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April 03, 1986 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-03

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Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 3, 1986

I

BASLE. MA CKEY IMPROVE WITH EXPERIENCE
Sophomore pair net results

THE SPORTING VIEWS

By PAUL DODD
With a year of experience in their
pockets, Tina Basle and Leslie
Mackey have discovered college ten-
nis can be a different sort of racquet.
Basle and Mackey, currently the
second and third singles players for
the women's tennis team, have lear-
ned that in college tennis, one who
lives on the baseline may just die
there as well.
"I HAVE changed my game since
last year to attack the net more, and
it's helped both my singles and
doubles play," Mackey said while
relaxing before practice yesterday.
"(Coach) Bitsy (Ritt) worked with
me all winter on my net play."
The quicker serve-and-volley game
of collegiate tennis has called for the
adjustment of the individual styles of
play of the two sophomores.
Basle, ranked tenth nationally in
doubles as a prep player in Sarasota,
Fla., feels better about her net play
than she did as a freshman.
"I'M NOT lost anymore when I
come in," said Basle with a laugh.
A weak spot that has occasionally
haunted the women netters this spring
is doubles. It's not easy for a player to
battle through a grueling three-set
singles match, then turn around and
play another match in a completely
different style.
"If I've just had a good win, or a bad
loss, it's really hard to go out and get
all psyched up for another match,"
Basle said from behind large
mirrored sunglasses. "It's especially
hard to get going again after a long
match."
FOR MACKEY, this season has also
been a reintroduction to the hard, fast
courts of America. The Grosse Pointe
Farms native spent last summer
vacation honing her game on a pro-
am circuit in Europe.
"It was different there because the
courts were slow, red clay," Mackey
said. "It was mostly baseline-to-
baseline play and I didn't have much
confidence in the fall."
Since then, though, with her im-
proving net play and attacking style,
Mackey has played impressively,
beginning with the team's tour of
Florida during spring break. Upon its
return, Mackey proceeded to win six
of her next seven matches.
*"NM

BASLE HAS kept up with her im-
proving classmate, so much so that
she now holds down the No. 2 singles
spot, a position Mackey held last
season.
Both are very optimistic about the
prospects for the coming Big Ten
season. Although the Wolverines were
eighth in last year's final standings,
there weren't any depletions in the
ranks and improvement is expected.
"There is no way we're finishing
eighth again this year," a smiling
Basle pronounced. "To beat a team
that's better, though, we have to have
five people beat players who are bet-
ter, and that's not easy."
"WE HAVE a lot of potential on this
team," Mackey said. "Our injuries
have to get better if we expect to do
well."
One of those injuries belongs to
Basle, who injured a hamstring
muscle in a meet against Western
Michigan two weeks ago. Since then,
she has seen limited playing time in
practice and meets.
Another key injury has kept Tricia
Horn out of her usual No. 6 singles
spot. Horn severely hurt her back in
the Western match and has been held
out of practice while recovering. Ritt
is not sure when Horn will be able to
compete again.
THE SCHEDULE has been
relatively kind to the Wolverines so
far, but with Mid-American Con-
ference power Miami (Ohio) and
nationally-ranked Northwestern
coming in to town this weekend, the
injuries can't heal fast enough.
"I think it's a good challenge for
your game to play a team like North-
western," Mackey said. "It really lets
you know how good your game is and
how much you've improved."
Michigan has certainly done its
share of providing tough competition
for smaller schools such as Calvin
College and Bowling Green. Both
teams suffered 9-0 pummelings at the
hands of the Wolverine netters in
March.
"It's great to play in those matches
because you're not as uptight and you
can experiment and take some risks
you wouldn't ordinarily take," noted
Mackey.
"YOU HAVE to keep concentrating
in those meets," Basle said. "I guess
it's like us playing Northwestern, in

Doily Photo by ANDI SCHREIBER
Leslie Mackey, who plays both singles and doubles for the Wolverines,
works on her attack at the net.

