Wolverines Fall to No. 5 Northwestern in Big Ten Tournament Final
Michelle Sulahian

May 2, 2010

Photo Gallery 

Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Final)
Score: #5 Northwestern 4, #4 Michigan 0
Records: U-M (22-4), Northwestern (21-6)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun., May 14-16 -- at NCAA Regionals (Site TBA)

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team saw its 16-match win streak come to end, falling, 4-0, to No. 5 Northwestern on Sunday (May 2) in the Big Ten Tournament final at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Northwestern won the doubles point and the first three singles matches to win the tournament title.

U-M dropped the doubles point for the second consecutive day as Northwestern took matches at No. 2 and No. 3 to head into singles with a 1-0 advantage. The No. 3 Wolverine duo of senior Tania Mahtani (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) and junior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) fell first by an 8-3 count, with freshman Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) and sophomore Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall School) dropping the No. 2 match by the same score.

The Wildcats took four-of-six first sets in singles action, with only Nguyen and Sulahian winning their respective sets. Muresan went down in straight sets to No. 13 Maria Mosolova at No. 1 and junior Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) fell at No. 4 to stake Northwestern a 3-0 advantage.

With Northwestern needing only more point to clinch the team match, the remaining four matches went to three sets as the Wolverines began to mount a comeback. With U-M up on two of the four courts -- junior Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) at No. 2 and Sulahian at No. 6 -- Northwestern's Linda Abu Mushrefova clinched the match with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 decision over Mahtani at No. 5.

The Wolverines will now await word on postseason selection. The NCAA selection will take place on Tuesday (May 4), with NCAA Regional action beginning Friday, May 14, at 16 campus sites.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 13 Maria Mosolova (NU) d. No. 20 Denise Muresan (U-M), 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 -- Whitney Taney (U-M) vs. No. 39 Samantha Murray (NU), 1-6, 6-2, 5-3 abandoned
No. 3 -- No. 116 Lauren Lui (NU) vs. Mimi Nguyen (U-M), 0-6, 6-4, 5-3 abandoned
No. 4 -- Kate Turvy (NU) d. Rika Tatsuno (U-M), 6-1, 6-2
No. 5 -- Linda Abu Mushrefova (NU) d. Tania Mahtani (U-M), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
No. 6 -- Michelle Sulahian (U-M) vs. Stacey Lee (NU), 6-4, 4-6, 3-1 abandoned

No. 1 -- No. 23 Taney/Tatsuno (U-M) vs. Lui/Abu Mushrefova (NU), 4-5 abandoned
No. 2 -- Mosolova/Chernyakova (NU) d. Nguyen/Sulahian (U-M), 8-3
No. 3 -- Murray/Turvy (NU) d. Mahtani/Muresan (U-M), 8-3

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

• Previous Results: Semifinal | Quarterfinal


• Matches in progress when the dual match is clinched are abandoned during postseason play.

• The match was played outdoors. U-M played two of its three Big Ten Tournament matches outdoors.

• U-M had its 16-match win streak snapped. Prior to today, the Wolverines' last loss was a 5-2 decision at Duke on Feb. 20. The 16 wins in a row matched a streak U-M had during Ronni Bernstein's first year at Michigan (2008).

• It was the first time this season Michigan failed to score a point. The previous low was two points against Florida on Feb. 12 and Duke on Feb. 20.

• The Wolverines dropped two of three doubles points at the Big Ten Tournament. Prior to the tournament, U-M had only lost one doubles point all season (Florida, Feb. 12).

• Today's match was U-M's sixth this season against a top-10 opponent. The Wolverines were 3-3 in those matches, defeating No. 4 Northwestern on April 3, No. 5 Baylor on Feb. 26 and No. 6 Miami on Feb. 13 and falling to NU today, No. 4 Florida on Feb. 12 and No. 6 Duke on Feb. 20.

Michelle Sulahian (1-0) and Whitney Taney (2-0) both made it through the tournament undefeated. Taney and Rika Tatsuno, the No. 23 doubles pair in the country, were also undefeated with a 2-0 record.

• Michigan and Northwestern have met in the tournament final the past six seasons with Northwestern winning all six matches.

• Michigan is the Big Ten champion, while Northwestern is the Big Ten Tournament champion. Beginning last season, the regular-season winner was tabbed the conference champion, while the tournament winner receives the Big Ten's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

• The Wolverines defeated Northwestern, 4-3, in their previous meeting on April 3 in Evanston, Ill.

• Today's match will be shown on tape delay on the Big Ten Network, May 9, at 5 p.m. EDT.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423