After upsetting then-No. 5 Baylor University 4-3 on Feb. 26, the Wolverines improved their ranking to No. 7, the highest in team history. With a 7-0 shut out against Loyola Marymount on March 3, Michigan didn’t have much trouble leaving its California spring break trip with another victory last Friday.

The Wolverines defeated Pepperdine for the first time ever, improving their record against the Waves to 1-3. The Wolverines (10-3) dropped just one singles match to the Waves (4-7), winning 6-1.

“Pepperdine is a very solid team,” Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein said. “We knew we were going to have to play well and we definitely stepped up.”

One of this season’s best players has been Michigan freshman Mimi Nguyen, whose victory on Friday clinched the match for the Wolverines. Nguyen improved to a team-best 11-2 in dual matches after defeating Pepperdine’s Ali Walters at No. 3 singles, 6-3, 6-3.

“As a freshman I have to adjust to college tennis and having a lot of success really boosts my confidence,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen is also half of the 32nd-ranked doubles team with sophomore Michelle Sulahian. The pair dropped just their second doubles match all season on Friday, losing to Pepperdine’s Marie Zalameda and Anamika Bhargava 8-7.

Despite the loss by Nguyen and Sulahian, Michigan earned the doubles point for the seventh match in a row.

Sulahian then won the first singles match at No. 6 singles defeating Tania Rice 6-1, 6-0. The next two points went to the Wolverines as well, with victories by junior captain Whitney Taney and Nguyen.

At No. 1 singles, No. 27 junior Denise Muresan defeated Pepperdine’s only ranked player, No. 81 Arianna Colffer, 6-2, 6-3.

After taking the uncoming weekend off, the Wolverines will look to win their fifth consecutive match against in-state rival Michigan State for the first of several Big Ten Conference matches.

“Any conference match is going to be important,” Bernstein said. “We’ll get back on the courts on Tuesday and continue to improve. Each match helps you with seeding, so it’s big.”

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