An inexperienced Michigan women’s tennis team finished its fall season this weekend at the Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.

“We haven’t had a lot of time outside,” Michigan coach Ronnie Bernstein said. “And it was really good to see the freshman get out there and play.”

Four freshmen competed in Arizona, but Whitney Taney was the only one to garner a first-round victory in singles play with a 6-1, 6-3 win against Kansas State’s Katerina Kudlackova.

“Some are playing better than others, and it’s still early,” Bernstein said. “The fall is really a time to figure out what we are going to do leading into January with the team play.”

Bernstein was much more impressed with the Wolverines’ doubles play. Taney and junior Lindsey Howard teamed up to defeat duos from Stanford and California, whose teams finished ranked No. 2 and 5, respectively, at the end of last season.

“Doubles is a lot about personality and how they mix on the court and communicate, Bernstein said. “I’ve only been here two months. We’re all starting to figuring each other out.”

Michigan will use the experiences from the fall season as it trains for the spring. In the time off, the athletes will train two hours a week with coaches and six hours on weights and conditioning.

The coaches hope the training will give the Wolverines the confidence to tackle the spring schedule, where singles accounts for six of the seven possible points in dual matches.

“I think, as a team, we need to work on our transition game and getting ourselves into the net,” Bernstein said. “We need to be more aggressive in singles and doubles.”

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