For the first time in school history, the Michigan women’s tennis team was invited to the ITA National Indoor Team Championships. The Wolverines (6-2) qualified two weekends ago by winning their regional at the ITA Kick-Off and proved in Wisconsin that they earned the qualification.

No. 16 Michigan began the tournament on Friday, playing against No. 4 Florida. Junior Denise Muresan and freshman Mimi Nguyen each picked up a singles win. Muresan, who recently earned her first career ranking at No. 36, defeated No. 15 Lauren Embree in a three-set win. Despite the effort in the singles matches, the Wolverines fell to the Gators 5-2, marking the first time this season that Michigan did not win the doubles point.

But during the second round of the tournament, the Wolverines put the previous loss out of mind, upsetting No. 6 Miami (Fla.) with a 4-3 win.

“It shows that the program is moving forward,” Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein said. “We want to be recognized as one of the best teams in the country and getting into this tournament helps us to prove that.”

The day started off as No. 2 doubles — juniors Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno — and the No. 3 pair — Nguyen and sophomore Michelle Sulahian — both earned wins for Michigan.

Moving into singles action, the Wolverines won by default at the No. 6 slot, giving them a 2-0 advantage. But as the top-three Michigan singles fell to their opponents, Miami quickly tied up the team match, 3-3.

This left the No. 4 match between Nguyen and Miami’s Gabriela Mejia as the deciding factor. Nguyen and Mejia split the first two sets after Nguyen kept the competition alive by saving a match point in the second. Although she allowed the earlier sets to come down to a tiebreaker win, Nguyen took control of the third and jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

With Nguyen’s 6-1 victory, Michigan clinched its first of two wins over top-ten opponents this season.

On the third day of the tournament, the Wolverines showed no sign of fatigue as they tallied their second win of the weekend over a higher-ranked team. Michigan beat No. 14 Clemson in a 5-2 match.

The Wolverines won the doubles point and took an early lead by winning the No. 2 and No. 3 sets. Michigan continued to dominate the courts as it tallied three consecutive singles wins.

Muresan topped off the weekend with a dramatic win over No. 9 Josipa Bek. Muresan was down 4-1 in the first set before changing momentum and tallying a win in the next five games to take the set. She eventually defeated Bek in straight sets to tally the team’s second win of the weekend over a top-ten opponent.

“I think what has really stood out with the team is how well we fight,” Berstein said. “It’s just a different person every day and they all have a lot of faith in each other. After this weekend we know we can basically compete with anybody.”

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