Michigan Sweeps Past Western Michigan in Dual Opener

Jan. 22, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Result: #10 Michigan 7, Western Michigan 0
Records: U-M (1-0), WMU (0-1)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Jan. 28 -- vs. Maryland -- ITA Kick-Off (Varsity Tennis Center), 10 a.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team won all nine matches in a 7-0 sweep of Western Michigan to open the 2012 dual season on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 22) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Michigan jumped out to a 1-0 lead after sweeping all three doubles matches for the doubles point. At No. 2, the duo of junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) and senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall) raced out to a 6-0 lead en route to an 8-1 win as the first pair off court. Michigan's No. 1 pair of freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels) and sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) clinched the point with an 8-2 decision, breaking Western to go on top 3-1 before winning five of the next six games.

U-M stayed perfect on the doubles court when the freshman pair of Kristen Dodge (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall) came away with an 8-4 win moments later at the No. 3 slot.

Bolender was the first Wolverine off court in singles, surrendering just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 defeat of WMU's Maria Nivia to push Michigan's advantage to 2-0. Dodge put Michigan's next point on the board with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Mila Shustova at No. 5. Dodge rallied from a 2-0 hole in the second set to put Michigan on the brink of clinching the match.

Bektas did the honor just seconds later with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph at the No. 1 slot versus Nini Sujashvili for Michigan's fourth team point of the afternoon. Sulahian kept the Maize and Blue perfect on the afternoon with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at No. 6 over Rachel Denny, followed by Nguyen's 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 3 over Jill Pastunink. Lee completed the Wolverine singles sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Kathleen Hawkins at No. 4.

The Wolverines return to action on Saturday (Jan. 28), hosting Maryland in the ITA Kick-Off. The match is slated for a 10 a.m. start.

Following are match-by-match results

No. 1 -- No. 36 Emina Bektas (U-M) d. Nini Sujashvili (WMU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 2 -- No. 46 Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. vs.Maria Nivia (WMU), 6-0, 6-1
No. 3 -- No. 113 Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Jill Pastunink (WMU), 6-3, 6-2
No. 4 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Kathleen Hawkins (WMU) , 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 -- Kristen Dodge (U-M) d. Mila Shustova (WMU), 6-0, 6-3
No. 6 -- Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. Rachel Denny (WMU), 6-1, 6-3

No. 1 -- No. 24 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Nini Sujashvili/Kathleen Hawkins (WMU), 8-2
No. 2 -- Michelle Sulahian/Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Jill Pastunink/Maria Nivia (WMU), 8-1
No. 3 -- Sarah Lee/Kristen Dodge (U-M) d. April Kerr/Caroline Aleck (WMU), 8-4

Order of Completion: Singles 2-5-1-6-3-4; Doubles 2-1-3


• With Emina Bektas playing at the No. 1 singles position, it marked the first time during Ronni Bernstein's tenure that a freshman has played at the top spot.

• Michigan has won 24 consecutive matches against Western Michigan and holds a 33-5 edge in the all-time series.

• It was the third straight year that Michigan has opened the dual-match season against Western Michigan. All three wins have been 7-0 decisions.

• U-M is 41-3 at home during Ronni Bernstein's five-year tenure.


Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On opening the season ... "It was a great to get a match under our belt, especially with how many freshmen we have in the lineup. It is good to get them used to the dual-match format. They had some jitters but as the match wore on, they played really well and enjoyed it. I expected them to show poise out there because they have had a lot of success in juniors and they know how to handle pressure. Last weekend (the Michigan Invitational) really prepared us to start dual-match competition. It gave us a good taste of playing at home and what we will need to do to be successful."

On hosting the ITA Kick-Off next weekend ... "Next weekend is a big weekend for us. We want to be able to qualify of the National Indoors because that is where the best teams in the country are. We have a great opportunity to play at home for the second year in a row and we want to take advantage of that. It is going to take a total team effort and a good crowd to help us get to where we want to be. We had a great crowd today and hope to have the same next weekend."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423