first_imgHistory teetered on repeating itself for the Wisconsin women’s tennis team this weekend, as it played host to Penn State and Indiana. A year ago to the week, the Badgers beat the Nittany Lions 4-3 in a lengthy road match before dropping 5-2 at the hands of the Hoosiers two days later.The setting seemed to make little difference, as Wisconsin disposed of Penn State 4-3 at home this year, with the Saturday match weighing in at a remarkable five and a half hours, before No. 26 Indiana dampened the weekend festivities with a 5-2 victory over the Badgers.”For us, I felt like Michigan [last Saturday] was a low. … We made some adjustments, we talked about it, and I feel like Michigan State [last Sunday], Penn State [Saturday] and [Indiana] today — three matches in a row — we’ve competed hard and we’ve fought hard,” head coach Patti Henderson said. “Indiana is very good, and we fought hard. … If we continue to compete like that, we’re very close.”Saturday’s win snapped an eight-game losing streak for a Badger squad that has been riddled by injury for the bulk of the spring season. But with Sunday’s defeat marking the ninth loss in 10 matches, once realistic hopes of the team making its third trip to the NCAA tournament in as many years began to fade.”It’s really hard to say. We still have Purdue, and we still have Iowa, and those two teams are ranked teams,” Henderson said. “I’d say it’s slim, but pride is a pretty big thing.”Sophomores Morgan Tuttle and Chelsea Nusslock did each claim their second individual victories in a trifecta of efforts over the weekend, with both having notched singles wins over Michigan State last weekend before the former athlete claimed a 6-4, 6-1 come-from-behind victory against Indiana’s Alba Berdala Sunday after the latter athlete proved Saturday’s hero with a victory-clinching 6-7(3), 7-5, 7-5 win over Penn State’s Andreea Niculescu.”It feels wonderful,” Tuttle said, “[e]specially coming back from behind and knowing that I can come back.”Notably, Saturday’s Hoosier win did mark the 300th career Big Ten win for coach Lin Loring, who has racked up some 674 total victories in 29 years at the helm of Indiana.”I’m most proud of our consistency. We only have 61 conference losses with those 300 wins, so it’s just year in and year out, we’ve been pretty competitive,” Loring said. “A lot of people get the credit. I’ve just been driving the ship for 29 years.”Meanwhile, this weekend looks to be the final frame in which the Badgers will be forced to compete sans team ace Caitlin Burke, who has been out of action since February with a rib injury she sustained in play against Notre Dame. When the Badgers travel to Iowa and Minnesota next week, Burke looks to be off the sidelines and back on the court.”I’m practicing [Monday] for the first time in a while, so we’ll see how my rib is feeling and go from there,” Burke said. “And if it’s feeling good, I’ll be playing this weekend.”last_img