Nation’s finest to compete at UW

first_imgFifteen of the finest women’s tennis teams in the nation will make their way to Madison today for the four-day USTA-ITA National Indoor Team Championship, being held at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium for the 19th straight year.The Badgers, coming off of a 5-2 loss at the hands of Western Michigan last weekend, will look to redeem themselves against some of the country’s best after a week in which their ranking tumbled from No. 34 to No. 52.”I’m really looking forward to the tournament this weekend,” Wisconsin ace Caitlin Burke said. “We’ll be playing top-20 teams and it gives everyone on our team a great opportunity to play people better than ourselves.”The Badgers will play host to No. 9 University of Miami (Florida) in the first round of the tournament, facing a team that saw its first action of the young season last Friday when it swept Florida Atlantic in dominant fashion.Burke will face the Hurricanes’ Audra Cohen at the top singles slot. Cohen, who finished last season ranked No. 3, is a newcomer to the Miami squad, having transferred from Northwestern.When the Badgers met the Wildcats in the Big Ten tournament toward the end of the squad’s 2005 campaign, Cohen handled former top Wisconsin player Katie McGaffigan 6-2, 6-0 in East Lansing, Michigan.Burke, however, is flawless thus far on the spring frame, having laid claim to a No. 32 national ranking and upset victory over the No. 13 player at a tournament in Charlottesville, Virginia in January.And the rest of the squad is also fully aware of what potential dangers lay in this talent-packed tournament.The USTA-ITA National Indoor Team Championship is perennially the toughest competition of the season prior to conference tournaments, and Wisconsin — the longstanding host — is virtually the only team in America guaranteed an annual invitation.”All the teams are going to be good and every team is going to be out there to fight,” Badger sophomore Kaylan Caiati said of the competition.But for Caiati, Burke and the majority of the Wisconsin squad, tough competition does not necessarily equate to insurmountable competition. The team managed a major upset of New Mexico in the tournament last year, and all but two starters from that victorious 2005 squad will be suiting up in cardinal and white again this year.last_img

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