Wolverines Sweep Individual Big Ten Honors

April 29, 2010

PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- On the heels of its first Big Ten championship since 1997, the University of Michigan women's tennis team swept all three of the individual awards given out by the Big Ten Conference, the conference office announced tonight (Thursday, April 29). Junior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) was named Player of the Year, freshman Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) was selected as Freshman of the Year and head coach Ronni Bernstein was honored as Coach of the Year. In addition, junior Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) was named All-Big Ten along with Muresan and Nguyen.

It is the first time that the Wolverines have earned Player, Freshman and Coach of the Year in the same season.

"I am just so happy for the girls," Bernstein said. "It shows the progress of the program to have three players named All-Big Ten, along with Denise winning Player of the Year and Mimi winning Freshman of the Year. These awards are individual awards, but they really stand for everyone on our team and the hard work they have put in while at Michigan. It is just a great honor for the girls, and hopefully we can keep the success going this weekend."

Bernstein led the No. 4-ranked Wolverines to their third 20-win season and second Big Ten championship and undefeated conference season in program history. U-M has accomplished numerous program firsts this season, including defeating top-10 and top-five opponents for the first time and making its first appearance at the ITA National Indoor Championships. In her three years at Michigan, Bernstein has compiled an impressive 57-16 overall record and a 28-2 Big Ten mark.

Denise Muresan

Muresan becomes the third Wolverine to earn Player of the Year and the first since Sarah Cyganiak was selected in 1997. Muresan, ranked No. 20 nationally, has a team-best 32-11 overall record while going 17-6 during dual matches at the No. 1 position. During Big Ten play, the junior went 9-1 in singles and paired with senior Tania Mahtani (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) for a 9-1 Big Ten mark. Muresan handed two-time defending Player of the Year Maria Mosolova the first Big Ten loss of her career when the Wolverines knocked off No. 4 Northwestern on April 3.

Nguyen completed the conference season without a loss, going 10-0 at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions. The freshman is currently on a 15-match win streak and carries a 21-2 dual-match record. Nguyen clinched two of Michigan's biggest wins this season, 4-3 decisions against No. 6 Miami and No. 4 Northwestern. After winning both singles and doubles matches this past weekend (April 24-25) to help Michigan to its Big Ten championship, Nguyen was honored as the Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week.

Whitney Taney

Taney picks up All-Big Ten honors for the second time in her career after being named to her first team in 2008. Taney played the majority of her conference matches at the No. 2 slot, going 8-2 with both losses coming after the Wolverines had clinched the match. On the doubles side, Taney has an impressive 31-5 overall record while pairing with junior Rika Tatsuno (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) to form the No. 23 doubles pair in the country. In dual matches, the pair has a 21-2 overall record and a 10-0 mark in the Big Ten at the No. 1 position.

Junior Kari Wig (Cochrane, Alberta/Cochrane) was named Michigan's Sportsmanship honoree. The student-athletes chosen for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award are individuals that have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Wig carries an 11-6 overall record, winning her only dual-match singles match of the season at No. 6 against Michigan State on March 20.

The Wolverines, the No. 1 overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament, will first take on Wisconsin in quarterfinal action tomorrow (Friday, April 30) at 10 a.m. CDT.

All-Big Ten Team*
Megan Fudge, Illinois
Leslie Hureau, Indiana
Evgeniya Vertesheva, Indiana
Sonja Molnar, Iowa
Denise Muresan, MICHIGAN
Mimi Nguyen, MICHIGAN
Whitney Taney, MICHIGAN
Alessandra Ferrazzi, Minnesota
Lauren Lui, Northwestern
Maria Mosolova, Northwestern
Samantha Murray, Northwestern
Kirsten Flower, Ohio State
Jennifer Rabot, Purdue
* - 13 Due to tie

Athlete of the Year
Denise Muresan, MICHIGAN

Freshman of the Year
Mimi Nguyen, MICHIGAN

Coach of the Year
Ronni Bernstein, MICHIGAN

Sportsmanship Honorees
Marisa Lambropoulos, Illinois
Lindsey Stuckey, Indiana
Kelcie Klockenga, Iowa
Whitney Wilson, Michigan State
Peta Forsyth, Minnesota
Lauren Lui, Northwestern
Christina Keesey, Ohio State
Sarah Henderson, Penn State
Jennifer Rabot, Purdue
Angela Chupa, Wisconsin

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423