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March 26, 1992 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-26

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The Michigan Daily- Thursday, March 26,1992- Page 9

'M' women's golf team
begins season in S. C.

Women netters face
Illini, Boilermakers

by Dan Linna
*Daily Sports Writer
After a long winter layoff, the
Michigan women's golf team will
head south this weekend to begin the
spring season at the South Carolina
Invitational in Columbia, S.C.
The Wolverines are eager to get
back onto the fairways after a suc-
cessful fall schedule that saw the
team post a 320.8 stroke average.
"If they can maintain what they
ldid in the fall we'll be fine,"
Michigan coach Sue LeClair said.
"They are all excited and I think we
will do well."
Michigan will battle a 15-team
field including Duke, Furman, North
Carolina and South Carolina. Big
Ten foes Minnesota, Indiana, and
Ohio State will also challenge the
Wolverines.
The tournament begins with a
'practice round, Thursday, before the
teams play 18-holes Friday, Satur-
day and Sunday.
The Michigan weather has re-
stricted the Wolverines to domed
driving ranges since the completion
of the fall season. The team travelled
to Florida for spring break, but has
not been able to practice outside
since then.
Michigan strived to improve its
chipping and putting throughout the
fall season but has not been able to
work on these aspects of the game
indoors.
The team is looking to do well in
the tournament, but is not ignoring
the fact that most of its competition

has had the advantage of up to six
weeks of practice in a warmer south-
ern climate.
"We should do well against the
other Big Ten teams who have been
in the same practice situation as us,"
senior Wendy Bigler said. "We had
a good chance to practice in Florida
and we just want pick things up
where we left off in the fall."
In addition to Bigler, fellow se-
nior Erica Zonder, juniors Tricia
Good and Kristin Beilstein, and
rookie Jenny Zimmerman will make
the trip.
Beilstein led the team in the fall
with a 79.2 average, while Good,
Bigler and Zonder followed close
behind. Zimmerman adjusted to col-
lege competition quickly and posted
strong scores down the stretch.
"They played so well in the fall,
it's too bad we haven't been able to
get out on the course yet," LeClair
said. "I think they'll be doing well if
they can average around 80 individ-
ually."
Michigan is gearing up for the
Big Ten Championships which will
be held the first weekend in May.
"We are just going to go out there
and do the best we can," Zonder
said. "It's a really good field, but I
think we can be competitive as long
as we can stay under 320.
"We are very optimistic that we
can use these tournaments to get
back to mid-season form by the time
the Big Tens come around."

by Sharon Lundy
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis
team, coming off two strong non-
conference victories and one loss in
Alabama, will attempt to secure
two Big Ten wins when it visits
Illinois and Purdue this weekend.
The Wolverines gained confi-
dence last week, as even their one
loss was not lopsided.
"We realized we could have
beaten (Alabama), and they are
ranked in the nation," Michigan's
Jaimie Fielding said. "We saw that
we could compete against the na-
tion's top teams."
This Saturday, the team will
first meet Illinois, which has con-
sistently finished just behind Mich-
igan in the conference standings.
"We've beaten them the past
several years," Michigan assistant
coach Wendy Gilles said. "They've
ended up being right on our tails, so
they'll be gunning for us."
So far in 1992, Illinois has a 2-1
Big Ten record. The Illini have
beaten Iowa, 5-4, and Minnesota, 7-2
- two teams the Wolverines have
yet to play. Illinois' only Big Ten
defeat came at the hands of
Wisconsin, 6-3, a team Michigan
lost to earlier this season, 8-1.
Illinois finished fifth in the Big
Ten last year. No. 1 singles player
Lindsey Nimmo leads the Illini
squad.
"(Illinois) has some new fresh-

men who are really good, and they
just had a really good win over
Notre Dame," Fielding said. "It'll
be a tough match but we are really
up for it."
Purdue will host the Wolverines
Sunday. Consistently ranked in the
bottom half of the Big Ten, and un-
ranked among the top 15 schools of
the Midwest region (Michigan is
No. 4), the Boilermakers should be
the easier of this weekend's two op-
ponents.
"Purdue hasn't been very strong
in the past," Gilles said. "But we
always have to be ready to play, and
work hard to win."
Thus far, Purdue has lost to
Minnesota, 8-1, Iowa, 8-1, and
Wisconsin, 9-0. The Boilermakers
are lead by Iffy Okorafor at No. 1
singles.
The Wolverines have been
preparing intensely for this week-
end's matches. As they did in prepa-
ration for last weekend, the team is
working on each player's problems
and style of play.
"We're really trying to focus in
on fine-tuning," Gilles said. "We've
been having very individualized
workouts and (the players) have
been working very hard in practice."
Michigan's doubles players saw
action only against Alabama last
weekend. The other matches were
clinched before they had the oppor-
tunity to compete.

Jennifer Lev serves in a match against Ohio State earlier this season. The
women's tennis team will travel to Illinois and Purdue this weekend.

- v - A _.

Softball team to battle
top competition in Calif.

