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April 08, 1988 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-08

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Page 12-The Michigan Daily-Friday, April 8, 1988

1988

Michigan

Tennis

Supplement

Women netters
spring into Big
Ten action
By STEVE SCHLUSSEL
Spring is the best season of the year for a couple of reasons. One is that
it's warmer than winter and two is that it brings hope to even the most pa-
thetic (e.g. baseball's Cleveland Indians - 1987)
This spring once again puts past mediocrity behind with a possible future
in the limelight ahead. Coming to the rescue the Michigan women's tennis
team are first-year players Kirstin Ashare, Wendy Stross, and Stacy Berg.
Michigan women's tennis coach Bitsy Ritt said they have made a huge
contribution. "They have raised the attitude level on the team and it has
spread to everyone."
The Wolverines' arsenal does not end there, however. Tina Basle, 23-9
last year and all-Big Ten, is the backbone of the fledgling squad.
Michigan is already 12-5, (one win more than they had all last season), 1-
I in the Big Ten. The standings should come out something as follows.
-INDIANA - Talk athletic dynasty, talk Hoosier women's tennis. Al-
ready owning victories over tough Minnesota and Michigan, this team is al-
ready looking ahead to the championships. They are a lock to win their sev-
enth title in nine years.
-NORTH WESTERN - A team that finished second last year in the
conference hopes to equal that feat again. They return a solid nucleus of sin-
gles players that should help the Wildcats accomplish their goal.
-MINNESOTA - The Gophers, who finished fourth in last year's
tournament, return No. 1 player Anne Gorde, who just missed an at-large bid
to last year's NCAA tournament. The Gophers look extremely strong, with
the exception of a loss to Indiana.
-MICHIGAN - As hope does reign supreme during the spring, hope-
fully wins will too.
"We've improved," said Ritt. "But several teams have also improved. A
few teams are definitely at the top. After those three (see above), anything
can happen."
-WISCONSIN - This is the team that Michigan must beat to move
into the upper division. The return of six experienced players will offset the
loss of Big Ten Player of the Year Lisa Fortman.
-IOWA - Nine out of 11 players on the Iowa roster are first- or second-
year players, so this may not be the year for the Hawkeyes to make their
move. Sophomore sensation Elizabeth Canzoneri, who won 23 singles
matches as a newcomer, leads Iowa.
-MICHIGAN STATE - The Spartans struggled to finish sixth in the
Big Ten last season. When a team places two players on the All-Big Ten
squad and still finishes sixth, what can be said about improvement? Not
much.
-OHIO STATE - The Buckeyes have a 1-4 conference record and with
three of their six singles players being first- or second-year players, the only
place to go is up (but not this year).
PURDUE - Purdue beat out Michigan for the all-important ninth
place at last year's conference championship. Purdue should again be one
place short of the basement.
-ILLINOIS - The Fighting Illini have been unable to get untracked
this season, and there is no reason to assume they will. They have eight re-
turning letter-winning players, but when none of them had a winning record
last year, who cares?

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Daily Photo by JESSICA GREENE
Newcomer Stacy Berg is one reason why the women's tennis team should
improve from last season's last-place finish.

Men netters
aiming for
nationaltitle
By STEVEN GINNS
Trivia Question - What was the last Michigan team to win a na-
tional championship in any sport? Well, if head coach Brian Eisner has
his way, his men's tennis team, currently ranked 7th in the country,
will soon provide the answer.
"There are six or seven teams that have a legitimate shot at the na-
tional championship," said Eisner. "And we are one of them."
Under Eisner, the Wolverines have never experienced a losing sea-
son, winning 16 of the last 18 Big Ten titles. Last year, the team fin-
ished 28-3 overall, 9-0 in Big Ten. This year they should be even bet-
ter, as the team is strong from top to bottom.
LEADING THE WAY for the Wolverines are senior Ed Nagel
and junior Dan Goldberg. Nagel was the 1987 Big Ten player of the
year with a conference record of 18-1. The 19th-year coach plans to al-
ternate between these two All-Americans at No. 1 singles.
"Ed possesses great quickness," said Eisner."There is probably no
player in the United States who has the same foot quickness and bal-
ance."
Goldberg, an unorthodox lefthander, surprised everyone last year by
winning 31 consecutive matches before losing in the NCAA singles
championship.
"He is the most accurate player I've ever coached," said Eisner. "He
can put the ball on the dime, literally."
NEWCOMER MALIVAI WASHINGTON is slotted for the
No. 3 singles spot. Washington possess plenty of potential and has an
impressive resume in tennis.
Currently ranked 7th in the world for his age group (18 and under),
Washington has reached the finals of the National Indoor Tournament,
and was a member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup team.
Senior captain Jon Morris will occupy the fourth singles position.
Morris, a native of Ann Arbor, has improved each year and can over-
power his opposition with a 115-mph serve. Rounding out the singles
are No. 5 Brad Koontz and No. 6 Jean Roussel.
ACCORDING TO EISNER, Koontz possesses one of the finest
forehands in the United States. "You will be just amazed at how pene-
trating his forehand is from any spot on the court," said Eisner.
Roussel, a native of France who was ranked as high as third in that
country when he was 16, should make a strong contribution. His base-
line play is excellent because of his experience with clay courts, but he
will need to develop more of a serve-and-volley game.
Although the strength of this team is the singles players, doubles
usually make or break a team. "You have to- win two of the three dou-
bles matches because so many matches you end up splitting the six
singles matches," Eisner said.
Michigan's doubles teams may be the best of the past few years. Ed
Nagel and Malivai Washington will team up at No. 1 doubles. As a
team they are ranked No. 8 and have not been beaten this year. "There is
nothing that team can't do, and they keep getting better and better."
Eisner said.
No. 2 doubles Jon Morris and Mike Pizzutello could have their ups
and downs, since this is their first year playing together. Eisner said his
No. 3 doubles team of Dan Goldberg and Brad Koontz is "money in the
bank."
Michigan's last national championship tennis team came 31 years
ago. This team may be the next.

