Domination.

It’s the only word worthy of describing Michigan’s Big Ten and home performance under coach Ronni Bernstein.

The Michigan women’s tennis team has had a stranglehold on the Big Ten conference for the last couple of years. After finishing atop the league with a 10-0 record last season, the Wolverines continued their conference winning streak this weekend with home victories over Indiana (0-2 Big Ten, 10-5 overall) and Purdue (2-1, 8-5).

“We’re trying to go one match at a time,” freshman Brooke Bolender said after the weekend sweep. “It’s nice to get the first couple wins. Everybody in the Big Ten is tough, so every win is a good win.”

Added senior and defending Big Ten Player of the Year Denise Muresan: “There’s so much rivalry in the Big Ten in every single sport. We just want to represent Michigan the best we can.”

The two victories also marked No. 5 Michigan’s continued dominance at home, where the Wolverines (9-0) have yet to lose this season and are 32-9 under Bernstein all time. Despite being the only Michigan varsity team without an in-state student, the women’s tennis team has certainly made Ann Arbor its home.

“We have good fans that come out,” Muresan said. “We feel comfortable on these courts and we use that to our advantage. We cheer each other on and make it loud in here.”

The Wolverines (3-0, 13-3) used the packed stadium’s energy to jump out to early leads in both the Indiana and Purdue matches, thanks to continued strong doubles play. The doubles sweep of both the Hoosiers and Boilermakers extended Michigan’s impressive streak of nearly two years without a Big Ten dual-match loss.

Junior Michelle Sulahian got the nod for doubles against Indiana despite not playing a dual-match since senior Whitney Taney’s return from injury almost two months ago. Sulahian paired up with freshman Sam Critser playing in the three position and claimed an 8-3 victory over the Hoosiers.

“Michelle has done a lot for us,” Bernstein said. “She brings a lot of good energy out there on the court, which is what we are looking for in doubles. I feel like we are a pretty interchangeable team and can put anyone anywhere and get a positive result. We do not drop off by putting her in the lineup.”

Depth has been the key to Michigan’s success in the Big Ten and at home. While eighth-ranked Muresan breaks records in the No. 1 spot — becoming just the third Wolverine to reach 100 career singles victories — the rest of the lineup has dramatically shifted over the year, with two freshmen providing steady play up and down the lineup.

Bolender, ranked 75th in the country, continued her impressive freshman campaign with her ninth-consecutive victory, winning in both the No. 2 and No. 3 positions this weekend. And No. 63 Critser, the team’s only other freshman, bounced back after a loss against Indiana to easily handle Purdue’s Schmidt, winning in consecutive sets.

“We have great players all the way down,” Bernstein said. “But, when you can bring in two freshmen and they can play high and win for you, it has made us that much better of a team … They’ve obviously made us extremely solid from top to bottom.”

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