Momentum is an aspect in sports that can either help or hurt a team. Typically after a big win, a team hopes to continue its success into the following weeks.

The Michigan women”s tennis team is hoping momentum will work in its favor as it opens its dual-match season with two home meets this weekend. The Wolverines welcome Western Michigan to the Varsity Tennis Center tomarrow and DePaul on Sunday.

After an impressive showing last week, coach Bitsy Ritt says the players are eager to return to the court.

“People are looking forward to playing this weekend. I think we”re enthusiastic and ready to go,” Ritt said. “People were certainly pleased with how they performed and look forward to competing again.”

Ritt had reason to be pleased after the Wolverines finished their last meet of the individual part of the season. Last week at the Tribe Classic, despite being the only unranked team out of the four participants, Michigan came away with a 12-4 overall record in singles matches and went 4-5 in doubles matches. The performance is also commendable considering the team had not worked out together since early November, when formal practiced ended.

“I thought the level of play was outstanding. We faced some good competition and I was pleased (with our performance) coming off of break and preseason training,” Ritt said. “If this is our starting point, we have reason to be optimistic.”

The team hopes to use the momentum from last week”s meet when facing Western Michigan in the opening dual meet of this season. Western Michigan, No. 69 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association”s preseason poll, has not fared well against Michigan in the past. In their 27 meetings, Michigan has dominated the series, winning 21, including the last 12.

“Western is a solid team,” Ritt said. “They always play a lot of Big Ten opponents and traditionally upset a few Big Ten teams. We”re going to have to be really ready to play.”

Another trend in Michigan”s favor is its success on opening day. The Wolverines have not lost a season-opening match since 1994, and have won 11 of the last 12. The team is 21-7 lifetime on opening day.

DePaul has played Michigan just twice before, and the Wolverines have won both matches. Although Ritt feels the tougher opponents are behind them, the she knows they can”t overlook these two teams.

“I think the competition this past weekend is potentially stronger than what we”ll face this weekend,” Ritt said. “But I think you have to work hard to prepare for every match and be prepared to play.”

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