that it is a good experience to play
against better competition."
Although no one's dusting off a spot
in the trophy case at the Athletic
Ticket Office for a Big Ten title plaque
just yet, a finish in the upper half of
the league this spring is not out of the
question.
"I KNOW we'll do a lot better this
year," said Mackey confidently.
"We'll be in the top five or six for
sure."
BASLE POSTED a 15-9 mark in her
individual matches last season, but

realizes that tennis is now a team
sport.
"For a long time, I was only playing
for myself. Now, how I play affects
the whole team," Basle said. She
agreed that a team win doesn't
always make up for an individual
defeat.
With a pair like Basle and Mackey
in the Wolverine lineup for the next
three seasons, the team and in-
dividual victories should come more
often.

Talented Tigers...
...to roar past Yankees
By STEVE MASKO
While spring training is winding down, and the players are taking their
last swings, it is time to consider the race for the American League East
crown. Once again the New York Yankees have a new manager, Lou Pin-
iella. How long he remains manager will depend on how much the
Yankees win, and how well he gets along with owner George Steinbren-
ner, who has a habit of butting in and trying to manage the team himself.
Other teams also have problems they must solve to win the division.
TIGERS - Sorry folks, this is not a sentimental choice. The 1986 Tigers
have even more talent than the 1984 team which won it all. Start with the
pitching. Newcomer Dave LaPoint will only help an already solid staff.
Topping the corps is Jack Morris, who has proven he is one of the best pit-
chers in baseball by winning more games than any pitcher in the league
in the last five years. Last year he won 16. When it gets to the late innings,
manager Sparky Anderson has the pleasure of calling on reliever Willie
Hernandez, the 1984 Cy Young and MVP selection. He saved 31 games last
year.
The Tigers have plenty of offense to support their pitching. First
basement Darrell Evans led the majors with 40 homers and Lance
Parrish cranked out 28. Lou Whitaker and Kirk Gibson will offer plenty of
help, as will Dave Collins and Dave Engle. Shortstop Alan Trammell
must rebound from a sub-par year if the Tigers hope to outrun the
Yankees.
YANKEES - The only thing keeping the Yankees from overtaking the
Tigers is owner George Steinbrenner. His meddling has caused nothing but
problems for the Bronx Bombers recently. The Yankees have the players
to make it happen.
You have to start with Don Mattingly. He is not only the best first
baseman in the league, he is tops in
the majors. His statistics (314, 35
HR, 145 RBI) speak for them-
selves. Add Dave Winfield with his
26 homeruns and Ricky Hender-
son's hitting prowess as well as his
blazing speed, and you have one of
the best offensive units in baseball.
Newly acquired Mike Easler will also help at the designated hitter spot.
The pitching staff is another story. Behind 36-year-old Ron Guidry and
his 22 wins, you have basically nothing. The Yankees tried to remedy the
situation by releasing ancient Phil Niekro and signing Britt Burns, but
Burns soon acquired a hip injury and is out for at least two months. The
relieving, however, is in the capable hands of Dave Righetti who saved 29
games last year.
BLUE JAYS - The Jays are the defending champions of the
division, and once again are serious contenders. New manager Jimmy
Williams has plenty of talent to work with.
The Blue Jays by far have the best outfielders in the division. The trio of
George Bell, Lloyd Moseby and Jesse Barfield are all good young
sluggers who combined for 73 homeruns last year. They also can run,
combining for 80 thefts in 1985.
The pitching staff again will be strong, anchored by Dave Stieb who led
the league with a 2.48 ERA. He has a tough supporting cast of Doyle
Alexander who won 17 games, and Jimmy Key who won 14. The bullpen
features Tom Henke who had 13 saves, and Bill Caudill, Gary Lavelle and
Jim Acker, who coifbined for 32 saves.
ORIOLES - The Orioles' trouble last year can be linked to one area -
pitching. The traditionally pitching-rich Orioles' whole staff fell apart
last year, and it must regroup if they are to make a serious run at the
title. The staff is talented with three starters who could win 20 games.
Mike Boddicker, Mike Flanagan and Storm Davis form the nucleus. The
relieving chores will be handled by a sore-shouldered Tippy Martinez and
veteran Don Agse; the bullpen could prove to be a major problem down
the stretch.
The hitting should not be a problem for the Orioles, who led the majors
with 214 homeruns. Supplying a majority of the punch will be the finest-
hitting shortstop in the league, Cal Ripken, who hit 26 homeruns, and
formidable first baseman Eddie Murray, who nailed 31.
RED SOX - The poor Red Sox. They may have some of the most talen-
ted players in baseball, but because they play in this division they will
finish in fifth place. If the Sox hope to move up in the-standings, these
players will have to have great seasons.
The Red Sox offense is certainly in fine shape. Leading the hit parade is
third baseman Wade Boggs, who hit for a .368 average, and Jim Rice who
hit 27 homeruns and has developed into a fine outfielder. Trading away
Mike Easler for Don Baylor was not the wisest move, but Baylor will find
Fenway's short left field wall very tempting.
Boston's downfall is the one they always have - pitching. After a
promising start last year, Dennis Oil Can Boyd faltered, but still
managed 15 wins. The rest of the staff is young and inexperienced. If the
pitching fails, so do the Red Sox.
BREWERS - Alas, the days of Harvey's Wallbangers are long gone
and this year's squad does not look to return to the form which captured
the pennant in 1982. But, the Brew Crew still has a few players who will
supply some thrills to the fans.
Cecil Cooper, who for many years has been one of the league's best first
basemen, as well as one of the most underrated, returns after a fine
season in which he hit .293 and also had 99 RBI. Robin Yount, another
hero from the 1982 team, also returns but in the outfield instead of at his
old position of shortstop. Taking Yount's spot at shortstop is Earnest
Riles who is a fine young hitter as his .286 average shows.
The pitching staff is a mess. Ted Higuera, who won 15 games is the ace
of the staff, and Moose Haas is a capable starter. After these two the rest
of the rotation is either too inexperienced, or past their prime.

