May 24, 2012
Site: Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
Event: NCAA Singles/Doubles Championships (Doubles First Round)
Result: No Team Scoring
Next U-M Match: Friday, May 25 -- at NCAA Doubles Championships - Day 2 (Athens, Ga.), 2:30 p.m.
ATHENS, Ga. -- Freshman Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS) and sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan Prep) of the University of Michigan women's tennis team rallied to a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 decision against USC's No. 4-seeded Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria in the first-round doubles draw of the NCAA Individual Championships on Thursday evening (May 24) at Georgia's Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
The Wolverine duo, ranked 11th nationally but unseeded in the NCAA Tournament, will face Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist in the NCAA Doubles Championship Round of 16 at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, May 25). Bektas and Bolender previously defeated the Bulldog pair, 8-5, at the ITA National Indoor Championships.
On serve through the first three games of set three against Christian and Santamaria, U-M took control with a fourth-game break, going up 3-1 before winning four straight points to extend its lead to 4-1. The teams held in the next two games, before the Wolverines secured another break to claim the set, 6-2, and clinch the match.
Despite a pair of rallies, including a late break that evened the score at 5-5, USC surged in the final two games to claim the first set, 7-5. Christian and Santamaria claimed four consecutive points to earn the break to 6-5 before serving out the set.
Michigan evened the set score with a two-break effort in the second. The Wolverines gained the advantage in the fourth game, breaking to 3-1, and after the teams held through the next three games, U-M reeled off four straight points to break again and take the 6-2 decision. Bolender put the set away with a volley winner.
The win is the Wolverine duo's ninth over a ranked team this season and fourth over a team ranked among the nation's top three. They knocked off Florida's No. 1-ranked team in their last appearance, a week ago (Thursday, May 17) in the NCAA Sweet 16.
Bektas and Bolender improved to 33-9 on the season. They have won 14 of their last 15 matches.
N O T E S
USC's Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria were the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Doubles Championship but ranked third in the latest ITA doubles poll.
Michigan's win today is its first in the NCAA Doubles Championship since Michelle Dacosta and Kara Delicata claimed their first-round match at the 2005 national event.
Sophomore Brooke Bolender was an ITA All-American in doubles last season as a No. 5-8 seed.
To become an ITA All-American in doubles, a team must either be ranked in the top 10, enter the individual championships as a seeded team, or win their first two matches of the draw (reaching the quarterfinals). The final national rankings will be released on June 6.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423