March 18, 2014
The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (9-3, 1-0 B1G) continues Big Ten play this weekend, first hosting Ohio State (10-4, 1-0 B1G) on Friday (March 21) before hitting the road for Penn State (4-9, 0-1 B1G) on Sunday (March 23). U-M has won six of its last seven matches heading into the 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. 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.
Michigan (9-3, 1-0 B1G) is back in split weekend action this week, playing at the VTC on Friday (March 21) before hitting the road for State College, Pa., on Sunday (March 23).
The Wolverines continue Big Ten action for the rest of the regular season after wrapping up the non-conference season with an 8-3 record. Michigan started conference action with a 6-1 win at Michigan State on Sunday (March 16). Since head coach Ronni Bernstein took over before the 2007-08 season, Michigan is 59-4 in Big Ten action.
No. 51 Ohio State enters Friday's match on a seven-match winning streak and has not lost since Feb. 14 at Kentucky. OSU features one ranked singles player in No. 116 Gabriella De Santis. Michigan won 7-0 last season in Columbus to wrap up its fourth straight Big Ten title, which was also U-M's 13th consecutive victory over the Buckeyes. The Maize and Blue leads the all-time series, 39-13, over Ohio State.
Penn State will play at Michigan State on Friday prior to hosting U-M on Sunday. Michigan leads the all-time series against Penn State, 24-3, and has won 12 in a row against PSU. The Wolverines defeated Penn State, 5-2, last season at the VTC.
After Friday's match, Michigan will not play at the VTC again until April 5. That match against Wisconsin kicks off a four-match homestand for U-M.
Michigan is a perfect 5-0 in true road matches this season.
Emina Bektas has won 13 of her last 14 singles matches and sports an 11-1 mark in dual matches at the No. 1 spot. She has already been named Big Ten Athlete of the Week three times this season and is currently ranked No. 7 by the ITA. Bektas already has 83 career wins, which ranks 13th all-time at U-M.
Brooke Bolender is up to 16 doubles wins this season, pushing her career total to 111. She is currently second on the all-time list to Whitney Taney (2008-11), who won 114 doubles matches during her four-year career. Bolender is the only player in school history to eclipse 100 singles and 100 doubles wins.
The top of the lineup has been effective for Michigan, with the Wolverines totaling a 21-3 record at No. 1 and No. 2 singles through 12 matches.
U-M has five players who have lost just one singles match during dual-match play in Emina Bektas (11-1), Brooke Bolender (7-1), Kristen Dodge (5-1), Ronit Yurovsky (6-1) and Laura Ucros (3-1). Annie Wierda is a perfect 1-0.
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 12 matches at No. 1, with Sarah Lee and Amy Zhu playing all 12 at No. 2. At No. 3, Kristen Dodge has been paired with Ronit Yurovsky and Laura Ucros. Ucros and Yurovsky played together in Michigan's last seven matches at No. 3 and have not dropped a match in dual action.
The Wolverines have won 10 doubles points on the season, going 9-1 when winning the match's first point. U-M is 21-7 in doubles during dual-match play.
Michigan features four ranked singles players in Emina Bektas (No. 7), Ronit Yurovsky (No. 20), Brooke Bolender (No. 98) and Sarah Lee (No. 103). On the doubles side, Bektas and Bolender come in at No. 18, Yurovsky and Lee are No. 45 and Lee and Amy Zhu are No. 75.
Michigan comes in at No. 15 as a team in this week's edition of the ITA Rankings.
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 71-8 at the Varsity Tennis Center under head coach Ronni Bernstein. In her seventh season at Michigan this year, Bernstein is 138-40 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.
Friday, March 28 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 3 p.m. CDT
Sunday, March 30 -- at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), 11 a.m. CDT