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Badgers can’t handle Ohio State

first_imgCompetition was hot on a chilly spring day as the University of Wisconsin women’s tennis team lost 4-3 Sunday to Ohio State at the Nielsen Tennis Center.The marathon match lasted 4 1/2 hours and made a mid-match transition from the outdoor courts to the indoor ones after play was suspended for rain.The series was back and forth as Ohio State and Wisconsin traded leads and momentum throughout the day. The matches seemed to go Ohio State’s way after it swept the doubles point and quickly won the singles six match.UW’s No. 2 doubles team of Emese Kardhordo and Katya Mirnova fought hard in a tough 9-7 loss to Julie Blackmore and Cami Hubbs. The No. 3 team of Angela Chupa and Aleksandra Markovic also made a comeback only to fall 9-7 as well to Ohio State’s Kirsten Flower and Paloma Escobedo.Before that, Ohio State quickly won the No. 1 doubles as the team of Christina Keesey and Angela DiPastina defeated UW’s Elizabeth Carpenter and Jessica Seyferth.But fortunes turned as the Badgers won the next three matches to go up 3-2 with wins from Carpenter, Mirnova and Chupa at the No. 1, 2, and 5 singles respectively.Chupa quickly defeated DiPastina 6-4, 6-4; Mirnova took down Escobedo 6-2, 6-2; and Carpenter won her last home match as a senior, defeating Flower in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.“I was excited while I was playing, just enjoying the moment,” Carpenter said. “It was great — it was an awesome win for me.”The Badgers did lose No. 6 singles as Ohio State’s Kelsey Haviland dominated the match against Dana Larsen, winning the match 6-2, 6-1.Many of the points were hotly contested, and many close calls were debated among the players, umpires, coaches and fans.Ohio State’s Flower was the most vocal, as she was visibly upset after several of Carpenter’s calls. Wisconsin head coach Brian Fleishman got into a few arguments with the umpires as well, even telling one to “shut up” after a call in the first few points.In college tennis, the players make the calls while the umpires are there as a second opinion for any challenges from players.The results came down to the last two matches, both of which were fiercely competitive. All that remained was UW’s Aleksandra Markovic against Kristina Keesey at No. 3 singles and the No. 4 singles match of Wisconsin’s Jessica Seyferth vs. Hubbs.They were hotly contested, with intense rallies, long points and extended deuces. The turning point came when the match was suspended due to rain and the play moved to the indoor courts where play is a little quicker and the speed increases. The Badgers knew the switch wouldn’t help their team, especially against Ohio State.“Outdoors, when you hit the ball, it doesn’t come at you as hard,” Mirnova said. “In Jessie’s case, her opponent is pretty much an indoor player, so she hit the ball and it’s coming at you at full speed. I think we’re pretty good outdoors compared to indoors.” Fleishman also felt the transition didn’t help the last two matches.“You hope that’s not the reason you ended up losing the match, but it’s faster in here, and their players are a little bit more of an indoor team. They’re big girls; they hit the ball pretty hard, so I think the transition helped them.”Shortly after moving indoors, Markov lost her second set, losing the match 7-5, 6-4. With the score tied, 3-3, it came down to the third set between Seyferth and Hubbs. After trading points, breaks and leads, to the results were determined by a first to seven points tiebreaker. After going up four to three, Seyferth lost her next two serves and four points overall to drop the match to Hubbs 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4).Although the team lost in devastating fashion, Elizabeth Carpenter was happy with her performance on Senior Day and will look back on this win fondly.Fleishman knows it will be hard to replace a talent and leader like Carpenter.“She had to step up and fill the void of not having a No. 1 player, and she has accepted that challenge, and she is our No. 1 player and she’s done a good job,” Fleishman said.Mirnova was also upset to see the three seniors, Carpenter, Elizabeth Dolan and Erin Jobe leave.“I’m good friends with everyone on the team,” Mirnova said. “It’s going to be sad, but on the other hand, I’m looking forward to whoever comes here next year.”last_img read more