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April 14, 1983 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-14

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61

Page 8-Thursday, April 14, 1983-The Michigan Daily
Netter thrives as underdog

By STEVE HUNTER
Few people enjoy the role of underdog. Of course,
few people have the ability to beat the odds the way
Jill Hertzman of the Michigan women's tennis team
does.
When talking to people about Hertzman, several of
her qualities are repeatedly mentioned, such as her
"mental toughness" and the fact that "she never
gives up." As a result of these virtues she has always
thrived under pressure.
FOR EXAMPLE, Hertzman came to Michigan as a
walk-on, and because of this, according to head coach
Ollie Owens, "She went through the walk-on tour-
nament, which is pure hell. Once you lose you're
out."
Hertzman, who had just come off Kentucky State
tennis championships in singles and doubles,
however, remembers it differently. "I was surprised
at how easy tryouts were,"' she said.
Not as easy, though, was adjusting to a new team.
"The very beginning of my freshman year I wasn't
really happy with the team. I felt isolated."
HERTZMAN soon changed all that by becoming a
team leader. Currently she is the only senior on the
team and is a second year co-captain.
According to fellow co-captain Mary Mactaggart,
the 5-1 Hertzman treats the title as more than
honorary. "We had this parents' dinner and she
organized that," said Mactaggart. "She's always
there to talk to, and I think everyone knows that."
Hertzman helps the team in other ways too. Accor-

ding to freshman Stephanie Lightvoet, who needed a
cortizone shot in her knee, "She got up at eight in the
morning and took me over there (to the hospital)."
Lightvoet also added "She's really nice, put that in."
THE TEAM environment isn't the only thing that
the Louisville native helped to improve, though. At
the beginning of the year according to Owens, "I had
her alternating at number six." Since then, due in
If you get it into your head that
you're not going to walk off the
court until you win, it doesn't
matter how far down you are.
- Jill Hertzman
part to injuries, she has moved up to number three.
But Owens added, "She's gotten where she is because
she competes really hard. She just doesn't quit."
This never-say-die spirit applies to each point for
Hertzman. "It isn't over 'till the last point," she said.
"If you get it into your head that you're not going to
walk off the court until you win, it doesn't matter how
far down you are."
Consequently, Hertzman describes herself as "a
better comeback player. I always have more
problems keeping a lead."

THE FACT THAT "she plays well under pressure"
according to her doubles partner Karen Milczarski, is
a great asset. Milczarski recalled one match where
"I thought 'Oh shoot someone passed me' and Itur-
ned around and there was Jill. I was surprised she got
to the ball."
Hertzman herself describes her game as "pretty
much a scramble game,"but her partner Milczarzski
goes further. "She's tough. She never gives up,
always tries her hardest, and she doesn't like to
lose."
Mactaggart also admires her determination,
saying "I don't care if she's down 6-0, 5-0. She just
never gives up."
THIS ATTITUDE carries over into Hertzman's
academics. "I do better under pressure, whether its
playing tennis or school."
Since the psychology major has made the
academic honor roll three years running and sports a
3.5 G.P.A., one would have to agree.
Hertzman's fine academic credentials have earned
her a place at the United States International Univer-
sity in San Diego where she plans to do graduate work
in sports psychology.
This field seems appropriate considering her
proven mental toughness, but also because of her
friendliness and penchant for hard work. Grad
schools are usually tough, and Hertzman will
probably be an underdog . . . if she's lucky.

I

Slam!!

M ai
By RON POLLACK
Will the real U of M please stand up?
The Michigan football staff isn't the
only group of gridiron coaches roaming
about the athletic department with
thoughts of blitzes and draw plays
streaming through their heads. Twelve
members of the 15-man University of
Mexico coaching staff are being tutored
in football, Wolverine style, this week.
THESE MEETINGS of the inter-
national football minds came to be
when Michigan head coach Bo Schem-
bechler met Mexico head coach Arturo
Alonso at an NCAA meeting in Los
Angeles. Schembechler invited Alonso

Football staff hosts
rngQ- coaches from Mexico

and his assistants for a visit, and the
latter was more than happy to accept
the chance to work with the Wolverine
coaching staff.
"We decided to come here because
we've watched Michigan for a few
years in Mexico and we think it's the
best team in the states, a great
tradition and a well-coached staff,"
said Alonso through translator and of-
fensive-line coach Luis Garcia. "Our
system is old. So we want to learn new
plays and techniques and
philosophies."
Thus far, the Mexico coaches have
been impressed with what they've seen.
"THE professionalism of all the people
here, the creativity and all the facts we
learn and see have been impressive,"
said Alonso.
"The players here are so big,"said
Garcia. "We don't have that. Here
they're so much bigger and faster."
Not only do the Mexico coaches have
to work with smaller and slower

athletes than at Michigan, they also
have to compete for players with the
sport of soccer. But despite Mexico's
craze for soccer, Garcia said there is no
problem setting the country's youth to
play football.
"FOOTBALL in Mexico is very
popular," said Garcia. "We have two
conferences with 20 teams in all and we
have a lot of boys playing. Our team has
80 players. It's not difficult because
people like football and we have
American football games on TV."
Although his team typically plays
before 15,000-20,000 fans during home
games, Garcia said that he is not that,
surprised or overcome with awe when
he watches a Michigan game on
televison and sees 105,000 fans in the
stands.
"In the last game of the season in our
country, there were 90,000 people;'he
said. "It's like the national champion-
ship."

