Michigan Drops Non-Conference Match at Ninth-Ranked Texas
Sarah Lee

March 11, 2012

Site: Austin, Texas (Penick-Allison Tennis Center)
Score: #9 Texas 4, #16 Michigan 2
Records: U-M (7-4), Texas (8-2)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, March 18 -- vs. North Carolina (Varsity Tennis Center), noon

AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team won four first sets in the singles competition but could not hold on to its early lead against No. 9 Texas, falling 4-2 Sunday afternoon (March 11) at the Longhorns' Penick-Allison Tennis Center. The match was delayed nearly two hours due to rain and wet conditions; no doubles matches were contested.

The Wolverines earned singles wins from freshman Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) and junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan HS) at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles positions, respectively, to even the dual score at 2-2, but Texas rallied with three-set decisions in the final two matches.

Lee extended her win streak to 10 straight matches, improving to 10-0 in dual action with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory over No. 87-ranked Noel Scott. Lee earned a late break to claim the first set, and after falling behind early to drop the second, she was dominant in the third. The win marked her fourth over a ranked opponent this season.

Nguyen preceded Lee in victory, defeating Lina Padegimaite, 6-4, 6-4, to put U-M on the board as the third match off court. The Wolverine junior jumped out to early advantages in both sets. She led throughout the first, and after getting broken back in the second, she broke again late to take the match. Nguyen improved to 7-3 in dual competition.

Michigan also won handily in the first set on the No. 1 and No. 6 courts before the Longhorns stormed back to take both matches. Freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS), ranked 10th nationally, suffered her first dual defeat of the season and saw her 11-match win streak snapped with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 loss to No. 30 Aeriel Ellis at the former position. Ellis won a tight second set and earned a pair of early breaks to take control in the third. The Wolverine rookie won three consecutive games to narrow the gap, but Ellis claimed the final two games to put the match away.

The Longhorns' Elizabeth Begley clinched the dual with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) at the No. 6 position. The Wolverine senior battled back from early breaks in both the second and third sets, winning back-to-back games to fight to 4-5 in the latter, but could not overcome the deficit.

The Wolverines (7-4) will kick off a four-match homestand next Sunday (March 18), hosting North Carolina at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 30 Aeriel Ellis (Texas) d. No. 10 Emina Bektas (U-M), 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 2 -- Krista Damico (Texas) d. No. 57 Brooke Bolender (U-M), 7-5, 6-3
No. 3 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. No. 87 Noel Scott (Texas), 6-4, 2-6, 6-1
No. 4 -- Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Lina Padegimaite (Texas), 6-4, 6-4
No. 5 -- Cierra Gaytan-Leach (Texas) d. No. 75 Sam Critser (U-M), 6-3, 6-1
No. 6 -- Elizabeth Begley (Texas) d. Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4

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

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423