Wolverines Knock off Northwestern for 10th B1G Win
4/24/2022 4:07:00 PM
// Sarah VanMetre
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
Result: #23 Michigan 4, Northwestern 1
Records: U-M (16-5, 10-1 B1G), NU (13-8, 8-3 B1G)
Next U-M Event: Fri-Sun, April 29-May 1 — at Big Ten Tournament (Iowa City, Iowa), TBA
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The No. 23-ranked University of Michigan women’s tennis team won the doubles point behind a pair of tiebreak wins and three of the first four singles matches off court in a 4-1 win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon (April 24) at the Varsity Tennis Center. It marked Michigan’s 10th Big Ten win of the season, the 13th time in program history the Wolverines have won at least 10 conference matches.
Michigan took an epic doubles point behind a pair of tiebreak wins at No. 3 and No. 2. Northwestern got on the board first behind a 6-3 win at the No. 1 spot.
At No. 3, Michigan’s duo of Anca Craciun and Nicole Hammond grabbed a 3-1 lead before NU countered with two straight games. The match stayed on serve the rest of the way, with Michigan’s best chance at a break coming in the 12th game. U-M grabbed three match points after Craciun’s forehand lob could not be returned. The Wildcats fought off all three match points, sending it to a breaker.
The Wildcats grabbed a 5-3 lead in the breaker but Craciun and Hammond fought back for a 5-5 tie. U-M went up 7-6 and then 8-7, converting on its third match point of the breaker for the 7-6 win on Craciun’s senior day.
At the same time, Andrea Cerdan and Kari Miller entered a tiebreaker at No. 2. The U-M pair on the first two points before Northwestern ripped off four straight for a 4-2 lead as the teams changed sides. It was all Michigan from there as Cerdan and Miller won five straight points to wrap up the doubles point for Michigan.
The teams split first sets in singles, with Michigan winning at No. 1, No. 2 and No. 6.
Northwestern evened the team match at 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 4.
The tie was short-lived as Gala Mesochoritou and Jaedan Brown came through with straight-set wins to push Michigan’s lead to 3-1. The pair held concurrent match points on courts right next to each other.
Mesochoritou took an early lead in the first set, 3-1, and held it throughout in the first-set win. In the second, she broke Justine Leong in the final game, putting her second match point away to get the win for Michigan’s second point.
Seconds later, Brown came through with a 7-5 win in her second-set tiebreak for a 3-1 Wolverine lead. After getting a late break in the first set for the win, Brown grabbed a 5-2 lead in the second. Maria Shusharina battled back, fighting off four match points to eventually send it to a breaker.
In the tiebreaker, Brown was down 4-3 before winning three straight points. Shusharina fought off one more match point but Brown came through on the next one in a 7-5 win for U-M’s third point.
Miller put the match away for the Maize and Blue behind a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win at the top spot. After Miller dropped her second set, Hammond came through with a second-set tiebreak win on the court next to Miller to stay on court and keep Northwestern’s team total at one point.
It was all Miller in her third set as she dropped just one game to get her eighth win over a ranked opponent this season, a three-setter over No. 113-ranked Clarissa Hand.
With the win, Michigan will head to the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 2 seed. Action for the Maize and Blue will begin on Friday (April 29) in Iowa City.
Following are match-by-match results
No. 1 — No. 16 Kari Miller (U-M) d. No. 113 Clarissa Hand (NU), 6-2, 1-6, 6-1
No. 2 — No. 79 Jaedan Brown (U-M) d. Maria Shusharina (NU), 6-2, 7-6 (5)
No. 3 — Nicole Hammond (U-M) vs. Sydney Pratt (NU), 3-6, 7-6 (5), 1-2 unfinished
No. 4 — Ema Lazic (NU) d. Andrea Cerdan (U-M), 6-3, 6-3
No. 5 — Julia Fliegner (U-M) vs. Christina Hand (NU), 6-7 (2), 4-3 unfinished
No. 6 — Gala Mesochoritou (U-M) d. Justine Leong (NU), 6-4, 6-4
No. 1 — Clarissa Hand/Maria Shusharina (NU) d. Jaedan Brown/Julia Fliegner (U-M), 6-3
No. 2 — Kari Miller/Andrea Cerdan (U-M) d. Hannah McColgan/Sydney Pratt (NU), 7-6 (4)
No. 3 — Anca Craciun/Nicole Hammond (U-M) d. Briana Crowley/Christina Hand (NU), 7-6 (7)
Order of Completion: Doubles 1-3-2; Singles 4-6-2-1