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April 08, 1994 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-04-08

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14 - The Michigan Daily-- Friday, April 8, 1994

Netters face streaking Penn State

By JOSH KAPLAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
The 2-1 Big Ten record the Michi-
gan men's tennis team has compiled
is more impressive than it may seem.
After two victories against three
of the toughest teams in the confer-
ence, the Wolverines continue their
homestand Sunday against Penn State
1 p.m. at the Liberty Sports Complex.
The Nittany Lions (2-2 Big Ten,
8-2 overall) come in riding a seven-
meet winning streak, including two
7-0 victories to go along with a trio of
6-1 triumphs. They have not fallen
since dropping a4-3 decision to Iowa
March 13.
Michigan coach Brian Eisner,
however, doesn't seem concerned
about who his team faces.
"I never look at teams," Eisner
said. "We look at individual matchups.

It doesn't make a difference what
team we're playing. We have to play
at a certain level."
Penn State will provide some
tough individual matchups for the
Wolverines, especially with its No. I
player, Ivan Spinner.
Spinner, an All-Big Ten selec-
tion last season as a sophomore, has
built an 8-1 record this spring. In
order to improve that mark, he will
have to go through Michigan's top
gun, senior Dan Brakus.
Eisner feels his team has improved
significantly since losing to Minne-
sota last weekend.
"We had a chance to win that
meet, (but) we couldn't turn a match
when we had to," Eisner said. "We
came back against Iowa and did a
much better job (of winning), and we
did a much, much better job against

Michigan State."
Every member of the squad con-
tributed to the thumping of the Spar-
tans with convincing performances.
The lone setback came in the fourth
slot, wherejunior Grady Burnett could
not fight off a spell of tendonitis,
losing 6-4, 1-6, 3-6.
The team will need similar indi-
vidual excellence to top Penn State.
The Nittany Lions have played
well from top to bottom, with each of
their players posting individual
records better than .500. Sophomore
Doug Schoenly currently possesses a
perfect 7-0 record.
With both teams playing so well,
the meet may be decided by determi-
nation alone.
"Mentally tough, that's what you
have to be," Eisner said. "There's not
that much difference between a lot of
different players. It's a matterof com-
ing out and wanting it, wanting to go
after it."

SO FTBALL
Continued from page 12
Offense remains one of
Northwestern's strong points. Catcher
Kelly Green's .479 average leads the
squad, while nine others are batting
above .300.
"Their average does show they're
doing well, but we're going to have
our same approach," Tholl said. "Ba-
sically, when we enter every contest
we try to play our game ... executing
our pitching and our offense."
Senior shortstop Mary Campana
knows better than any other Wolverine
just how essential a potent offensive
gun is. In her last 19 at-bats, she has six
hits, including back-to-back doubles.
Last weekend's split proved the
Wolverines have the confidence they
need to continue their quest for an
over-.500 record this season.
"The team is playing with confi-
dence right now," Tholl said. "Even
in the games we lost, we hit the ball
well. We didn't score the runs but
we're making good contact. If any-
thing, we need to concentrate on (hit-
ting), and the positive things we do
right- which is mostly everything."

Women's rugby hosts
Broncos,Fighting llhn

0

By LAUREN ROSENFIELD
FOR THE DAILY
Rugby fans will get to see experi-
enced and novice teams at their best
this weekend as the Michigan
women's rugby team takes on Illinois
and Western Michigan. While the
Wolverines are ranked second in the
Midwest, the Fighting Illini are a close
third, and Western is a brand-new
team.
Michigan will play Western first
tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and Illinois
second at 1:30 p.m. at Mitchell Field.
A fourth team, Michigan State, will
also be visiting but will not face the
Wolverines.
The Wolverines are confident
about their chances for success to-
morrow.
"Illinois is a pretty worthy oppo-
nent," Michigan rugby coach Katie
Page said. "We beat them at nationals
last year, but it was a challenging
game."
Michigan will mainly focus on
enhancing its already strong offen-
sive line. At the same time, it wants to
pull together and become a cohesive
group.
"We're really good offensively,"
Page said. "But recently we've been
working on our defensive line. We
want to emphasize team unity.
"The point is not to have certain
'star' players, because that's not how
the game is played. We don't want
several girls running the field."

Another important part of prepa-
ration for the matches will be simply
getting the essentials down.
"We're still working on basic game
fundamentals, nothing too fancy,"
Page said.
The older players make up the
forward line, which is traditionally
the team's most valuable asset. How-
ever, the defensive contingent con-
sists of new players who are slowly
surfacing as a promising group of
women.
"We have a lot of rookies who are
extremely talented," Page said. "At
each game, we have been continually
impressed with their performance."
The new players will be respon-
sible for taking over the team in the
future and are already demonstrating
an ability to do so.
"Some of our core players have
been injured in the past, and the rook-
ies have kind of taken over the reins,"
Page said. "We are relying on these
players to keep the team going. So far,
they have been extremely dedicated."
This weekend's events will have
no substantial effect on the rugby
team's standings, because the national
tournament does not take place until
the fall. The matches offer opportuni-
ties for practice and competition.
"Since Western is a new team, we
want to let them see how the game is
played," Page said. "Of course we'd
like to beat them, but we're going to
show them how to play the game."

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