The No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team (2-0) hosts No. 25 Tennessee (0-2) on Friday (Feb. 1) at 3:30 p.m. at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M wraps up the weekend with a trip to No. 8 North Carolina (4-0) on Sunday (Feb. 3), taking on the Tar Heels at 1 p.m. at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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. Once the doubles point has been clinched, the remaining doubles match shall not be completed. No-ad scoring will be implemented during doubles play only and a tie-breaker will occur if a doubles match is tied at seven-all. 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. Singles matches in progress when the dual match is clinched will be played to completion.
• The Wolverines punched their ticket to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Feb. 8-11) with a 7-0 win over Brown and a 4-0 victory over South Carolina this weekend (Jan. 26-27) at the ITA Kick-Off at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M is advancing to the national tournament for the fourth consecutive season. All four appearances at the national tournament have come under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
• Sophomore Emina Bektas, junior Brooke Bolender and sophomore Sarah Lee are all a perfect 2-0 during the dual-match season. U-M is 9-0 on the singles side during dual matches this season.
• Sophomore Sarah Lee was named Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week last week (Jan. 23) for the first time in her career after going 3-0 in both singles and doubles at the Michigan Invitational (Jan. 18-20).
• With a 7-0 win over Brown on Saturday (Jan. 26), Michigan won its fifth straight season opener. Michigan is 5-1 in season-opening matches under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
• Michigan, ranked No. 16, will take on a pair of top-25 opponents this week. First up for Michigan is No. 23 Tennessee at home on Friday (Feb. 1) at 3:30 p.m. The Wolverines will then travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., to take on No. 8 North Carolina on Sunday (Feb. 3) at 1 p.m.
• U-M is 3-11 all-time against Tennessee, falling to UT last season in Knoxville, 5-2. Michigan dropped the doubles point to the Lady Vols, with Emina Bektas (No. 1) and Sarah Lee (No. 4) winning their singles matches to account for the two Wolverine points. The last time that Tennessee came to Ann Arbor (Feb. 15, 2008), the Wolverines grabbed a 4-3 victory.
• The Wolverines and North Carolina are squaring off for the third consecutive season, with the Tar Heels claiming each of the last two match-ups. UNC won the 2011 match, a 4-3 decision in Chapel Hill, as well as last season's match at the Varsity Tennis Center (4-3). The Tar Heels lead the all-time series, 4-1.
• With two matches at No. 1 over the weekend, sophomore Emina Bektas ran her streak of consecutive matches at the top spot to 28. Bektas and former All-American Denise Muresan (2008-11) have been the only two players to appear in the No. 1 slot the past four seasons.
• Senior Mimi Nguyen, limited this season so far in singles action, has moved into 11th place on the all-time singles win list with 83. With two more wins, she will move into the top 10 and into a tie with Michelle Sulahian (2009-12) at No. 10.
• Michigan features two ranked singles players in freshmen Ronit Yurovsky (No. 61) and Amy Zhu (No. 94). On the doubles side, sophomore Emina Bektas and junior Brooke Bolender come in at No. 21. The next player rankings come out on Feb. 4.
• Michigan comes in at No. 16 as a team in the second edition of the ITA rankings for the 2013 season. U-M is one of three Big Ten schools ranked in the top 25, joining Northwestern (No. 14) and Nebraska (No. 17), while Purdue (No. 26) and Illinois (No. 27) sit right outside the top 25.
• As a team, Michigan went 52-35 in singles during the tournament portion of the season. Freshman Ronit Yurovsky led the Wolverines with a 12-4 record and has won eight consecutive matches entering dual-match action. On the doubles side, the Maize and Blue compiled a 26-16 record by using 12 different lineups.
• The Wolverines welcome back five of their top singles players from last season in senior Mimi Nguyen, junior Brooke Bolender and the sophomore trio of Sarah Lee, Emina Bektas and Kristen Dodge. All five Wolverines recorded at least 23 singles victories, led by Lee and Bektas each totaling 32.
• Brooke Bolender serves as Michigan's team captain this season. It is her first season as captain and the first time since the 2009-10 season that U-M will be captained by a junior.
• Senior Mimi Nguyen is the team's lone senior this season, marking the second straight season that Michigan has featured just one senior.
• Since taking over the Wolverines in 2007-08, U-M is 51-4 at the Varsity Tennis Center under head coach Ronni Bernstein. In her sixth season at Michigan, Bernstein is 108-31 as the leader of the Wolverines.
• The Wolverines are coming off their third straight Big Ten championship and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance in 2012. U-M went 21-8 last season, finishing with a No. 14 ranking. It was also U-M's third consecutive 20-win season. Three of Michigan's five 20-win seasons have occurred under head coach Ronni Bernstein.
On being captain ... "It is definitely an honor to be the captain of this team. But, the way our team works, everyone has a captain-like role. I think that being a captain means bringing a lot of energy, which is something we do as a team. Our whole team does a good job doing that, so it hasn't changed my role that much. It is something that means a lot to me because I was picked by my teammates to lead the team."
On what she has done to improve her game ... "This team has worked really hard, everyone as a whole in the offseason and during the fall. December is tough though because we are done with the fall season, but we are not quite to the actual season. I hit with a bunch of college girls while I was home for break in Florida. We really pushed each other to get better during that time. It was really cool to see a group of people who are all playing at different schools really commit to making each other better for the good of the sport."
On her plans following graduation ... "I plan on playing, that is something I really want to do. (Sophomore) Emina (Bektas) and I are planning on playing doubles together, which would be fun. Once that is done, however, I want to coach college tennis."
On what she did away from tennis over the summer ... "I got to go Whistler, Canada. It was the prettiest place I have ever been. The Olympics were there a few years ago, so that was cool to see all those places. I went bungee jumping while I was out there, which was an awesome experience."
On what Michigan means to her ... "The tradition and the family I have built her with my team and other girls here. It is my second family. 'Family' is what Michigan means to me."
Fri-Mon., Feb. 8-11 -- at ITA National Team Indoor Championships (Charlottesville, Va.)