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September 07, 1972 - Image 51

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-07

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Thursday, September 7, 1972


Page Five'


netters reign as bid nkings

Most sports fans are aware
of some of the major dynasties
in college sports, such as UCLA's
domination of West Coast bas-
ketball, Indiana's preponder-
ance in Midwestern swimming,
and Penn State's supremacy in
Eastern football.
But few are cognizant of an-
other dynasty that has been
just as decided - that of
Michigan in Midwestern tennis.
The Wolverine tennis pro-
gram has been by far the best
in both the Big Ten and the en-
tire Midwestern area for some
time now. Michigan teams
have taken the conference title
eleven of the last thirteen sea-
sons, including the last five
This past season the Wolver-
ines had their most powerful
team ever, and they' unveiled
the proof of their supremacy by
sweeping their last fourteen
dual meets, going undefeated in
the Big Ten and the Midwest.
and finishing far ahead of their
nearest challenger in the Big
Ten tournament.
Michigan players grabbed tit-
les in three of the six singles
flights, and in two of the three
doubles categories. Two of the

other three Wolverines were
second in their flights, while
the sixth Michigan man finish-
ed third. The other Wolver-
ine doubles squad was also a
For the upcoming 1973 sea-
son, Michigan coach Brian Eis-
ner has six of his top seven
players returning, plus the ad-
dition of three of the best prep
players in -the United States.
The outlook is for another out-
standing season and Big Ten
win, with a possibility of seri-
ous contention for the national
title as well.
Heading the returning cast
is sophomore Jeff Miller,
who was one of Michigan's
two freshman sensations of
the past season. Miller is pro-
bably at this point the lead-
ing contender for the number
one singles post, vacated by
the graduation of 1972's lead-
ing Wolverine, Joel Ross.
Miller played number two
singles last dear, and was Big
Ten runner-up in that cate-
gory. He went through the en-
tire Big Ten season undefeated,
only to lose in 'the finals of the
Big Ten tourney. Miller, from
Scotch Plains, New Jersey, was
formerly one of the outstand-

ing junior players in the U. S.,
and a junior Davis Cupper.
Also returning is Dick Rav-
reby, a senior from Walnut
Creek, California. Ravreby
went undefeated in Big Ten
singles last year, taking the tit-
le at numbei' three singles. Ray-
reby also combined with Ross
to take the number one. dou-
bles title. With Ross graduated,
it means that Ravreby will have
a new doubles partner.
Tim Ott is another senior
from California (Manhattan
Beach4 who will again be a big
factor for the Wolverines. Ott,
who was a number two singles
player as a sophomore. played
at number four last year and
had little competition, breezing
to the Big Ten title.
Miller to win the conference
title at number three doubles,
and Ott had the distinction of
being the only player in the
Big Ten last year to go the en-
tire Big Ten dual meet and
tournament competition with-
out tasting defeat at either
singles or doubles.
Returning, as well, is yet an-
other Big Ten title winner Kev-
in Senich who is a native of
Cleveland. Senich was champ at
number five singles last year,
and was also half of a Big Ten
number two doubles champ
team two years ago.
The only one of the Wolver-
ines top six last year to go with-
out a singles or doubles title
was JerrytKarzen, of Glencoe,
Illinois. but Karzen came close.
He finished third in the con-
ference at number six singles,
upset in the semifinals of the
Big Ten tournament following
an undefeated dual meet sea-
son. He also teamed up with
Senich to finish second in num-
ber two doubles.
Also returning is Mike Ware,
a senior from Detroit. As num-
ber seven player last year,
Ware saw little Big Ten ac-
However, the six return-
ing players are in no way se-
cure as they will have to con-
tend for their places with
three excellent freshmen
whom Eisner has recruited.
The Michigan coach has
picked off two of the top ten
junior players in the country,
both from Puerto Rico, as well
as another who is perhaps the
best prep player in Illinois.
The top prospect is Fred De-
Jesus, who comes from San
Juan, Puerto Rico. DeJesus,
who , won national titles for
12 - and - under, 14 - and
under, and 16-and-under age

groups, is currently rated the
number seven junior player in
the nation.
Also originally from San Juan
is another of the freshmen,
Victor Amaya. Amaya's family
currently resides in Holland,
Michigan, and Amaya, a big.
6-6 player, known as a hard-
hitter, has been the Michigan
high school Class A singles
champ the last two years, and
is the nation's ninth-rated jun-
The third'highly rated fresh-
man is Eric Friedler, or Evan-
ston, Illinois. Friedler was the
twelfth - ranked player in the
nation as a sixteen year old,
and was considered by some to
be the best tennis prospect com-
ing out of Illinois this year.
Wolverines' favor is. their coach,
Eisner. A former Big Ten player
himself, Eisner has an almost
impeccable record as a mentor.
Prior to his appointment to the

