Friday’s match was supposed to be full of much more than business as usual for the Michigan women’s tennis team — it was personal.

It was personal for the team. Armed with what is arguably the program’s strongest senior class, the 10th-ranked Wolverines hoped to advance past the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Championship, the stage in the tournament where Michigan fell last season.

It was personal for the players — Michigan dropped a match to No.7 Miami earlier in the season, and was determined to redeem itself when it mattered. And it was also personal for Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein, who wanted to improve her 1-3 record against her alma mater.

But determination wasn’t enough for Michigan, who fell 4-2 to the Hurricanes.

The Wolverines have typically had a stranglehold on the doubles court this season, but it was Miami who nabbed the first doubles match. The Michigan duo of senior Mimi Nguyen and junior Michelle Sulahian came back with an 8-3 victory, leaving the pair of senior Denise Muresan and freshman Brooke Bolender on the court as the deciding factor for the doubles point.

After the match was tied at 4-4, the game went into a tiebreaker, where Miami walked away victorious.

The Wolverines are no strangers to playing long, hard-fought matches, but they have become accustomed to a different result.

“That is what our team does, we battle,” Bernstein said. “As disappointing as that doubles was, it is just one point.”

Attention then shifted to the singles matches, where Nguyen snatched Michigan’s first point of the day. On court one, Muresan rallied to a victory of No.6 Bianca Eichkorn, marking the senior’s first triumph over Eichkorn after three attempts this season.

The two victories weren’t enough to bring the Wolverines from behind, and Michigan’s tournament hopes were dashed when Miami clinched the three other singles points needed to win the match. Senior Whitney Taney’s 18-match winning streak — the longest in the program history — was broken after losing a tiebreaker, 5-4.

“Miami hit some good shots,” Bernstein said. “We just kind of stepped back. It was just a few points here and there that got away from us.”

In retrospect, it’s clear that the doubles point could have been the game-changer in Michigan’s fate.

Before this weekend, Michigan had won almost all of the double points this season, with one of the losses coming from the previous match against Miami in March. The pairs of Muresan and Bolender and Taney and senior Rika Tatsuno entered this weekend with a doubles match win streak of 13 and 17, respectively.

But if this weekend was evident of anything, it was that the team couldn’t rely on past laurels to carry it forward.

“If we had pulled out that doubles point, it is a completely different match,” Bernstein said. “We let it slip through our hands.

“But I have to give credit to Miami. They gutted it out. They got it done in the end and won the big points. That’s what the match came down to.”

The Wolverines will stay in Palo Alto, Calif. this week for the NCAA Singles and Doubles Tournament. Muresan and Boldender will represent Michigan when the doubles matches start on Wednesday.

In the meantime, Bernstein knows it isn’t the end for her disappointed team. While this year’s senior class won’t get another chance to win a national title, the fact that this year marks Michigan’s first ever back-to-back tournament appearance provides a glimmer of hope for the future.

“We have been here two years in a row, and lost in this round,” Bernstein said. “I thought this team could hang and maybe do a little better and move on. We hope to be back. It is taking that step forward.”

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