Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 21, 1990
SOPHOMORE LEADS BLUE ATTACK AT No.1 SINGLES
by Jeni Durst
Daily Sports Writer
It was early first semester when I
first encountered sophomore tennis
player Christine Schmeidel at lunch
in the West Quad cafeteria. She
struggled to remember the names of
those sitting with her. "I really have
trouble with names," she had said.
Now, a short five months later, and
deep into her first season with the
Wolverines, it's clear that names are
the only thing giving her trouble.
Schmeidel, a native of Valencia,
California, transferred to Michigan
after spending her first year at the
University of San Diego. She had
been highly recruited by many top
schools, including Michigan, due to
her strong academic record, 150-0
high school match record, and perfo-
rmances in national tournaments
such as the Fiesta Bowl Juniors'
tournament; where she beat four
competitors ranked ahead of her.
Her interest in becoming a
Wolverine was high, but intim-
idation became a leading deterrent.
"I remember it was very difficult
for her to make a decision (about
college). She kept putting it off and
putting it off," said Michigan coach
Bitsy Ritt. "I knew when she came
here to visit there were a lot of
things she liked about Michigan and
she seemed interested, but she was
reluctant to go so far away from
home and was intimidated by the
So the choice became a safe and
familiar option: San Diego.
"It (USD) was close to home, it
was strong academically and I wasn't
sure if I wanted a big school or a
small school," Schmeidel said. "I'd
always gone to a small, private
school, so I thought I'd like to stay
in that kind of environment, but
then I got there and I felt like I
wanted a big school, big athletics."
It took only until January of that
first collegiate year for Schmeidel to
realize her unhappiness with that
small campus atmosphere. After
making her final decision to leave,
she sent a letter to Michigan, the big
university that had first captured her
"I was just first afraid to come
here," Schmeidel explained. "It was
far away from home, but when you
go away to college you realize you
don't really go home that much, so
being two and a half hours car ride to
two and a half plane ride - it's the
same thing. The academics at
Michigan are way superior to those
at USD and I really liked the coach
The move to become a Wolverine
may have been the most important
decision in Schmeidel's career so far.
Since competing at Michigan, her
dual record at No. I singles is 12-1,
losing only one close match to
Karen Hoosen of Texas Christian
University. But her debut at the
No.1 spot this year has steamrolled
into much bigger things: her first
ever national ranking (31st) and a re-
alistic chance of achieving her goal
of making the NCAA tournament.
"Michigan has offered a lot
more...with tennis. At USD I was
playing lower on the team and play-
ing higher on a team you get a better
chance for a higher ranking,"
Schmeidel said. "I wouldn't have a
national ranking if I didn't transfer
because I am playing higher and get
to go to more tournaments."
Schmeidel's arrival has not only
led to more personal accomplish-
ments, but has strengthened the en-
tire Wolverine squad. The team's
current record of 10-2 already in-
cludes more wins than last year, and
the season is only half over.
"Christine plays a huge role in
our improvement," Ritt said.
"Anytime you can recruit a No.1
who is competitive it definitely
helps, and Christine is a legitimate
No.1. She takes a lot of pressure off
of the other players especially Stacy
Berg, who played No. I last year,
and did a really good job, but she
(Berg) is even stronger at No. 2."
Yet, playing ability is just a
small part of what Schmeidel brings
to the squad. Her experience at the
national level, her general competi-
tiveness and dedication to the game
has spilled over to the rest of team.
"Christine's the type of person I
look up to, that I admire," said first-
year player Lisa Worzniak. "She's an
incredible player and always gives
110 percent, never complains.
Nothing's ever good enough, she's
always pushing herself harder and
'Christine's the type
of person I look up to,
that I admire. She's an
incredible player and
always gives 110
ever good enough,
she's always pushing
herself harder and
harder. She helps
push everyone else'
harder. She helps push everyone
Hopefully, Schmeidel will be
able to push herself and the team far
enough to meet her goals. "I want to
keep improving my garne as much
as it can go and hopefully make
NCAAs, both as a team and an indi-
vidual. We have to finish one in the
Big Ten...which I think our team
can maybe have a good chance this
year at doing."
CHAMPAIGN, (AP) - Jeff
George, Illinois' third all-time
passer, is headed for the NFL where
the two quarterbacks ahead of him in
school statistics already are
George, 22, a high school
standout who helped Illinois win the
1990 Citrus Bowl, said yesterday he
would forgo his final year of college
eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
Tony Eason of the New York
Jets and Jack Trudeau of the
Indianapolis Colts rank ahead of
George in Illini passing.
George, who endured a year on
the sidelines and three years without
a scholarship to play at Illinois,
took his decision nearly to the wire.
College juniors must declare their
intentions to the NFL by Thursday.
Georege said he decided Sunday to
leave the Illini. The opportunity to
play in the NFL and the expense of
staying in college another year
without a scholarship were consid-
erations, he said.
"I'd like to play right away,"he
said of the NFL. "I'm going there to
play, not sit on the bench. I think
Annual IS RAEL CONFERENCE DAY
SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 1990
9:30 A.M. - 5:10 P.M.
A Day - Long Academic Program Exploring Social, Cultural and
Political Aspects of Israel
Rackham School of Graduate Studes
The University of Michigan
915 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Attention Psychology Majors
PSI CHI Honor Society Presents
PSYCHOLOGY CAREER FAIR
Thuscday, March 22, 4-6 p.m.
Pendelton Room, Michigan Union
Jnormalion vdirlble on psychology grad schools and
careers in psychology and related fields.
Admission is free.
Impact on Israel of Recent Developments in Eastern Europe
Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism on College Campuses
Israel's Competitiveness in the Global Economy
American Christians and Israel
Israel In the Middle East- Visions For Peace
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* 10% OFF ANY NORTHWEST FLIGHT-with
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Keep in mind that our Automatic
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