Wolverines Stave Off Northwestern to Stay Perfect in B1G

April 21, 2017

» Michigan remained perfect in the Big Ten with the win, moving to 10-0 and finishing the regular season with an 11-0 mark at the Varsity Tennis Center.
» Alex Najarian was down 5-2 in the third set before winning four straight games for a 6-5 lead. The set entered a tiebreak, where Najarian won the final two points to put Michigan's fourth point on the board.
» The match marked senior day for Annie Wierda, who played at No. 3 doubles. Wierda and Mira Ruder-Hook clinched the doubles point for U-M with a 7-6 (5) win.

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Score: #10 Michigan 4, Northwestern 2
Records: U-M (18-4, 10-0 Big Ten), NU (12-10, 8-2 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, April 23 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 11 a.m. CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team staved off Northwestern behind the doubles point and three singles wins to remain perfect in the Big Ten with a 4-2 win over the Wildcats on Friday afternoon (April 21) at the Varsity Tennis Center.

The Maize and Blue took the doubles point by winning the final two matches on court. NU took a 6-4 win at No. 1 as the first match off court. Junior Alex Najarian and sophomore Kate Fahey fell down a break early before evening the score at 4-4. NU broke right back and served out the match in the next game, coming through on a deuce point.

Michigan evened the doubles ledger at one match each with a 7-5 win at No. 2 by freshman Chiara Lommer and sophomore Brienne Minor. Both teams struggled to stay on serve in the match, exchanging breaks throughout. U-M went down a break at 5-4 but answered right back to knot the match at 5-5. Lommer held serve in the next game to take a 6-5 lead, and the Wolverine pair came through with another break to take the match, 7-5.

At the same time, senior Annie Wierda and junior Mira Ruder-Hook found themselves in a tiebreaker for the match at No. 3. The U-M duo was down a break early but tied the match at 4-4 when Ruder-Hook ran down a ball off the tape for a winner. Both teams held the rest of the way as the match went to a breaker. U-M was down 5-3 but ripped off four straight points, the last coming off a Wierda volley winner to wrap up the match's first point.

Northwestern won four first sets in singles action, with Fahey and Najarian picking up the Wolverine wins.

NU evened the score at 1-1 with a straight-set win at No. 1. The tie was short-lived as Fahey came through with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 moments later to put the Maize and Blue back on top, 2-1.

The Wildcats once again tied the match, winning in straight sets at No. 5.

The remaining three matches on court headed to third sets. Lommer put up U-M's third point on the afternoon, taking advantage of a break at 3-2 in the third set. Lommer kept the break the rest of the way, rallying from a first-set loss for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 4.

With Michigan needing just one more point, Najarian was down 5-2 in the third at No. 3, and freshman Valeria Patiuk jumped out to a 2-0 lead at No. 6.

Najarian ripped off four straight games to take a 6-5 lead, before Rheeya Doshi held in the final game to send it to a tiebreaker. In the breaker, neither player took more than a one-point lead throughout until Najarian won the final two points to wrap up the 7-5 tiebreak win for Michigan's fourth point.

Patiuk's match was abandoned with the Wolverine leading 4-2 in the third.

Michigan wraps up the regular season on the road on Sunday (April 23), playing at Illinois at 11 a.m. CDT.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- Erin Larner (NU) d. No. 24 Brienne Minor (U-M), 6-2, 7-6 (1)
No. 2 -- No. 25 Kate Fahey (U-M) d. Maddie Lipp (NU), 6-4, 6-3
No. 3 -- Alex Najarian (U-M) d. Rheeya Doshi (NU), 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (5)
No. 4 -- Chiara Lommer (U-M) d. Lee Or (NU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 5 -- Alex Chatt (NU) d. Mira Ruder-Hook (U-M), 7-6 (4), 6-2
No. 6 -- Valeria Patiuk (U-M) vs. Jillian Rooney (NU), 4-6, 6-4, 4-2 abandoned

No. 1 -- No. 13 Alex Chatt/Maddie Lipp (NU) d. No. 9 Kate Fahey/Alex Najarian (U-M), 6-4
No. 2 -- Chiara Lommer/Brienne Minor (U-M) d. Lee Or/Rheeya Doshi (NU), 7-5
No. 3 -- Annie Wierda/Mira Ruder-Hook (U-M) d. No. 50 Erin Larner/Brooke Rischbieth (NU), 7-6 (5)

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

Communications Contact: Sarah VanMetre