Weekly Release #10: Wolverines to Return Home for South Florida

March 15, 2011

Friday, March 18
-- vs. South Florida (Varsity Tennis Center), 6 p.m.
Live Scoring/Live Video

The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (10-3 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) returns to the Varsity Tennis Center for a Friday evening (March 18, 6 p.m.) match against South Florida (4-8), who is currently listed No. 64.

Friday's match is Band Appreciation Day as all members of the Michigan Bands are invited to attend the match (instruments optional). It is also Tennis Club Day with the Michigan Club Tennis team invited to attend the match, along with all current and former Michigan women's tennis campers invited to the match. A Michigan Prize Pack will be raffled off between doubles and singles.


Back Home -- The Wolverines return home for the first time since Feb. 25. Michigan is a perfect 6-0 at home this season and has won 14 in a row at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M's last loss at the VTC was a 4-3 decision to No. 13 Notre Dame on Feb. 7, 2010.

And Here for a Bit -- Friday's match against South Florida kicks off a three-match home stand for the Wolverines, who will host Indiana and Purdue next weekend, March 26-27. U-M has not played at the VTC since a 6-1 win over Michigan State on Feb. 25.

A Glance at South Florida -- The Bulls have a busy week, playing five matches from Monday to Saturday. Michigan is USF's fourth opponent, and first road foe, of a week that includes matches against Marquette, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Ohio State. Prior to Tuesday's match against Notre Dame, the Bulls carry a 4-8 record and a No. 64 ranking. Michigan is 4-8 all-time against USF, but the Wolverines have not faced the Bulls since a 7-0 U-M win during the 2002 season.

Last Non-Conference Match...Until Postseason -- Friday's match against the Bulls marks Michigan's final non-conference match of the season. The Wolverines conclude the regular season with nine consecutive Big Ten matches before kicking off postseason play by hosting the Big Ten Championships, April 28-May 1. Michigan has a 9-3 non-conference record in 2011.

Coming Up Short at North Carolina -- The Wolverines dropped the doubles point and traded points with No. 6 North Carolina all afternoon but came up on the losing end of a 4-3 match on Sunday (March 13). Michigan won singles matches at the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 positions to set up a 3-3 tie with UNC, which pulled out a three-set win at No. 5 to clinch the match.

Taney Becomes All-Time Doubles Win Leader -- With a doubles win against North Carolina, senior Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) passed Chisako Sugiyama (2006-09) for the most doubles wins in program history with 99. Taney has an all-time mark of 99-33 in doubles play, including a 62-18 record in dual matches. She has paired with Denise Muresan (8-1), Allie Shafner (4-1), Rika Tatsuno (65-26), Lindsey Howard (4-0), Tania Mahtani (8-3), Chisako Sugiyama (7-1), Michelle Sulahian (1-0), Mimi Nguyen (1-0) and Brooke Bolender (2-1).

Dual Dominance -- Sophomore Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) and senior Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) both have only dropped one match since dual-match play began, both falling to their Vanderbilt opponents. Both have won at least 10 matches since the dual season started, with Bolender featuring an 11-1 record and Tatsuno sporting a 10-1 ledger. In limited dual action this season, junior Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall) is 2-0.

Put ME at 3 -- The Wolverines have been most successful at the No. 3 position in 2011, compiling an 11-1 record between Brooke Bolender, freshman Sam Critser (Mountainview, Calif./Mountainview) and sophomore Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan). Bolender has spent the most time at the No. 3 slot, going 8-1. Critser is 2-0 and Nguyen is 1-0 in the middle of the lineup.

20 and Counting -- Brooke Bolender and senior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) have both eclipsed the 20-win mark in singles action, the first Wolverines to reach 20 in 2011. Bolender has won a team-best 23 matches, with Muresan right behind at 20 wins. Last season, U-M had five players win at least 20 matches.

Triple Digits In Sight -- With a career record of 97-44, Denise Muresan is on the verge of becoming just the third Wolverine in program history to reach the 100-victory plateau. Chisako Sugiyama (2006-09) set the standard at 104, while Sarah Cyganiak (1994-97) was the first Wolverine to go for 100 wins in a career.

Beating the Best -- Michigan is 5-3 this season against top-25 competition, defeating No. 12 Clemson, No. 13 Notre Dame, No. 13 Vanderbilt, No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 18 Southern California while falling to No. 1-ranked and defending NCAA champion Stanford, at No. 6 North Carolina and at No. 12 Miami.

In the Rankings -- Michigan is ranked No. 5 in this week's poll, moving down one spot after falling at North Carolina. Senior Denise Muresan is Michigan's highest--ranked singles player, carrying a No. 8 ranking. Sam Critser (No. 63), Brooke Bolender (No. 75) and Whitney Taney (No. 94) all round out Michigan's ranked singles players.

Keep the Awards Coming! -- When Brooke Bolender was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week after helping U-M to a 2-1 record at the ITA Indoor Championship, she became the fourth Wolverine to win the award this season. Whitney Taney, Sam Critser and Denise Muresan have also earned the distinction this season. Of the nine Wolverines, seven have earned the weekly award at some point during their career.

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 35-2 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.

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

Five to 500 -- The Wolverines need five more 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 495-325, good for a .604 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.

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.

Saturday, March 26
-- vs. Indiana (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.
Sunday, March 27
-- vs. Purdue (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423