Michigan coaching post, Eisner
was coach at Toledo, and in his
last four years there the Roc-
kets were Mid-American Con-
ference champs. In his three
years at Michigan, his teams
have led the Big Ten all three
But Eisrler's loftiest objective
as 'Michigan coach has not yet
been accomplished: that of a
national championship. The
team's 18th place finish this
year in the NCAA champion-
ships represented one of the
strongest showings ever for a
midwestern team in tennis, a
sport totally dominated by the
warm weather West and South.
But Eisner feels that with the
crew he has coming back com-
bined with the outstanding
freshmen he has recruited in
1973 Michigan will be a bona
fide national contender with a
real shot at the NCAA crown.
It appears that for the first
time this midwestern dynasty
is ready to go national.


on the rings

Monday & Friday
Til 8:30

tumblers regroup


If the 1971 Wolverine football
team is finding it difficult to
live- with the knowledge that
only one point separated it from
an undefeated season. it can
perhaps take some comfort from
the fact that Coach Newt Loken's
,Michigan gymnasts also found
themselves on the losing side of
the close ones.
Little more than one point
kept the Wolverine bouncers
from a record-setting string of
dual meet victories which would
now total 51 straight, and also
broke Michigan's hammerlock on
the Big Ten championships. cost-
ing the team a shot at the
NCAA finals.
Coach Loken's gymnasts began
the dual meet season with con-
vincing triumphs over Western
Michigan, North Carolina, Geor-
gia Southern, Eastern Michigan,
and Chicago Circle, running their
consecutive win streak to 45.
JANUARY 29 the Iowa
Hawkeyes came from behind to
nip the Wolverines by less than
a point in a strong team show-
ing which caused many observ-
ers to feel that Iowa was the
team to beat in the .Big Ten.
However Michigan came roar-
ing back, defeating Minnesota,
Ohio State, Indiana, Michigan
State, and Illinois in succession,
and it looked as if the Wolverine
tumblers had hit their stride go-
ing into the Big Ten champion-
ships in Champaign-Urbana.
But Michigan stumbled badly
in the compulsories, falling five
full points behind Iowa. The
Wolverines then stormed back to
outscore the Hawkeyes in both
-the optional routines and the
finals, but their rally fell just
short, as Iowa's early lead was
enough for them to hang on and
take the top spot by a scant
0.6 points.
Individually, I h e Wolverines
captured three of the six event
championships, as Jim Scully fin-
ished first on the high bar and
Ray Gura took first place honors
in both floor exercise and vault-
In the coming Neason, Coach
Loken faces the problem of

replacing some of his key per-
sonnel who have been lost by
graduation. Among those who
are gone are Scully, co-cap-
tains Ted Marti and Dick
Kaziny, parallel bars special-
ist Murray Plotkin, outstand-
ing vaulter Pete Rogers, and
still rings specialist Mike Sale.
Marti finished third in the Big
Ten all-around race last year,
and turned in some outstanding
performances during the dual
meet season, including a 9.6
high bar showing against In-
Plotkin won the Big Ten
parallel bars championship two
years ago, and finished in the
runner-up spot last year.
The pressure will now fall
upon senior team captain Ray
Gura, one of the few seasoned
veterans on this year's squad,
to provide both team leadership
and consistently good perform-
ances. Joining Gura in all-
around competition w i l 1 be
sophomores Bruce Medd and
Jean Gagnon.
Coach Loken has few wor-
ries in floor exercise, with
Gura returning as the Big
Ten champion, and W a r d
Black as runner-up. Terry
Boys is also an outstanding
performer in that event.
But the loss of Kaziny in side
horse may prove to be quite a
headache to the 1970 Coach of
the Year if Medd and sopho-
more Rupert Hansen cannot fill
the void left by Kaziny's gradu-
Still rings could also be an-
other problem, although Mich-
igan does have the current Big
Ten runner-up in Monty Falb.
Gura leads the way in vault-
ing, and will be joined by junior
Jean-Paul Bouchard, who turn-
ed in some excellent showings
last season.
Gagnon is a strong performer
on the parallel bars, but Mich-
igan's hopes there lie with jun-
ior Bob Johnson, whose scores
last year were consistently above
COACH LOKEN-was working
hard on the recruitment of high
school gymnasts this spring in
an attempt to make up for the

