Weekly #2: U-M to Kick Off Dual-Match Season Hosting Western Michigan

Jan. 18, 2011

Sunday, Jan. 23 -- vs. Western Michigan (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Scoreboard/Video

The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (0-0) kicks off the dual-match season on Sunday (Jan. 23) against Western Michigan (0-0) at the Varsity Tennis Center. It is the second consecutive season-opening match against WMU for the Wolverines, who blanked the Broncos (7-0) to begin last season in Ann Arbor.


Michigan Invite Rewind -- The Wolverines concluded tournament action this past weekend (Sat-Mon., Jan. 15-17), hosting the Michigan Invitational. Senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) 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). Freshman Sam Critser (Mountainview, Calif./Mountainview) 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 honors for her play over the weekend.

Tournament Season Complete -- The Wolverines compiled a 73-45 overall singles mark during fall tournament action with Denise Muresan (13), Sam Critser (12), Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) (12) and Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) (10) all reaching double-digit wins during the individual play. U-M went 28-22 in doubles, using 14 different combinations over the course of the tournament season.

Scouting Western Michigan -- The Broncos travel to Indiana University on Saturday (Jan. 22) for a date with the Hoosiers before coming to Ann Arbor on Sunday. U-M has won 22 in a row over WMU, including a 7-0 shutout win last season at the VTC. As a team, the Broncos compiled a 35-56 singles mark, with Jill Pastunink leading the way at 7-6. Michigan leads the overall series with WMU, 31-5.

Dual Match Format -- This weekend's dual match will be contests for the best-of-seven team points. The dual will begin with three doubles matches consisting of eight-game pro sets. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best-of-three tie-break sets and worth one point towards the team competition. The overall dual match will be decided when one team secures four total points. Matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.

Where We Rank -- Michigan earned a No. 8 preseason ranking, its highest ever in program history. All-American Denise Muresan comes in at No. 11 in the first edition of the 2011 rankings, with senior captain Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) ranking No. 61 and Sam Critser slotted at No. 105. [ ITA Rankings ]

15 to 500 -- The Wolverines need 15 wins to reach 500 program wins. This season marks the 37th year of women's tennis, as the Wolverines have an all-time mark of 485-322, good for a .601 winning percentage. The first season for women's tennis at U-M was 1973-74 when the Wolverines went 5-0 with a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships.

TV Time -- Michigan's match against Vanderbilt on Feb. 13 will be broadcast on a tape delay on the Big Ten Network. The match can be seen on the BTN on Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. [ Release ]

Enjoying Time at Home -- The Wolverines play six of their first seven matches at the Varsity Tennis Center, with the lone early road match at Notre Dame on Feb. 13. Overall, U-M will play 12 regular-season matches at the VTC, along with hosting the Big Ten Championships, April 28-May 1.

From All Over -- Of the nine Wolverines on the 2011 roster, four hail from California, with one each from Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and Alberta. The women's tennis team is the only varsity team at U-M without a Michigan native.

A Look Back -- The 2010 season was the most successful in school history, with the Wolverines winning their first Big Ten Championship since 1997. U-M won a program-best 24 matches and advanced to the Sweet 16 at the NCAA Championships. Denise Muresan became the first All-American since Marian Kremer in 1981. Muresan (Big Ten Player of the Year), Mimi Nguyen (Big Ten Freshman of the Year) and head coach Ronni Bernstein (Big Ten Coach of the Year) swept the conference awards as Michigan went 10-0 during the regular season for the Big Ten crown.

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Ronni Bernstein is in her fourth year leading the Wolverines. In 2010, she was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and ITA Midwest Coach of the Year after leading U-M to a 24-5 overall record, a Big Ten Championship and the Sweet 16. Since coming to Ann Arbor, Bernstein has compiled a 61-18 overall record and a 28-2 Big Ten mark. Teryn Ashley-Fitch, in her fifth year at U-M, was elevated to associate head coach over the summer with Kristen Schlukebir joining the Wolverines as the volunteer assistant coach for the 2011 season.

Completed in 1997, the $6 million indoor and outdoor complex provides the Wolverine tennis programs with a state-of-the-art on-campus training and competition site that is an excellent recruiting tool, and a premier and nationally competitive facility to nurture Michigan tennis players for many more decades to come. The Varsity Tennis Center has undergone a number of extensive upgrades over the past five years, including the addition of indoor and outdoor electronic scoreboards, individual video cameras on each indoor court, and new indoor and outdoor audio systems. Most recently, outdoor chair back seating was added overlooking six of the outdoor courts.

The University of Michigan athletics department will no longer print media guides. U-M fans and media can still obtain all the information they're used to, only now it's available online. Each of our varsity athletic teams will have a Record Book and a Yearbook. If you're looking for in-depth historical information, statistics, records, archives, etc., the Record Book is what you'll need. For more of a general overview of a team, the staff and student-athletes, check out the Yearbook. [ Publications ]

Michigan women's track and field is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_tennis) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Michigan women's track and field is also on Facebook. Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/UofMTennis. Facebook is a social network service and website with more than 500 million active users.

Host ITA Kick-Off
Saturday, Jan. 29 -- vs. Auburn (Varsity Tennis Center), 2 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 30 -- vs. North Carolina State or Southern California (Varsity Tennis Center), Time TBA

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423