Michigan women's tennis approaches the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Jose Brenes/Daily. Buy this photo.

With a six-game win streak heading into the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, No. 20 Michigan women’s tennis team is heating up at the perfect time.

The Wolverines have not lost a game since their nail-biter against Ohio State in early April. The success stems from their reworked doubles pairs and the consistency of sophomores No. 16 Kari Miller, No. 89 Jaedan Brown and Gala Mesochoritou.

Michigan has reached 16 straight championship matches at the Big Ten Tournament, and this year, as the No. 2 seed, the Wolverines look to extent that streak. However, winning the title is a different story.

This season, the Wolverines went 10-1 in Big Ten conference play losing only to the Buckeyes. But the team that succumbed to the Buckeyes is gone and in its place is a Michigan team that is focused and confident.

Prior to their 3-4 Ohio State loss, the Wolverines won only five doubles points in 13 matches — none of which were against ranked opponents.

The doubles trouble didn’t appear as alarming when their record was 10-4. Now sitting at 16-5 one thing is clear: If Michigan wants to be competitive in Big Ten and NCAA tournaments it needs to fire on all cylinders.

Since the Wolverines’ sole Big Ten loss, they have gone 3-3 in the doubles point. With the small sample size, it is too early to tell if their new duos are effective. Michigan coach Ronni Bernstein’s decision to break up ranked-duo Brown and junior Andrea Cerdan was a bold decision, but the team needed to shake things up. They needed a drastic change to break the pattern of routinely starting matches 0-1 and to find momentum.

But can the changes prevent Michigan from slipping back into its old habits?

If the Wolverines can maintain consistency in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 6 spots, as well as teamwork in doubles play, they will be well positioned for success.

On any given date, against any given team, Michigan always seems to have two points locked in from Miller and Brown.

Miller has been locked into the No. 1 spot all season. No matter the competition, she puts everything into her game — wins in 14 out of her 16 performances substantiates that. As the 17th-ranked singles player in the ITA, Miller is a force to be reckoned with against any competitor when she is locked in.

“She’s playing the best kid every week,” Bernstein said. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on her and I need other spots to step up.”

And that pressure may intensify. In the Wolverines regular season finale against Northwestern, it almost boiled over for Miller. She took on the Wildcats No. 113 Clarissa Hand at the No. 1 spot. Miller took the first set in an intense back-and-forth battle but broke her rhythm in the second set. Bernstein managed to talk her back into a groove. She dominated Hand in the final set, earning another ranked-singles win. Her resiliency shone through in the match and showed why she earned the No. 1 spot at the start of the season.

Of Miller’s 14 singles wins, eight were against ranked players — five in the top-75. She puts up points when it counts, but she is not a straight set winner like Brown.

“Jaedan (Brown) has been doing it all season,” Bernstein said. “Getting off the court in two sets, that’s what I am talking about.”

16 out of 17 of Brown’s singles wins have come in straight sets. She gets focused, she gets loud and she gets wins. She is consistent at the No. 2 spot, getting off the court quickly and putting a point on the board for the Wolverines. She has been a reliable ace for Michigan all season along with Miller.

But they can only account for two points in singles, and to win the match, the team needs four.

The question is: Where do the other two come from?

The Wolverines have found their third point from Mesochoritou. While often overlooked, she is the key for Michigan. She returned from ACL recovery partway into the season and got off to a great start at the No. 6 spot in her fist game back. However, her second game against Cal, brought doubts about her future. She dropped her singles match with 11 straight lost games, 0-6 and 1-6.

Since then, she has been just as consistent as the top of the lineup. She has won 10 of 12 singles matches — eight of those wins in straight sets. A point is a point no matter where it comes in the lineup, and Mesochoritou is capitalizing at the bottom while proving her worth.

People often say, “defense wins championships.” Well in tennis, so does the No. 6 spot.

The fourth point for the Wolverines is the allusive doubles point.

It has been tedious for Michigan all season. Bernstein has made changes at every spot and duo throughout the season to get it to click. It has found success sporadically but never consistently. And consistency is what Michigan needs to go far this year.

Breaking up Brown and Cerdan has enabled more success, but teamwork is going to be the deciding difference.

During the doubles point — regardless of outcome — it always ends in a high five between partners. The Wolverines have developed a next-point mentality that keeps their heads in the game.

“That’s doubles,” Bernstein said. “It’s that energy and staying together and being positive, we’ve been working on that. Whether you win the point or lose the point, you have to be positive with your partner.”

This weekend at the Big Ten Tournament Michigan can’t afford to falter on the doubles. They have the skill to win doubles, they just need to execute on the mental segment of the battle. It’s teamwork needs to persevere through any blunders to propel it to a win and a 1-0 start.

“If we can get the doubles point, I think there is three singles matches out there for us against anybody in the country,” Bernstein said.

Those three singles matches come from Miller, Brown and Mesochoritou. Their consistency is what has gotten the Wolverines this far and can send them even farther.

Ideally, the middle of the lineup needs to bring in points as well through confident play. If Michigan puts all the pressure on Miller, Brown and Mesochoritou, the Wolverines will far short of success. The trio can power through the three Big Ten matches to bring a trophy home, but it is not a sustainable strategy for the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan has the ability to win on every court on the lineup, and they have shown that this season. Playing with confidence and showcasing their skills will benefit every player.

A good leader is a prerequisite for success. Bernstein has pushed her players to show those qualities all year. In her record-breaking season — becoming the first coach in program history with 300 wins — she has displayed her dedication to the team and its players. She assumes whatever role her team needs whether that’s keeping her players positive, giving pep talks when needed or praise when earned.

If the Wolverines keeps this dynamic going into the postseason, they can walk away with their fifth Big Ten Tournament title and go far in the NCAA Championship.

But first: They need to prioritize consistency, teamwork and confidence.