Bektas, Bolender Ready for NCAA Individual Competition
Emina Bektas

May 22, 2012

Wed-Mon., May 23-28 -- at NCAA Individual Championships (Athens, Ga.)
Tournament Central | Live Scoring | Live Video | Singles Draw | Doubles Draw

For the third consecutive season, the University of Michigan women's tennis team has representatives in both the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, to be held Wednesday through Monday (May 23-28) at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga. Freshman Emina Bektas will compete in the singles draw and pair with sophomore Brooke Bolender for the doubles tournament. It is Bolender's second straight appearance in the doubles draw.

Draw is Out! -- Freshman Emina Bektas, seeded No. 9-16, will take on Tennessee's Kata Szekely, ranked 57th in the latest ITA poll, in the first round of the singles draw on Wednesday (May 23) at 10 a.m. The two have not met before in collegiate competition. Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender will first be in action on Thursday (May 24) against No. 4-seeded Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria of USC. The time for the doubles matches has yet to be announced.

Michigan Earns Big Ten Automatic Berths -- After going 8-3 at the top spot during Big Ten action, freshman Emina Bektas earned the conference's automatic bid for the 64-player NCAA Singles Championships. Ranked No. 12 in the latest ITA poll -- the highest ranked Big Ten player -- Bektas will enter the NCAA tournament as a No. 9-16 seed. Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolender also earned the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA doubles draw. The duo is ranked 11th and boast a 24-4 record, going a near-perfect 11-1 in Big Ten dual competition.

All-America Qualifications -- To become an ITA All-American in singles, a player needs to end the season ranked in the top 20 of the ITA singles poll, enter the individual championships as a seeded player, or win their first two matches of the draw (therein reaching the round of 16). In doubles, a team must either be ranked in the top 10, enter the individual championships as a seeded team, or win their first two matches of the draw (reaching the quarterfinals). The final national rankings will be released on June 6. By these standards, Emina Bektas has guaranteed herself All-America honors in her rookie campaign.

Match Scoring -- Each match at the NCAA Individual Championships -- both singles and doubles -- will be to the best of three sets. Scoring is the same as in dual matches, but a 12-point tiebreaker will be used.

Freshman Phenom -- Freshman Emina Bektas leads the Wolverine team in wins with a 32-9 overall record in her rookie season. She owns a share of the fifth position among Michigan's all-time single-season leaders, where she is tied with fellow freshman Sarah Lee, senior Michelle Sulahian (2010) and Christine Schmeidel (1990). Michigan had three players with more than 30 wins last year, including then-freshmen Brooke Bolender and Sam Critser. Bolender established a new Michigan record in the category with 35 wins.

Rookie Hardware -- Freshman Emina Bektas, who boasts a team-best 32-9 record in her rookie campaign, has claimed several awards over the last month, including ITA Midwest Region Rookie of the Year and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. She is the fifth Wolverine player in program history to claim the ITA rookie award, and the second in as many seasons, and was a unanimous selection for the Big Ten honor. She is the third straight Wolverine player to win the conference award, joining sophomore Brooke Bolender and junior Mimi Nguyen.

Strong on Top -- Freshman Emina Bektas and Brooke Bolender knocked off Florida's No. 1-ranked Allie Will and Sofie Oyen, 8-5, in the NCAA Championships third round. The Wolverine duo, ranked No. 11, broke in the third game, to 2-1, and held on to the lead, before Florida evened the score at 3-3. Bektas and Bolender responded immediately, breaking again to 4-3 and holding serve to finish the contest. The win was the pair's third over a top-two team this season. They previously defeated Notre Dame's No. 1-ranked Kristy Frilling and Shannon Mathews, 8-4, on March 21. They also earned a 8-5 victory over Georgia's No. 2-ranked Chelsey Gullickson and Nadja Gilchrist at the ITA National Indoors on Feb. 12. The Wolverine duo is 8-6 against ranked opponents this season. They improved to 32-9 overall and wrapped the dual-match portion of the schedule with a 24-4 mark at the No. 1 spot.

On a Tear -- Freshman Emina Bektas and sophomore Brooke Bolendersaw their 12-match winning streak snapped against Texas A&M's 29th-ranked Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar and Wen Sun, 9-7, in the NCAA second round but bounced back with their second win over the nation's No. 1 team this season.

Michigan's Season Comes to an End -- The Wolverines fell in the NCAA Round of 16 for the third consecutive season, dropping a 4-0 decision to No. 2 seed Florida on Thursday (May 17). Despite a close doubles point and an upset of the nation's top tandem, U-M could not maintain a couple breaks on the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles courts, losing the initial point, before Florida took the first three singles matches off court. Michigan concluded the 2012 season with a 21-8 record.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423