falling 1-6 in the second. She came back to win the match by
taking the third set 6-3 in her final home match.

“It’s weird; it’s not really kicked in because we have
another match,” Nusslock said of her last time at Nielsen. “It’s
really sad, but I’m glad it was a really good match.”

The two Badger losses came from No. 2 and No. 3 singles.
Both matches, however, were decided in tiebreakers. Kardhoro got off to a slow
start, falling 3-6 in the first set before coming back to win 6-2 in the
second. Unable to keep the momentum going, Kardhoro lost 5-10 to Kebler in the
tiebreaker.

Seyferth saw similar results at the No. 3 spot, losing 4-6
before turning the score around to win the second set 6-4. Despite her opponent
Manon Noe suffering arm cramps late in the match, Seyferth had to constantly
battle for points, eventually losing 11-13 in the tiebreaker.

Following the win in UW’s final regular season match,
Fleishman reflected on his team’s accomplishments.

“Anytime you start playing your best tennis at the end
of the season, it’s been a successful season,” Fleishman said.

The Badger head coach also feels confident in his team’s
abilities entering tournament play, stating the team has “good momentum
going into the tournament.”

“I think it will actually help us,” Nusslock said
of her team’s momentum and late-season surge. “I think we’re building a
lot more confidence. I just wish it would have happened earlier in the season,
but it’s better late than never.”

The next challenge for the Badgers will be in West
Lafayette, Ind., where they will compete for the Big Ten Conference
Championship title.

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