MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin women's tennis team (14-10, 5-5 Big Ten) ended the 2011 regular season with a 4-3 win against Illinois at Nielsen Tennis Stadium Sunday. The match also marked Senior Day and senior Jessica Seyferth's final home match as a Badger.
Juniors Aleksandra Markovic and Angela Chupa picked up victories in both singles and doubles play to lead the Badgers past the Fighting Illini. Markovic put the match away for Wisconsin with a thrilling third-set tiebreaker victory at No. 5 singles.
UW jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, earning the double point after winning two of three doubles matches.
The team's doubles wins included an 8-5 upset by UW's No. 1 doubles duo of freshman Nicky Stracar and redshirt junior Alaina Trgovich over the No. 29-ranked Illinois pair of Rachael White and Allison Falkin. Chupa and Markovic defeated Amy Allin and Leigh Finnegan, 8-5, at No. 3 doubles.
Sophomore Hannah Berner and Seyferth narrowly lost to Annie McCarthy and Breanne Smutko in a tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles. The pair lost 8-7 (3) in Wisconsin's only doubles loss of the day. Berner and Seyferth end the regular season with a team-best 17-7 doubles mark.
Illinois took a 2-1 lead with a pair of quick singles victories. The Illini neutralized the Badgers' doubles-point victory when Seyferth fell to Smutko in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 4 singles. Seyferth ends the regular season with a 12-11 record in the spring.
Trgovich then fell to No. 117-ranked White at No. 1 singles to give Illinois a 2-1 lead. White defeated Trgovich in two sets, 6-3, 6-4.
Berner was the first Badger to win her singles match and the only to claim victory in two sets. Berner defeated Allison Falkin at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-2, to end the regular season with a 15-9 spring singles record.
After dropping the first set 2-6 to Annie McCarthy, Chupa went on to win straight sets to give Wisconsin a 3-2 lead in the dual. Chupa defeated McCarthy, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, and boasts a 5-2 singles record entering this week's Big Ten Conference tournament.
Markovic also battled back from a first-set loss. She fell in a 7-5 tiebreaker to open the match but rallied to claim her fifth Big Ten win of the season and clinch the match victory for UW. The third set came down to another tiebreaker where Markovic proved victorious, winning the match, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5).
The final singles match of the day saw Stracar force three sets after a first-set loss, but the rookie ultimately fell to Allin in three sets. Allin defeated Stracar, 7-5, 6-7 (2), 7-5.
With the win over Illinois, the Badgers finish the 2011 regular season with an impressive 11-1 mark in home matches at Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Wisconsin travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the 2011 Big Ten Women's Tennis Tournament this week, and the Badgers bring a three-match winning streak into the league tournament. Opening-round action begins on Thursday, and the tournament continues through Sunday. Seeding for the tournament will be announced Monday.
Wisconsin 4, Illinois 3
1. Alaina Trgovich/Nicky Stracar (WIS) def. #29 Rachael White/Allison Falkin (ILL), 8-5
2. Annie McCarthy/Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Hannah Berner/Jessica Seyferth (WIS), 8-7 (3)
3. Angela Chupa/Aleksandra Markovic (WIS) def. Amy Allin/Leigh Finnegan (ILL), 8-5
1. #117 Rachael White (ILL) def. Alaina Trgovich (WIS), 6-3, 6-4
2. Amy Allin (ILL) def. Nicky Stracar (WIS), 7-5, 6-7 (2), 7-5
3. Hannah Berner (WIS) def. Allison Falkin (ILL), 6-4, 6-2
4. Breanne Smutko (ILL) def. Jessica Seyferth (WIS), 6-1, 6-2
5. Aleksandra Markovic (WIS) def. Leigh Finnegan (ILL), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (5)
6. Angela Chupa (WIS) def. Annie McCarthy (ILL), 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
Courtesy: UW Sports Information