Women’s tennis team ends weekend matches with mixed results

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoThe No. 33 Wisconsin women’s tennis team split a pair of conference matches this weekend, handling No. 65 Minnesota 6-1 Saturday before falling to No. 54 Iowa 4-3 in Sunday action.“I felt very good about yesterday,” head coach Patti Henderson said after the Iowa loss. “And today, it wasn’t that it was a bad match, really.”The weekend was highlighted by a couple of logistical changes in the Badgers’ lineup, as No. 91 Katie McGaffigan returned to the top seed after playing out of the second slot against Penn State and Indiana, switching with #83 Caitlin Burke. The two top Badgers also met for the first time all season on the doubles court, as Henderson broke up the longstanding pairing of McGaffigan and Lindsay Martin in favor of allowing her two individually ranked players to work together.“We have been switching it up a lot … Yesterday went pretty well, today not as well,” Burke said of her new doubles pairing after the Iowa match. “Going from Kaylan [Caiati] to Katie [McGaffigan], [they have] completely opposite game styles — so different … ”The newly minted duo went 1-1 on the weekend, scoring an 8-2 victory against the Gophers’ Lindsay Risebrough and Nischela Reddy before dropping 8-7(5) to the Hawkeyes’ Meg Racette and Milica Veselinovic. The loss came only after a closely contested tiebreaker in which Burke slammed an overhead backhand to claim the first point of the affair. The Badger duo then went up 3-0, with the third point of the match being a hotly contested line shot ruled in favor of Wisconsin. But from there, the Hawkeyes rallied, eventually bringing the tiebreak to 5-6. The final point of the match went Iowa’s way when, after a considerable rally, Burke returned a shot into the net.“I was frustrated after the doubles match,” Burke said. “I came out really ready to play for my singles.”And when Burke did take to the singles court against Hillary Mintz, she was dominant, quickly dispatching of the Hawkeye 6-0, 6-0. But it would take such a performance — flawless on the game count — for Burke to even hint at improvement over her 6-6, 6-2 Saturday match against the Gophers’ Ida Malmberg.“I think I’m transitioning better to the outdoors,” Burke said. “It’s definitely a lot different going from playing inside every day to outside. And I think now that we’ve had a few matches out here, I’m transitioning better and playing a lot better outside.”The weekend’s other two-time winners were McGaffigan and freshman Chelsea Nusslock. McGaffigan first upset No. 70 Reddy 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 Saturday before beating Racette Sunday 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(6). The third-set tiebreak, a race to seven points with a necessary winning margin of two, proved dramatic as neither player could muster a lead greater than one point until the 14th exchange of the extra frame, when McGaffigan went up 8-6 to settle the matter.Nusslock took her first match of the weekend with a convincing 6-0, 6-2 win against Minnesota’s Marina Bugaenco. She once again came out on top Sunday, handling Iowa’s Hilary Tyler 6-4, 6-3.For Nusslock, the match marked her first individual victory since March 26, when she scored her 8th consecutive win in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Michigan State’s Sarah Andrews.“It’s relieving in a way. It’s nice to get some wins again after my last couple of matches [which] were really hard on me,” Nusslock said. “It helps a lot — it gives me more confidence. But I definitely wish we had won as a team over me.”Nusslock’s aforementioned win streak had been a team on high on the season, until Saturday when Caiati took her ninth consecutive personal victory with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Iowa’s Risebrough. But Caiati’s streak would come to an end against Minnesota when she fell 6-1, 6-2 to Micica Veselinovic.“Sometime Kaylan’s streak has to end, and it ended, and she’ll start another one,” Henderson said. “I mean, I’d rather have it end today than in the Big Ten Tournament or at NCAAs.”last_img read more