Weekly Release #11: U-M Returns Home for Penn State, Ohio State

April 6, 2010

Saturday, April 10 -- vs. Penn State (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Live Results/Video
Sunday, April 11 -- vs. Ohio State (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.
Live Results/Video
*If match is played outdoors, video will not be available*

After seven consecutive matches on the road, the No. 3-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (15-3, 5-0 Big Ten) returns home to the Varsity Tennis Center for a pair of weekend matches. First up is Penn State (4-12, 0-4 Big Ten) on Saturday (April 10) at noon. The Wolverines will then square off against Ohio State (15-5, 2-2 Big Ten) on Sunday (April 11) at 11 a.m.

Knocking off No. 4 Northwestern -- Michigan picked up the biggest win of the season this past weekend (April 3), knocking off No. 4 Northwestern (4-3). It was the first time since 1997 that the Maize and Blue came out on top of the Wildcats, who had won 19 in a row over U-M. The win also snapped Northwestern's 81-match Big Ten winning streak that dated back to April 2004.

Michigan won the doubles point by virtue of sweeping all three matches and used singles wins from junior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) at No. 1, freshman Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) at No. 4 and senior Tania Mahtani (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) at No. 5 for the win.

Winning at Wisconsin -- U-M completed the weekend sweep of Big Ten opponents, winning 6-1 at Wisconsin (April 4) for its fifth straight conference victory. Michigan once again swept all three doubles matches and only dropped one singles match for the 2-0 weekend sweep. On the year, U-M has a 3-1 record at Nielsen Tennis Stadium after going 2-1 at the ITA Indoor Championships (Feb. 12-15).

Moving Up To No. 3 -- After running its winning streak to nine and knocking off No. 4 Northwestern, U-M vaulted up to No. 3 in the latest ITA Rankings (April 6). It is the highest ranking in program history and the first time the Wolverines have been in the top-five. The previous best was No. 6 earlier this season. Prior to 2010, the highest U-M had ever been ranked was No. 16.

Going for 100 -- With two matches this weekend, the Wolverines have a chance to record the program's 100th win at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M has a 98-37 (.726) all-time record at the VTC in its 13-plus seasons. The Maize and Blue has won 47 of the last 55 dual matches at the VTC, dating back to the 2005 season. Michigan has dropped only two home contests in head coach Ronni Bernstein's tenure, a 6-1 loss to then-No. 1 Northwestern and a 4-3 decision to then-No. 13 Notre Dame.

A Season of Firsts -- The lists of accomplishments for the Wolverines this season continues to grow with each passing weekend. U-M knocked off its first top-10 opponent with a win over No. 6 Miami at the ITA Indoor Championships (Feb. 13). The Wolverines then knocked off their first top-five opponent in program history with a win over No. 5 Baylor (Feb. 26) before knocking off their highest-ranked foe ever in No. 4 Northwestern on Saturday (April 3). U-M has garnered the program's highest-ever ranking (No. 3) while making its first trip to the ITA Indoor Championships.

On Cloud Nine -- The Wolverines have won nine matches in a row, with their last loss coming at No. 6 Duke (Feb. 20). The longest-ever winning streak for the Wolverines was a 16-match tear during the 2008 season. The Maize and Blue did not drop a match from Feb. 22 through April 26 during Ronni Bernstein's first year at the helm.

Streaking Singles -- Mimi Nguyen has won her last 10 dual matches with her last loss coming when she retired against Laurianne Henry of Clemson after U-M had already clinched the match. She has a 16-2 dual-match record after seeing time at No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles. Denise Muresan has caught fire of late, winning her last seven matches. Ranked No. 25 by the ITA, Muresan came away with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over No. 13 Maria Mosolova of Northwestern (April 3) for her third win over a higher-ranked opponent this season.

Dynamite Doubles -- U-M has won the doubles point in all but one match this season (No. 4 Florida, Feb. 12), sporting a 15-2 record when grabbing the early 1-0 lead. Since Big Ten play has started, U-M is a perfect 15-0 in doubles across the three positions. Since moving to the No. 3 position against No. 32 TCU, Tania Mahtani and Denise Muresan are 9-0.

