ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- After dropping the doubles point, the No. 16-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team won the first four singles matches off court to defeat No. 25-ranked Tennessee, 4-3, Friday (Feb. 1) at the Varsity Tennis Center.
For the first time this season, Michigan was unable to come away with the doubles point after Tennessee won at No. 2 and No. 1 for the first point of the match. The Wolverines won the first match off court as the sophomore duo of Kristen Dodge (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) and Emina Bektas (Indianapolis, Ind./New Braunfels) coasted to an 8-3 win at No. 3.
Michigan's No. 2 duo of senior Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) and sophomore Sarah Lee (Los Angeles, Calif./Campbell Hall) fell in an early hole, eventually dropping an 8-3 decision. With the doubles point coming down to the No. 1 match, Michigan's pair of freshman Ronit Yurovsky (New Kensington, Pa./Plum) and junior Brooke Bolender (Delray Beach, Fla./Kaplan) battled back from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 lead. With the teams back on serve at 5-5, the Tennessee pair broke Bolender and Yurovksy to go up 6-5. Tennessee won the ensuing two games to take the match, 8-5, and the doubles point.
Bolender put Michigan's first point on the board, defeating Caitlyn Williams (6-1, 6-3) at No. 3 to tie the team score. Bektas gave U-M a 2-1 lead just minutes later with another straight-set win for the home team, taking care of No. 23 Brynn Boren (6-4, 6-1) at the top position.
Yurovsky provided the Wolverines their third point of the day, defeating No. 25 Kata Szekely at No. 2. The Michigan freshman fought off two set points in the first-set tiebreaker, rallying from a 6-4 deficit for the 8-6 tiebreak victory. It was all Yurovsky in the second as she took advantage of an early break to complete the 7-6 (6), 6-4 win.
Lee provided the clinching point for Michigan, winning a three-set affair (4-6, 6-0, 6-4) over Joanna Henderson at No. 4. After dropping the first set, Lee won eight consecutive games to win the second set and take a 2-0 lead in the third. The players traded breaks back and forth before getting back on serve with Lee leading, 5-4. Henderson missed four consecutive serves to give Lee match point, and Lee took the match when Henderson's shot went long.
The Lady Vols won the final two matches off court to provide the final score, 4-3.
Michigan hits the road for the first time this season on Sunday (Feb. 3), traveling to North Carolina to take on the No. 8-ranked Tar Heels at 1 p.m. in Chapel Hill.
Following are match-by-match results:
No. 1 -- Emina Bektas (U-M) d. No. 23 Brynn Boren (UT), 6-4, 6-1
No. 2 -- Ronit Yurovsky (U-M) d. No. 25 Kata Szekely (UT), 7-6 (6), 6-4
No. 3 -- Brooke Bolender (U-M) d. Caitlyn Williams (UT), 6-1, 6-3
No. 4 -- Sarah Lee (U-M) d. Joanna Henderson (UT), 4-6, 6-0, 6-4
No. 5 -- Mimi Fotopoulous (UT) d. Mimi Nguyen (U-M), 6-7 (5), retired
No. 6 -- Tiffany Tavares (UT) d. Amy Zhu (U-M), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
No. 1 -- No. 12 Brynn Boren/Kata Szekely (UT) d. Brooke Bolender/Ronit Yurovsky (U-M), 8-5
No. 2 -- No. 41 Caitlyn Williams/Joanna Henderson (UT) d. Sarah Lee/Mimi Nguyen (U-M), 8-3
No. 3 -- Emina Bektas/Kristen Dodge (U-M) d. Sarah Toti/Jesse Grace (UT), 8-2
Order of Completion: Doubles 3-2-1, Singles 3-1-2-4-5-6