Feb. 28, 2012
Friday, March 2 -- at Hawai'i (Honolulu, Hawaii), 1:30 p.m. HST
The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (6-3) will head to Honolulu, Hawaii, for its annual spring break trip, squaring off against Hawai'i on Friday (March 2) at 1:30 p.m. HST at the UH Tennis Complex.
A Look at Hawaii -- The Rainbow Wahine are 3-3 on the season after posting a 2-1 record on their California road trip (Feb. 8-13) with back-to-back 4-3 wins over Loyola Marymount and UC Irvine. Before Hawaii faces the Wolverines, it will kick off its 10-match homestand against Eastern Michigan on Wednesday (Feb. 29). Michigan leads the all-time series against Hawaii, 2-0, earning 7-0 shutout in both previous meetings.
Where We Rank -- The Wolverines fell a few spots to the No. 14 spot in the latest ITA rankings, released Tuesday (Feb. 28), but boast four individual singles rankings and a pair of doubles rankings. Freshman Emina Bektas holds the No. 10 ranking, a drop from her previous No. 5 listing. Sophomores Brooke Bolender and Sam Critser check in at No. 57 and No. 75. On the doubles side, Michigan's duo of Bektas and Bolender shot up to No. 5 and junior Mimi Nguyen and senior Michelle Sulahian climbed to No. 48. [ ITA Rankings ]
Dual Match Format -- This weekend's dual matches 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.
Last Time Out -- The Wolverines kicked off the Big Ten dual-match season with a dominant 7-0 shutout against in-state rival Michigan State last Wednesday (Feb. 22). U-M took all six singles matches -- five in straight sets -- and won the doubles point behind decisions on the No. 2 and No. 3 courts. [ Full Recap ]
Michigan's shutout win at MSU was its third this season. The Wolverines defeated Western Michigan, 7-0, in the dual opener and knocked off Clemson, 4-0, at the ITA National Indoor Championships.
Bektas carries an 11-match win streak, covering every singles match of the 2012 calendar year. Included in her winning streak are six decisions over nationally ranked opposition.
Michigan's No. 1 doubles pairing of Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender own a five-match winning streak.
After appearing in the doubles lineup at the ITA National Indoor Championships, sophomore Sam Critser made her singles dual debut against Michigan State last Wednesday (Feb. 22), earning a 6-4, 6-4 decision at the No. 4 position. Critser missed the Wolverines' first five duals with injury; the MSU dual marked her first singles match of the semester.
Big Start in the Big Ten -- Adding its win at Michigan State, the Wolverines extended its Big Ten winning streak to 26 consecutive regular-season dual matches, dating back to the 2008-09 campaign. U-M boasted perfect 10-0 conference record in each of the last two seasons.
Fabulous Freshman -- Freshman Emina Bektas has won each of her last 11 appearances, earning six wins over ranked opponents, including five in the nation's top 20, over the stretch. Bektas, who owns an overall 10-3 record against ranked opponents this season, is the first freshman to play at the No. 1 singles position during Ronni Bernstein's tenure at Michigan. Her previous No. 5 listing in the latest ITA singles rankings marks the highest individual ranking for a Wolverine player in program history. Denise Muresan ended the 2010-11 season with the No. 6 listing.
Climbing the Charts -- With her dual win at Michigan State, senior Michelle Sulahian improved to 79-42 in her collegiate singles career to claim sole possession of the 13th position among Michigan's all-time career win leaders. She needs one more win to reach the 12th spot, currently held by Danielle Lund (80, 1997-2000).
Double Trouble -- Michigan has lost the doubles point in five of its last seven duals and owns a 2-3 record when giving up the initial point. Conversely, the Wolverines are a perfect 3-0 when claiming the first point. U-M lost just three doubles points during 2011, going 0-3 when failing to secure the first point of the match.
No. 2 to Tango -- The Wolverines dropped the nation's No. 2 singles player and No. 2 doubles pairing in their ITA National Indoors finale against Georgia. Freshman Emina Bektas knocked off the Bulldogs' Chelsey Gullickson, 6-2, 7-5, behind an early break in the first set and late break in the second. With the performance, she avenged an earlier-season loss to Gullickson, the 2010 NCAA singles champion and a three-time All-American. Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender also claimed an 8-5 victory over Georgia's pairing of Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist, the nation's No. 2 doubles team.
Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Ronni Bernstein is in her fifth year in Ann Arbor, compiling an 91-25 overall record and 39-2 Big Ten mark in her first four years. The Wolverines have strung together the best two-year span in program history during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, going 24-5 in both campaigns while winning two Big Ten championships. For her efforts, Bernstein has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in both seasons. Teryn Ashley-Fitch is in her sixth year at Michigan and was promoted to associate head coach last summer after earning ITA Midwest Assistant Coach of the Year honors in 2010.
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Friday, March 9 -- at Texas A&M (College Station, Texas), 6 p.m. CST
Friday, March 11 -- at Texas (Austin, Texas), 11 a.m. CST
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423