Blue looks to finish regular season undefeated in Big Ten

BY KELSEY ZIMMERMAN
For the Daily
Published April 13, 2011

With three games left in the regular season — including two this weekend at Iowa and Illinois — the Michigan women’s tennis team knows it has to stay focused if it wants to end the season on a high note. The Wolverines are riding a seven-game winning streak, but previous wins don’t promise future ones.

“Illinois and Iowa are both pretty tough places to play and so we just got to stay focused and take care of business,” said junior Michelle Sulahian, who's one of five Wolverines to have an undefeated individual record in conference play. “We’ll just take it one match at a time. The Big Ten season is almost done, so we’re just trying to finish strong here.”

Michigan has been going strong. The Wolverines' current seven-game streak has been entirely against Big Ten teams, keeping them a perfect 7-0 in Big Ten play. Michigan hopes to maintain the momentum it has now through the end of the regular season and into the Big Ten Tournament, which will be hosted in Ann Arbor this year.

“Definitely,” Sulahian said, asked if Michigan has gained momentum. “We beat Ohio State. They’re pretty good, Penn State is pretty good, so we’re feeling pretty good right now.”

Confidence will be key to finish out the regular season with three wins, all especially because two of them are road games in hostile environments, which will probably be played outside.

Last weekend marked the first matches the Wolverines have played outdoors all season. Playing outside means adjusting to deal with finicky weather and the elements. Rain or shine, the team has one mindset: do all it can to win.

“We all just got to work together (and) try our best, especially when it’s outside,” Sulahian said. “We just got to not think about the conditions and play our game and take care of business, like we do every weekend.”

Last year Michigan won its first Big Ten title since 1997 and is eager to repeat.

“It’s really important (to win the remaining games),” Sulahian said . “We’re looking to win the Big Ten title again this year, so it’s really important to stay focused as much as we can and to win our last three matches before we head into the Big Ten Tournament.”

Michigan will be finished with its final away slate by Sunday and the Big Ten regular season by Saturday, April 23. The Big Ten Tournament will commence in Ann Arbor on April 28th.