Weekly #12: Michigan to Hit the Road for a Pair of Big Ten Matches

March 29, 2011

Saturday, April 2
-- at Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minn.), 11 a.m. CDT
Live Scoring
Sunday, April 3 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CDT

The No. 8-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (13-3, 3-0 Big Ten) looks to remain perfect in Big Ten action, traveling to Minnesota on Saturday (April 2) and Wisconsin on Sunday (April 3). Both matches start at 11 a.m. CDT.


Sweeping a Pair -- Michigan (13-3, 3-0 Big Ten) swept a pair of Big Ten matches last weekend, knocking off Indiana, 6-1, on Saturday (March 26) and shutting out Purdue, 7-0, on Sunday (March 27). U-M won all six doubles matches on the weekend, dropping just one singles match out of 12. U-M is one of three unbeaten Big Ten teams (Ohio State, Northwestern) in conference action.

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, a string of 18 consecutive Big Ten victories. 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 31-2 conference record.

Closing in on 500 -- The Wolverines need two wins to reach 500 program wins, which would make women's tennis the fourth women's program in Michigan history to reach that plateau. U-M has an all-time mark of 498-325, good for a .605 winning percentage. The Wolverines will join softball (1,346), gymnastics (681) and volleyball (612) in the 500-win club at Michigan.

All-Time Coaching Records
1973-74 -- Janet Hooper (5-0)
1974-76 -- Carmen Brummet (15-1)
1976-78 -- John Atwood (21-4)
1978-79 -- Theo Shepard (18-5)
1979-84 -- Oliver Owens (60-46)
1984-2006 -- Bitsy Ritt (288-240)
2006-07 -- Amanda Augustus (17-8)
2007-present -- Ronni Bernstein (74-21)

Scouting Minnesota -- The Gophers (4-10, 0-2 Big Ten) come into this weekend's match on a seven-match losing streak but have not competed since a 7-0 loss at North Carolina on March 17. Minnesota features the No. 65-ranked singles player in Natalia Pintusava, who sports a 17-9 overall record and 6-4 dual-match mark. U-M leads the all-time series against Minnesota, 21-15, and has won seven in a row against the Gophers.

Looking at Wisconsin -- The Badgers (10-6, 1-1 Big Ten) host Michigan State before welcoming Michigan to the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Wisconsin is coming off a 7-0 loss to Northwestern and recorded its lone Big Ten win against Minnesota. U-M knocked off the Badgers twice last season, a 7-0 decision during the regular season and a 4-1 triumph during the Big Ten Tournament. The all-time series is tied at 23 apiece.

Muresan Joins the Century Club -- Denise Muresan became the third Wolverine to win 100 singles matches in a career when she rallied to knock off Purdue's Jennifer Rabot in three sets, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. She joins Chisako Sugiyama (2006-09) and Sarah Cgyaniak (1994-97) as the only players to hit triple digits. Sugiyama set the standard at 104, while Cyganiak was the first to do it, recording an even 100 career wins.

20s All Around -- Michigan now has four players who have reached the 20-win plateau after Mimi Nguyen and Sam Critser both recorded wins this past weekend. Brooke Bolender leads the way with 26 wins, Denise Muresan is second with 23 victories and Critser and Nguyen round out the list with 20 apiece. Rika Tatsuno (19) and Whitney Taney (16) are both on pace to reach the 20-win mark.

Michelle Stepping In Nicely -- Junior Michelle Sulahian played for the first time since Michigan's 7-0 win over Kentucky on Feb. 5. Sulahian paired with Sam Critser for a pair of wins at the No. 3 doubles position over Indiana and Purdue. On the season, Sulahian carries a 10-5 singles mark and an 11-7 doubles record.

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 19-5 overall record and a 13-1 mark in dual matches. Tatsuno's only dual-match loss came against Vanderbilt, a match the Wolverines won, 4-3.

Doubles Success -- Michigan has won the doubles point in 13 of its 16 matches this season, going 12-1 in those matches. The Wolverines carry a 37-7 dual-match record in doubles and have swept the doubles matches 12 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 102-33 in doubles play, including a 65-18 record in dual matches. She has paired with Denise Muresan (8-1), Allie Shafner (4-1), Rika Tatsuno (67-26), 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).

Put ME at 3 -- The Wolverines have been most successful at the No. 3 position in 2011, compiling a 14-1 record between Brooke Bolender, Sam Critserand Mimi Nguyen. Bolender has spent the most time at the No. 3 slot, going 9-1. Critser is 4-0 and Nguyen is 1-0 in the middle of the lineup.

In the Rankings -- The Wolverines fell to No. 8 in this week's edition of the poll, which is computer based. Senior Denise Muresan is Michigan's highest-ranked singles player, moving up to No. 7 in this week's rankings. Sam Critser (No. 69), Brooke Bolender (No. 73) and Whitney Taney (No. 99) all round out Michigan's ranked singles players. On the doubles front, the duo of Muresan and Bolender comes in at No. 8, making Muresan one of eight players to be ranked in the top 10 of singles and doubles.

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

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 74-21 overall record and a 31-2 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 9
-- vs. Ohio State (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 10
-- vs. Penn State (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423