Wisconsin tennis faces tough tests at Furman

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s tennis team is out to prove something at the Furman Invitational this weekend. Though they’re not ranked yet this season, head coach Brian Fleishman believes that the tournament in Greenville, S.C., will show the voters something about the Badgers.The team is coming off a solid outing at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, a three-day event in which it faced a talented field that included Alabama, Texas A&M and Marquette.”I was pleasantly surprised (with the team),” Fleishman said. “Overall, it was a good weekend.”Fleishman, a former coach at Wake Forest, is in his first year coaching at UW. He’s still settling into his role as the new coach of a team that he says is in “the big time.””We’re still in the honeymoon phase right now,” Fleishman said. “We’re still getting to know each other, and I’m trying to figure out how to coach each of them individually to make them perform better as a team.”With Fleishman still adjusting to the UW style of play, the Badgers won 10 of 21 singles matches at the Milwaukee tournament, taking five of seven from in-state rival Marquette. The winners of those five were junior Elizabeth Carpenter, sophomore Katya Mirnova, junior Erin Jobe, junior Elizabeth Dolan and freshman Jessica Seyferth.Seyferth already won two other singles matches and took home the tournament’s runner-up trophy.The team emphasis, though, is placed on doubles. The Badgers started slow last weekend, winning only one out of their first seven doubles matches against Texas A&M and Alabama during the first two days. Sunday, however, the combinations of seniors Chelsea Nusslock and Morgan Tuttle, Carpenter and Seyferth and Dolan and sophomore Kim Roberts railed against Marquette to take three of four matches. The team hopes to improve its doubles play for the Furman tournament and the rest of the season.”I think every time we go out and compete, we need to get better at doubles,” Fleishman said. “For not being together that long, [our doubles game is] going to get better.”Seyferth, a freshman out of Ann Arbor, Mich., has looked good so far for the Badgers. Ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes region as a senior at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, Seyferth has come to the UW women’s tennis team and immediately established herself as a force to be reckoned with after her 3-0 weekend.”It’s a lot different,” Seyferth said when asked about the jump between high school and college tennis. “High school tennis is not very strong. But I think I’m ready (for college play).”Coach Fleishman seemed to share the sentiment. When asked about Seyferth, he gave his first impression of her from the Milwaukee classic.”[Jessica is] an unbelievable competitor, a positive energy on the court,” he said. “She’s very talented. … Sometimes one player can change the look of a team.”Seyferth figures to be a driving force again for the UW team as it rolls into Greenville. But it will definitely be a team effort as it focuses overwhelmingly on doubles. UW will be facing several ranked teams, including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and host Furman. Seyferth, Carpenter, Nusslock and Tuttle will all have to play well for the weekend to be a success on the doubles front, and the five singles winners over Marquette last weekend will have to be on top of their games.The Furman Classic will give the team a chance to set the tone in Greenville and make its case for a national ranking. Facing tough competition this weekend will make that difficult, but the team is very confident of its chance to rise in the rankings.”Furman will give us a good indicator of whether we should be in the top 75 or not,” Fleishman said. “It will show us where we stand nationally.”last_img

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