INDIANS - Well, here are the Indians in their traditional spot, and this
year's team is not talented enough to change the situation. It is going to be
a long, long, summer by the lake.
Brett Butler is one of the few bright spots the Tribe has. Butler hit .311
and also led all AL outfielders with a .998 fielding percentage. Shortstop
Julio Franco hit .288 and drove in 90 runs, not bad numbers for a shor-
tstop, but his 35 errors sure did not help the cause.

C

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802 MONROE
ANN ARBOR, MI
APRIL 4 NOON

Ce ticsI
BOSTON (AP) - Bos
frontcourt of Robert P
Bird and Kevin McHale<
83 points and the Celtics
single-season record wi
consecutive home victor
the Detroit Pistons 122-10
Parish had a season-hi
Bird 29 and McHale 24a
stretched their overall w
to 13 games, tying theirj
longest in the NBA this se

Join us in the Diag
to march against
rascism and apartheid.
For more info call 662-5189

ton's
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Pistons; set record
18 rebounds. points in that span of 4:04.
2ELTICS erased the 36-year- B
ue record of 27 straight home But Detroit rallied with an 11-2
in a single season set by the spurt, sparked by Earl Cureton's five
polis Lakers in 1949-50. points, to make the score 86-79. Boston
phia holds the mark for more led 88-79 after three quarters and
e season with 36 starting in Detroit came no closer in the final
nd ending in 1967-68. period.
istons played without guard The victory gave the Celtics a 37-1
omas, who missed his third home record, equalling the mark for
nve game with a pulled left most home victories in a season
with 20 points and John Long achieved twice each by Philadelphia
and the Los Angeles Lakers. If
i was leading 69-63 when Boston wins its remaining six games,
s stuff launched a 13-3 run it will tie the NBA mark for best
le the score 82-66 with 3:54 left single-season record, 69-13, set by the
ird quarter. McHale had six Lakers in 1971-72.

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Expires April 30, 1986
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