Women’s tennis team closes out fall season

first_imgCHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In its final tournament of the fall season, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team used the University of Illinois’ Midwest Blast VII as a vehicle for continuing to test doubles pairings, work on singles games and, for the remarkably young Badger squad, gain valuable competition experience.”It gives us a chance to see where [players] match up next to other teams,” assistant coach Erin Boisclair said. “It helps just to introduce them a little bit to what it’s going to be like in the spring.”Boisclair oversaw the squad for the weekend while head coach Patti Henderson traveled with the team’s top-flight player, Caitlin Burke, to Ohio State for the ITA National Indoors tournament.In Friday action, the pairing of sophomore Chelsea Nusslock and freshman Elizabeth Carpenter proved Wisconsin’s only victorious doubles team, as they handily defeated the Illini’s Momei Qu and Emily Wang 8-6.”My play has been pretty well this weekend,” Carpenter said. “It’s our last tournament and I finally felt like playing my game more, and now that I feel comfortable, I started winning.”Nicole Beck and Kaylan Caiati fell to the host school’s Brianna Knue and Macall Harkins, 8-1, while Wisconsin’s Morgan Tuttle and Ali Salomone dropped 8-2 to Shivani Dave and Alejandra Cuadra.That afternoon, Beck and Carpenter both proved winners on the singles court, defeating Louisville’s Robyn White and Ariana Marshall, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-3, respectively.”The match is good for my confidence,” Beck said. “I feel like I’ve been playing well.”Saturday would prove grimmer for the Badgers, as all three of their doubles tandems — scrambled after Friday play — dropped to Notre Dame, and only Carpenter emerged victorious on the singles court, defeating Illinois’ Dave 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(5).Sunday play wouldn’t fare much better, as Nusslock and Salomone dropped their doubles match 8-1 early in the day to Louisville, followed closely by wins from the other two Cardinal squads facing Wisconsin’s again reshuffled doubles pairings.”I think we’re having a difficult time figuring out who is going to play with who,” Boisclair said of the squad’s doubles play. “I think we’ve been moving around a lot … Patti and I need to sit down and figure out teams. And we just need to practice with those teams.”Despite a troubling win/loss record on the frame, the weekend was not without value to a Wisconsin squad filling six of its nine roster slots with freshmen and sophomores. The Midwest Blast VII was the first competition of the year to allow the Badgers to mock out a traditional team-based spring format, as opposed to the largely draw-based nature of other autumn competitions.”It’s different coming from junior tennis for the freshmen.” Boisclair said. “This is why you play a tournament like this in the fall — so that they can get exposed to how it is; it is a little bit more intense than other tournaments.”last_img

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