The No. 10 Michigan women’s tennis team will host the Intercollegiate Tennis Association kick-off tournament in Ann Arbor this weekend, featuring No. 40 Maryland, No. 35 Yale and No. 21 Notre Dame. The Wolverines have advanced to the ITA National Indoor Championship for two consecutive years and are hoping that this weekend’s tournament will make three.

The Wolverines will begin the tournament this Saturday matched up against Maryland. The Terrapins will bring nationally ranked No. 28 Cristina Stancu and nationally ranked No. 37 ranked doubles team of Ana Belzunce and Welma Luus, both of whom have recently taken titles at the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional Championships.

The matches this weekend will be played in dual-match format. Each match will start off with three doubles matches of eight-game pro sets.

With Yale bringing along three ranked doubles teams and the Wolverines and Fighting Irish each featuring one ranked doubles team, sophomore Brooke Bolender said that it’s important for the Wolverines to have good energy.

“We have worked a lot on doubles and need to start off well in those matches,” Bolender said. “Everybody needs to step up.”

Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein said the Wolverines are going to need all six doubles players and all six singles players to be effective this weekend.

“If we don’t have everybody, it’s going to be tough,” Bernstein said. “So I think that’s going to be the biggest thing — that everybody contributes.”

The Wolverines are excited to have home-court-advantage and hope to capitalize on the support and energy of the crowd.

“I hope we have a big crowd to help support us,” Bolender said. “I think we all feel prepared and that’s going to help us overcome the pressure that we are going to feel while playing.”

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