Brienne Minor had always been considered one of the top contributors on the court in her first three seasons on the Michigan women’s tennis team. But entering her fourth and final season, the senior was faced with a new role — serving as captain.
This new leadership role came naturally for Minor. Not only has she put together another great season, posting an 8-2 record in singles and a 6-4 record in doubles, but the team’s play has improved as the season has progressed. While the Wolverines do have four losses, all came against ranked opponents, and in each of their last three wins, they have not allowed their opponent to get a single point. Minor and fellow senior captain Kate Fahey have led by example during this stretch.
“They set the example both on and off the court and they work hard,” said Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein. “They’re great kids and it’s amazing to have two kids who are obviously two of our better players but also are good people and set a good example for our younger kids.”
Sunday against Iowa, Minor and Fahey set the tone for the Wolverines by winning their doubles match, 6-2. The younger doubles players followed suit, giving Michigan the doubles point, and taking the momentum into singles play.
“I think getting off the court quickly helps the team because it takes pressure off a little bit,” Minor said.
Minor continued to lead the Wolverines in singles, beating Iowa’s Samantha Mannix 6-3, 7-5 to give Michigan its first singles point. Even when she fell behind 5-4 in the second set after leading 4-2, Minor kept her composure and came back, showing the traits that make her a great leader to follow. She wanted to win not only for herself, but for her team and worked as hard as she could to make her teammates’ job easier.
“Coming into senior year you get this sense of responsibility for the team,” Minor said. “You just want to be as tough as you can, and I think we do that really well.”
With her singles win today, Minor improved to 8-2 on the season and 5-0 at No. 2 singles, a vast improvement over last season. Even her singles record was good last season, she finished just 3-4 in the No. 2 spot, with many of her wins coming at lower positions.
“Brie (Minor) always steps up and cares about our team and just gives so much back,” Bernstein said. “I just think she’s feeling good on the court and when she’s feeling confident she’s pretty tough to beat.”
Despite all of the success that Minor has had this season, her focus is always the team first. She sees the potential that the Wolverines have and knows that under her leadership, they can make a run in the NCAA tournament.
“Playing as a team instead of individually I think will really help us moving forward come the Big Ten tournament and NCAAs,” Minor said.
Minor has always been a great player on the court, and now her positive attitude and experience have led to her natural transition into a captain.