Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Women’s Tennis: Team makes national noise entering postseason play, backed by 17-5 record

Sholokhova, Reynoldson among standouts in quality program
Dane Sheehan
Badger Herald archival photo. March 9, 2019..

The University of Wisconsin women’s tennis program capped off the regular season with a 4–1 win against Rutgers University and left fans at the edge of their seats during a 4–3 loss against the University of Maryland during the weekend of April 20. UW played away at both of these matches — having left the Nielsen Tennis Center in high spirits after sweeping Michigan State University 4–0 April 13.

These final regular season results secured a double bye for the Badgers in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 4 seed, hosted by the University of Michigan. After besting the University of Illinois April 26, they fell to the University of Michigan, the team that eventually went on to the clinch the tournament title.

The Badgers continued their Big Ten success this season — finishing with the same 8-3 record as they did last season — having defeated all three prospective Big Ten Tournament opponents during the regular season.


As even more gameplay to look forward to, the NCAA Tournament team bracket will be selected April 29, with the singles and doubles brackets being selected April 30.

In the most recent rankings by the NCAA committee, published April 23, the Badgers were ranked as the 33rd best Division 1 program in the country with an impressive 16-4 record.

UW is also making waves in the individual rankings, as sophomore Maria Sholokhova was ranked at No. 83 in the singles rankings, with a 26-10 record.

Looking back at this past season, the Badgers held one of the most impressive home records in the country, going 10-1 this season, with a strong win over the No. 38 ranked Fighting Illini. The Badgers also found success when traveling to face their opponents, finishing 6-3 away and 2-2 in neutral sites.

As a team, UW garnered a quality amount of success this season, some of which can be attributed to breakout freshman Ellison Reynoldson. The Camden, Tennessee, native finished this season 5-1 in singles play as well as 5-5 in doubles play.

Sholokhova was a winner on the court this season as well — finishing at 17-4 in singles and 9-4 in doubles. She managed to improve on her dominant freshman season and 14-8 singles record that saw her named to the All-Big Ten team.

Sholokhova finished the season strong, ending with a three-match doubles win streak and has gone 15-1 (one unfinished) in her last 17 singles matches, with 12 of them coming in straight sets. She also racked up wins against ranked opponents in Selma Cadar and Justine Leong from the Terrapins and Northwestern University, respectively.

Graduate student Rosie Garcia Gross brought the experience to the squad, having transferred from Georgia Tech this past season after finishing 20-14 in singles and 12-10 in doubles. This season as a Badger, the New York-native dominated both singles and doubles play —finishing 9-2 in singles and 14-1 in doubles. Garcia Gross ended with a 12-1 combined record in conference play, her only loss coming in doubles against the Fighting Illini.

Garcia Gross wasn’t the only graduate student to fight for great results this season. Xinyu Cai entered her fifth year playing for the Badgers coming off of being named the ITA Midwest Region Most Improved Senior last season. This season, Cai finished 12-4 in singles play and 9-5 in doubles play — combining for a 9-6 conference record.

Last season, Cai and then-junior Alina Mukhortova finished the season at No. 86 in the ITA doubles rankings.

Mukhortova — like many other Badgers on the team — posted dominant numbers this season in both doubles and singles, finishing with a combined record of 18-10 and a conference record of 8-4.

Mukhortova won both her matches against ranked opponents this season, first against No. 26 Cate Broerman and Hope Moulin from James Madison University in the first match of the regular season and against No. 61 Minorka Miranda and Maria Budin from the Terrapins in the final match of the regular season.

Head coach Kelcy McKenna entered the 2023-24 season as her eighth in charge of the Badgers and she has worked continuously to turn the program around from 4-16 in 2016 to 17-5 this season. Under her leadership, UW won their first NCAA Tournament match since 2002 and at one point were ranked No. 11 in the team rankings during the 2022-23 season.

Excluding the 2019-20 season, which was canceled to the COVID-19 pandemic, McKenna and her staff have guided the Badgers to four consecutive seasons ranked inside the top-50 and this season will be the third consecutive year finishing inside the top-3 in the Big Ten standings — including a joint win in 2021-22.

The Badgers have a bright outlook for their future. With a squad full of promising talent and experienced leadership, UW is sure to build off of past success and continue to bring home results for Badger fans around campus and the country.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *