Doubles Upset, Dominant Singles Headline Win over No. 17 Irish
Emina Bektas

March 21, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #20 Michigan 5, #17 Notre Dame 2
Records: U-M (8-5), Notre Dame (12-4)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, March 24 -- vs. Wisconsin (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team claimed five of six singles matches to surge past No. 17 Notre Dame, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon (March 21) at the Varsity Tennis Center. The dual marked the end of the Wolverines' non-conference slate.

After dropping the doubles point for the second straight dual, the Wolverines dominated the singles competition, winning the first set on five courts to immediately take control. Of its five singles wins, U-M took four in straight sets.

Senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) put Michigan on the board with a 6-4, 6-0 decision against Julie Sabacinski on the No. 6 court. The Wolverine senior claimed the final eight games of the match, using a late break to claim the first set before shutting out the second.

Notre Dame kept pace with a win at the No. 4 position, before sophomores Sam Critser (Mountain View, Calif./Mountain View HS) and Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan Prep) earned back-to-back wins at No. 5 and No. 2, respectively, to give the Wolverines the lead for good. Critser traded several first-set breaks with Chrissie McGaffigan before taking advantage of a late break in the seventh game to take the opening set. She similarly broke in the seventh game in the second, winning the final three games to cap a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Bolender earned a 7-6 (4), 6-2 decision over No. 84-ranked Kristy Frilling on the No. 2 court -- her fifth win over a ranked opponent this season. The Wolverine sophomore fought off three set points to force the tiebreaker in the first, where she claimed the final three points to take the set. She gave up an immediate break in the second set but broke back quickly and took the last three games to seal it.

Freshman Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) clinched the dual with a 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Jennifer Kellner at No. 3. Lee, who improved to 11-1 in dual competition, rallied from a two-game deficit to claim the second set, breaking to take control in the fifth game.

With the match already decided, freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS) closed out the dual with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win over No. 49 Shannon Matthews at the No. 1 position. Bektas broke early in the third set and after getting broken to even the score at 4-4, took the final two games to claim her 12th win over a ranked opponent. She improved to 10-1 in dual-match action.

While Bektas and Bolender claimed the Wolverines' only win in the doubles competition, it was a big one. The Wolverine duo, ranked seventh nationally, cruised to an 8-4 decision over the No. 1-ranked pairing of Frilling at Matthews. Michigan battled back to hold serve in the fifth game and took over in the next, going up 4-2. They similarly fought off several break points to hold at 6-3 and broke again to the end the match.

The Wolverines (8-5) will host back-to-back Big Ten dual matches at the Varsity Tennis Center this weekend, welcoming Wisconsin at 11 a.m. on Saturday (March 24) before facing Minnesota at noon on Sunday (March 25).

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 10 Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 49 Shannon Matthews (ND), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
No. 2 -- No. 64 Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. No. 84 Kristy Frilling (ND), 7-6 (4), 6-2
No. 3 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Jennifer Kellner (ND), 7-6 (2), 6-4
No. 4 -- Britney Sanders (ND) d. No. 124 Mimi Nguyen (U-M), 6-2, 7-6 (4)
No. 5 -- No. 106 Sam Critser (U-M) d. Chrissie McGaffigan (ND), 6-4, 6-3
No. 6 -- Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. Julie Sabacinski (ND), 6-4, 6-0

No. 1 -- No. 7 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 1 Kristy Frilling/Shannon Matthews (ND), 8-4
No. 2 -- Julie Sabacinski/Britney Sanders (ND) d. Mimi Nguyen/Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 8-6
No. 3 -- Jennifer Kellner/Chrissie McGaffigan (ND) d. Sarah Lee/Sam Critser (U-M), 8-6

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

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423