first_imgThis weekend, the Wisconsin women’s and men’s teams will travel across the country to compete in two different, but equally important, tournaments.The women will travel to the ITA All-American Championship at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and will be represented by top singles player senior Elizabeth Carpenter, who has qualified to compete in the pre-qualification draw. Joining her to form the Badgers’ top doubles team will be Badgers’ No. 4 singles player, sophomore Jessica Seyferth.  The singles tournament begins on Friday; those competing must win three matches to earn a spot in the qualification draw. From there, they must win three more matches for a spot in the main draw, after which six more match victories are needed to win the entire tournament.Carpenter has simple goals for herself and for her partner entering the tournament.“I just hope to get through the first three matches of the pre-qualifying draw,” Carpenter said. “I would like to move onto the qualifying draw and then go from there. Jessica and I have the same goal in doubles.”As the fall portion of the tennis season does not include dual matches, the team component is still in flux, with squads around the country attempting to decide what their best and most balanced lineups will be come January. Thus, players are put to the test in individual tournaments like the one Carpenter will be competing in this weekend. “I’m using this tournament to get ready for spring and don’t want to lose to anyone bad because it could come back to haunt me in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings later on,” Carpenter said. “I want to get out there and get some good wins.”  While the women are sending two players to Malibu, the men’s team has three individuals competing at the prestigious Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas. Competing in singles will be juniors Moritz Baumann and Michael Dierberger, along with sophomore Marek Michalicka. Baumann and Michalicka will be teaming up to compete in doubles, while Dierberger will be playing alongside a player from Oklahoma State University in the exhibition doubles draw. Baumann, who last year was the first Badger to qualify for the singles draw of the NCAA Championships since 2002, has high expectations going into this tournament. Last year at the same venue, he caught fire early and rode that momentum all the way to the final, defeating a handful of seeded players along the way. The ITA ranked Baumann as No. 28 in the country going into the season.“I made it to the final in last year’s Baylor Invitational and expect nothing less of myself this year,” Baumann said. “I have been hitting the ball well and training hard, and I want to use this tournament to earn a high individual ranking going into the spring portion of the season, which will hopefully help me become a seeded player at nationals.”Though Baumann and Michalicka haven’t teamed together in a single match, their individual accolades have garnered national respect, and as a result they have been ranked No. 38 in the ITA Preseason Doubles Rankings. “We have yet to play doubles together in a big tournament but have played well as a unit in practice and in practice sets and matches and hope to establish ourselves as a force to be reckoned with on the national scene,” Michalicka said.Assistant coach Evan Austin has cautious optimism for his players going into the tournament but sees the challenge as an opportunity for his players to improve as the season gets underway.“[There’s no doubt] that this is a tough tournament,” Austin said. “The No. 1 and 2 players in the country will be there, along with many other nationally ranked players. But these guys have been working hard and hitting the ball well and see the tournament as a great opportunity to get some quality wins.”last_img read more