Weekly Release #12: U-M Travels to Purdue for Final Big Ten Road Match

April 13, 2010

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

The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (17-3, 7-0 Big Ten) hits the road for the final time during the regular season, traveling to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the No. 48-ranked Purdue Boilermakers (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten) on Saturday (April 17) at noon.

Home Sweep -- U-M picked up its third weekend sweep of Big Ten opponents, defeating Penn State (7-0) on Saturday (April 10) before picking up a 6-1 win over Ohio State on Sunday (April 11). The Wolverines swept all nine matches against PSU on Saturday, playing outdoors for the first time at the Varsity Tennis Center this season.

Sunday's match against Ohio State was a little tighter, as U-M rallied for the doubles point, taking matches at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions. In singles, Michelle Sulahian was first off court to give U-M a 2-0 lead. Rika Tatsuno was down early in both sets but came back for a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 3, setting Michigan up for the win. Mimi Nguyen won her match at No. 4 (6-4, 6-4) moments before Denise Muresan captured her No. 1 singles match (6-1, 3-6, 6-1). Tania Mahtani completed the winning for U-M, taking a three-set decision at No. 5, as OSU only won the No. 2 singles match on the afternoon.

Playing Outdoors -- The Wolverines played their first outdoor match at home this past weekend, defeating Penn State (7-0) on the outdoor courts. U-M has played outdoors six times this season, going 5-1, with the lone loss against No. 6 Duke. Sunday's match against Ohio State began outside before rain forced the action indoors, with the same happening when Michigan visited Wisconsin (April 4).

Muresan Moves Up -- Denise Muresan, who has a 30-10 overall record, moved into third place on the single-season wins list after another 2-0 weekend. Muresan is currently tied with Chisako Sugiyama, who went 30-6 in 2007. With her win over No. 66 Kirsten Flower of Ohio State on Sunday (April 11), Muresan became one of only four Wolverines to hit the 30-win plateau. Sarah Cyganiak holds the single-season record with 34 wins, set in 1995.

100 at the VTC -- The Wolverines picked up the program's 100th win at the Varsity Tennis Center in their 6-1 win over Ohio State. U-M sports a 100-36 all-time mark at the VTC, including a 25-2 mark in Ronni Bernstein's three-year tenure.

Michigan in the Rankings -- The Wolverines remained in the top five in the latest ITA rankings (April 13), moving to No. 4 after a program-best ranking of No. 3 last week. Denise Muresan is the only Wolverine ranked in singles, improving to No. 20 while on a nine-match winning streak. Juniors Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno come in at No. 24 as a doubles pair, improving from No. 36.

Conference Time is Big Time -- After a slow start to the dual-match season, Tania Mahtani has gone 6-1 in Big Ten play while pairing with Denise Muresan for a 7-0 conference doubles record. Mahtani was crucial in U-M's win over then-No. 4 Northwestern, picking up the victory at No. 5 singles. Michigan's lone senior was down 5-2 in the first set before rallying for a 7-6 first-set win. With the momentum on her side, Mahtani won the second set (6-2) as one of three Wolverines to win singles matches against the Wildcats.

Perfect in Big Ten -- The Wolverines are the only team with a perfect record in Big Ten play (7-0) and have three players with perfect conference marks. Denise Muresan and Mimi Nguyen are both 7-0, while Kari Wig is 1-0 in her lone dual-match appearance. On the doubles side, U-M features two perfect duos, as the No. 1 pairing of Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno are 7-0 along with the No. 3 combination of Tania Mahtani and Muresan.

Knocking off Northwestern -- For the first time since 1997, U-M picked up a win over Northwestern, defeating the Wildcats, 4-3. In the process, Michigan snapped NU's 81-match conference winning streak that dated back to April 2004.

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 on Feb. 13. The Wolverines then knocked off their first top-five opponent in program history with a win over No. 5 Baylor on Feb. 26 before knocking off their highest-ranked foe ever in No. 4 Northwestern on April 3. U-M garnered the program's highest-ever ranking (No. 3) while making its first trip to the ITA Indoor Championships.

Streaking Singles -- Mimi Nguyen has won her last 12 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 an 18-2 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 nine matches. Ranked No. 20 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 17-2 record when grabbing the early 1-0 lead. Since Big Ten play has started, U-M is 20-1 in doubles across the three positions. Since moving to the No. 3 position against No. 32 TCU, Tania Mahtani and Denise Muresan are 11-0.

Bernstein Against the Big Ten -- Since taking over in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2007, head coach Ronni Bernstein is 25-2 against Big Ten opposition.

Playing the Best -- So far this season, U-M has faced 10 top-25 foes. Michigan has gone 7-3 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).

About the Opponent
Purdue -- The No. 48-ranked Boilermakers (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten) are coming off a dramatic 4-3 win over Wisconsin last Sunday (April 11) with Bhavani Tirumurti clinching the match at No. 3 singles. Jennifer Rabot comes in at No. 111 in the ITA rankings, sporting a 16-1 overall dual-match record and a 5-1 Big Ten mark. The Boilers have won the doubles point only twice in Big Ten action, coming against Ohio State and Penn State.

Dual Match Format -- This weekend's dual match 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 24
-- vs. Illinois (Varsity Tennis Center), Noon
Sunday, April 25 -- vs. Indiana (Varsity Tennis Center), 11 a.m.