The Michigan women’s tennis team traveled south to Corral Gables, Fla. to take on Miami (Fla.) on Wednesday. After No. 12 Miami seized the doubles point, Michigan came back to win three singles points but couldn’t complete the comeback.

The Wolverines ultimately fell to the Hurricanes 4-3 after losing only their second doubles point of the season.

Inconsistent winds, intense sun and a rain delay presented the players with external challenges in Michigan’s first outdoor match of the season.

“It’s a hard place to play, let’s put it that way,” Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein said of the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. “It’s our first match outside and the girls did a good job adjusting by the end of the singles.”

Only Michigan’s third doubles pair, comprised of sophomore Mimi Ngyuen and freshman Sam Critser, could defeat their Hurricane counterparts. Denise Muresan and Brooke Bolender displayed an unusual inconsistency in their doubles play, missing shots at the net and hitting balls too deep.

“We just didn’t feel comfortable out there today. We never really got started at Number One (Muresan and Bolender) and Number Two (Tansey and Tatsuno) doubles,” Bernstein said.

After losing the doubles point to the Hurricanes, rain briefly threatened the continuation of the game with a short rain delay, but it held off to allow both teams to continue on to single’s play.

Senior Denise Muresan made a strong comeback in singles play at the beginning of the second set after falling to Bianca Eichkorn in the first set, 6-3. Muresan led in the second set 5-3, but went on to lose the next four matches bringing the final set score to 7-5. Once Muresan slipped in her play, she was unable to regain her poise and confidence as Eichkorn won the next four consecutive sets and eliminated the need to enter a third set.

Michigan also lost a singles point at the No. 2 position, as well. Sam Critser secured victory in the first set with a 7-5 victory but struggled in the rest of her sets against Miami opponent, Anna Bartenstein. Despite cheers from her teammates done with their matches and Michigan coaches, Critser could not regain her lead, winning only one game combined in her last two sets.

“In a couple spots we maybe didn’t compete as hard as we could,” said Coach Bernstein.

This was clear in singles play, as Michigan stumbled to find a rhythm even late in the singles matches while Miami took advantage of Michigan’s inability to play aggressively. In much of singles play, Michigan appeared nervous to get caught too far up at the net, so it opted to stay back, which let the Hurricanes control the pace of the match.

The Wolverines will finish up their trip by staying in the Sunshine State. They face off against the University of Central Florida on Saturday.

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