Weekly #19: Muresan, Bolender Set for NCAA Individual Championships
Brooke Bolender (L) and Denise Muresan

May 24, 2011

Wed-Mon., May 25-30 -- at NCAA Individual Championships (Palo Alto, Calif.), 10 a.m. PDT
Live Scoring/Live Video | Singles Draw | Doubles Draw

For the second 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 25-30) at the Taube Family Tennis Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Senior Denise Muresan will compete in the singles draw and pair with freshman Brooke Bolender for the doubles tournament. In addition, freshman Sam Critser is listed as the No. 7 alternate for the singles tournament.

Draw is Out! -- In singles action, No. 8-ranked Denise Muresan will take on No. 38 Martina Pavelec of Wake Forest in the first round of the draw on Wednesday (May 25) at 10 a.m. PDT. The two have never met. Muresan and freshman Brooke Bolender will first be in action on Thursday (May 26) against No. 9-ranked Chelsey Gullickson and Kate Fuller of Georgia. The time for the doubles matches has yet to be announced, but the Michigan duo will not play before 2 p.m. PDT. It will be the first meeting between the pairs.

Muresan Earns Big Ten Automatic Berth -- After going 10-0 at the top spot during Big Ten action and helping Michigan to its second consecutive Big Ten championship, senior Denise Muresan earned the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Singles Championships. Muresan is ranked No. 8 by the ITA and is the highest ranked Big Ten player. She enters the tournament as the No. 8 seed and carries a 33-10 mark. She will participate in the singles tournament for the second consecutive season.

Bolender and Muresan Pair Nicely -- Denise Muresan and Brooke Bolender earned a No. 5-8 seed for the doubles tournament, the first time a Michigan duo has earned a seed. The pair is 25-6 overall, including a 23-4 record in dual matches. It is the second consecutive season Michigan has had a pair participate in the doubles tournament and the seventh time a team has qualified. With her selection to both the singles and doubles tournament, Muresan becomes the first Wolverine since Michelle DaCosta (2002-05) to qualify for both in the same year. DaCosta accomplished the feat in 2004.

Critser an Alternate -- Freshman Sam Critser is listed as the No. 7 alternate for the singles tournament. Critser remained in California and will wait to hear if she will participate in this year's tournament. If she participates, it would be the first time in program history that two Wolverines competed in the singles tournament.

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 8. By these standards, both Denise Muresan and Brooke Bolender will earn All-America honors.

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.

Michigan's Season Comes to an End -- The Wolverines fell in the NCAA Round of 16 for the second consecutive season, dropping a 4-2 decision to No. 7 seed Miami (Fla.) on Friday (May 20). Miami won the doubles point by virtue of wins at No. 2 and No. 1 to enter singles with the 1-0 lead. A win at No. 2 gave Miami a 2-0 lead, before Mimi Nguyen and Denise Muresan won matches to tie the team score at 2-2. The Hurricanes won the next two matches on court for the 4-2 victory. The Wolverines finished the season with a 24-5 record for the second consecutive campaign.

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