loss of the seniors and to build
for the future. Although many
of the preppers have not made
their plans known, some of the
more promising prospects in-
cluded Bob Darden and Randy
Sakamoto from Illinois, Richard
Vigras and Pierre Le Clerc, two
all-around p e r~ f o r m e r s from
Montreal, and Joe Neuenswan-
der and Don Chapman from
N o r t h Farmington. Chapman
was the Michigan high school
all-around champion last year.
1972 was only the second time
in the last decade that Michigan
did not have at least a share of
the Big Ten gymnastics crown.
Unfortunately, it's not likely to
be any easier in 1973. Iowa lost
only all-around champion Dean
Showalter from its squad, and
Minnesota, which finished third
in the Big Ten, lost only two


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Returning with a year of Big
Ten track competition under his
belt, track coach Dixon Farmer
will embe-- - his sophomore
campaign confident that he can
improve upon his record of last
season both indoors and out.
And even with the return of
nearly all of last season's Big
Ten point-getters, there is room
for improvement. .
Despite early indications of
success and high hopes for a
third or even a second place
finish in the Big Ten indoor
meet last spring, the Wolverines
fared poorly, finishing a meager
fifth while picking up a scant
three points' a week later at the
NCAA meet.
Moving outside, the thinclads
finished a distant fourth in the
conference championships, well
behind Michigan State. The
Spartans, headed by Olympic
prospects Herb Washington and
Marshall Dill, captured both the
indoor and outdoor conference
crowns and finished second to
USC in the NCAA indoor meet.
Only during the cross country
season did the Wolverines live
up to their potential. Competing
in this sport for the first time
in many years, the thinclads
surprised the conference with a
strong third place finish.
Topping the list of returning
seasoned veterans is Jamaican
Olympian hurdler Godfrey Mur-
ray who runs the 120 yard high
hurdles faster than anyone in
Michigan history, having posted
a best time of 13.7,
place finish in the 60 high hur-
dles which accounted for the
Wolverines' only points in the
NCAA indoor meet. Murray also
won the high hurdle events in
both Big Ten meets last season
and, barring injuries, should be
an easy repeater this year.
Sharing the hurdling duties
with Murray again this season
will be junior Mel Reeves who
finished third in the 120 highs
last spring to give Michigan the

ter to break the 60 foot mark.
W i t h Anderson's graduation,
Adams could easily succeed to
both titles.
In the distance events Farmer
has depth returning, including
two Olympic prospects in Cana-
dian Eric Chapman and Ire-
land's Bill Bolster. Also return-
ing in the distances are Mike
Pierce and Keith Brown.
BROWN, AS a freshman, led
Michigan's cross country team
in the fall, finishing seventh in
the Big Ten meet, and provided,
stiff competition on the track
for his opponents in the two and
three mile events. Pierce, who
set the Michigan mark in the
mile two seasons ago, came on
strong at the end of last spring
in several of the longer distance
Also returning to add further
depth will be sophomores Mike
Taylor and George Khouri and
juniors Dave Eddy and Rick
Schott. These men, With a little
more health and consistency
could add a great deal to the
Wolverine cause, particularly in
cross country.
Three-fourths of the mile re-
lay team of Chapman, Kim
Rowe, Reggie Bradford and
Greg Syphax, which ran away
with the event at the Big Ten
outdoor championships with a
time of 3:09.9 and captured a
third place at the NCAA out-
door meet, will be returning.
Only Bradford will be lost to
Syphax and Rowe will also
handle the 300 and 440 yard
dashes. with help from Geoff
Leplatte..Syphax finished fourth
in the 300 at the Big Ten indoor
meet with a 31.1 while Rowe has
posted a 31.0. In the conference
outdoor meet the, two finished
one-two in the 440 yard dash.
HOWEVER. WITH the loss of
Gene Brown. Michigan's solid 60
and 100 yard dash runner, the
team will find itself extremely
weak in the shorter sprints.
Also, with the exception of
Adams in the shot put, all the

outstanding, athletes in each of
these areas, as well as in the
sprints before the conference in-
door and outdoor meets to battle
favorably with Michigan State.
The Spartan team will be bring-
ing the same depth and quality
as in 1972 and will be returning
to defend its titles.
But with the advent of the
cross country season, Farmer
has some cause for confidence in
the return of all his best com-
petitors in Brown, Schott, Pierce,
Chapman, Taylor, Eddy, and

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