Muresan Moves Up -- Denise Muresan, who has a 28-10 overall record, moved into fifth place on the single-season wins list after a 2-0 weekend. Muresan, who has played at No. 1 all season, is currently tied with Tania Mahtani, who went 28-12 during her freshman year (2007). Sarah Cyganiak holds the record with 34, set in 1995.

Perfect Road Trip -- U-M finally returns home this weekend for a pair of matches for the first time since Feb. 26, but the road was kind to the Wolverines. Michigan went 7-0 during its six weeks away from the Varsity Tennis Center, including a 5-0 Big Ten start. U-M defeated a top-five team (No. 4 Northwestern), a top-25 team (No. 18 Iowa) and shut out three opponents (Loyola Marymount, Michigan State and Minnesota). On the year, U-M has an 11-2 record away from the VTC (8-1 away, 3-1 neutral site).

Bernstein Against the Big Ten -- Since taking over in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2007, head coach Ronni Bernstein is 23-2 against Big Ten opposition. With last weekend's win at Northwestern, Bernstein has now defeated all 10 Big Ten schools.

Michigan in the Rankings -- The Wolverines are currently ranked No. 3 as a team with Denise Muresan garnering the only singles ranking (No. 25). Juniors Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) and Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) come in at No. 36 as a doubles pair.

Playing the Best -- So far this season, U-M has faced 13 ranked opponents, including 10 top-25 foes. Michigan has gone 10-3 in those matches, falling to No. 4 Florida (5-2), No. 6 Duke (5-2) and No. 13 Notre Dame (4-3). The Maize and Blue has knocked off No. 4 Northwestern (4-3), No. 5 Baylor (4-3), No. 6 Miami (4-3), No. 14 Clemson (5-2), No. 16 South Carolina (4-3), No. 18 Arkansas (5-2), No. 18 Iowa (6-1), No. 32 TCU (4-3), No. 35 Pepperdine (6-1) and No. 53 Minnesota (7-0).

About the Opponents
Penn State -- Penn State enters this weekend's matchup with a 4-12 overall record and a winless (0-4) mark in Big Ten action. The Nittany Lions feature one ranked player in freshman Petra Januskova, who is No. 77 on the ITA list. The Wolverines dominate the all-time series, 20-3, and have not lost to PSU since 2001.

Ohio State -- The Buckeyes will play at Michigan State before heading to Ann Arbor but enter the weekend with a 15-5, 2-2 Big Ten record after splitting a pair of conference matches last weekend. OSU shut out Minnesota but fell to Iowa, 6-1. Kirsten Flower, ranked No. 66, has a 15-5 dual-match record, while Gabby Steele is 16-2. The Wolverines are 33-13 all-time against the Buckeyes.

Dual Match Format -- 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. Matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.

Oh Captain! -- Junior Whitney Taney was voted by her teammates as the captain of the 2009-10 Wolverines. Taney was Michigan's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree last season, in addition to being named an ITA Scholar Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten. Every other Wednesday during the 2010 season, Taney will give a glimpse into the women's tennis team in her blog, Serving It Up.

From Afar -- Out of the eight athletes on the tennis team, not one of them is a native of Michigan. Four hail from California with Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas and Canada each producing one student-athlete. The only other varsity team at the University of Michigan that is full of non-Michiganders is, coincidentally, the men's tennis team.

Duo Signs to Join Wolverines -- Brooke Bolender, a Blue Chip recruit, along with five-star recruit Samantha Critser will join the Wolverines for the 2010-11 season. Together, the two make up the No. 6 recruiting class in the country. [ Release ]

Leader of the Wolverines -- Head coach Ronni Bernstein enters her third season at the helm of Michigan women's tennis. In her first two seasons in Ann Arbor, Bernstein has compiled an impressive record of 37-13 with an 18-2 Big Ten Conference mark. She has led the Wolverines to postseason play in both seasons.

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.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, 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. 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. [ Check out both in our new publications section! ]

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. Just this past summer, outdoor chair back seating was added overlooking six of the outdoor courts.

Saturday, April 17
-- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), Noon