The Michigan women’s tennis team wasn’t firing on all cylinders over Spring Break as it split its series in Texas last week. Despite the less than ideal performance, the Wolverines are happy with where they are as the beginning of Big Ten play draws nearer.
“I think we are in good shape,” said Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein after Saturday’s match. “You know this one today, even Baylor, I don’t know that we played our best, (we were) a little passive at times at some spots. As a whole, I don’t know if we’ve had all six kids playing their best at the same time, and that’s what it’s going to take every time we go out on the court.”
Michigan defeated Baylor on Thursday in a close match, 4-2, but the team was unable to complete a comeback against Texas on Saturday, ultimately falling 4-3.
Against the Longhorns, the Wolverines found themselves behind the eight ball early after losing the doubles point. The No. 1 pairing of freshman Kate Fahey and senior Ronit Yurovsky and a the No. 3 team of freshman Teona Velehorschi and junior Sara Remynse lost to Texas, 6-3 and 7-6, respectively.
In singles play, the Wolverines made a push to turn the match around with wins from Fahey, Velehorschi and sophomore Alex Najarian. However, the marquee match of the day came at the No. 1 position, where Michigan’s top player — No. 17 Yurovsky — fell to No. 9 Breaunna Addison in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3. Texas finally clinched the match at the No. 3 slot, where Dani Wagland defeated sophomore Mira Ruder-Hook in three sets.
Thursday at Baylor, Michigan started the match off strong, taking the doubles point behind wins by the pairings of Najarian and Ruder-Hook, and Remynse and Velehorschi, 7-5 and 6-3, respectively.
The No. 2 through No. 4 singles positions produced wins for the Wolverines en route to an overall victory, and Najarian clinched the match for Michigan with a three-set victory over Kiah Generette.
After starting the season cold, Najarian has turned up her play for the Wolverines lately. Her two singles wins over Spring Break give her three straight victories, and Michigan will be looking for her good form to continue.
“I think it’s just she’s getting more matches under her belt,” Bernstein said. “She didn’t play in the fall, (she’s) just getting her confidence back. The thing about (Najarian) is she’s going to compete really hard. It’s what she does. She cares about our team. She won both matches today and was upset after the match. You can tell that she really cared.”
Freshman Brienne Minor, who has totaled 21 wins this season, missed both matches for the Wolverines with a minor injury. According to Bernstein, there was a possibility for Minor to take part in the match against the Longhorns, but they decided to err on the side of caution, though she will be ready for Michigan’s next match against Virginia on Saturday.
“We’ll be fine,” Bernstein said. “It’s disappointing, and sometimes these losses you learn from and I hope they do. (These losses) should hurt. Virginia is not going to get any easier, that’s for sure.”