April 5, 2014
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #17 Michigan 4, #11 Northwestern 3
Records: U-M (14-3, 6-0 B1G), NU (11-6, 5-1 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 6 -- vs. Illinois (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall) won a three-set match at No. 4 to propel the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan past No. 11 Northwestern, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon (April 5) at the Varsity Tennis Center. With the win, Michigan is the only remaining unbeaten team in Big Ten play at 6-0.
Michigan won a tightly contested doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. Senior Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) and junior Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels) won an 8-4 match at No. 1 after winning five of the last six games. With the match on serve and Michigan leading 4-3, Bektas and Bolender used a volley from Bolender at the net to break NU for a 5-3 lead. The Wolverines held their serve the rest of the match and broke NU to seal the win.
At No. 3, Northwestern and Michigan traded breaks throughout the match before Lee and sophomore Amy Zhu (Newark, Del./Laurel Springs) took a 7-5 lead late in the match. On Zhu's serve in the ensuing game, NU staved off two match points until Lee hit a winner at the net to secure the doubles point for the Wolverines.
Michigan won four-of-six first sets in singles action. Zhu provided Michigan's second point of the day with 6-1, 6-1 win over Nida Hamilton at No. 5.
The match at No. 5 was the only one to finish in two sets with the five remaining matches all hinging on a third set. Next off court was the match at No. 1, where Veronica Corning rallied for the three-set win (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) over Bektas to cut Michigan's lead to 2-1.
Sophomore Ronit Yurovsky (New Kensington, Pa./Plum) stayed undefeated in Big Ten action with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win over No. 36 Belinda Niu at No. 2. Yurovsky jumped out to early breaks in each of the final two sets to take the three-set win.
With Michigan needing one more win for the team victory, Bolender and Lee each headed to a third set. Lee jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Manon Peri at No. 4, while Bolender suffered an early break. Both matches came down to the wire, as Peri rallied to tie the match at 4-4 at No. 4 and Bolender battled back for a 5-5 tie at No. 3.
The match at No. 3 finished first, as Bolender's comeback fell short in a 6-1, 3-6, 5-7 loss that trimmed the U-M lead to 3-2.
Lee held serve at 4-4 to take a 5-4 lead as Peri went back to serve. Peri fought off two match points to send the game to deuce, where Lee finally cashed in on the sixth match point of the set when Peri's shot went wide for a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 U-M win.
NU won at No. 6 to provide the final margin of 4-3.
Michigan continues its homestand tomorrow (Sunday, April 6) against Illinois at noon. There is a strong possibility that the Wolverines will play on their outdoor courts for the first time this season against the Illini.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 44 Veronica Corning (NU) d. No. 9 Emina Bektas (U-M), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 -- No. 22 Ronit Yurovsky (U-M) d. No. 36 Belinda Niu (NU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 -- Alicia Barnett (NU) No. 119 Brooke Bolender (U-M), 1-6, 6-3, 7-5
No. 4 -- No. 123 Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Manon Peri (NU), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4
No. 5 -- Amy Zhu (U-M) d. Nida Hamilton (NU), 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 -- Lok Sze Leung (NU) d. Laura Ucros (U-M), 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
No. 1 -- No. 18 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. No. 21 Veronica Corning/Alicia Barnett (NU), 8-4
No. 2 -- No. 47 Ronit Yurovsky/Laura Ucros (U-M) vs. No. 72 Nida Hamilton/Maddie Lipp (NU), 7-7 DNF
No. 3 -- No. 66 Sarah Lee/Amy Zhu (U-M) d. Manon Peri/Belinda Niu (NU), 8-5
Order of Completion: Doubles 1-2, Singles 5-1-2-3-4-6
N O T E S
Michigan is now 12-48 all-time against Northwestern.
U-M has won 12 consecutive regular season Big Ten matches dating back to last season.
U-M has knocked off Northwestern in the regular season the past two years.
Michigan is 13-1 when winning the doubles point.
The Wolverines are now 6-1 at the VTC this season.
Northwestern, ranked No. 11, is Michigan's fourth win this season over a top-25 opponent.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On today's match ... "It was a great match. Every time we play Northwestern, it is a battle. They are a team that is very mentally strong and will play a lot of balls, so you have to take it to them. I told them that you can't wait for the person next to you to win, that you need to go out and take care of your court. It was an intense match today, with five three-set singles matches after a long doubles point. I am really proud of our team for the way everyone competed today."
On the doubles point ... "Obviously that first point today was huge. Emina (Bektas) and Brooke (Bolender) are really putting it together at No. 1 after a little rough patch earlier this season. Getting them off court quickly was good. We mixed the lineup up a little bit today, switching at No. 2 and No. 3. Sarah (Lee) and Amy (Zhu) won it for us, but we were right in it at No. 2 at the end too. When you play Northwestern, you have to get every point you can and I was really happy with the way we came out and won that first point."
On what this does for the team moving forward ... "We are just taking it one match at a time. We have another tough match coming up tomorrow against Illinois. We can't look too far ahead because we still have a lot of tennis to play. We had a great crowd today that really helped us down the stretch. It was great to see that support and hopefully we can continue to have that the rest of the way."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (email@example.com)