U-M Utilizes Five Singles Wins to Beat No. 12 Nebraska
Amy Zhu

April 13, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #7 Michigan 5, #12 Nebraska 2
Records: U-M (16-4, 7-1 Big Ten), NEB (18-4, 7-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 14 -- vs. Iowa (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite dropping the doubles point, the No. 7-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team rallied for a 5-2 win over No. 12-ranked Nebraska to keep its Big Ten championship hopes alive on Saturday (April 13) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Nebraska jumped out to the early lead, winning the doubles point by virtue of victories at No. 2 and No. 1. The Huskers' first win came at No. 2, 8-4, after Nebraska broke Michigan to go up 4-2 en route to the victory. Needing just one more win to wrap up the point and holding 7-3 leads on both remaining courts, Nebraska sealed the point with an 8-4 triumph at No. 1.

Michigan won the first two singles matches off court, with junior captain Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) and freshman Ronit Yurovsky (New Kensington, Pa./Plum) providing the first two Wolverine points.

Bolender cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 decision at No. 4. After battling back from being down in the second set, Bolender broke Janine Weinrich for a 5-3 advantage. The junior captain served out the match on the next game, giving the Wolverines their first point of the day.

Yurovsky followed a few minutes later with a straight-set win at No. 2. After an easy 6-1 win in the first set, the Michigan freshman was down 4-1 in the second. Yurovsky then ripped off five straight games for a 6-4 win to take the match.

The Huskers and Wolverines traded matches just moments apart at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. Nebraska evened the team match at 2-2, with Mary Weatherstone coming through with a three-set win (6-3, 5-7, 6-2) victory over sophomore Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels) at the No. 1 position.

Nebraska's lead did not last long as sophomore Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall) delivered a three-set win (3-6, 6-3, 6-3) at No. 3 to push Michigan ahead, 3-2. After dropping the first set and falling behind a break at 3-2 in the second, Lee won the next seven games to take control of the match. With the second set in hand, Lee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the final frame to eventually take a 6-3 final-set win for U-M's third team tally.

With the two remaining matches left on court headed to a third set, freshman Amy Zhu (Newark, Del./Laurel Springs) came through for Michigan's fourth and clinching point of the afternoon. Facing a 1-0 match deficit after dropping the first set, 6-0, Zhu took a 4-3 lead in the second after breaking Maggie Lehmicke. The Husker broke right back to knot the set at 4-4, but Zhu won the ensuing two games to force the third set. The Wolverine raced out to a 2-0 lead, but Lehmicke came back to tie the set at 3-3. Down 40-15, Zhu took the next four points to break Lehmicke for a 4-3 lead. Zhu held on her ensuing serve and broke Lehmicke one final time to cap the 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 5.

Sophomore Kristen Dodge (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) provided Michigan's final team point of the day, winning a marathon three-set match at No. 6 (7-5, 2-6, 7-5). Tied at 5-5 in the first set, Dodge broke Maike Zeppernick and served out the set for the 7-5 win. The Wolverine fell behind early in the second set and could not catch up, falling, 6-2. Down 4-0 in the third, Dodge slowly chipped away to tie the set at 5-5. Another late-set break, followed by holding serve at love, wrapped up the match for Dodge with a 7-5 victory in the final set.

Michigan returns to the court tomorrow (Sunday, April 13), hosting Iowa at 11 a.m.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 14 Mary Weatherholt (Neb) d. No. 28 Emina Bektas (U-M), 6-3, 5-7, 6-2
No. 2 -- No. 49 Ronit Yurovsky (U-M) d. Patricia Veresova (Neb), 6-1, 6-4
No. 3 -- No. 97 Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Stefanie Weinstein (Neb), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 -- Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Janine Weinreich (Neb), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 -- Amy Zhu (U-M) d. Maggy Lehmicke (Neb), 0-6, 6-4, 6-3
No. 6 -- Kristen Dodge (U-M) d. Maike Zeppernick (Neb), 7-5, 2-6, 7-5

No. 1 -- No. 6 Mary Weatherhold/Patricia Veresova (Neb) d. No. 2 Brooke Bolender/Emina Bektas (U-M), 8-4
No. 2 -- Stefanie Weinstein/Janine Weinreich (Neb) d. No. 45 Ronit Yurovsky/Sarah Lee (U-M), 8-4
No. 3 -- Mimi Nguyen/Kristen Dodge (U-M) vs. Izabella Zgierska/Maggy Lehmicke (Neb), 3-7 DNF

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


Emina Bektas had her 11-match singles winning streak snapped.

• Michigan is now 3-0 all-time against Nebraska.

• Michigan and Nebraska are now tied atop the Big Ten standings with identical 7-1 records.

• U-M is now 3-4 when dropping the doubles point.

• Michigan is now 9-3 this season against top-25 opponents and has won six in a row over ranked teams.

Kristen Dodge played at No. 6 singles for the third straight match.

• Nebraska was making its second-ever trip to Ann Arbor, but it was the first time that the Huskers and Wolverines squared off at the VTC. Nebraska was here for the 2011 NCAA Regional but fell to Tulsa in the first round.

Brooke Bolender and Ronit Yurovsky have each won three in a row in singles action.


Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On rallying after doubles ... "We just got a slow start. Emotionally, we needed to be okay with it. We needed to come out in singles with a positive attitude. We did a good job of having some really good energy and getting our team back in the match. I think we let the doubles point linger in a few matches but were able to turn it around."

On winning third sets ... "On the one side, we lost three first sets. I knew we were doing well on the other side. What we talk about is how we always fight back. We needed to turn at least one of the matches. Our energy got better. We didn't lose any two-set matches. We battle to the end, and we talk about that. Nebraska is really tough, and they had momentum after the doubles. This was a quality win for us."

On Amy Zhu ... "Amy completely hung in there. She could have easily gone away after getting shut out in that first set. She continued to keep her composure and did what she needed to do. Nice to see a freshman clinch such a big match like this."