April 15, 2011
Notes & Quotes
Site: Champaign, Ill. (Atkins Tennis Center)
Result: #10 Michigan 7, Illinois 0
Records: U-M (18-3, 8-0 Big Ten), Illinois (8-10, 4-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Sunday, April 17 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 11 a.m. CDT
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) set a new program record with the 105th singles win of her career as the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team swept all three doubles and six singles matches in a 7-0 win at Illinois on Friday evening (April 15) at the Atkins Tennis Center.
For the sixth time in conference play, Michigan swept all three doubles matches to take the early 1-0 lead. Seniors Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) and Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) were first off court, breaking Illinois at 5-3 before winning the final three games in an 8-3 decision at No. 2.
Michigan's No. 1 duo of Muresan and freshman Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) clinched the point, racing out to a 3-0 lead en route to an 8-4 victory.
The Wolverines made it a clean sweep with an 8-7 (3) win at No. 3 by freshman Sam Critser (Mountain View, Calif./Mountain View) and junior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall), who survived three match points by Illinois to force a tiebreaker at 7-7. The Michigan pair jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead in the breaker, eventually winning 7-3 to keep the Maize and Blue perfect on the doubles court.
Moving to singles, Michigan swept all six first sets, as Taney notched the second point for the Wolverines with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Allison Falkin at No. 3. Muresan followed with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Amy Allin at No. 1, staking the Maize and Blue a 3-0 lead. Sulahian did the honors of putting the match away moments later, delivering a 6-2, 6-1 win at the bottom of the lineup over Leigh Finnegan.
Critser was next off court to keep Michigan's winning ways intact, grabbing a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 125 Breanne Smutko. Tatsuno then held on for a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5 against Misia Kedzierski, pushing Michigan's advantage to 6-0. Bolender rounded out U-M's singles wins with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over No. 110 Rachael White at No. 2 to keep Illinois off the scoreboard.
Michigan wraps up its Big Ten road slate on Sunday (April 17) with an 11 a.m. CDT match at Iowa.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 8 Denise Muresan (U-M) d. Amy Allin (Ill), 6-2, 6-1
No. 2 -- No. 87 Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. No. 110 Rachael White (Ill), 6-2, 7-5
No. 3 -- No. 109 Whitney Taney (U-M) d. Allison Falkin (Ill), 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 -- No. 69 Sam Critser (U-M) d. No. 125 Breanne Smutko (Ill), 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 -- Rika Tatsuno (U-M) d. Misia Kedzierski (Ill), 6-2, 6-3
No. 6 -- Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. Leigh Finnegan (Ill), 6-2, 6-1
No. 1 -- No. 9 Denise Muresan/Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. No. 25 Rachael White/Allison Falkin (Ill), 8-4
No. 2 -- No. 86 Whitney Taney/Rika Tatsuno (U-M) d. Leigh Finnegan/Amy Allin (Ill), 8-3
No. 3 -- Sam Critser/Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. Annie McCarthy/Breanne Smutko (Ill), 8-7 (3)
Order of Completion: Singles 3-1-6-4-5-2, Doubles 2-1-3
N O T E S
Michigan has swept the doubles matches six times in Big Ten play and carries a 22-2 doubles mark.
Rika Tatsuno and Whitney Taney are a perfect 8-0 in conference doubles action.
The Wolverines have won the doubles point in 18 of 21 matches this season, carrying a 17-1 record when taking the early lead.
Michigan has yet to trail in a Big Ten match and has outscored its conference opponents, 53-3.
Denise Muresan (8-0), Whitney Taney (8-0), Brooke Bolender (8-0) and Michelle Sulahian (5-0) remained perfect in conference action.
Denise Muresan won the 105th match of her career, breaking Chisako Sugiyama's record of 104.
Michigan has won eight in a row against Illinois.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On doubles play ... "We really played well today, with a lot of energy out there. At No. 1, Brooke (Bolender) and Denise (Muresan) are really taking care of business. The key for them is to focus on holding serve, so even if they get one break, they can just serve and stay ahead. Rika (Tatsuno) and Whitney (Taney), they are just always playing well. I really thought Sam (Critser) and Michelle (Sulahian) did a good job at saving some match points today. They let a few of those return games get away, but they buckled down in the breaker and got out to a fast start. Sweeping all three gives us a lot of confidence going into singles."
On getting a tough road sweep ... "Today was just one of those days where everything was working. The girls were focused from the beginning. They all got out to quick starts across the board. Sam (Critser) pulling out that first set was huge. And Brooke (Bolender) really came back in that second set after being down a break and was able to get a good win. We are starting to really click as a team and this is where we want to be. Illinois is a very good team. They struggled a little bit, losing close matches to good teams earlier this season. We never let them in the match. We talk about getting up and putting your foot down and that is what we did today. We beat a very good Illinois team and now look forward to playing Iowa on Sunday."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423