2 - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, March 28, 1994
Men's tennis looksdown long road to conference championship
Michigan faces tough competition from Big Ten opponents, looks to team leader Braku
By JENNIFER DUBERSTEIN
FOR THE DAILY
If a team's season is like ahighway,
then the Michigan men's tennis team
better get ready for a long ride. The
Wolverines are about to embark on
their Big Ten season with the final
destination counting on the outcome of
The team to beat in the conference
is nationally ranked Minnesota. The
Golden Gophers are the two-year reign-
ing Big Ten champions. They have not
lost a conference match in the past two
"Minnesota will be our biggest
match of the Big Ten dual meet sea-
son," Michigan coach Brian Eisner
said "We have an excellent chance
Although Minnesota will be atough
opponent, the Wolverines will face
'many other viable teams this season.
In mid-April, Michigan will face
Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are not
in the Big Ten conference, but this
match will help give Michigan a sense
of where they stand.
The Big Ten is a very competitive
conference for men's tennis.
"Every team has a number of
very good players. We have a lot of
very good teams," Eisner said. "You
have got to be ready to play every
Eisner expects Northwestern and
Iowa, along with Minnesota, to be the
toughest competitors. The next group-
ing of close teams consists ofMichigan
State, Ohio State, Penn State and Wis-
Michigan is looking to fit in some-
where at the top, but exactly where is
Eisner said the biggest obstacle for
the Wolverines is the Wolverines.
"The biggest obstacle that any team
has is itself," Eisner said. "It isn't
really some other team or some other
player. It is really continuing to im-
prove and doing the things that are
going to make you a better team.
"We can't control what is happen-
ing with other teams. The only people
we can really control are ourselves."
Michigan has been working on
improving its doubles play and indi-
vidual problems. The doubles points
could become the deciding factor for
the Wolverines in close matches. Each
team member has different weaknesses
that need to be worked on.
"We are looking at players' styles
of play and various facets of their
games," Eisner said. "The things that
we want to add to their game or the
things that they are not doing quite as
Team relaxation will also be ama-
jor factor affecting the Wolverine's
In 1991, the Michigan football
team went to the Gator Bowl
after finishing with a record of
9-3. The men's basketball
team posted a 14-15 record in
1990-91 and lost to Colorado
in the first round of the NIT.
The hockey team went 34-10-3
and lost to BU in the second
round of the NCAA tourney.
"We have been working hard on
having players be much more re-
laxed," Eisner said. "Not getting
too intense and not getting too hyper,
so they can compete and really play
Dan Brakus, the Wolverines' No.
1 singles player, has made the
NCAA tournament for the past two
years. Eisner said Brakus is cur-
rently ranked about 16th in the na-
tion. His toughest opponent in the
Big Ten will probably be
Minnesota's Paul Pridmore.
"(Brakus') particular style of play
is one where he plays with a great deal
of power in all aspects of his game,"
Eisner said. "It is very difficult to beat
him because he controls the match
with his power.
"He doesn't make many mental
errors. He doesn't make simple mis-
takes. If the match is close - when it
gets to the key points that are going to
determine a match - he is playing
these points very smart."
Brakus' play, along with the en-
is for help
tire team's performance, will be tested@
in their first match against Minnesota
"If we are fortunate enough and if
we win all of these matches, then that
is great and we know we are in an
excellent position," Eisner said. "If
we lose a match or two, again it will
tell us where we are. It is important
for us as a team to always know where
Hopefully for the Wolverines the
season will be a map thatleads to a Big
Ten championship title.
Of~ the W.ek,.
WHO: Gustavo Borges
TEAM: Men's Swimming
HOMETOwN: Barbosa, Brazil
WHY: Borges was a part of five school records this weekend at the
NCAA Championships. He won the 100- and the 200- yard free and
was the anchor for the winning 400, 800 free relays and the 200
medley relay. Borges also placed second in the 50 free and was the
meet's high scorer with 57 points.
BACKGROUND: Borges won the silver medal in the 100 meter free at the
1992 Olympic Games. This weekend marks Borges' third time
winning the 100 free at the NCAA championships.
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