Feb. 18, 2014
Saturday, Feb. 22 -- vs. Western Michigan (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Free Admission | Live Scoring/Live Video
The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (5-2) plays its final home match in the month of February on Saturday (Feb. 22), as the Wolverines welcome Western Michigan (8-2) to the Varsity Tennis Center. Michigan has won two consecutive matches entering the weekend and is aiming for head coach Ronni Bernstein's 300th career win.
This weekend's dual match 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. 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 played to completion.
The Wolverines have won 24 consecutive matches against Western Michigan and hold a 33-5 edge in the all-time series. U-M and WMU last squared off to start the 2012 dual-match season, with Michigan winning 7-0 at the VTC. It was the dual-match debut of Michigan's current junior class of Emina Bektas, Sarah Lee and Kristen Dodge.
The Maize and Blue knocked off No. 22 Notre Dame last weekend (Saturday, Feb. 15), winning the doubles point and the first four singles matches off court en route to a 6-1 victory. Michigan has now won six in a row against the Irish.
Head coach Ronni Bernstein is one win away from recording her 300th career victory. Entering the weekend, Bernstein is 299-110 in her career after going 165-71 in 10 years at Florida International. She is 134-39 at Michigan.
Western Michigan comes to Ann Arbor with an 8-2 record after winning matches against UIC and Hillsdale College on Sunday (Feb. 16). Overall, the Broncos have won five in a row. Kathleen Hawkins is WMU's lone ranked singles player, coming in at No. 117. Head coach Betsy Kuhle is in her 32nd season in Kalamazoo.
Freshman Laura Ucros picked up her first dual-match win last weekend against Notre Dame, defeating Julie Vrabel at No. 6 (7-5, 7-5). Seven of the nine Wolverines on the roster have won at least one singles dual match.
Emina Bektas has won nine straight matches and sports a perfect 7-0 mark in dual matches at the No. 1 spot. She has not lost since dropping a match to No. 7 Hayley Carter of North Carolina on Nov. 8 at the ITA National Indoor Championships. She has already been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week twice this season.
Michigan has used five different doubles lineups in dual-match action, with three different combinations coming at No. 3. Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender have played all seven matches at No. 1, with Sarah Lee and Amy Zhu playing all seven at No. 2. At No. 3, Kristen Dodge has been paired with Ronit Yurovsky and Laura Ucros. Ucros and Yurovsky played together for the first time against Notre Dame (Feb. 15), with the duo grabbing an 8-5 win.
U-M won't return to the Varsity Tennis Center until hosting Virginia on March 14. Next up for Michigan is a week off, followed by a spring break trip out west to Las Vegas to play UNLV (March 5) and play Texas in Austin (March 8). Michigan has only played one true road match this season (at Tennessee).
With two more singles wins, senior Brooke Bolender will become the fourth Wolverine in program history to eclipse 100 career wins. Denise Muresan (2008-11) set the standard with 111 during a four-year career. Bolender is also in striking distance of Whitney Taney's (2008-11) career doubles win mark of 114. Bolender currently has 109 doubles wins, making her the third U-M player with at least 100 doubles wins.
The Wolverines have won five doubles points on the season, going 5-0 when winning the match's first point.
Michigan features four ranked singles players in Emina Bektas (No. 12), Ronit Yurovsky (No. 18), Sarah Lee (No. 75) and Brooke Bolender (No. 98). On the doubles side, Bektas and Bolender come in at No. 9 and Yurovsky and Lee rank No. 22.
Michigan comes in at No. 16 as a team in the fifth edition of the ITA rankings for the 2014 season.
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 70-7 at the Varsity Tennis Center under head coach Ronni Bernstein. In her seventh season at Michigan this year, Bernstein is 133-39 as the leader of the Wolverines.
The Wolverines are coming off their fourth straight Big Ten championship and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2013. 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.
Wednesday, March 5 -- at UNLV (Las Vegas, Nev.), 10 a.m. MST
Saturday, March 8 -- at Texas (Austin, Texas), Noon CST