Bektas, Bolender Pull Off Upsets in U-M Loss to No. 6 Georgia
Brooke Bolender

Feb. 12, 2012

Site: Charlottesville, Va. (Boar's Head Tennis Club)
Event: ITA National Indoor Championships
Score: #6 Georgia 5, #10 Michigan 2
Records: U-M (5-3), Georgia (8-1)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Feb. 22 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 3 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team earned upsets at the No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles positions but could not overcome an early deficit against No. 6 Georgia, falling 5-2 in its ITA National Indoor Championships consolation finale on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 12) at the Boar's Head Tennis Club.

Freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS) knocked off the Bulldogs' No. 2-ranked Chelsey Gullickson, 6-2, 7-5, at the top singles spot to extend her win streak to 10 straight matches. The Wolverine rookie, ranked 36th, went up two early breaks to cruise in the first set and claimed the final two games to clinch the second. She avenged an earlier-season loss to Gullickson with the performance; it was her 10th win over a ranked opponent this season and sixth over her current win streak.

Betkas' win gave the Wolverines a temporary lead in the dual after freshman Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) made quick work of Nadja Gilchrist, 6-1, 6-1, in her debut at the No. 3 position. Lee broke immediately in both sets to roll to her seventh straight win. Like Betas, she improved to 7-0 in dual competition.

Georgia closed out the dual with three straight singles wins, claiming the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 positions. Senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) battled in the latter, forcing a third set against No. 56 Kate Fuller before falling down an early break to drop the clinching match, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.

The Bulldogs claimed the initial doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Michigan's top tandem of Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan Prep) earned an 8-5 decision over No. 2-ranked Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist for their fourth consecutive win.

Lee and junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan HS) went up a break at the No. 2 position, but the Bulldogs' Lauren Herring and Kate Fuller, ranked 60th, broke back late and claimed the final two games to clinch the dual's first point.

The Wolverines will take a weekend off before kicking off their Big Ten Conference schedule against intrastate rival Michigan State on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in East Lansing, Mich. The dual match is slated for a 3 p.m. start at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 36 Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 2 Chelsey Gullickson (UGA), 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 -- No. 52 Lauren Herring (UGA) d. No. 46 Brooke Bolender (U-M), 5-7, 6-0, 6-2
No. 3 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Nadja Gilchrist (UGA), 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 -- No. 22 Maho Kowase (UGA) d. No. 113 Mimi Nguyen (U-M), 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 -- Lilly Kimbell (UGA) d. Kristen Dodge (U-M), 6-4, 6-1
No. 6 -- No. 56 Kate Fuller (UGA) d. Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 7-5, 5-7, 6-2

No. 1 -- No. 24 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. No. 2 Chelsey Gullickson/Nadja Gilchrist (UGA), 8-5
No. 2 -- No. 60 Lauren Herring/Kate Fuller (UGA) d. Mimi Nguyen/Sarah Lee (U-M), 8-6
No. 3 -- Lilly Kimbell/Maho Kowase (UGA) d. Sam Critser/Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 8-3

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


• With today's loss, Michigan fell to 0-2 in the all-time series against Georgia.

• Freshman Emina Bektas lost her fall match against Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson, dropping a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 decision at the Bulldog Tennis Classic.


Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On the Wolverines' weekend performance ... "Coming here, obviously, you're going to face the best teams in the country. We got off to a good start against Clemson, and we felt really good after that. Getting at least one win out here is a pretty good effort. I didn't think we played our best tennis yesterday against Duke, but today we really put ourselves in a position to win it and just came up a little bit short. We played a lot better today against a very good Georgia team. Hopefully, we can take some confidence from this. We also need to get healthy, and we have some time now, before we play Michigan State, to regroup and come back strong."

On freshman Emina Bektas ... "If Emina can stay mentally strong and stay positive throughout, she's going to be there against anybody. She lost a tough one to [Chelsey] Gullickson in the fall, and when things got tough today in the second set, she was able to pull it out. I think she's just getting more and more confident being in these situations against the top kids."

On freshman Sarah Lee ... "From the minute she got to Michigan, she's been great. She wants to do really well, and she has made just incredible improvements. She hits the ball as well as anybody; we're just working on the mental side, and she's getting better and better in that regard. Today I moved her up, and she played flawless. She did a great job in her role."

On Michigan's doubles ... "We obviously need to get that point. It puts us in a hole and puts a lot more pressure on us at singles. I'm not sure that I have the teams quite right yet. We just need to keep working on it. Today it was more about execution. We got a little tight at the end. We set it up well. When you get yourself in a position to finish off a match, you need to do it. That's more mental, and we need to get better in that area."

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423