first_imgHoping for a perfect weekend, the No. 30 Wisconsin men’s tennis team is looking to get back on track in conference play.Suffering a 4-3 loss on the road against Michigan last weekend, the Badgers look to continue the success they’ve enjoyed at home this season as they host No. 43 Northwestern and Purdue this weekend.After the tough loss, Wisconsin knows the importance of the matches Friday and Saturday.“The loss [against Michigan] was pretty tough,” senior Luke Rassow-Kantor said. “It went down to the end, had some bad calls against us, but right now to get a win against Northwestern will get us right back on track in the Big Ten schedule.”While the Badgers want to build some positive momentum, it will be a tough matchup against Northwestern.The last time the two teams met, NU edged out UW for the win 4-3. Now UW is back on its home court and wants revenge.“We want redemption this year. It was a tough loss last year at their place,” senior Moritz Baumann said. “We beat them two years ago at home, so we want to make sure we do that again.”Considering last year’s loss, the Badgers feel a strong amount of motivation to pull out the win over the Wildcats.With that in mind, head coach Greg Van Emburgh is expecting to see the importance of the match reflected in his team’s attitude.“I think the guys are going to come out really energetic, really fired up and ready to play their best tennis tomorrow,” he said. “It’s an important conference match for us so I would expect nothing less.”Although they are working hard to be ready for the Wildcats, assistant coach Evan Austin noted that it will still be a difficult matchup for the Badgers.“I think it’s going to be a tough match,” he said “They always play really hard and compete really hard, and we’ve had a lot of close matches over the past few years so we’re going to be expecting the same type of match.”After facing Northwestern tonight, Wisconsin will have less than 24 hours until they face Purdue. In their last seven meetings with the Boilermakers, Wisconsin has walked away with the win each time.Despite this, they are still expecting a tough match Saturday.“I think any kind of conference match you’ve got to be ready to play,” Austin said. “In the last few years since I’ve been here it’s been a close match, pretty competitive, so any conference match you’ve got to be ready to go otherwise you’re going to have your hands full.”Rassow-Kantor also mentioned the need to remain focused and play hard, realizing that if the Badgers do not, anything could happen against the Boilermakers.“We’ll be ready for them. They’re not a great team, but we’ve still got to be focused and ready to give our all against them because you never know what could happen during a match,” Rassow-Kantor said. “We’ll be ready; we’ll take it to them.”At this point in the season, the UW men’s squad finds it’s biggest challenge simply remaining focused throughout the matches, especially doubleheaders.Mentally, the Badgers need to work hard and push through each point and each match, concentrating on their task at hand.“I think keeping our focus, taking it one point at a time, one match at a time,” Austin said. “Every match is going to be competitive and be close so I think at this point in the year it’s going be down to mental more than anything.”Rather than thinking about the two matches this weekend, Wisconsin is staying focused on Friday — taking it one match at a time — hoping to get a home streak going.“We just want to take care of tomorrow’s match and look to Saturday’s match. We don’t want to get too far ahead — we want to play one match at a time, and Northwestern is a good scrappy team,” Van Emburgh said. “They beat Alabama earlier this year who’s a good solid team as well, in fact they were top 20 in the country when they beat them. So we’ll have our hands full tomorrow.”last_img