April 1, 2014
Free Admission | Live Scoring/Live Video
Saturday, April 5 -- vs. No. 11 Northwestern (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 6 -- vs. Illinois (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (13-3, 5-0 B1G) returns home for a four-match homestand that begins this weekend against No. 11 Northwestern (11-5, 5-0 B1G) on Saturday (April 5) and Illinois (10-6, 3-2 B1G) on Sunday (April 6). Michigan and Northwestern are the only remaining undefeated Big Ten teams at 5-0. Both matches start at noon and feature free admission.
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 is back home this weekend, hosting Northwestern on Saturday (April 5) and Illinois on Sunday (April 6). Both matches start at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Michigan and Northwestern are the only remaining undefeated teams in conference action, each entering Saturday's match with 5-0 records.
Between the two schools, Michigan and Northwestern have accounted for each of the last 15 Big Ten championships dating back to 1999. Michigan has won the last four titles, including a shared one with the Wildcats in 2012, with NU winning the other 11.
Michigan went 1-1 against NU last year, knocking off the Wildcats in the regular season in Evanston (4-3) before falling to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament (4-1). NU leads the all-time series against Michigan, 48-11, but U-M has knocked off NU in three of the last four years.
Northwestern comes to Ann Arbor off wins over Ohio State and Penn State at home last weekend. NU features a pair of ranked singles players in No. 36 Belinda Niu and No. 44 Veronica Corning. Corning pairs with Alicia Barnett to for the No. 21 doubles pair, while Nida Hamilton and Maddie Lipp come in at No. 72. Head coach Claire Pollard is in her 16th season at Northwestern.
Illinois will play at Michigan State on Saturday before coming to the VTC on Sunday. The Fighting Illini enter the weekend on a four-match winning streak, defeating four straight at home. Michigan is 28-11 all-time against Illinois and has won 11 in a row. Head coach Michelle Dasso is in her eighth season in Champaign.
Michigan is a perfect 8-0 in true road matches this season. The Wolverines have two road matches remaining, coming on April 19 at Indiana and April 20 at Purdue.
Brooke Bolender, the only Wolverine in school history to boast 100 career singles win and 100 career doubles wins, is one doubles win away from tying Whitney Taney's record of 114. With two singles wins over the weekend, Bolender is now alone at No. 2 on the singles wins list with 106. Denise Muresan set the singles record with 111 during her four-year career. Bolender holds the Michigan mark for combined singles and doubles wins in a career with 219.
In dual matches, Michigan is 72-17 (.809) in singles play and 27-9 (.750) in doubles action. Overall, U-M is 158-59 (.728) in singles and 64-30 (.681) in doubles action for the season.
With 7-0 wins at Iowa and Nebraska last weekend (March 28 and 30), Michigan recorded its sixth and seventh shutouts of the season. U-M now has three shutouts during Big Ten action.
In the last seven seasons, Michigan has only dropped Big Ten matches to Indiana and Northwestern.
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 has started conference action with a 5-0 record and has outscored its opponents, 32-3. Since head coach Ronni Bernstein took over before the 2007-08 season, Michigan is 63-4 in Big Ten play. Six Wolverines carry unblemished Big Ten singles records.
Emina Bektas has won 17 of her last 18 singles matches and sports a 15-1 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. 9 by the ITA. Bektas already has 87 career singles wins, which rank ninth all-time at U-M.
Emina Bektas (29-5), Sarah Lee (23-9), Amy Zhu (22-7) and Brooke Bolender (21-4) have each crossed the 20-win plateau already this season. It is the fourth straight season that Bolender has won at least 20 matches and the third straight season that Lee and Bektas have recorded at least 20 singles wins, and Zhu has accomplished the feat for the second straight year.
Since debuting as a doubles team at the No. 3 position against Notre Dame (Feb. 15), Ronit Yurovksy and Laura Ucros are 7-0 as a pair.
The top of the lineup has been effective for Michigan, with the Wolverines totaling a 29-3 record at No. 1 and No. 2 singles through 16 matches.
Freshman Sara Remynse picked up her first dual-match win over the weekend, winning, 6-4, 6-1, at No. 6 over Nebraska's Lauren Wagner.
U-M has five players who have lost just one singles match during dual-match play in Emina Bektas (15-1), Brooke Bolender (11-1), Kristen Dodge (8-1), Ronit Yurovsky (8-1) and Laura Ucros (5-1). Annie Wierda is a perfect 2-0.
The Wolverines have won 13 doubles points on the season, going 12-1 when winning the match's first point. U-M is 27-9 in doubles during dual-match play.
Michigan features four ranked singles players in Emina Bektas (No. 9), Ronit Yurovsky (No. 22), Brooke Bolender (No. 119) and Sarah Lee (No. 123). On the doubles side, Bektas and Bolender come in at No. 18, Yurovsky and Lee are No. 34, Laura Ucros and Yurovsky are No. 47, and Lee and Amy Zhu are No. 66.
Michigan comes in at No. 17 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 142-40 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 is also U-M's fourth consecutive 20-win season. Four of Michigan's six 20-win seasons have occurred under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
Saturday, April 12 -- vs. Minnesota (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 13 -- vs. Wisconsin (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon