Wisconsin falls in singles, match with Michigan State 6-1

first_imgAs the Michigan State men’s tennis team celebrated its first Big Ten victory of the season, the Badgers dropped their second consecutive contest at the Nielsen Tennis Center in a grueling 6-1 defeat.Sunday’s match began with a promising start as Wisconsin (8-7, 0-3) earned the doubles point against Michigan State (11-8, 1-3) for the 12th time in 15 matches this season but couldn’t earn another mark on the scoreboard.At the No. 3 position, sophomore tandem Rod Carey and Alex Robles finished first en route to an 8-6 win to give Wisconsin an early lead in doubles play.Coming off a win over the No. 15 doubles duo in the land, the top Badger team of junior captain Billy Bertha and sophomore Fredrik Ask lost just their fourth decision of the year as they fell to Drew Lied and Aaron Pfister of Michigan State 8-6. Junior Alexander Kostanov and sophomore Petr Satral clinched the first point of the match in their 8-6 win.The stunning failure of Wisconsin’s singles matches was the story of the match. Six efforts resulted in six losses, despite four Badgers taking their opponents to third sets. Two of Wisconsin’s losses on Sunday ended in a third set tiebreak losses by Ask and Satral.Assistant coach Joe Bates said the struggles in singles cannot be answered with a single reason.“I think it’s just about confidence,” Bates said. “Just moving forward I don’t think there’s a magic answer to gaining confidence or gaining match experience, but I think even these close losses help.”Carey’s performance looked promising as he found himself up a break early in his first set in the No. 2 position, but he seemed to lose his poise as he was crushed in his second set without winning a single game.Freshman Andy Quirk also dropped his match in straight sets but displayed impressive competitiveness on the brink of defeat, as he won three straight games to tie the second set at five before losing his first match of the season. The freshman was also the only player to win a singles match on Friday against the No. 25 Michigan Wolverines.The freshman explained the team has attempted to gain confidence by becoming more encouraging during matches.“I think we’ve just got to go out there and just play with a lot of energy, try and get ahead early,” Quirk said. “I think sometimes we get up and then we lose focus. I think we’ve just got to keep focusing and just play with a lot of confidence and belief.”The last four matches were decided by third sets, including the two tiebreak defeats of Ask and Satral. Three of the four Badgers were able to fight back into their respective matches after severely losing their first sets. Satral explained that one singles victory will allow him to regain his confidence after Sunday’s defeat.“I just need to win one good match in [a] tiebreak, and I think I will win [the] next one and next one,” Satral said. “So I just need to get [one] good match, then I will be back.”A strategic move by the coaching staff was to relieve Kostanov of his singles duties on Sunday, believing that his absence would create more favorable matchups for the players moving up in the lineup. Kostanov hadn’t sat out of the singles lineup since Jan. 28 in a home win against Western Illinois.The junior’s vacancy effectively forced the rest of the singles players to participate in more difficult matches. Bates knew the decision was a risk.“It was kind of a gamble, and I suppose it didn’t pay off,” Bates said. “We got the right matchups, we thought.”After the winless weekend, Wisconsin’s relentless schedule does not ease up. The Badgers’ next slate of matches includes road tests at No. 15 Illinois and No. 53 Northwestern. Wisconsin has yet to earn their first victory against a ranked opponent and six of the last eight squads Wisconsin will challenge are nationally positioned in the top 75.Bates stressed that the team needs to be prepared to win points in tight situations.“They won the big points,” Bates said. “That’s how it goes, one or two points decides the match … they closed the matches out.”last_img read more

Continue reading

Beat writers split on result of Syracuse against NC State

first_img Published on October 24, 2018 at 10:39 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (5-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) finds itself in unfamiliar territory as No. 22 North Carolina State (5-1, 2-1) makes the trip to the Carrier Dome this weekend. Syracuse is in striking distance of a bowl game for the first time in five years coming off a 40-37 come-from-behind victory against North Carolina. The Wolfpack, on the other hand, are coming off their first loss of the season, a 41-7 shellacking in Death Valley against Clemson. Saturday’s matchup begins at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.Below, The Daily Orange beat writers make their Saturday predictions.Andrew Graham (6-1)What about the other quarterback?North Carolina State 38, Syracuse 34The Wolfpack comes to the Carrier Dome this Saturday, sorely beaten by Clemson last weekend. The Dome will prove to be no respite, but I think NC State has enough in quarterback Ryan Finley and wideout Kelvin Harmon to leave with a win. Throw in the fact that both of Syracuse’s starting cornerbacks, Chris Fredrick and Scoop Bradshaw, are questionable to go this weekend and the field tilts the Wolfpack’s way. Whether Syracuse starts Tommy DeVito or Eric Dungey, I think North Carolina State will have an answer: Lean on your star quarterback on the road. A Syracuse defense prone to big plays gives up one too many and the bowl watch shifts to Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Matt Liberman (5-2)All bark no biteSyracuse 38, NC State 35AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLooking at this game between Syracuse and NC State one thing sticks out: The Wolfpack offense is very strong. With Ryan Finley under center and three strong wide receivers, headed by an all-conference talent in Kelvin Harmon, I don’t think there’s any doubt the NC State offense can overpower the SU defense. In any other conditions aside from a Saturday night in the Dome, I think this is a win for the Wolfpack. That said, NC State hasn’t beaten anyone particularly strong this season, and in its one challenge thus far, Clemson demolished the Pack down in Death Valley. The Dome will be rocking Saturday night to the tune of thousands. The noise echoing throughout those concrete walls will disrupt the NC State offense, and Syracuse will take advantage, going to its first bowl game since 2013.Josh Schafer (6-1)Back to the Pinstripe BowlSyracuse 45, NC State 37Dungey or DeVito? As long as that question doesn’t distract Syracuse, which the team claims it hasn’t, the Orange can continue riding the wave from its double-overtime victory a week ago. If Syracuse wins a game in the Dino Babers era, it’s always high scoring, and that’s what both teams’ defenses allow for in this matchup. Syracuse ended the North Carolina game on a high note and looked every bit of the team that opened the season 4-0. With a night game atmosphere at home, Syracuse will need to score early to keep the Dome a hostile environment. A weak pass defense from North Carolina State, which ranks in the bottom 30 in the country, allows that, and the Orange prevail in a close game. Commentslast_img read more

Continue reading