*

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Daily Photo by JESSICA GREENE
help the men's tennis team

Big Ten Player of the Year Ed Nagel will
compete for the national championship.

Golden surprise NCAA finalist Dan Goldberg
now considered among elite

1988 WOMEN

'S

TENNIS SCHEDULE
THE BIG TEN

April
April
April
Apri
April
April
April
April

Sli te

2
3
8
10
13
16
17
24

Mineota
Michigan State
Purdue
I Championships

Ann arbor
Ann arbor
Iowa City
Mineapolis
East Lansing
WVest Lafayette
Champaign
Ann Arbor
Blornmngton

By TAYLOR LINCOLN
Dan Goldberg entered last year's NCAA ten-
nis meet seeded 60th nationally, then proceeded
to surprise nearly everybody in the tennis
community by advancing to the final round, be-
fore bowing to Miami of Florida's Andrew Bur-
row (2-6, 6-1, 6-4).
A junior from Avon, Conn., Goldberg has
seemingly made a career out of surprising people.
Though he was ranked among the top 40 junior
players in the country throughout his high
school career, and won the Connecticut private
schools' No. 1 singles title his final three years
in high school, he failed to gain recognition as
one of the top players in the country.
By the end of his senior year, however, he be-
came the top player in New England and reached
a No. 12 ranking for under-il8-year-old players. It
was enough to catch the eye of Michigan head
coach Brian Eisner.
AS A WOLVERINE, Goldberg quickly
latched on, becoming the first player since 1974
to play No. 1 singles as a in his first year.
Goldberg is a left-handed player, known for
his finesse and accuracy rather than power. As
Eisner says, "Dan's style is based on extreme

consistency and detail precision. He will not beat
himself.
"If a person only watches him in bits and
pieces, a coach might think his style is not text-
book and might underestimate him. (But) people
now know what an.outstanding player he is. The
days of him sneaking up on people are over."
Goldberg considers his court intelligence on
one of his greatest assets. "I've never been a great
athlete," said Goldberg. "I'm not that quick, but
I often anticipate where the ball's going."
He characterizes his style of play as
"fundamentally solid, but unorthodox," saying
that his strokes and grip do not follow the text-
book mold, but his accuracy and use of unusual
spins frequently frustrate opponents.
AS A SOPHOMORE, Goldberg was
joined by Ed Nagel, a former Michigan high
school Class A champion who transferred here
from Pepperdine University. The two alternated
at the No. 1 singles slot last year, and will do so
again this year.
The Goldberg-Nagel combination will play an
integral part of this year's team, which, according
to Eisner, is currently entertaining national

championship ambitions.
Whereas Goldberg is left-handed and plays a
finesse-oriented game, Nagel is right-handed and a
power player. The contrasts in the styles of play
of his top two players gives Eisner much flexi-
bility.
"They're very close in ability. It gives me a
chance to get some (favorable) match-ups against
other players. It's worked out very well," said
Eisner.
Though alternating at the No. 1 singles slot
could cause jealousy between Goldberg and
Nagel, the two are not competitive against each
other. "We've been good friends ever since he's
gotten here. On the court we bring out the best
in each other - we just want to do what's best
for the team," said Goldberg.
Obviously Goldberg would like to match his
last year's heroics at this year's NCAA meet, but
he refused to put his personal goals above those
of the team."Right now, we're seventh nationally
and we've faced most of the top five teams and
we've fared pretty well.
"But all that matters are NCAAs. I think
we've got the depth to win the whole thing."

0

April 29-May

.Coach.

BItsy Rltt
Assistant; *

(30.4' .389)
Trichla orn

Dad and apple pie fine for Washington

By MIKE GILL
Changing times with old values.
Malivai Washington is the rookie
phenom of the men's tennis team.
Already, he has quite a list of
accomplishments: quarterfinals of the
Junior Wimbledon Championships;
finals of National Indoor Tourna-
ment; the U. S. Open singles round
of sixteen; U.S. Open doubles semi-
finals; and member of the 1987 U.S.
Junior Davis team.
Many accomplishments, many
awards. What made a person. so
young so good? Tennis coaches with

' Washington, who hails from
Swartz Creek, claims his father is a
"self-taught tennis player who just
got me started."
STARTED he did. Washington
played in his first tournament at age
seven and won his first competition
at the tender age of eight. Now he's
moved to college competition after
spending time at a Florida tennis
academy and also working last year
in Grand Rapids with former Michi-
gan star netter Victor Amaya.
"He's just a tremendous athlete,"

"There's a fine line between power
and trying to do too much," Eisner
said. "At this level, what is ulti-
mately going to happen is you're
going to pay the piper and lose the
match when you let your power get
out of control. Situations he used to
get out of, he won't now."
Welcome to the wonderful world
of college tennis.
WASHINGTON lists the rea-
sons for coming to Michigan. One
was a chance for a national champi-
onship - "I think we have more
than a chance to win it this year."

"That's true," Washington said. "I
don't feel uncomfortable with it. I
guess I feel kind of privileged.
"I feel fortunate because not too
many Blacks either have a chance to
get into tennis or they just don't get
into it, period."
WASHINGTON'S heroes were
not only Arthur Ashe or Chip
Hooper, two Black players who made
it to the top, but other great players
such as Borg and Connors. "In a way
they were role models because some-
day you'd like to be as good as

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