Michigan hosts Wolverine Invitational, finishes strong
The Wolverines are looking ahead to the regular season in January, but this weekend, they had matches right in front of them.
Michigan kicked off the women’s tennis season – unofficially – with the Wolverine Invitational. As it doesn’t count for the official players’ or team’s record, it is treated as a scrimmage – used to figure out the best doubles pairs, players’ strengths and weaknesses and team dynamic.
Some insight can be gleamed from matches against Arizona State, Charlotte, Yale, Michigan State, Western Michigan and Notre Dame.
Michigan started off strong on Friday with two doubles and four singles wins. Junior Alyvia Jones and senior Bella Lorenzini came out victorious, along with freshmen Andrea Cerdan and Nicole Hammond.
In doubles, Michigan swept a pair of matches against Western Michigan and dropped both contests to Yale. Jones and senior Chiara Lommer teamed up for a 6-4 win, while sophomores Anca Craciun and Lanie Van Linge won, 6-4, too.
Lommer, senior Guilia Pairone, sophomore Lera Patiuk and Van Linge all lost their matches to their opponents from Arizona State and Charlotte, respectively.
On Saturday, the Wolverines produced the same results in four singles and two doubles victories. The four singles wins came from Cerdan, Hammond, Craciun, and sophomore Lera Patiuk. The two pairs that came away on top were Patiuk/Hammond and Van Linge/Lorenzini.
Sunday, Michigan fell short in its two doubles matches against Charlotte and split against the Sun Devils. The victorious duo was Jones/Cerdan, 6-2.
In singles, Patiuk and Van Linge dropped their matches against Michigan State, both 6-3, 7-5. Jones also lost in a heartbreaker, 7-5, 7-6 (2). However, Lorenzini, Cerdan, Craciun and Hammond all came out with a win against their Fighting Irish opponents.
“The team chemistry’s good,” said Michigan head coach Ronnie Bernstein. “What I saw this weekend was kids that care a lot and are gonna compete hard. I think that goes a long way in college tennis.”
Though not a perfect weekend, there were some convincing performances from the Wolverines, both in Craciun and Cerdan. Cerdan finished her weekend undefeated in both singles and doubles. As someone who has learned the ropes before, Craciun has stepped up and has taken notice of the positive team dynamic and growing camaraderie.
“I think as a whole, we’re working on each contributing as much as we can,” Craciun said. “We’re definitely working together a lot, as a team, helping each other out. I’m really looking forward to this year.”
Cerdan, however, has a fresh perspective as a newbie.
“I just tried to go out there and play my game,” Cerdan said. “… Obviously it’s a new start, I’m playing college tennis now. The level is going to be much higher.
“I’m looking forward to setting our goals, knowing what we have in mind. I want to contribute a lot to this team. I love this team so much and this is why I’m here.”