Patrick Pohlmann will look to help UW get by Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament.[/media-credit]After completing their Big Ten campaign last weekend at Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin men’s tennis team is preparing for their Big Ten Tournament matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Badger men finished their season with a 15-9 overall record and a 4-4 record in the Big Ten.The Badgers finished their season with a 7-0 loss to Ohio State last weekend, but fourth-year coach Greg Van Emburgh does not believe this loss will hurt his team.“We really don’t consider it a setback,” Van Emburgh said. “[Ohio State] is a great team, prior to the match against us I believe they lost once the whole season. What’s important is Iowa — that’s what we should be thinking about.”The Badgers enter the Big Ten Tournament seeded eighth and have a scheduled match against the ninth seeded Hawkeyes who finished their season 12-8 overall and 4-6 in the Big Ten. Iowa ended its season with a 4-3 win over Purdue last weekend and look to get revenge against the Badger men after their 5-2 loss in Madison on April 11 during the regular season. Van Emburgh is well aware of the challenge the Hawkeyes are going to bring the Badger men going into Thursday’s match.“Iowa is a good, solid team who played us close last time we met them,” Van Emburgh said. “They’re going to want to battle, and they’re going to want to fight so we have to make sure we don’t underestimate them.”Two Badgers to keep your eye on during the tournament are junior Moritz Baumann and sophomore Marek Michalicka. Michalicka recorded only his second loss in Big Ten play last weekend against Ohio State, and now stands at 14-7 overall and 8-2 in the Big Ten. Michalicka also holds a No. 50 ranking in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. The sophomore’s only other blemish came against Minnesota where he was suffering from an unfortunate injury.“[Michalicka] is playing really well,” Van Emburgh said. “He got a little unlucky at Minnesota after cramping up a bit but we expect him to play solid Thursday.”Along with Michalicka, Baumann is also playing very well, currently holding a No. 28 singles ranking with a 22-1 overall record and an 8-1 Big Ten standing. Although Baumann did not compete in singles last weekend against Ohio State due to a coach’s decision, look for him to be well rested and put up a good fight at the No.1 spot against a scrappy Iowa squad. The decision to sit Baumann was made by Van Emburgh in order to keep him fresh for the big match.“Baumann has played really solid all season,” Van Emburgh said. “He didn’t play last weekend because he wasn’t 100 percent so we wanted to keep him rested for Thursday.”Not only do Baumann and Michalicka dominate in singles matches but they are also a very consistent doubles team who will be a huge threat in their duel this Thursday. As a doubles team Baumann and Michalicka have an 18-4 overall record and a 7-3 record in the Big Ten. They also earned a No.19 ranking nationally for their success during their doubles matches and will carry that confidence into their match this week.“Throughout the entire season [Baumann] and [Michalicka] have played really solid and the thing about them is that they compliment each other really well,” Van Emburgh said.The Badger men are looking to improve on their semifinal loss to the third seeded Fighting Illini of Illinois at last year’s Big Ten Tournament. Van Emburgh does not look forward to seeing any player in particular this week step up but sees the Badgers’ success this Thursday as a result of a team effort,“It’s important to get better with every match and I look forward to seeing each match,” he said. “From here on out it’s a team effort that we need, and everybody must play big in the rest of our matches this year if we hope to be successful.”
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