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October 27, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-27

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8A - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 0

ST '.NNIS
Bolender shows
athletic pedigree
in fall season

By MATT KRASNOFF
Daily Sports Writer
For most parents, sending a
child to college to be a Division-I
athlete is a pretty big deal. But for
Brooke Bolender's parents, it's all .
they know.
Bolender has seen three older
brothers play Division-I football,
so when she decided to take her
talents from Delray Beach, Flor-
ida to Ann Arbor, no one in the
family blinked an eye.
Now, as the fall season nears
its end, Bolender has gone from
naive freshman to seasoned
varsity athlete on the Michigan
women's tennis team. And Michi-
gan coach Ronnie Bernstein isn't
the leastbit surprised.
"She had a lot of experience
coming in," Bernstein said yes-
terday. "So the fall has been a
really good time to see where
she'll fit in on the team."
Playing on a team that gradu-
ated only one senior last year,
the odds were against Bolender
to make a name for herself as a
freshman. But the former blue-
chip recruit made it clear this fall
that she is ready to compete, cul-
minating with her competitive
loss on Monday to Michigan's top
singles player and ITA Midwest

Championship runner-up, senior
Denise Muresan.
This past weekend the Wol-
verines hosted the USTA/ITA
Midwest Championship where
Bolender met Muresan - last
year's Big Ten Player of the Year
and the No. 12 singles player in
the country - in the quarterfi-
nals. The freshman got off to a
quick start, taking the first set
6-1. She then took a 3-0 lead in
the second set, before the vet-
eran Muresan made her come-
back. The senior won nine
consecutive games and 12 of the
final 13, taking the match 1-6,
6-3 and 6-0.
"It's hard playing against your
teammate," Bernstein said. "It
was a difficult situation for both
of them, but I think it was benefi-
cial, too."
Bolender hopes to finish out
a successful fall season so that
she is prepared to help the team
in the spring. Michigan will be
a top-10 team when the regular
season comes around and Bern-
stein insists that the spots in the
starting lineup are up for grabs.
"It's really going to be who-
ever is playing the best," Ber-
nstein said. "We have some
options, but Brooke is definitely
in the mix."

Senior Denise Muresan made it to the finals of the ITA Midwest Championships before being eliminated.

Muresan's run in individual
championship ends in finals

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By IAN SHEETS chance to serve for the set.,
For the Daily But Muresan faltered and lost
her serve, and Frilling then raced
Michigan women's tennis out to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreak.
senior Denise Muresan's long run With a 5-0 deficit, Muresan
at the USTA/ITA Midwest Cham- couldn't come back and force the
pionships ended in the finals match to a decider.
against No. 8 Kristy Frilling of "Usually I'm in control of the
Notre Dame, 6-2, 7-6 (2). points, and I'musually an aggressive
"I didn't really feel like I played player," Muresan said. "I think that
that well today on the court," she was playing really aggressively.
Muresan said this week. "(Frilling) I was trying to go for too much and
is a really good player, and I need- just missingearly in the point where
ed to play a little differently. And I usually keep the balls in the court
I really wasn't feeling it too much and wait for the right shot."
today especially in the beginning, Muresan defeated players from
but she played really well." Notre Dame and Northwestern on
Muresan found herself behind the way to the finals, she also had
at the start when Frilling took an a close three-set win against a fel-
early break at 3-2 and went on to low Wolverine, freshman Brooke
take the set, 6-2. Bolender, in the quarterfinals. It
A similar situation unfolded in was the only time Muresan lost a
the second set as Muresan went set leading up to the finals.
down 5-2 before clawing back But Muresan has another
to take a 6-5 lead and having a chance to get some big wins com-

ing up. As a result of her semifi-
nal run at the ITA All-American
tournament in California, VIure-
san qualified for the USTA/ITA
National Indoor Intercollegiate
Championships held Nov. 4-7 in
Flushing, N.Y., where she will
compete against the nation's top
collegiate tennis players.
"My game has a lot to do with
the mental side," Muresan said.
"I think that I just need to keep
gaining confidence and keep
believing in myself so that I can
beat these next few top players. I
need to work on a few things like
coming in more and finishing off
the point but I think that a huge
thing for me is just confidence
and the mentality on the court."
Michigan will rely on Muresan at
No.1 singles to help the team a great
deal in the spring season to try and
win back-to-back Big Ten titles.
"She is going to give us a chance

for that point pretty much every
match we play and that's what
you want," Michigan coach Ronni
Bernstein said. "I'm really happy
for her. She's worked hard and
definitely deserves the results
that she has had."
Two other Wolverines, sopho-
more Mimi Nguyen and Bolender,
made it to the quarterfinals of sin-
gles play. In doubles play, the Wol-
verines had two teams advance to
the quarterfinals.
The team will travel to the ASU
Thunderbird, Nov. 5-7, at Arizona
State to end fall play.
"I'm really pleased with how
we performed," Bernstein said.
"We had the best players in our
region at the Varsity Tennis Cen-
ter and for us to have three girls
in the quarters of the singles and
then two doubles teams in the
quarters of the doubles is a really
good showing for our team."

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