May 18, 2012
Site: Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
Event: NCAA Championships (Third Round)
Score: #2 Florida 4, #15 Michigan 0
Records: U-M (21-8), Florida (24-1)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, May 23-28 -- at NCAA Individual Championships (Athens, Ga.)
ATHENS, Ga. -- Despite a close doubles point and an upset of the nation's top tandem, the No. 15-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team could not overcome a slow start in singles play, falling, 4-0, to No. 2-seeded and defending NCAA champion Florida in the third round of the NCAA Championships on Thursday evening (May 17) at the University of Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
After a rain delay pushed back the dual match's start time two hours, the Wolverines jumped out to an early advantage in the doubles competition with quick breaks on all three courts. Florida rallied back, however, claiming decisions at No. 2 and No. 3 to secure the match's initial point.
Freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS) and sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan Prep) knocked off the Gators' No. 1-ranked Allie Will and Sofie Oyen, 8-5, as the first match off court. The Wolverine duo, ranked No. 11, broke in the third game, to 2-1, and held onto the lead, before Florida evened the score at 3-3. Bektas and Bolender responded immediately, breaking again to 4-3 and holding serve to finish the contest. The win was the pair's third over a top-two team this season. They improved to 32-9 and wrapped the dual-match portion of the schedule with a 24-4 mark at the No. 1 spot.
Florida took the remaining two matches, evening the score with an 8-2 decision at No. 3 before rallying late to clinch the point with a 9-7 win at the No. 2 position. Junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan HS) and senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall HS) earned three total breaks in the latter contest, including one in the 12th game to go up 7-5, but the Gators' Lauren Embree and Joanna Mather, ranked 22nd, broke back in the next game and subsequently took the next three games to close.
The Gators carried the momentum into singles play, claiming the first set on all six courts and wrapping up three straight-set victories to clinch the dual match. Sofie Oyen, ranked 61st, secured the deciding point on the No. 4 court, where she defeated freshman Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall HS), 6-1, 6-3, to bring an immediate end to the dual.
Florida also earned wins from Olivia Janowicz (6-1, 6-3) at the No. 6 position and No. 9-ranked Lauren Embree (6-4, 6-1) at No. 2.
Michigan concluded the 2012 season with a 21-8 record. Bektas and Bolender will represent the Wolverines in the NCAA Individual Championships, starting Wednesday, May 23, in Athens, Ga. Bektas earned a 9-16 for the singles competition, guaranteeing herself ITA All-America selection, while she and Bolender will team for the doubles competition.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- No. 12 Emina Bektas (U-M) vs. No. 1 Allie Will (UF), 3-6, 3-4 abandoned
No. 2 -- No. 9 Lauren Embree (UF) d. No. 93 Brooke Bolender (U-M), 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 -- Mimi Nguyen (U-M) vs. No. 21 Joanna Mather (UF), 5-7, 0-3 abandoned
No. 4 -- No. 61 Sofie Oyen (UF) d. Sarah Lee (U-M), 6-1, 6-3
No. 5 -- Kristen Dodge (U-M) vs. No. 79 Alex Cercone (UF), 1-6, 1-5 abandoned
No. 6 -- Olivia Janowicz (UF) d. Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 6-1, 6-3
No. 1 -- No. 11 Emina Bektas/Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. No. 1 Allie Will/Sofie Oyen (UF), 8-5
No. 2 -- No. 22 Lauren Embree/Joanna Mather (UF) d. Mimi Nguyen/Michelle Sulahian (U-M), 9-7
No. 3 -- No. 52 Alex Cercone/Olivia Hitimana (UF) d. Kristen Dodge/Sarah Lee (UM), 8-2
Order of Completion: Singles 6-2-4; Doubles 1-3-2
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423