May 14, 2010

Courtesy of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 4-ranked University of Michigan women's tennis team dominated from the beginning of the match, shutting out UIC, 4-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday (May 14) outside at the Varsity Tennis Center. U-M will now host Ohio State tomorrow (Saturday, May 15) at 1 p.m. for a spot in the NCAA Sweet 16.

The Wolverines breezed through doubles play to enter singles with the 1-0 advantage. At No. 2, freshman Mimi Nguyen (Long Beach, Calif./Millikan) and sophomore Michelle Sulahian (Valley Glen, Calif./Campbell Hall School) made quick work of their opponent with an 8-0 win. With both of the remaining courts at match point for U-M, the No. 3 duo of senior Tania Mahtani (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) and junior Denise Muresan (Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson) came away with an 8-2 victory to wrap up the doubles point.

The doubles momentum carried over into singles play, as U-M won all six first sets. Sulahian was the first Wolverine off the court, grabbing a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 6 to stake Michigan a 2-0 lead.

From there, Mahtani won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4 to put junior Whitney Taney (Edina, Minn./Edina) in line for the clinching win moments later at No. 2 (6-1, 6-0).

U-M will look to punch its ticket to the Sweet 16 tomorrow, taking on the Buckeyes at 1 p.m. Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $4 for youth (18 & under) and senior citizens (55 and over). Tickets will be available for purchase at the Varsity Tennis Center starting one hour prior to the match.

Following are match-by-match results:

No. 1 -- No. 19 Denise Muresan (U-M) vs. Mariya Kovaleva (UIC), 6-3, 1-2 abandoned
No. 2 -- Whitney Taney (U-M) d. Ilinca Cristescu (UIC), 6-1, 6-0
No. 3 -- Mimi Nguyen (U-M) vs. Kristen McPhillips (UIC), 6-2, 5-2 abandoned
No. 4 -- Tania Mahtani (U-M) d. Elena Antakova (UIC), 6-4, 6-1
No. 5 -- Rika Tatsuno (U-M) vs. Amy Jellish (UIC), 6-2, 3-0 abandoned
No. 6 -- Michelle Sulahian (U-M) d. Jenna Reisch (UIC), 6-0, 6-1

No. 1 -- No. 19 Taney/Tatsuno (U-M) vs. Kovaleva/McPhillips (UIC), 7-2 abandoned
No. 2 -- Nguyen/Sulahian (U-M) d. Antakova/Cristescu (UIC), 8-0
No. 3 -- Mahtani/Muresan (U-M) d. Jellish/Reisch (UIC), 8-2

Order of Completion: Doubles 2-3, Singles 6-4-2


• The Wolverines advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive season.

• This weekend marks the first time that U-M has hosted an NCAA Regional.\

• Matches in play when the dual match is clinched are abandoned during postseason play.

• Today's win was U-M's first 4-0 victory of the postseason.

• Michelle Sulahian picked up her 31st win of the season, putting her alone in third place on the single-season list.


Michigan Head Coach Ronni Bernstein
On getting back on court after two weeks off ... "It was disappointing with our loss to Northwestern, but we are looking at the NCAAs as a new season. We had to start again, and it is great to be able to do that at home. I think that the girls realize that, and they did a really good job today. They came out focused and played well."

On winning the doubles point again ... "I think that today, hopefully, the girls can take confidence from this. We have been so successful the whole season with our doubles and nothing has changed. They still do the right things; we just hit a bump in the road (at the Big Ten Tournament). I was really happy with one through three in doubles."

On the play of the team ... "I think that everyone did a good job today. The conditions were kind of tough with the wind, but everyone adjusted and did what they needed to do. For the first round, we are excited to get through. We are going to have to play our best tomorrow against a good Ohio State team. It is a good opportunity for us tomorrow."