WHILE BIG crowds aren't that
thrilling a concept to Schembechler's
guests, the projects benefits of this
week's clinic do have Garcia excited.
"This will help us very much," said
Garcia, noting that he and the rest of
the coaching staff are only entering
their second season at the University of
Mexico. The team finished with a 5-3
record last year. "We are changing now
and we have much problems about
mentality and techniques. We think
we're learning from the best in the
USA. We'll try to apply that to our
team."
And will Mexico use this new-found
information to someday return to Ann
Arbor and defeat Schembechler's
squad? "That's impossible," said Gar-
cia with a broad grin on his face. "We
wouldn't have any chance."

- U

CClassic

savings

Detroit Pistons' guard Walker Russell watches Boston's Robert Parish soar
over head for a slam in yesterday's NBA action at the Pontiac Silverdome.
See story, Page 7.
y Vs See It'
By LARR YMISHKIN
Want to have fun?...
.read the sports page
W HEN YOU PICK up the paper in the morning during the summer,
what is the first section you turn to? Front page? Horoscopes? Sports?
Comics? (Don't be embarrassed, I read Dondi every day.)
Well, the only two sections it would seem anyone should care about are the
sports-and weather. Explaining the second half of that combination will be
easy. You turn to the weather to see if it will be raining or not.
The sports section, however, will provide you with all of the relevant in-
formation you need to know to live an enjoyable life. In fact, unless we've
just declared war with another country, there's no reason to look at any
other section of the paper.
By now, all you non-sports fans must be thinking I'm a nut and this is just
another example of "irresponsible journalism." Now before you all run out
with a new set of petitions, give me a chance to explain myself.
What do you read on the front page of a paper? Well, there's usually a
story about our spiraling inflation or staggering level of unemployment,
some ridiculous racial flare-up like the recent Chicago mayors election in
which two grown men have acted like children for three weeks, or the idiocy
of two countries fighting over the citizenship of a 19-year-old girl. (The fact
that she is a tennis player is a coincidence.)
Sure we should all be concerned about what's going on in our world, but
we're also entitled to have some fun with our lives. With summer vacation
coming up and the recent start of a new baseball season (and I don't care
what anyone says, baseball is still THE national pastime), we should all give
ourselves a vacation from this daily barrage of bad news and concentrate on
some funnews for a change.
"But what about Soviet arms buildup?" someone is bound to argue. "We
have to be concerned about that." Forget about the Soviets and let those
guys in Washington earn their living for a change. After all, what would you
rather sit around worrying about? Who has more bombs or who is going to
win the World Series? (Chicago Cubs fans excluded).
After all, suppose the damn bombs drop. Then you'll never have anything
to worry about again. At least if your team is in the pennant race you have
something legitimate to worry about. And if they lose, there's always next
year.
Participating in, and following, sports has to be one of the most sensible
and healthy endeavors a person can participate in. All people have a natural
competitive nature in them, so isn't it more practical to use up that com-
petitiveness by trying to beat your friend in tennis or in predicting the out-
come of the Rangers-Islanders Stanley Cup playoff series than to become
emotionally involved in that silly election? Who cares about that damn elec-
tion anyway. Republican or Democrat, black or white, it doesn't matter. You
can't trust any of them anyway.
If I'm going to be lied to, I would rather it be by Sparky Anderson telling
me what his starting lineup is going to be than by Reagan telling me the
Soviets have more nuclear warheads than we do.
See, the whole key to my argument lies in a very basic principle: You only
live once and so you have to have fun with your life. Fun is going to a
baseball game, playing frisbee or jogging. Fun is not counting nuclear bom-
bs, reading about murders, or worrying about the price of crude oil.
Now my whole argument becomes very simple to understand. Our goal in
life should be to have fun. Sports are fun. Front page stories are not. So what
should you do? I got it, read the sports page!
My advice to you for the summer is this. Read the sports page and have
fun. If some incurable worrier of nasty events should come up to you and tell
you that the United States just decided to grant political asylum to a
Russian window washer and the Soviet Union is going to cancel discussion
with us on land-based missiles, just answer him the way my roommate
would, "Ain't nobody care."
If you don't agree with this column please feel free to send in your letters-
to-the-editor. It won't matter to me though because they don't print those let-
ters on the sports page.

I-6

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