Badgers struggle with errors, conference play in 2012

first_imgIn a season that showed flashes of greatness and moments that would rather be forgotten, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team continues to look toward young talent for future success.The team’s season came to an end at the hands of No. 53 Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten tournament last month, as the Badgers finished their season with an overall record of 12-12, with a 3-8 mark in Big Ten play.Wisconsin was given the difficult task from the get-go, finding itself paired up with 11 ranked teams this season. Adding to the challenge was facing a Big Ten conference that was significantly stronger and deeper than in years past, as evidenced by the team managing just three of its 12 total wins in conference play.Over the course of the season, UW sported consistent doubles play, winning the doubles point in more than half of its matches. However, the Badgers were plagued by inconsistency in singles play throughout most of the year.Head coach Brian Fleishman attributed his team’s struggles this season to the amount of errors committed.“It comes down to error management,” Fleishman said. “So we are going to have to figure out ways to not give away free points because those free points eventually add up to games; those games add up to sets, and then the match is over.“The girls realize it. They think that they have to do too much against a good team. Sometimes it’s just putting the ball back in play. We need to make more balls in the court and control our errors.”While the Badgers failed to achieve a winning record in conference games this year and will have to replace the four graduating seniors on this year’s team, there is reason for optimism next year. Junior Hannah Berner, who will be the lone senior on the squad and a team captain next season, finished her season on a three-match winning streak at the No. 2 singles position.Along with the steady play of Berner, the Badgers got production from their young players, with two freshmen, Sarah Loebel and Nova Patel, finishing with winning records in singles play this year.Despite a bright future for the team next season, Berner said she is still sad to see the team’s seniors leaving.“It’s been a long three years for me, and I am really excited for next year to be the lone senior,” Berner said. “It’s also mixed emotions because I am really sad seeing the four girls I’ve been with for three years go. So there are ups and downs, but I’m glad I got to spend Alaina’s (Trgovich) last home match playing doubles with her. I’m happy and I’m sad.”After the season, the coaches handed out their end of the year awards, celebrating outstanding individuals on the team. Fifth-year senior Trgovich was voted the team MVP, adding the honor to her recent accomplishment of being named a second team all-Big Ten honoree. Trgovich finished the season 12-11 in singles play, defeating three ranked players along the way. Trgovich also went 14-10 in doubles play, competing in a majority of her games with Berner. The pair enjoyed a five-match winning streak during the season and unseated three ranked opponents.Senior Lauren Gruber received the team’s “Grinder” award for her hard work throughout the season, and sophomore Caroline Bauer won the “Lifter of the Year” award for her determination and dedication in the weight room.Fleishman knows that playing Division I tennis is a great opportunity few athletes get a chance to experience. The head coach said he believes his seniors made the most of their opportunity during their career at Wisconsin and hopes that the young players on the roster learn from that.“We always talk about opportunities,” Fleishman said. “I think [the seniors] had a great opportunity while they were here, and they took advantage of it athletically and academically.“The underclassmen need to realize that opportunities come around only so often, so they have to take advantage of them when they come.”last_img