MU sees double troubles

After being on the road for its last four matches, the women's tennis team returned home to the Helfaer Tennis Stadium for a Valentine's Day date with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Golden Eagles were unable to keep up with the Big Ten Conference competitor and fell, 5-2, Saturday.

Wisconsin started off strong, taking the doubles point by winning all three matches. Head coach Jody Bronson said Marquette should have controlled the doubles matches and been able to win the point.

"We should have won," Bronson said. "That was our point to win. I don't think it was Wisconsin's point to win or to lose."

Although the Golden Eagles lost the point in doubles, they were able to improve their communication with each other on the court, something they have been working on, Bronson said.

"That was really the positive in the doubles," he said.

Coming off the loss in doubles, Marquette needed four wins in singles to take the match, but was only able to get away with two.

In first singles senior Veronica Garcia Briseno faced Katie McGaffigan. Up 4-3 in the match and 30-40 in the game, Garcia Briseno was in a position to make a move. However, she was unable to follow through and lost the point. McGaffigan took the match 6-4, 6-0.

"She knew it was the turning point," Bronson said. "There's a big difference being up 5-3 and being 4-4. When she gets in that situation again she'll know what to she needs to do now.

"Vero know what she has to do. She's in a tough position. She's never going to play someone who's going to beat themselves. She's got everything you need in a good tennis player. It's tough — she's got to do everything she can."

Senior Genevieve Charron and freshman Francina Bonnelly won both of Marquette's points in second and sixth singles, respectively. Charron defeated Shana McElroy, 4-6, 6-4 (12-10) and Bonnelly took Lexi Goldin, 6-4, 0-6 (10-4).

"The great thing about it is they found a way to win," Bronson said. "No matter if things are going well you find a way to win. That's what we need from everyone.

"You've got to have heart. You've got to want to win."

Senior Annabelle Espinosa played a tough match in the No. 5 spot against Kaylan Caiati. Espinosa lost the first set, 6-4, and was able to stay in the game during the second set but ultimately lost, 7-5. In the No. 3 spot freshman Callan Smith lost to Lindsay Martin, 6-3, 6-3. Fellow freshman Dominika Dabrowski also lost, playing in the No. 4 spot, to Teresa Gonzaga, 6-2, 6-4.

The young team is learning as they go according to its coach.

"We have to understand that we have three freshmen in the lineup," Bronson said. "They're learning a lot and learning quickly.

"Callan, who is playing in the highest position of the freshmen, has made the biggest stride," Bronson said. "She is recognizing how tough it is. She's learning to make good decisions. Domo and Fran are coming along too.

"Sometimes it's the little things like not preparing well to hit shots. If you're not prepared for the shot it's going to go out a lot of the time."

The team will match up against Western Michigan at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"It's going to be a tough match up, they play very tough," Bronson said. "Our girls will know they are in a battle with every match."