Wisconsin slides to 1-8 in Big Ten

first_imgWEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Having fought a nasty streak of roster-plaguing injuries, numerous close matches falling into the hands of opponents and a schedule that has made hotel rooms the weekend norm, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team had braved seemingly every element possible going into its matches against Purdue and Illinois this Saturday and Sunday.But after suffering a duo of losses over the weekend, mother nature saw clear to adding insult to injury for the embattled squad, grounding its bus in Champaign, Ill., while tornado alerts and stormy weather claimed control of the Midwestern town. The storm started building up Sunday afternoon while the Badgers were on the singles court against the Illini, peaking only after the completion of play.”At first it was very humid — it was very deceiving,” junior Kaylan Caiati said. “It actually was pretty hot considering it was pretty dark and windy.”And as the Badgers fell 4-3 to the Illini on the heels of a 7-0 loss to Purdue Saturday, that storm front almost certainly made an impact on the court.”In my singles match, serving, I tossed it up and hit the ball completely behind my head because the wind pushed it back,” Caiati recalled. “It is a finesse game, not a power game, when the wind is that much of a factor.”Though Caiati fell short to Macall Harkins, 7-5, 6-0, in singles play, she and UW freshman Elizabeth Carpenter pulled off an upset 8-1 victory over the Illini’s No. 41 tandem of Harkins and Emily Wang in doubles play earlier Sunday, helping the Badgers earn the day’s first point. “In doubles, I was very happy with how I played and how Liz played. I think we kept our focus,” Caiati said. “We started off very strong … and we just kept that momentum throughout the entire match.”Wisconsin’s other two points on the day came by way of singles victories from Carpenter and Chelsea Nusslock, defeating Wang and Momei Qu 6-2, 7-5 and 6-3, 6-2, respectively. “It felt really good to win [Sunday] after a few losses,” Nusslock said. “We all really wanted to show something for ourselves, to do well … after the 7-0 loss, we wanted to redeem ourselves.”And that 7-0 loss here Saturday certainly did mark a point of difficulty for the squad, as only one Badger managed to claim more than three games in a set during singles player, with sophomore Morgan Tuttle eventually dropping to the Boilermakers’ Anna Dzeva 6-4, 7-6(1) in the day’s closest — and longest — match. “Hats off to Purdue, because what they did do — and what Purdue has done — and they did it the best that I have ever seen a Purdue tennis team do, is that they were as cohesive as they ever have been, they were behind each other, and they individually imposed their games on us,” head coach Patti Henderson said after play Saturday.last_img read more