Feb. 6, 2013
ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Fri-Mon., Feb. 8-11)
Friday, Feb. 8 -- vs. No. 7 California (Charlottesville, Va.), 6:30 p.m.
The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (3-1) will make its fourth consecutive appearance at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships this weekend (Fri-Mon., Feb. 8-11) at the Boar's Head in Charlottesville, Va. Michigan will square off against fifth-seeded California (3-0) in the first round on Friday (Feb. 8) at 6:30 p.m. U-M is guaranteed at least three matches against the top competition in the country this weekend.
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 eight-game pro sets. 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. No-ad scoring will be implemented during doubles play only and a tie-breaker will occur if a doubles match is tied at seven-all. 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. Singles matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be abandoned during the national tournament.
The Wolverines punched their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Feb. 8-11) with a 7-0 win over Brown and a 4-0 victory over South Carolina at the ITA Kick-Off (Jan. 25-26) at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M is advancing to the national tournament for the fourth consecutive season. All four appearances at the national tournament have come under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
Michigan will face fifth-seeded California in the first round of the tournament. With a win, the Wolverines would square off against either Georgia or Texas in the quarterfinals. With a loss, U-M will play two more consolation matches.
Michigan and Cal will be squaring off for the first time in program history. The Golden Bears are coached by former Michigan assistant and head coach Amanda Augustus, who was an assistant at U-M for the 2005-06 season before taking over as head coach for the 2006-07 campaign. California features four ranked singles players, including a pair of top-10 players.
The Wolverines are guaranteed at least three matches this weekend, with a fourth on tap if they advance to the championship match.
The Wolverines are coming off a 1-1 weekend. U-M knocked off No. 25 Tennessee at home on Friday (Feb. 1), 4-3, before falling at No. 8 North Carolina, 5-2, on Sunday (Feb. 3). Michigan dropped the doubles point in both matches, using five different lineups in doubles action over the weekend.
Freshman Ronit Yurovksy won the first dual match of her career with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 win over No. 25 Kata Szekely of Tennessee. Yurovsky remained perfect on the weekend with a 6-1, 3-6, 1-0 (6) victory over North Carolina's Zoe De Bruycker, ranked No. 28.
Michigan started the season with a 3-0 record for the fifth straight campaign.
The Wolverines have already used five different doubles combinations during dual-match action. U-M has won the doubles point in two of four matches this season. U-M is 6-5 in doubles matches during dual matches this season.
With two matches at No. 1 over the weekend, sophomore Emina Bektas ran her streak of consecutive matches at the top spot to 30. Bektas and former All-American Denise Muresan (2008-11) have been the only two players to appear in the No. 1 slot the past four seasons.
Senior Mimi Nguyen, limited this season so far in singles action, has moved into 11th place on the all-time singles win list with 83. With two more wins, she will move into the top 10 and into a tie with Michelle Sulahian (2009-12) at No. 10.
Michigan features two ranked singles players in freshmen Ronit Yurovsky (No. 61) and Amy Zhu (No. 94). On the doubles side, sophomore Emina Bektas and junior Brooke Bolender come in at No. 21. The next player rankings come out on Feb. 12.
U-M comes in at No. 16 as a team in the second edition of the ITA rankings for the 2013 season. Michigan is one of three Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25, joining Northwestern (No. 14) and Nebraska (No. 17), while Purdue (No. 26) and Illinois (No. 27) sit right outside the top 25. There were no updated rankings this week, as the National Team Indoor Championships are taking place.
As a team, Michigan went 52-35 in singles during the tournament portion of the season. Freshman Ronit Yurovsky led the Wolverines with a 12-4 record and won eight consecutive matches entering dual-match action. On the doubles side, the Maize and Blue compiled a 26-16 record by using 12 different lineups. [ Statistics ]
The Wolverines welcome back five of their top singles players from last season in senior Mimi Nguyen, junior Brooke Bolender and the sophomore trio of Sarah Lee, Emina Bektas and Kristen Dodge. All five Wolverines recorded at least 23 singles victories, led by Lee and Bektas each totaling 32.
Brooke Bolender will serve as Michigan's team captain this season. It is her first season as captain and the first time since the 2009-10 season that U-M will be captained by a junior.
Senior Mimi Nguyen is the team's lone senior this season, marking the second straight season that Michigan has featured just one senior.
Since taking over the Wolverines in 2007-08, U-M is 52-4 at the Varsity Tennis Center under head coach Ronni Bernstein. In her sixth season at Michigan, Bernstein is 109-32 as the leader of the Wolverines.
The Wolverines are coming off their third straight Big Ten championship and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2012. U-M went 21-8 last season, finishing with a No. 14 ranking. It was also U-M's third consecutive 20-win season. Three of Michigan's five 20-win seasons have occurred under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
In the Spotlight (Five Questions)
On what she learned from her freshman year ... "Coming in to such a small and young team, I learned the importance of accountability. There were eight of us last year (six of us being underclassmen) and seven of us this year, so each one of us has a huge impact on how the team does. Everything I do affects my teammates, so last year especially, but this year as well, I had to make sure I was making the right decisions, taking care of my body, getting good grades, and overall, just bringing in good vibes in order to contribute to an atmosphere that's beneficial for everyone on the team. Every single person needs to give all that they have during practice and especially during matches, so I've learned how important it is to hold down my end of the bargain."
On her favorite part of the fall season ... "My favorite part of the fall season was the conditioning we had with the coaches. Nothing makes me happier than running four court shuttles and doing Jamaican flag runs every week. I speak for the team when I say we're bummed about doing less of those during in-season workouts. During the fall, I also had a really good time competing against schools that we don't normally get the chance to play during season. It was good to get a few solid matches under our belt."
On Michigan winters ... "Before coming to Michigan, I had never seen real snow before. It wasn't as cold last year, but I've gotten a pretty good taste of what a real Michigan winter is this year. I have a lot of windows in my bedroom, so it's awesome waking up to snow falling from the sky. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for actually wanting to snow, but I love it. As a kid growing up in Los Angeles, I was never able to experience a winter or any actual season change, so I'm enjoying every second of it."
On what the team can do at ITA Indoors ... "I'm really superstitious and careful about what I say in terms of jinxing things for us, but I will say that we're the most competitive team in the draw. We're known for fighting and giving it our all, so that's something you can expect from us. Our lineup is stacked pretty deep all the way down. We've been working a lot on doubles. This team is loaded with talent and potential, and this week is a great opportunity to showcase what we've got. We're all pretty pumped -- GO BLUE!
On being a student-athlete at Michigan ... "I'm pretty family-oriented, and I chose Michigan for that reason. Coming here where there's tradition, pride, an unreal amount of resources for anything I'd ever need and good people to surround yourself with, I feel that I've become a part of a huge family. As a member of this family, I'm proud to wear the block 'M' everywhere I go and strive to represent it the best way that I can."
Saturday, Feb. 16 -- vs. Texas A&M (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, Feb. 24 -- vs. Texas (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.