Wisconsin Shuts Down Penn State
April 27, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Fourth-seeded Wisconsin did not let one point escape against feisty fifth-seeded Penn State, claiming a 4-0 victory and a semifinal berth at the 2007 Big Ten Men's Tennis Championship on Thursday.
The win sends the No. 40 Badgers (15-9, 6-4 Big Ten) to a semifinal clash with top-seeded Ohio State. The No. 41 Nittany Lions shared the Badgers' conference record but lost the regular season meeting between the two teams to earn the sixth seed. With the loss, they fall to 16-6 overall.
After splitting the first two doubles matches, the team point came down to the No. 2 contest with a back-and-forth battle between Penn State's team of Adam Slagter and James Dwyer and Wisconsin's Nolan Polley and Michael Dierberger. The Badger pair got down and dirty to pull out the 8-6 win and secure an early lead for their team.
In singles, the closely matched teams continued a heated battle with room for error scarce. Despite dropping the first set against Penn State's Michael James, Wisconsin freshman Moritz Baumann rallied to upset the 81st-ranked Nittany Lion in convincing fashion (4-6, 6-1, 6-0).
Veteran Badger Jeremy Sonkin stretched the team's advantage to 3 with a tough, straight-set win over Slagter that saw only one break of serve. Although the Nittany Lions were up by a set in both the fourth and fifth singles matches, Polley was again called on to clinch the team point in the No. 2 singles contest. After splitting the first two sets, Polley came back with a vengeance to down Penn State's Ryan Berger 6-3 in the third set.