Week #10: U-M to Go to Hoosier State for Pair of Big Ten Matches

March 28, 2012

Saturday, March 31 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), Noon
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Sunday, April 1 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 11 a.m.
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The No. 14-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (10-5, 3-0 Big Ten) continues Big Ten Conference play with two road contests this weekend. Michigan will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., on Saturday (March 31) for a noon meeting against Purdue (10-2, 2-1 Big Ten) at the Schwartz Tennis Center before wrapping the weekend Sunday (April 1) with an 11 a.m. slate against Indiana (13-4, 2-1 Big Ten) at the Hoosiers' Tennis Center in Bloomington, Ind.

A Look at Purdue -- The Boilermakers carry a 10-2 record into the weekend and are 2-1 in Big Ten play after Penn State snapped their nine-match win streak with a 4-3 decision last Sunday (March 25). Purdue owns Big Ten wins over Indiana (6-1) and Ohio State (4-3). Michigan owns a 31-11 advantage in the all-time series against the Boilermakers and has won the last seven meetings, including a 7-0 shutout in last season's contest.

A Look at Indiana -- The Hoosiers are 13-4 on the season and 2-1 in Big Ten play after earning back-to-back league wins against Penn State (6-1) and Ohio State (4-3) last weekend. Indiana boasts one ranked singles play in Leslie Hureau, who owns a 10-4 dual record, including a 10-3 mark at the No. 1 position. Michigan trails in the all-time series against Indiana, 17-29, but has claimed each of the last five meetings, including a 6-1 decision last season.

Where We Rank -- After knocking off a pair of top-30 opposition last week, the Wolverines climbed to the No. 14 spot in the latest ITA rankings, released Tuesday (March 27), and boast four individual singles rankings and a top-10 doubles rankings. Freshman Emina Bektas headlines the contingent with the No. 10 ranking. Sophomore Brooke Bolender checks in at No. 65, while junior Mimi Nguyen and sophomore Sam Critser round out the Wolverine contingent at the No. 114 and No. 121 positions, respectively. On the doubles side, Michigan's duo of Bektas and Bolender list at the nation's No. 7 pairing. [ 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 went 3-0 to wrap up a busy home stand last week, defeating No. 17 Notre Dame (5-2, March 21), Wisconsin (7-0, March 24) and Minnesota (6-1, March 25). Michigan posted a combined 16-2 singles record, including perfect 3-0 showings from freshman Emina Bektas, sophomore Brooke Bolender and freshman Sarah Lee at the top of the lineup. U-M claimed the doubles point in the two Big Ten duals, while its lone doubles win against Notre Dame was an 8-4 upset decision over the nation's No. 1 pairing of Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews. [ Recaps: Notre Dame | Wisconsin | Minnesota ]

Complete Statistics: Through March 25


Big Start in the Big Ten -- With its 3-0 start in Big Ten competition, Michigan extended its conference winning streak to 28 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.

On a Roll -- Four different Wolverine players boast singles winning streaks of three matches or more after U-M's recent homestand. Freshman Emina Bektas has won her last four matches after suffering her first dual loss; she is 12-1 in duals this year and has claimed 15 of her last 16 matches. Similarly, freshman Sarah Lee rebounded from her first dual loss with three straight wins. Lee boasts a team-best 13-1 dual-match record. Sophomore Brooke Bolender and senior Michelle Sulahian have also won three in a row.

Going for Brooke -- Sophomore Brooke Bolender posted a 3-0 singles record last week, earning a pair of wins over ranked opposition in Notre Dame's No. 84 Kristy Frilling (7-6 (4), 6-2, March 21) and Minnesota's No. 116 Alexa Palen (7-5, 7-6 (3), March 25). She also teamed with freshman Emina Bektas to go 2-1 in doubles play.

No. 1 in our Hearts -- Freshman Emina Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender, the Wolverines' top doubles pairing, knocked off Notre Dame's No. 1-ranked Kristy Frilling/Shannon Mathews, 8-4, last Wednesday (March 21). The U-M duo battled back to hold serve in the fifth game and took over in the next, going up 4-2 to take the lead for good. It was Bektas and Bolender's second doubles win over a top-five opponent this season. They previously claimed an 8-5 victory over Georgia's pairing of Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist, the nation's No. 2 doubles team in their ITA National Indoors finale against Georgia.

Strength in the Middle -- The Wolverines have found great success at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, compiling a combined 24-5 record between freshman Sarah Lee, junior Mimi Nguyen and sophomore Sam Critser. Lee has posted a 6-1 record at the No. 3 slot and is 7-0 at No. 4, while Nguyen is 6-2 at No. 3 and 4-2 at No. 4. Critser won her lone appearance at the No. 4 position.

20 and Counting -- Freshmen Emina Bektas and senior Sarah Lee have both eclipsed the 20-win mark in singles action, the first Wolverines to reach 20 in 2012. Bektas improved to 23-5 last weekend, while Lee rebounded from her first dual loss to improve to 24-6. Last year, U-M had six players win at least 20 matches.

Climbing the Charts -- With her dual win against Minnesota, senior Michelle Sulahian improved to 82-42 in her collegiate singles career to earn a share of the 10th position among Michigan's all-time career win leaders, where she is tied with Elizabeth Exon (2004-07) and Elizabeth Cyganiak (1992-95). She needs four more wins to reach the eighth spot, currently held by Debra Striefler (86-37, 2003-06) and Kalei Beamon (86-57, 1990-93).

Ronni's Team Tough at Home -- The Wolverines' defeat against North Carolina on March 18 was just the third home loss under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Ronni Bernstein. Since Bernstein took over the Michigan program prior to the 2008 dual-match season, the Wolverines have compiled an impressive 45-3 record at home. U-M lost to then-No. 1 Northwestern during the 2009 season and then-No. 13 Notre Dame in 2010 to account for the other two losses at the Varsity Tennis Center during her tenure.

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Ronni Bernstein is in her fifth year in Ann Arbor, compiling an 95-27 overall record and 41-2 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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Saturday, April 7 -- vs. Illinois (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 8 -- vs. Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423