The Michigan women’s tennis team hoped to increase its eight-game winning streak to 10 over the weekend with matches against Illinois and Purdue.
The Wolverines defeated the Illini and Boilermakers Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Michigan knew it wouldn’t be easy because of Illinois’s (3-2 Big Ten, 7-8 overall) recent success, but it was not phased.
By winning two of the three doubles matches the Wolverines snatched the early momentum, which carried into singles play. Michigan won its first three matches in singles play, eventually taking four out of six en route to a 5-2 victory.
The Wolverines got strong performances from senior captain Allie Shafner and freshman Whitney Taney in their first doubles competition together. They defeated the No. 2 Illinois doubles team. Taney, junior Chisako Sugiyama, freshmen Denise Muresan and Rika Tatsuno led the way with straight set wins in singles.
“Winning in doubles is important because it helps carry momentum over to singles,” said Sugiyama. “At No. 1 doubles, it’s always going to be a battle no matter who you play against.”
Against Purdue in the weekend’s second contest Michigan played its first outdoor match of the season.
“We haven’t had a lot of time to practice outdoors,” said Taney. “It wasn’t too bad, but it was an adjustment for us.”
The Wolverines swept doubles play with an excellent performance from Sugiyama and sophomore Tania Mahtani, who fought through several close games and countless deuces before sealing the 8-5 victory.
“Also playing outside made us take the sun and the wind into account which made it a good thing that we got in a practice outside (on Saturday),” Sugiyama said.
In singles play the Wolverines would continue to dominate winning every singles match in straight sets. Including a sweeping 6-3, 6-1 victory by Taney to close the 7-0 shutout.
“Right now we’re just trying to keep looking at it one match at a time,” said Taney.