April 26, 2015
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Combe Tennis Center)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Final)
Score: #12 Michigan 4, #18 Ohio State 0
Records: U-M (24-3), OSU (20-6)
Next U-M Event: Tuesday, April 28 -- NCAA Selection Show (NCAA.com), 5 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team won the doubles point and the first three singles matches off court to win the Big Ten Tournament championship match, 4-0, over Ohio State on Sunday afternoon (April 26) at the Combe Tennis Center. The win marks Michigan's 18th straight victory and its 24th of the year, tying a program record for wins in a season.
Michigan jumped out to the early 1-0 lead by virtue of a tightly contested doubles point. Michigan seemed to be in control, holding a 6-3 lead at No. 3 and a 7-2 lead at No. 1.
Ohio State stormed back to force concurrent tiebreakers on each court. Meanwhile, Michigan's No. 2 pair of junior Ronit Yurovsky and senior Sarah Lee had rallied from a 5-1 deficit to get back on serve at 5-5.
Ohio State struck first, taking a 7-4 tiebreaker decision at No. 3. At No. 1, senior Emina Bektas and freshman Alex Najarian saved two match points during the breaker at 6-5 and 7-6. Najarian and Bektas ripped off three straight points at 7-6 to wrap up the 9-7 tiebreak win for the match.
After storming back from the 5-1 hole at No. 2, including a break of Ohio State that featured seven ad points for Michigan before breaking through, Yurovsky and Lee held their serve to tie the match at 6-6. The Michigan duo broke Ohio State in the ensuing game, giving U-M a chance to serve out the match on Yurovsky's serve.
Moments after U-M won at No. 1, Yurovsky and Lee delivered on their second match point to secure the doubles point for the Maize and Blue.
In singles action, the Wolverines took control by winning five of six first sets.
Bektas put the first U-M singles tally on the board, winning, 6-3, 6-1, at No. 1. She went up a break at 4-2 in the first set en route to the 6-3 win before jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the second. After being broken to cut the lead to 5-1, Bektas responded by breaking Gabriella De Santis in the next game for the Wolverines' second point of the day.
Yurovsky quickly followed with the third point for the Maize and Blue, making quick work of Anna Sanford at No. 2. Yurovsky went up a break at 3-1 in the first and did not look back in the 6-1 win. Yurovsky sprinted out to a 3-0 lead in the second, before the match got back on serve at 3-2. Yurovsky won two of the next three games for a 5-3 lead. She made good on her fourth match point of the afternoon to seal up a 6-1, 6-3 win.
Lee provided the clinching point for Michigan on the court next to Yurovsky, dispatching of Fernie Angeles Paz in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Lee got the break she needed at 4-2 in the first set, taking a 6-2 first-set win. In the second, Lee and Paz went back and forth, before the Wolverine senior earned the break at 5-3. She served out the match in the next game, wrapping up the championship as a Paz forehand sailed long.
Michigan has earned the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the win. The NCAA bracket will be announced on Tuesday (April 28) at 5 p.m.
Following are match-by-match results
No. 1 -- No. 23 Emina Bektas (U-M) d. Gabriella De Santis (OSU), 6-3, 6-1
No. 2 -- No. 31 Ronit Yurovsky (U-M) d. Anna Sanford (OSU), 6-1, 6-3
No. 3 -- Alex Najarian (U-M) vs. Sandy Niehaus (OSU), 7-5, 3-5 abandoned
No. 4 -- No. 108 Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Ferny Angeles Paz (OSU), 6-2, 6-3
No. 5 -- Mira Ruder-Hook (U-M) vs. Miho Kowase (OSU)), 1-6, 3-1 abandoned
No. 6 -- Sara Remynse (U-M) vs. Grainne O'Neill (OSU), 6-3, 2-4 abandoned
No. 1 -- No. 18 Emina Bektas/Alex Najarian (U-M) d. No. 45 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (OSU), 8-7 (7)
No. 2 -- No. 79 Ronit Yurovsky/Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Ferny Angeles Paz/ Miho Kowase (OSU), 8-6
No. 3 -- d. Anna Sanford/ Olivia Sneed (OSU) d. Mira Ruder-Hook/Sara Remynse (U-M), 8-7 (4)
Order of Completion: Doubles 3-1-2, Singles 1-2-4