The Michigan women’s tennis team battled hard against rival Ohio State, but in the end, the Buckeyes’ consistency was too much for the Wolverines, who fell, 4-2.
All the doubles teams started strong, and the teams traded point and game back and forth. While Ohio State (5-0) was able to win the important points, Michigan’s problem was its unforced errors, which eventually led to its large deficit.
The No. 2 doubles team, composed of sophomore Alex Najarian and senior Ronit Yurovsky, was able to rally in the beginning of the match. But key mistakes tipped the favor to the Buckeyes, and their lead became too large for the Wolverines (2-1) to overcome. Yurovsky and Najarian ended up falling, 6-2.
The No. 3 doubles team, composed of freshman Kate Fahey and junior Sara Remynse, lost, 6-3. The result automatically gave Ohio State the doubles point, and Michigan went into the singles down, 1-0, overall.
“We’re not going to win every doubles point,” said Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein. “I didn’t want them to freak out, but I knew, going against Ohio State, it’s tough after losing the doubles point to get four singles. And it showed today.”
Nevertheless, the Wolverines refused to go down without a fight. Fahey found herself down quickly in her singles match. Her opponent led, 5-2, in the first set, but she knew she wasn’t going to win if she continued to play the way she had been.
“I think when I let her dictate and stayed behind the baseline and kind of played defense, that’s when she played her best,” Fahey said. “So when I stayed on the baseline and countered her shots, I controlled the points more, and that’s when I was at my best.”
After a dispute over a call on the court tipped in Fahey’s favor, she fed off the momentum, forcing a tiebreaker to decide the set and ultimately winning, 7-2. Tensions ran high throughout the rest of the match, but even after another tiebreaker to decide the set, Fahey was victorious.
But even when Michigan had a substantial lead, the Buckeyes could never be counted out. Yurovsky had a clear lead during the first set at 5-2, but Ohio State played consistently and made smart shots.
Yurovsky lost the first set, 7-6, and began the second set ready to forget the first. But the Buckeyes were on a streak that was too much for the Wolverines to overcome. Yurovsky lost the second set, 6-4.
Even impressive wins from Fahey and freshman Brienne Minor were not enough to defeat Ohio State.
“We lost to a better team today,” Bernstein said.