Weekly #4: Michigan to Wrap Up Home Stand with Kentucky Saturday

Feb. 1, 2011

Saturday, Feb. 5
-- vs. Kentucky (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Scoreboard/Video

The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (3-0) wraps up its four-match home stand to start the 2011 season on Saturday (Feb. 5), hosting the University of Kentucky (0-2) at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.


Winning the ITA Kick-Off -- For the second consecutive season, the Wolverines won their ITA Kick-Off region to advance to the ITA National Indoor Championship, taking place Feb. 18-21 in Charlottesville, Va. U-M shut out Auburn, 7-0, in the first match of the event on Saturday (Jan. 29) before hanging on to beat No. 18 Southern California, 5-2, on Sunday (Jan. 30) in the championship match. Since the ITA Kick-Off began in 2009, the Wolverines have a 5-1 record in the event and have advanced to the Indoor Championships in two of the three years.

Nguyen, Critser Come Up Big Against USC -- After failing to win their match at No. 3 doubles to give Michigan the doubles point, both freshman Sam Critser (Mountainview, Calif./Mountainview) and sophomore Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) were both left side by side on court with the Wolverines holding onto a tenuous 3-2 lead. Nguyen did the honors of clinching the match with a three-set win at No. 4 (6-3, 5-7, 7-5). Critser ended the day with a victory for the Wolverines with a three-set upset win over No. 10 Danielle Lao (5-7, 6-2, 6-4). [ Michigan Daily Recap ]

A Look at Kentucky -- The Wildcats come into the weekend with a 0-2 record, dropping a pair of 5-2 matches to Marshall and Minnesota. Freshman Caitlin McGraw is 2-0 for UK in dual-match play, while Jessica Stiles and Megan Broderick sport 1-1 records. Kentucky leads the all-time series, 8-3.

Keep the Awards Coming! -- Sam Critser was named the Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week after her performance over the weekend that included a win over No. 10 Danielle Lao. Senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) earned the honor earlier this season after a 3-0 mark at the Michigan Invitational. U-M has won two of the three weekly awards of 2011.

We're Going Streaking -- Dating back to last season, the Wolverines have won 17 regular-season dual matches in a row. The Maize and Blue won its final 14 matches of the 2010 regular season before starting this year off with a 3-0 record. The last time U-M lost during the regular season was a 5-2 decision at then-No. 6 Duke on Feb. 20, 2010. Individually, freshman Sam Critser (Mountainview, Calif./Moutnainview) has won 10 in a row, with freshman Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) and sophomore Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) upping their streaks to four straight.

No Doubles Point, No Problem -- The Wolverines dropped the doubles point against No. 18 Southern California but rallied to win five-of-six singles matches for the 5-2 win. U-M lost just four doubles points during 2010, going 1-3 when failing to secure the first point of the match. The Wolverines' lone win without the doubles point came against Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament.

Because Singles are Solid -- U-M has a 17-1 dual-match record in singles action over three matches. The Wolverines are a perfect 3-0 each of the Nos. 2-6 positions.

Ronni's Team Tough at Home -- Since head coach Ronni Bernstein took over the Michigan program prior to the 2008 dual-match season, the Wolverines have compiled a 33-2 record at home. U-M lost to then-No. 1 Northwestern during the 2009 season and then-No. 13 Notre Dame during 2010 to account for the only two losses at the Varsity Tennis Center during Bernstein's tenure.

Muresan Keeps Moving Up -- Denise Muresan keeps moving up the career wins list, now with 92 in her career. The senior All-American is 92-40 in her career, putting her at No. 5 on the all-time wins list. Her .697 career winning percentage is the third-highest in program history, and she is one of only three on that top-10 list with at least 90 wins.

Three Different Clinchers -- Michigan has had a different singles player clinch each match this season. Senior Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) was the deciding match against Western Michigan, Denise Muresan did the honors against Auburn and Mimi Nguyen clinched the Wolverines' win over Southern California.

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 remained at No. 8 in the second edition of the 2011 ITA Rankings. 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 slotting in at No. 105. [ ITA Rankings ]

Critser Debuts at No. 2 -- Freshman Sam Critser played in the No. 2 singles position against Western Michigan, picking up a 7-5, 6-3 win over Maria Nivia. She is the first freshman to play that high in the lineup in a season-opening match since Michelle DaCosta (2002-05) played No. 2 against Western Michigan to begin the 2002 campaign.

Tournament Season Complete -- The Wolverines compiled a 73-46 overall singles mark during fall tournament action, with Denise Muresan (13), Sam Critser (12), Brooke Bolender (12) and Mimi Nguyen (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.

12 to 500 -- The Wolverines need 12 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 488-322, 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 ]

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 tennis 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 tennis 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.

Thursday, Feb. 10 -- at Notre Dame (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 13
-- vs. Vanderbilt (Varsity Tennis Center), 10:30 a.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423