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March 25, 1988 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-25

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 25, 1988- Page 17

Veteran: Basle hopes to channel tennis
experience into winning season

By LISA GILBERT
As a young girl growing up in Sarasota,
Florida, Tina Basle tried a wide variety of activi-
tics ranging from gymnastics to piano to ballet.
Yet none of these seemed to captivate her atten-
tion for an extended period of time.
Until one day, accidentally, she discovered
what she had been searching for all along, a
hobby that could hold her interest. From the day
she picked up a racket, she knew her life would
never be the same. Basle immediately abandoned
all her other pursuits to devote herself whole-
heartedly to tennis.
"I used to play forever by myself against a
huge wall," said Basle. "My mother would want
to pick me up when it got dark, but I always
begged her for one more hour."
TALL AND fit, with a necklace that says
"tennis bum" around her neck, Basle looks like
she was born to be on the courts. Basle's talents
were recognized early in her childhood.
When she was only eight years old, a tennis
pro saw her playing around with her mother's
racket at the club, and took an unusual interest in
her. After this initial discovery, there was no
turning back. By the time the following year
rolled around, nine-year-old Tina was already
competing in tournaments. When she was 12,
Basle was ranked fifteenth in the nation.
Once she got to high school, Basle was an es-
tablished talent. She attended her regular classes
until 12, then went to the Nick Bolletieri Tennis
Academy from 1:30 to 5:30 every afternoon.
DESPITE being the top player on both her
high school and junior high teams, Basle remains
modest about her accomplishments. "Tennis in

Florida is not as big of a deal as it is in Michi-
gan," she explained. "The talent there is more
evenly distributed throughout the state."
Inevitably, the Academy also became the cen-
ter of her social life, where she met many of her
best friends and boyfriends. Although the
competition was intense, the comraderie that
bound them together was even stronger.
Although Basle admits to missing a few of
those wild weekend high school parties, she in-
sists that she had normal teenage years. "I had
two different sets of friends," explained Basle.
"Even though the two worlds were completely
separate, I feel I got the best of both."
AFTER THE end of her high school career,
Basle was undecided about where she wanted to
go. "I knew I wanted to get out of Florida. I was
sick of playing the same players."
"I was leaning towards North Carolina- Chapel
Hill, until I came up to visit Michigan. I imme-
diately fell in love with Ann Arbor. The diversity
among the students was exactly what I wanted."
Things didn't work out according to plan,
however, as Basle suffered through a frustrating
first year. Basle and head coach Bitsy Ritt simply
did not see eye to eye.
"Bitsy was a stickler for a good attitude and
mine wasn't what it should be," said Basle.
"Tennis for me had always been an individual
sport. I had to learn that if I lost I let the whole
team down."
AS A result of these early confrontations,
Basle was seeded No. 3, even though she was
consistently beating the No. 2 seed in practice.
Needless to say, she was not happy at the coach's
decision.

"Looking back I realize that it was probably
the best thing Bitsy could have done for me,"
admits Basle. "I had the best individual record on
the team which gave me confidence in the years
to come."
In addition, her relationship with Bitsy also
changed. "I'm so close with Bitsy now that I
can't even remember not getting along."
Her sophomore year marked the low point in
her collegiate career. Injured early on, she was
only able to play in the doubles round of the Big
Ten tournament. The team also had a number of
other injuries and finished tenth in the tourna-
ment.
ENTERING the season as the No. 1 seed
last year, Basle came to fall practice ready to
play. She had a banner year, winning a spot on
both the All-Big Ten and All-Big Ten Academic
teams. Her overall individual record of 23-9 was'
the third best in Michigan history.
In spite of her remarkable achievements, Basle
does not consider the 1987 season a success. "My
individual accomplishments were bittersweet.
Even with all of the awards I won, the team'
record made me sick."
This year, as co-captain, her first priority is to'
help the team succeed. "I feel like this team is
my baby. I want us to do well so badly."
As far as individual goals, Basle is determined
to qualify for nationals. She seems to be well on
her way, having beaten seventh-ranked Patty
O'Reily of Duke in a recent spring road trip.
Even though her competitive days will be over
this season after she graduates, tennis will always'
have a special place in her heart.
"It's scary to think of my life without tennis;
" said Basle. "Next year I know I'll miss it a
ton."

Daily Photo by DANA MENDELSSOHN
Co-captain Tina Basle concentrates on the ball during practice. Basle
hopes that this year's team will net a winning record. It would be the first
in her collegiate career.

'M' lacrosse
wins sixth-
straight
from Staff Reports
The Michigan lacrosse team
upped its record to 6-0, Wednesday,
with a 10-6 victory over Oberlin
College.
The Wolverines jumped out to a
4-0 lead in the first quarter behind
the potent scoring of attackers Mike
Kennedy and Mike Carr. Kennedy led
all scorers with two goals and five
assists. Carr scored three goals.
Marc Silbergeld and Rick Maicki
each scored two goals apiece to help
seal the victory.
Rob DiGiovani provided solid
goal tending with 16 saves in the
second half.
Oberlin was the first varsity squad
Michigan has faced this season.
"We've showed we can compete with
the Midwestern varsity teams," said
coach Bob DiGiovani. "I was pleas-
antly surprised by our talent playing
as a team."
.Michigan has its first home game
Sunday at 2pm against Albion at
South Ferry Field.
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