The No. 4 Michigan women’s tennis team had control from the start and coasted to a 6-1 win over Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. on Saturday.
And Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein wasn’t celebrating until it was over, but her No. 5 and No. 6 singles players — sophomore Mimi Nguyen and senior Rika Tatsuno — instilled some confidence in their coach.
“You never think (it’s over) until it’s over, because anything can change in a match,” Bernstein said. “But we felt pretty good. We started out well in five and six singles, with Mimi Rika. But once singles started, we felt pretty good about it.”
Neither Nguyen nor Tatsuno dropped a set in their singles matches — each won 6-0, 6-0. And their wins pushed Michigan out to a 3-0 lead, after the Wolverines had already easily taken the doubles point.
“We were feeling good at that point, confident,” Bernstein said.
Michigan (10-2 overall) rode the momentum to take three of the final singles matches, these results, albeit, were closer than Nguyen’s and Tatsuno’s dominance.
Freshman Brooke Bolender clinched the match for the Wolverines with her 6-3, 6-2, win at No. 3 singles over Central Florida’s Courtney Griffith.
Then seniors Whitney Taney at No. 4 singles and Denise Muresan at No. 1 singles followed suit and Michigan was on its way to sweeping Central Florida. But freshman Sam Critser ran into the Dragons’ Genevieve Lorbergs.
Critser battled and forced a third set, but she ultimately lost and was the only blemish on Michigan’s dominant day.
Bernstein said that it was important for the Wolverines to bounce back strong after losing 4-3 at No. 12 Miami (Fla.) earlier on their spring break trip through Florida.
It was the depth of Michigan that Central Florida just couldn’t handle on Saturday — evidenced by the Wolverines’ performance at No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
“Really, we’re interchangeable at spots,” Bernstein said. “We’re very deep, which is great. We match up well with most teams and all the way down the lineup I’m pretty confident. Whoever plays what position, I’m confident they can pull it out.”
Michigan travels to North Carolina next Sunday to take on the Tarheels.