Michigan Has Big Ten Win Streak Ended by No. 14 Wildcats
Brooke Bolender

April 8, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #14 Northwestern 4, #15 Michigan 3
Records: U-M (13-6, 6-1 Big Ten), Northwestern (12-7, 6-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, April 13 -- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 3 p.m. CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After dropping the doubles point for the first time in five matches, the No. 15-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team could not overcome the early deficit, falling to No. 14 Northwestern, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon (April 8) at the Varsity Tennis Center. The loss was the Wolverines' first in Big Ten Conference regular-season play in three seasons.

The Wildcats won three of the first four singles matches off court to clinch the dual, before U-M narrowed the final score with tiebreaker wins on the No. 2 and No. 5 courts.

Junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan HS) was the first off court, cruising to a 6-2, 6-3 decision against Veronica Corning at the No. 4 position to temporarily even the dual score. Nguyen, ranked No. 114 in the latest ITA poll, broke late in both sets, claiming the final four games of the first before using an eighth-game break to take control in the second and serve out the match. The win was the third in a row for Nguyen, who improved to 13-5 in dual competition.

Northwestern pulled away with wins in the next three completed contests, including straight-set decisions from their ranked players at No. 1 and No. 3. Kate Turvy, ranked 21st, defeated freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS), 6-3, 6-4, at the former position, earning a late break in the second set to serve out the match, while No. 62-ranked Brittany Wowchuk halted freshman Sarah Lee's (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) win streak at six matches with a 7-6 (8), 6-4 victory in the latter.

The Wildcats' Nida Hamilton also won on the No. 6 court, using a break in the fifth game to take the third set and wrap up a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 decision against senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall HS).

With the dual already decided, Michigan got three-set wins from sophomores Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Calif./Kaplan Prep) and Sam Critser (Mountain View, Calif./Mountain View HS) at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. Bolender, ranked 65th, rallied to knock off Belinda Nui, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 1-0 (5), in the match tiebreaker, claiming the final four points to seal the victory. After trading countless breaks with Linda Abu Mushrefova, 121st-ranked Critser also surged in the third-set tiebreaker to take a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2) decision.

Northwestern claimed the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Bektas and Bolender, ranked seventh nationally, claimed Michigan's lone doubles victory with an 8-6 decision at the No. 1 spot, breaking to 6-5 before reeling off four straight points to serve out the match. U-M's top duo, ranked seventh, improved to 15-3 in dual-match play.

The Wolverines (13-6, 6-1 Big Ten) will return to the road next weekend for a pair of Big Ten duals. On Friday (April 13), U-M will head to Lincoln, Neb., to face the Cornhuskers at 3 p.m. CDT before wrapping up the road swing with an 11 a.m. CDT match at Iowa in Iowa City.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 21 Kate Turvy (NU) d. No. 10 Emina Bektas (U-M), 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 -- No. 66 Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Belinda Nui (NU), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), 1-0 (5)
No. 3 -- No. 62 Brittany Wowchuk (NU) d. Sarah Lee (U-M), 7-6 (8), 6-4
No. 4 -- No. 114 Mimi Nguyen (U-M) d. Veronica Corning (NU), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 -- No. 121 Sam Critser (U-M) d. Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2)
No. 6 -- Nida Hamilton (NU) d. Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 6-1, 2-6, 6-4

No. 1 -- No. 7 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 76 Linda Abu Mushrefova/Veronica Corning (NU), 8-6
No. 2 -- Nida Hamilton/Brittany Wowchuk (NU) d. Mimi Nguyen/Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 8-4
No. 3 -- Belinda Nui/Kate Turvy (NU) d. Sarah Lee/Sam Critser (U-M), 8-2

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

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423