Jan. 22, 2014
Sat-Sun., Jan. 25-26 -- host ITA Kick-Off (Varsity Tennis Center)
Live Scoring/Live Video
The No. 11-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team will host an ITA Kick-Off event for the fourth consecutive season, welcoming No. 54 Virginia Tech (2-0), No. 36 Yale (0-0) and No. 28 Tulsa (2-0). Each team is guaranteed two matches, with a berth to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships on the line. U-M is looking for its fifth consecutive berth to the national tournament.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, Jan. 25
MICHIGAN vs. Virginia Tech, 11 a.m.
Yale vs. Tulsa, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 26
Consolation Match, 10 a.m.
Championship Match, 2 p.m.
This weekend's dual matches will be a contest for the best-of-seven team points. The dual will begin with three doubles matches consisting of a six-game set, with a tiebreaker played at 6-6. The team that wins two of these three matches will enter the singles competition with one of seven points. Once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed. After a brief intermission, six singles matches will be played. Each singles match will be the best-of-three sets and worth one point towards the team competition. If the first two sets are split, a 10-point tiebreaker will be used in lieu of a full third set to determine the winner. The overall dual match will be decided when one team secures four total points. Singles matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion. This format of college tennis will be in effect until through the National Indoor Championships (Feb. 7-10).
The Wolverines are coming into this weekend off their final tournament action of the season, going 17-4 in singles action and 8-3 in doubles in the Michigan Invitational (Jan. 18-20) against No. 59 South Florida, No. 19 Georgia Tech and No. 35 Ole Miss. Senior Brooke Bolender won the singles title with a 3-0 record at No. 2 and No. 3, while junior Sarah Lee and sophomore Amy Zhu took the doubles title after going 3-0 at No. 1 and No. 2.
In addition to Brooke Bolender's title at the Michigan invite, Emina Bektas (2-0), Amy Zhu (3-0), Kristen Dodge (3-0), Sara Remynse (3-0) and Annie Wierda (3-0) all went unbeaten in singles action over the weekend.
The Wolverines are looking for their fifth consecutive berth to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships. Michigan made its first appearance at the national event during the 2009-10 season, winning the ITA Kick-Off at Arkansas. This weekend marks the fourth straight season that Michigan has hosted the Kick-Off.
About the Opponents
Virginia Tech heads to Ann Arbor with a 2-0 dual-match record after knocking off Davidson and Elon last weekend. Ranked No. 54, Virginia Tech finished 14-12 last year and missed the NCAA Tournament despite knocking off then-No. 16 Duke in the ACC Tournament. The Hokies feature one ranked singles player in No. 84 Francesca Fusinato. Head coach Terry Ann Zawacki-Woods is in her 10th season in Blacksburg.
No. 28 Tulsa is 2-0 on the young season after shutting out both Oral Roberts and BYU on Saturday (Jan. 18). The Golden Hurricane went 19-7 last year, falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to UNLV. Tulsa features two ranked singles players in No. 46 Yelena Nemchen and No. 47 Samantha Vickers. Head coach Dean Orford is in his eighth season at Tulsa and is the school's winningest coach.
Yale enters the weekend with a No. 36 ranking after playing a similar tournament as Michigan last weekend against St. John's, Cornell and Boston College. The Bulldogs were 19-4 a season ago, falling to Georgia Tech in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Danielle Lund McNamara is in her seventh year at Yale, coaching her team to four Ivy League titles. Lund McNamara was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan from 1997-2000.
Michigan features three ranked singles players in Ronit Yurovsky (No. 20), Emina Bektas (No. 21) and Sarah Lee (No. 100). On the doubles side, Bektas and Brooke Bolender come in at No. 9, and Yurovsky and Lee rank No. 11. The next player rankings come out on Feb. 11.
Michigan comes in at No. 11 as a team in the second edition of the ITA rankings for the 2014 season. U-M is one of three Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25, joining Northwestern (No. 15) and Nebraska (No. 25).
The Wolverines welcome back their entire postseason singles lineup from last season in Emina Bektas (No. 1), Ronit Yurovsky (No. 2), Sarah Lee (No. 3), Brooke Bolender (No. 4), Amy Zhu (No. 5) and Kristen Dodge (No. 6). All six Wolverines recorded at least 18 singles victories, led by Yurovsky with 32 and Lee with 27.
The Maize and Blue features three freshmen on this year's roster in Annie Wierda, Sara Remynse and Laura Ucros. Wierda (Holland, Mich.) and Remynse (Richland, Mich.) are the first Michigan natives on the roster since the 2001-02 season.
Michigan returns two All-Americans in the doubles team of Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender. The pair received the honor last season for earning a seed (No. 5-8) in the NCAA Doubles Tournament. It was the second All-America honor for both players, with Bektas earning the singles distinction in 2012 and Bolender a doubles honor in 2011. Entering the dual-match season, the pair is ranked No. 9 by the ITA.
Brooke Bolender and Kristen Dodge will serve as Michigan's team captains this season. Bolender was named captain for the second straight season, and Dodge is in her first year as a captain. It is the first time since the 2010-11 season that U-M has two captains.
Senior Brooke Bolender is the team's lone senior this season, marking the third straight year that Michigan has featured just one senior.
Since taking over the Wolverines in 2007-08, U-M is 67-7 at the Varsity Tennis Center under head coach Ronni Bernstein. In her seventh season at Michigan this year, Bernstein is 129-37 as the leader of the Wolverines.
The Wolverines are coming off their fourth straight Big Ten championship and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2011. U-M went 23-6 last season, finishing with a No. 10 ranking. It was also U-M's fourth consecutive 20-win season. Four of Michigan's six 20-win seasons have occurred under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
Sunday, Feb. 2 -- at Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.), 11 a.m.
Fri-Mon., Feb. 7-10 -- at ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Charlottesville, Va.)