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Badgers struggle in home tourney

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoThe No. 52 Wisconsin women’s tennis team played some 27 separate matches from Thursday through Saturday, contesting 21 points and facing three different schools. The Badgers emerged victorious from only two of those matches — both coming during Thursday competition with the University of Miami — snagging as many points on the weekend and falling to all three schools. Still, with those grim results coming in competition against No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Georgia Tech and the No. 9 Hurricanes, the team considers the brutal competition to have provided valuable experience, yielding results perhaps more promising than the statistics would leave one to believe. “You look at it, and it looks like we got killed … but it could have gone either way in a lot of matches,” Badger ace No. 32 Caitlin Burke said.The squad’s only two points on the weekend frame came thanks to Kaylan Caiati and Chelsea Nusslock lifting 7-4, 4-6, 1-0(9) and 6-3, 4-6, 4-1 (ret.) victories off of the Hurricanes’ Patricia Starzyk and Audrey Banada, respectively. Caiati’s victory, noted for protracted back and forth points highlighted by a theme of notable deliberation, clocked in as the team’s longest individual effort on the weekend frame. Despite getting blanked 7-0, 7-0 by the Yellow Jackets and Commodores on Friday and Saturday, the defeated Badger squad felt a general tone of maturation as the USTA/ITA National Indoor Tournament drew to a close.”We’re a better team today than we were Thursday,” head coach Patti Henderson said after Saturday play. “We’re going to be a better team.”Though the Wisconsin ensemble did not manage a doubles victory during the three matches, the top pairing of Burke and freshman Liz Carpenter came notably close against Vanderbilt. After dropping the first game of the eight-game pro-set, the Badger duo rallied to break Maggie Yahner’s serve as she double faulted in the second deuce, giving Wisconsin its first advantage, and Burke and Carpenter capitalized.Carpenter then held, bringing Wisconsin to a 2-1 lead early in the affair. The Commodores next claimed five consecutive games, though four of them went to deuce, breaking each Badger while both Yahner and Amanda Taylor held service (though Yahner did get called for a rare foot fault at the baseline). But Wisconsin reciprocated in kind, stealing the next three games as Yahner was broken once again and both Badgers held. With Vanderbilt now enjoying a 6-5 lead, Taylor, Burke and Yahner each held their final serves, giving the Commodores an 8-6 victory. “Liz and I have improved a lot since we have been playing together this season,” Burke said. The USTA/ITA National Indoor Tournament, which was being held in Madison for the 19th-straight year, was ultimately claimed by top-seeded Stanford on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal knocked off Texas 4-0, completing a clean sweep of the four-day affair during which Stanford never ceded a single match.last_img read more