The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition -Thursday, September 6, 1990- Page 9
Women's tennis moves out of the basement
by Ted Cox
Daily Sports Writer
Lacrosse is one of the many club sports offered at the University of
Michigan. Club sports receive little support from the University and
cannot award scholarships. Many clubs travel across the country to
compete. Here, Matt Oliver tries to shake off a Lake Forest defender.
in college rivalries
by Matthew Dodge
Daily Sports Writer
Sports at the University of Michigan go far beyond football and
basketball. Many non-varsity, athletic clubs exist for students who would
otherwise not be playing intercollegiate sports.
Clubs, as well as the intramural program, offer the student one more
chance at achieving athletic glory - this time, at a collegiate level.
Men's and women's lacrosse, synchronized swimming, rugby, and
crew, are only several of the many cib sports offered.
The teams are organized by students, and are handled by coaches
working for almost nothing. The players raise the money and pay for
expenses out of their own pockets.
Intercollegiate conferences exist for many of the clubs. These often are
comprised of Big Ten schools. In holding with athletic tradition, Mich-
igan does extremely well. The men's lacrosse team won its conference
tournament in April over teams such as Wisconsin and Northwestern.
Most club players performed before more fans in high school than they
do here. Publicity is almost nonexistent. The spectators are generally no
more than friends and family. And the games are certainly not played in
Michigan Stadium. Still, clubs actively promote their sport with flyers
throughout campus and hold various fundraisers.
The clubs are easy to join - most do not have tryouts. The time aid
emotional investments are large, as is to be expected with any sport. The
rewards are similar to any other major sport at Michigan.
You will not see some of the club sports become Olympic events in
the near future. And Brent Musberger would not wait to be fired if ABC
assigned him to do a Michigan-Seton Hall men's volleyball game. But
the athletes who play these sports accept this, and do their best anyway.
The Michigan women'stennis
team was predicted by the preseason
coaches poll to finish fifth in the
Big Ten, and that's exactly where
they finished. The placement was a
huge improvement over 1989's last
"There is really no pressure on
the team," top singles player
Christine Schmeidel said before the
season began. "We can only
improve, which is nice."
The relaxed style led the
Wolverines to a 12-3 non-conference
start before facing Iowa in the Big
Ten opener. Michigan's beginning
was rocky, dropping their first three
Big Ten matches. But against
Northwestern, the team started to
turn things around, narrowly losing
"Even though we lost, it was
encouraging," coach Betsy Ritt said
at the time.
The Wolverines finished out their
regular season winning four out of
the six remaining matches.
Michigan's 4-5 record gave the tean
a sixth place seed in the tournament.
For the second time during the
season, Northwestern beat the
Wolverines 5-4 in the first contest,
forcing Michigan to win all their
remaining matches to finish fifth.
That's exactly what the squad did
as they beat Ohio State 5-0, Illinois
5-1, and finally Minnesota 5-1. The
wins gave Michigan an overall
record of 20-9, setting a record for
the most victories in a season. The
team's 7-6 conference record was
their best since the 1983-84 season
Top player Christine Schmeidel
was selected to the first team All-Big
Ten squad after she won all four of
her matches in the tournament. The
junior set a new school record for
victories in a season with a 32-6
overall record, ranking her 34th in
"(Schmeidel's record) should give
her a lot of confidence," Ritt said.
"At number one, she'll faced a solid
player in every single match."
Schmeidel will lead the squad in
the spring of 1991. Senior Stacy
Berg should claim the number two
position. Sophomore Kalei Beamon,
juniors Amy Malik and Lindsay
Aland, and senior Anna Schork
should round out the top six
positions. The young team lost only
Cathy Schmidt to graduation.
Expect the Wolverines to be
stronger in singles matches than
doubles. Michigan finished at about
.500 in double sets last year.
"It's not so much that we're
having problems with the doubles,
it's that the doubles aren't as strong
as the singles. We're doing so well
in singles," said Ritt.
_ ~JOSE JUAREZf
Look for the women's tennis team to serve up sets of excitement this year. They only graduated one senior
from last year's squad that finished fifth in the Big Ten conference meet
Seeking a return to glory
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team has a strong
tradition of athletic excellence. In-his twenty years as
head coach, Brian Eisner has led his team to seventeen
Big Ten Championships.
This past season, however, the team had to
overcome a lot of adversity to remain competitive in the
Big Ten. Only one singles starter, sophomore David
Kass, returned to the team last season.
Kass is the team captain and top singles player for
the team. For most of the season, he remained the
sixteenth-ranked singles player in the country, and
qualified for nationals at the conclusion of the
Wolverines sixth place Big Ten tournament finish.
Early in the year, it seemed as if Kass was the only
player to consistently post victories, but the other
singles players improved drastically in time for the Big
"We may not have the most experienced team we
have ever had here, but everyone on the team has the
potential it takes to play successful tennis in the Big
Ten," Eisner said. "I feel we can be just as strong as we
have been in the past."
The Wolverines posted a 4-5 record in the Big Ten
last season, with key wins coming in the last two
meets against Purdue and Illinois, good for seventh
The 1990-91 season sees the return of all the singles
and doubles starters. In fact, only three players will'be
seniors. Great improvement will be expected from No.
2 singles Scott Cuppett, a sophomore, and No 3
singles Mitch Rubenstein, a junior.
"We have a lot of new players on the team this year,
but they are all very good and should mold nicely
together," Eisner said. "The team (was) very good this
year and will be much better in the future."
"These freshmen catch on quickly.
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