Men spikers set for MIVA tourney

by Shawn DuFresne
Daily Softball Writer
After an intense week of practice,
the Michigan softball team will at-
tempt to improve its 9-7 record when
it participates in the sixth annual
National Invitational Softball Tourn-
ament in Sunnyvale, Calif., today
through Sunday
The 16-team tournament is con-
sidered to be one of the nation's
premier softball events, and will be
the toughest tournament for the Wo-
lverines, according to coach Carol
Hutchins.
It features four teams ranked in
the NCAA Top 20 poll - No. 1-
ranked UCLA, California (No. 3),
,Iowa (No. 14), and the host of the
event, 17th-ranked San Jose State.
Michigan has the oppurtunity to
become the only two-time champion
of the tournament since it began six
years ago. The Wolverines captured
the title in 1989, and they posted a 3-
2 record last year during a rain-
shortened tournament.
The Wolverines are in the second
of four pools, each consisting of four
*squads, and will try to topple Hawaii
in their first contest tonight.
Hutchins has not decided who the
starting pitcher will be, but she plans
to utilize all three pitchers -
sophomore Julie Clarkson, junior

Kelly Forbis and rookie Kelly
Kovach - during the weekend.
Hutchins added that her squad
wants to establish control of the
game by scoring first, rather than
gett behind early like they have been
lately, and play "catch-up" the rest
of the game.
"Our goal is to remain intense
and focused, and to play tough,"
Hutchins said.
The Wolverines hope to improve
their .253 team batting average by
hitting the ball consistently.
Junior Patti Benedict, who led the
Big Ten in hitting last year, and
senior co-captain Stacey Heams
hope to set an example and make a
positive contribution, as well as
senior Sue Sieler, who has "had a
real hot stick so far," according to
Hutchins.
Michigan will square off against
Creighton Friday morning, followed
by an afternoon matinee with pow-
erhouse California.
The top two teams in each pool
will advance to the championship
bracket, while the other two squads
will compete in a consolation round.
"I'm not going to make any pre-
dictions," Hutchins said. "I'll be
pleased if we look tough, win or
lose."

Sieler

by Dan Linna
Daily Sports Writer
After a disappointing sixth-place
finish at the Big Ten Championships
three weeks ago, the Michigan
men's volleyball team is looking to
redeem itself at the Midwest Inter-
collegiate Volleyball Associations
(MIVA) Championships this week-
end.
The 24-team field will feature
Graceland College, Park College and
Michigan State as its top seeds when
play begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday in
Matino, Ill. The tournament is
scheduled to conclude late Saturday
afternoon.
"We are looking to show every-
one just how good a team we are,"
sophomore Tony Poshek said. "We
know we are one of the best teams in
the Midwest and it's time for us to
show it."
Michigan State has won the tour-
nament the last three years. The
Wolverines (14-4 in head-to-head
matches) knocked off MSU earlier
this season and are confident they
can compete in this field.
"I think we can win it," co-cap-
tain Rico Latham said. "This is one
of the things we have been working
for all season."
Michigan has had problems all
season in its effort to find consis-
tency. The team has had a tendency
to play down to the level of its op-
ponent, which has led to defeats
against lesser teams.

The Wolverines know they must
be at the top of their game if they are
to realize their goal of a champion-
ship this weekend.
"If they give their best effort -
that should carry them through,"
Michigan coach Tom Johengen said
of his team. "I think we have the tal-
ent to do it. I think the focus is there.
They want to show where we belong
in this league."
The Wolverines have battled in-
juries and player losses all season
and this weekend will be no differ-
ent. Outside hitter Chris Peirce is
still out with a knee injury and
sophomore Justin MacLaurin and
senior Norman Hu will not make the
trip, either.
"It creates a problem, but every-
one knows that going in and we'll
have to overcome it," Johengen said.
While the trio will be sorely
missed, Michigan is confident others
will step up and fill their roles.
"We're going to have to be able
to sustain an intense effort through-
out the entire two days," Poshek
said. "We'll have to be able to
bounce back from our mistakes and
play at our own level.

"I don't look for any one person
to pick up the slack. We've got to
have everyone clicking and realizing
the importance of their role for us to
succeed."
When things haven't gone right
for Michigan this season, it has often
been attributed to the team's mental
game rather than to a lack of physi-
cal ability.
"Our team attitude will be very
important," Latham said. "We have
to keep our mind on the court and
with our teammates.
"Tom (Johengen) has given us a
system where you do your role for
the team and the team will win.
Everyone is going to do their part
and we'll get it done."
While Johengen has stressed the
importance of a strong team effort,
rather than an individual one all sea-
son, he has seen the emergence of a
floor leader in Latham.
"More and more as the season
has progressed I have seen Rico take
on the role," Johengen said. "Rico is
very competitive and you can see his
intensity go up in big matches. I ex-
pect him to fire people up and to
lead the team out there. "

Tony the Tiger's bat lifts

*Detroit over.
PLANT CITY, Fla. (AP) -
Tony Phillips drove in both Detroit
runs with a homer and a single in the
Tigers' 2-1 victory Wednesday ovef
Cincinnati, ending Greg Swindell's
perfect spring training.
Phillips tied the game, 1-1, with a
leadoff homer in the fifth off Swin-
dell (0-1), who hadn't allowed a run
in his 16 spring innings. It was
Phillips' second homer.
The Tigers went ahead an inning
later. Travis Fryman walked with
one out and Skeeter Barnes beat out
a slow grounder to shortstop Barry
Larkin for a two-out single. Phillips
lined a single to left for his 10th RBI
of the spring.
Swindell gave up six hits and
walked two in six innings.

Reds, 2-1
Scott Aldred (3-1) allowed just
two hits and an unearned run in six
innings. The left-hander has pitched
well the last three times out, giving
up 11 hits and one earned run in 13
innings.
Phillips' throwing error set up the
Reds' only run in the fourth. Larkin
walked with one out, and Phillips
threw wide of first base on Chris
Sabo's slow grounder to send Larkin
to third. He scored when Reggie
Sanders forced Sabo at second.
Steve Cummings, competing for
a job in the Tigers' bullpen, allowed
two hits over the final two innings to
complete the combined five-hitter.
Detroit (11-9) has won five of its
last six games. Cincinnati is 13-7-1.

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