By Bo Bradarich, Daily Sports Writer
Published January 21, 2013
A stellar three-day performance by a number of its players has the No. 16 Michigan women’s tennis team looking forward to the start of the ITS dual-match season.
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Leading the way for the Wolverines during the weekend was sophomore Sarah Lee, who fought through her first-day jitters alongside senior Mimi Nguyen to go 3-0 as a pair and win the doubles title. The following day, Lee quickly ran through her South Florida opponent, No. 75 Loreto Alonso. On Sunday, she wrapped up her weekend with a flawless 5-0 showing on the singles court against No. 20 Georgia Tech.
“Something I’m working on is focusing on every point,” Lee said. “I tend to play a lot of loose points.”
Lee showed tremendous focus in her final sets against Alex Anghelescu from Georgia Tech. Anghelescu tried to gain control of the match by tempting Lee to fall into a backhand-to-backhand rally, but Lee managed to keep her composure, attacking Anghelescu’s forehand and causing her to make several unforced errors. As a result, Anghelescu erupted in ruinous fury, falling to Lee in a hard-fought, two set match.
Another young athlete that flexed her talent was freshman Ronit Yurovsky, who won a pair of tiebreakers to capture a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) triumph over No. 39 Elizabeth Kilborn. Yurovsky was down 5-4 in the second set before she kicked it into a higher gear to win three of the next four games, forcing yet another tiebreaker. With supreme serenity, Yurovsky was able to hold off her opponent, causing Kilborn to launch her final return into the overhead and seal yet another victory for the Wolverines.
In a similar fashion, sophomore Kristen Dodge was down 5-3 in her second set against Georgia Tech freshman Natasha Pronevska before she jumpstarted a 3-4 run to force her second tiebreaker. She ended up winning the second set, 9-7, pushing the match to a third and final set. In the third set, Dodge hightailed it to victory, winning 6-1 for a 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-1 finish.
Freshman Amy Zhu and junior Brooke Bolender also raked in multiple wins for Michigan. Zhu teamed up with Dodge to cap off a near-perfect day on the doubles court with an 8-6 victory over Georgia Tech while defeating freshman Jasmine Minor on Sunday in a straight-set decision, 6-4, 6-0. Bolender paired with Yurovsky to pull out an 8-2 win at the No. 1 spot over South Florida, and then claimed a three-set singles victory over Georgia Tech’s Kendal Woodard at No. 2 the next day.
Coach Ronni Bernstein was both pleased with her team’s performance this weekend and excited for what’s to come.
“There is always great competition here, and I was happy how we improved as the weekend went on,” Berstein said. “We never stopped fighting, which is something this team has always been about.”
In the coming week, Berstein wants to focus on giving her team some time to recuperate after playing a lot of tennis this weekend and competing hard. With the ITS kick-off only four days away, the only focus now is staying loose and healthy.