Week #1: U-M to Start 2012 Campaign as Host of Michigan Invite

Jan. 10, 2012

Coach Bernstein Season Preview

Sat-Mon., Jan. 14-16 -- host Michigan Invitational (Varsity Tennis Center)
Live Scoreboard/Video

The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (0-0) will host the 10th annual Michigan Invitational this Saturday through Monday (Jan. 14-16) at the Varsity Tennis Center. Joining the Wolverines at the event are No. 13 Georgia Tech, No. 24 Arkansas and No. 27 Washington. There is no team scoring (team win or loss) at the event.

This weekend's event marks the end of tournament action for the Wolverines.


Saturday, Jan. 14
10 a.m. Singles -- Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas
1 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Arkansas, Georgia Tech vs. Washington
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Washington

Sunday, Jan. 15
10 a.m. Singles -- Georgia Tech vs. Washington
1 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Georgia Tech, Arkansas vs. Washington
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Arkansas

Monday, Jan. 16
10 a.m. Singles -- Washington vs. Arkansas
1 p.m. Doubles -- Michigan vs. Washington, Georgia Tech vs. Arkansas
Singles to follow -- Michigan vs. Georgia Tech

Each team will play three rounds of doubles and three rounds of singles. There will be eight flights in singles and four flights in doubles. Each day will consist of eight doubles matches and 16 singles matches. The third set will be played to completion in singles. Points will be allotted for each win based on the following decreasing point value to determine the champion (singles and doubles) at the end of the weekend.

Win at No. 1 position -- 8 points
Win at No. 2 position -- 7 points
Win at No. 3 position -- 6 points
Win at No. 4 position -- 5 points
Win at No. 5 position -- 4 points
Win at No. 6 position -- 3 points
Win at No. 7 position -- 2 points
Win at No. 8 position -- 1 point

Last Year at Michigan Invitational
The Wolverines posted a stellar combined singles record of 17-6 and went 6-5 in doubles in last season's Michigan Invitational. Denise Muresan won the singles title with a 3-0 mark at the top of the lineup with wins over No. 6 Denise Dy of Washington (6-0, 7-5), No. 39 Jillian O'Neill of Georgia Tech (7-6, 6-2) and Tennessee's Natalie Pluskota (6-4, 6-2). Sam Critser also went 3-0 on the weekend, highlighted by an upset of No. 20 Brynn Boren of Tennessee (7-6, 7-5). Muresan earned Big Ten Tennis Athlete for her play over the weekend.


In Their Debut -- Michigan debuted three newcomers this fall as freshmen Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels HS), Kristen Dodge (Barrington, Ill./Barrington HS) and Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall School) all made their collegiate debuts during the Wolverines' fall schedule.

Welcome Amy -- Freshman Amy Zhu (Newark, Del./Laurel Springs Prep) joined the Wolverines in January, rounding out Michigan's 2011-12 roster to eight players. Zhu was a five-star recruit, according to TennisRecruiting.net, and the No. 36 overall recruit.

Where We Rank -- The Wolverines received their second straight top-10 preseason ranking at No. 10, while four Michigan players earned individual singles rankings. Freshman Emina Bektas jumped to No. 36 after earning a No. 9 fall ranking in the freshman/newcomer division. Sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan Prep) moved up to No. 46 and sophomore Sam Critser (Mountain View, Calif./Mountain View HS) checked in at No. 53, while junior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Milliken HS) returned to the national rankings at No. 113. On the doubles side, Michigan's duo of Bektas and Bolender received a No. 24 preseason ranking. [ ITA Rankings ]

The Captain -- At the conclusion of the fall season, senior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall School ) was selected to serve as team captain by her teammates for the 2012 season. A three-year letterwinner and Michigan's lone senior, Sulahian owns a career singles record of 62-34, including a 40-13 mark in dual competitions. She went 32-11 during her sophomore campaign; her 32 wins rank third on the single-season list. In doubles competition, Sulahaian is 66-31 over her collegiate tenure, posting a 34-11 dual record, including a 17-3 mark in Big Ten duals. She is 7-3 in singles this season and 8-3 in doubles.

A Look Back -- The Wolverines won their second consecutive Big Ten championship in 2011, finishing the season with a 24-5 record and 10-0 mark in Big Ten action. U-M reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Championships before falling to No. 7 Miami (Fla.). Denise Muresan became the first Wolverine to earn back-to-back ITA All-America singles honors and the first to earn singles and doubles accolades in the same season. She shared doubles All-America honors with sophomore Brooke Bolender. Muresan was named Big Ten Player of the Year, Bolender won Freshman of the Year and Ronni Bernstein was Coach of the Year. [ 2010-11 Statistics ]

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Ronni Bernstein enters her fifth year in Ann Arbor, compiling an 85-23 overall record and 38-2 Big Ten mark in her first four years. The Wolverines have strung together the best two-year span in program history during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, going 24-5 in both campaigns while winning two Big Ten championships. For her efforts, Bernstein has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in both seasons. Teryn Ashley-Fitch is in her sixth year at Michigan and was promoted to associate head coach last summer after earning ITA Midwest Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010.

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Sunday, Jan. 22 -- vs. Western Michigan (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423