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April 19, 1994 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-19

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 19, 1994 - 17

'M' fencers
grab titles
despite
club status
By DARREN EVERSON
.DAILY SPORTS WRITER
It's hard to remember when the
members of the athletic teams were
just classmates. The ones here are, I
suppose, but I don't recall being ex-
cited about seeing the football coach
in high school or a basketball player
in junior high. Back then, they didn't
seem like anything special; they were
just like the rest of us.
All that changes when you come
to Michigan, though, where the ath-
letes become as famous as rock stars.
A team like the fencing club, how-
ever, is a reminder of how sports
teams were before coming to Michi-
gan - a bunch of kids with some-
thing in common: a love for being
*part of a team.
TheMichigan men's and women's
fencing teams are clubs, which means
they don't recruit high schoolers or
offer scholarships. They have meet-
ings and aclub president, which makes
them more like the chess club, except
they have really sharp swords.
And though most of their oppo-
nents are varsity teams, the fencing
club members don't think they're at
? such a disadvantage.
"As a varsity sport, we'd probably
be recruiting people," team member
Derek Hogland said, "and it would
limit the opportunities for people that
had never (fenced) before.
"We're not really looking to try to
push for varsity status. (The women's
team's) trying to get varsity status
;:was a topic of discussion at our end-
of-the-year meeting, but they were
very much against it because they
realize that their opportunities might
not have been there if it were a varsity
sport."
One such female is freshman
fencer Tamyra Rhodes. At the 1994
Midwest Fencing Championships,
Rhodes took a silver medal - quite
an achievement, considering she had
never fenced before she joined the
N club.
"She managed to key on one of the
main aspects of epee," club president
Seth Baldwin said, "which is you need
td keep good distance (from the oppo-
nent) and counterattack. Her height,
5-feet-11, and thin build give her a
natural starting point. It gives her a lot
more reach than her opponents."
Rhodes' event, the epee, is one of
the three forms of fencing. The others
are called foil and sabre.
Though the object - touching
your opponent with the blade - is
the same in the three events, what
separates them from each other is
the size of the target area and how
one scores.
In sabre, for example, the target
area is anything above the waist,
and you can score using any part of
the blade. This makes it a more
aggressive style than foil and epee,
where scoring can only be done by
"touching the tip of the blade on the
target area.

"(In sabre) you see a lot of people
charging at each other and swinging
their swords," said Hogland. "It's
sort of like a swashbuckling thing, I
guess.
"Epee is more of a defensive
game because even though you can
get a touch anywhere on your oppo-
nent, if you come in wrong, they can
touch anywhere on you."
Most of the people that join the
fencing club wouldn't know the dif-
ference between sabre and foil, or
even how to properly pronounce epee
(ep-AY), because most of them
haven't fenced before.
This fact seems like a tough ob-
stacle for a team to overcome, but that
hasn't been the case for these fencers.
"I think the fencing club is a very
cohesive, self-perpetuating entity,"
Baldwin said. "(We) can take raw
talent and mold it in just a few years
enough so that the seniors can create
good fencers to follow them."
That strategy has been successful,
as both the men's and women's teams'
records improved dramatically this
season. And though the men's squad
is losing one of their top fencers,
senior Jeff White, Hogland remains
optimistic about next season.
"We are looking forward to next
year," Hogland said. "A lot of our

Water polo continues six-year
domination of Big Ten opponents

By SCOTT BURTON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
It was D-Day at the Big Ten
Women's Water Polo Championship
last weekend in Evanston after Michi-
gan was done with the competition.
"D" as in destruction. "D" as in
domination. "D" as in 'da best.
For the sixth consecutive year, the
Wolverines won the conference cham-
pionship, completing a perfect 10-0
Big Ten season and extending their
winning streak to 58 games against
conference opponents.
"We weren't contested a whole lot
this weekend," Michigan coach Scott
Russell said. "I did expect that. We
haven't had a lot of close games this
year. We've got a lot of talented ath-
letes on our team and some experi-
ence, and that really showed this week-
end."

varsity program, and it shows,"
Russell said. "When we compete with
other club teams in the Midwest, the
experience level we have, the condi-
tioning in our athletes and the skill
level is superior."
While the Spartans are only a
second-year program, they provided
Michigan with its "stiffest" compe-
tition. But thanks to the goaltending
of junior co-captain Justine Sarver,
Michigan State never made a seri-
ous threat on the scoreboard, allow-
ing the Wolverines' to control the
action.
"It was a fun game to play, be-
cause the first two games were kind of
boring," Russell said. "But it was
never really close. The athletes on our
team dominated from the start. We
scored the first four goals and we shut
down all the offensive opportunities
that they had."
Freshman Tonya Malkina, senior
co-captain Candice Russell, sopho-
more Julie Chmielewski and Sarver
were named to the All-Big Ten team
for their efforts. Malkina tallied 19
goals in the three games, Russell added
nine goals and ten assists while
Chmielewski chipped in five goals
and six assists.
Appropriately enough, Michigan
will next host the Midwest Collegiate

Championships April 22-24, which
determines who qualifies for the
Women's Collegiate National Cham-
pionship, May 13-15, also hosted by
Michigan.
The Wolverines expect to be the
class ofthe MidwestCollegiate Cham-
pionship, given that the teams are
composed of the nine Big Ten teams
along with Bowling Green and Ohio
University.
"The other teams, quite frankly,
don't have the experience or the depth
to beat us," Russell said. "We need to
go out and play the type of game we
are capable of playing and we
shouldn't have any problems. We are
the only ones who can beat us."
It will be a different story if Michi-
gan qualifies for nationals. For unlike
in the Big Ten, there are a number of
teams that can easily hand the Wol-
verines a defeat. In the last Women's
Water Polo national rankings, Michi-
gan was ranked No. 9.
"I believe right now that we are
one of the top-five teams in the na-
tion," Russell said. "There really isn't
a lot of difference between a No. 1
and a No. 5. The biggest difference is
that there are a lot of programs out
there that are varsity - they give
scholarships, they get professional
coaches and prime pool time."

ro SOM*
Instead of
sending your
unwanted items to
a landfill, please donate

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them to local agencies that

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help others in the community.
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A OEm1 L 20 -30,1994
Look for collection boxes for these items
in your residence hail.

Clothing
Clothing must be
clean and undam-
aged. Donations will
benefit Purple Heart
Services Foundation
and The Salvation Army.

Food & Toiletries
Packages must be un-
opened and un-used. Dona-
tions will benefit Huron
Harvest Food Bank, Shelter
Association of Washtenaw
and Wildlife Rehabilitators.

Loftwood & Carpet

t PCcis

Bring bulky items outside
your residence hall to the
"Take It or Leave It" area
for your location. Remove
nails from Ioftwood and pile
neatly. Roll up carpets
neatly, and tape
A closed. Furni-

Returnable Cans
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Household Items

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