Weekly #11: Michigan Welcomes in a Pair of Big Ten Opponents

March 22, 2011

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

The No. 5-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (11-3, 1-0 Big Ten) looks to remain perfect at home, hosting Indiana (10-4, 0-1 Big Ten) on Saturday (March 26) and Purdue (7-3, 1-0 Big Ten) on Sunday (March 27) at the Varsity Tennis Center. Both matches start at 11 a.m.

Sunday's match against Purdue is a Kids Club Day, as all members are invited and asked to bring a friend that is not in the Kids Club. It is also YMCA Day with members getting a chance to win a Michigan Prize Pack. The match will also feature Sunday Sundaes with an ice cream bar while supplies last.


Home Has Been Good -- Michigan is a perfect 7-0 this season at the Varsity Tennis Center after last weekend's 7-0 win over South Florida. U-M has not dropped a match at the VTC since a 4-3 loss to Notre Dame on Feb. 7, 2010, a string of 15 consecutive victories. The Wolverines still have five home matches remaining on the schedule in addition to hosting the 2011 Big Ten Championships. In Ronni Bernstein's four years as head coach, Michigan has compiled a 36-2 record at the VTC.

Dominating in the Big Ten -- Michigan has not dropped a Big Ten regular-season dual match since falling 6-1 to then-No. 1 Northwestern on March 29, 2009. Since arriving in Ann Arbor, head coach Ronni Bernstein, along with the senior class of Denise Muresan, Whitney Taney, Rika Tatsuno and Kari Wig, sports a 29-2 conference record.

A Look at Indiana -- Indiana (10-4, 0-1 Big Ten) has not played since a 4-3 loss at the hands of Purdue on March 12. The Hoosiers have lost two in a row after winning 10 of their first 12 matches to start the 2011 season. Leslie Hureau leads the way for IU, earning a No. 78 singles ranking while teaming with Myriam Sopel to form the No. 53-ranked doubles team. Indiana leads the all-time series, 29-16, but the Wolverines have won the last five matches including last year's 6-1 triumph to clinch the Big Ten Championship outright.

Glancing at the Boilermakers -- Purdue (7-3, 1-0 Big Ten) will play at Michigan State on Saturday before heading to Ann Arbor for Sunday's match. The Boilers have not played since a 4-3 win over Indiana on March 12. The Boilers feature the No. 25-ranked doubles team of Mara Schmidt and Jennifer Rabot and have won the doubles point in seven of their 10 matches this season. U-M leads the overall series, 30-11, and has won the last six matchups.

Wrapping Up the Non-Conference -- The Wolverines wrapped up the non-conference schedule last weekend, putting together a dominating performance in a 7-0 shutout of South Florida. The Maize and Blue did not drop a match, winning all three doubles matches before sweeping all six singles courts.

Rika Closing Out Strong -- After winning 25 matches as a freshman and 24 as a sophomore at the top of the lineup, senior Rika Tatsuno has rebounded from a junior year that saw her go 19-21. In her final season, Tatsuno has found success at the No. 5 and No. 6 position, compiling a 17-5 overall record and an 11-1 mark in dual matches. Tatsuno's only dual-match loss came against Vanderbilt, a match the Wolverines won, 4-3.

Looking for a Repeat -- The Wolverines head into the heart of Big Ten action, playing their final nine regular-season matches against conference opponents. Michigan wrapped up a perfect 10-0 Big Ten season last year, winning its second Big Ten championship and first since 1997. Mimi Nguyen sported a perfect 10-0 record during conference play en route to Freshman of the Year honors, while Denise Muresan and her 9-1 Big Ten mark earned her Big Ten Player of the Year.

Last Time Defending -- The Wolverines are hoping for a different outcome this time around, as U-M went 6-4 in 1998 as the defending Big Ten champion. Michigan finished that season with an 11-13 record and a 6-4 conference record following its 1997 Big Ten championship.

100 In Sight -- With a career record of 98-44, 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.

Doubles Success -- Michigan has won the doubles point in 11 of its 14 matches this season, going 10-1 in those matches. The Wolverines carry a 31-7 dual-match record in doubles and have swept the doubles matches 10 times. The only time Michigan failed to win the match after securing the doubles point came against No. 1 Stanford at the ITA Indoor Championship.

Taney Hits Triple Digits -- With a doubles win against South Florida, senior Whitney Taney became the first Wolverine to win 100 doubles matches in a career. Taney has an all-time mark of 100-33 in doubles play, including a 63-18 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 and senior Rika Tatsuno 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 a 12-1 record and Tatsuno sporting an 11-1 ledger. In limited dual action this season, junior Michelle Sulahian 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, Sam Critserand Mimi Nguyen. Bolender has spent the most time at the No. 3 slot, going 8-1. Critser is 3-0 and Nguyen is 1-0 in the middle of the lineup.

20 and Counting -- Brooke Bolender and Denise Muresan have both eclipsed the 20-win mark in singles action, the first Wolverines to reach 20 in 2011. Bolender has won a team-best 24 matches with Muresan right behind at 21 wins. Last season, U-M had five players win at least 20 matches.

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.

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

Four to 500 -- The Wolverines need four 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 496-325, 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 eight Wolverines on the 2011 roster, four hail from California, with one each from Florida, Illinois, 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, April 2
--at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 11 a.m. CDT
Sunday, April 3
-- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CDT

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423