The Michigan women’s tennis team took a month’s worth of frustration out on Marquette on Saturday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor. Entering the day in the middle of a three-match losing streak, the Wolverines pounced on the Golden Eagles early en route to a 6-1 victory, improving their record to 4-6 while dropping Marquette to 3-10 on the year.
“It was a good team effort,” Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said. “It was a good opportunity to get a win.”
Michigan came out strong, quickly taking two doubles matches to earn the team point. Senior co-captain Leanne Rutherford and freshman Allie Shafner rolled to an easy 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles, while junior Debra Streifler and sophomore Elizabeth Exon cruised to a victory by the same score at No. 3 doubles.
Michigan’s 14th-ranked pairing of senior co-captain Michelle DaCosta and sophomore Kara Delicata added an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles.
The Wolverines continued their dominance in singles, taking five of the six matches with ease. Streifler notched a 6-2, 6-0 win over sophomore Francina Bonnelly at No. 5 singles to give Michigan its second point of the match. Playing in her first dual match of her career, sophomore Lindsey Goldstein made the most of her opportunity with a crushing 6-0, 6-0 victory over Marquette sophomore Andrea Bukacek at No. 6 singles. Delicata sealed the win for Michigan at No. 3 singles, blowing by freshman Elsemieke Dokter, 6-0, 6-1.
“We had a solid performance in singles,” Ritt said. “I was happy with how we played.”
DaCosta and Exon added 6-1, 6-1 victories at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively, and Shafner’s tough three-set loss was the only blemish on a great day for Michigan.
With Marquette having a down season, the Wolverines took advantage of the opportunity to play around with their lineup and get some players more experience.
“Marquette has been struggling this year,” Ritt said. “I recognized that we have a lot of depth and people who deserve to play.”
Getting fresh faces into the lineup also gave Michigan a chance to rest some players who are suffering from some midseason wear and tear.
“We used this as a chance to heal nagging injuries,” Ritt said. “(Nina Yaftali’s) foot has been bugging her, and Leanne Rutherford hurt her back last week. So we used this as a chance to let them rest.
A win as convincing as this might be what Michigan needed to regain its confidence after suffering through some tough losses.
“Our nonconference schedule has been very tough and competitive,” Ritt said. “It was important for us to bounce back and gain confidence with a win.”
The Wolverines will look to build upon this win as they close out their nonconference schedule when they host Western Michigan on Wednesday.