From Texas to Michigan and from Colorado to Iowa, teams from all corners of the country poured in to try their hand at snatching the most coveted trophy of the fall semester. Ahhh, the Badger Classic. Yes, the Nielsen Stadium was lit well with the flames of competition this past weekend.

At the crack of dawn on Friday morning (right around 9:30 AM), an odd array from UWWTC assembled. One mission, and one mission only: play to win (and to have fun).

Perhaps it was an astrological miscalculation; perhaps Father Fate took the day off, but in the first round of pool play against Northwestern University, UWWTC could only capture a total of 5 games. Humiliated, and ever more competitive after shedding tears to blazing Buffalo Wild Wings, UWWTC returned with a vengeance. St. Louis University got their money’s worth when UWWTC scared them with a doubles victory (Hammernik + Kar), and then a close mixed doubles match (5-6, Kuhary + Kappel). 4 hours and an Olive Garden team dinner later, UWWTC was really back with a vengeance. Northern Iowa couldn’t keep up with the fury, and UWWTC bowled over an easy victory 25-18. End of Day 1, Pool play.

Saturday morning gave birth to new passionate desires for a bronze bracket championship. The 11 disheveled (but stuffed with Courtyard Marriott continental breakfast) ex-rookies returned to the battle field once again. Foe: Western Michigan. Objective: kick ass. The next two hours saw Kappel and Zakos decimate their opponents 6-0, Luczak clinch the 6-5 victory, and Kuhary, reliable as ever, pull out with a 6-2 win. Mixed doubles (Harrison + Kar) added on another dubdub to arrive in the second round of the bronze bracket with a 28-17 victory.

It seemed as if destiny had planned for UWWTC to play only Midwestern rivals at this Badger. Central Michigan lined up next. A solid two hours of play into the match, UWWTC began mixed doubles with a 1 game deficit (17-18). Back and forth they battled. Hammernik and Harrison were impressive to say the least, the points were spectacular. At 5 games all, 4 points all in the tiebreaker, the final point was a heart breaker. A tiny misstep, a slight racquet face angling blunder, and the match was over. UWWTC ended its journey in the second round of the bronze bracket.

Reminiscing on the Badger of ’07 (UWWTC (A) lost in the second round of the copper, and UWWTC (B) lost in the first round of the bronze) one would have to admit that the results of 2008 were considerably better. However, there is always room for improvement, and UWWTC hopes to revisit Nielsen next year with even more enthusiasm and gusto.