There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.
The Michigan women’s tennis team returned home after more than a month away from the Varsity Tennis Center, and the Wolverines were happier than ever to be back on their court to play Ball State.
The team captured a 7-0 sweep and extended its home winning streak to nine – a new Michigan record since moving to the Varsity Tennis Center in 1996. The win also improved Michigan’s home record this year to 3-0.
“This is a great facility, I just love playing here,” freshman Debra Streifler said.
The team started off strong against the Cardinals by capturing each of the three doubles matches for the doubles point. While playing, there was an all to unfamiliar noise in the background – Michigan cheers.
“It felt good to have the fans behind us again,” Streifler said. “It had been too long.”
At fifth singles Streifler was virtually perfect. She wasted no time shutting out Susan Kelley 6-0, 6-0.
The rest of the team faired almost as well as Streifler did. Each player won in straight sets in front of their home fans.
Michelle DaCosta was matched up with a formidable challenger at first singles. Ball State’s Melissa Roach boasted a 19-8 overall record including a 6-1 record at first singles coming into the match. DaCosta was not intimidated by her opponent’s record, and she pulled out an impressive 6-4, 6-4 win with her team looking on. It was her first win in her last four matches.
The team came away with the win without one of its top players. Junior Kavitha Tipirneni watched the match with her coaches because of a fractured elbow she suffered in practice Tuesday. The second singles player will be out of action for six to eight weeks. Each player moved up one singles spot because of her absence. Time will tell what her loss means for the Wolverines.
“It a tough loss for us,” Streifler said. “Things like that happen, and we’re all going to have to step it up while she’s out. I’m confident we can overcome the loss, that’s what’s so great about this team.”