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February 16, 1995 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-16

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 16, 1995 - 9

*Women's tennis to face
Kentucky in Lexington

'M' tankers look to
capture Big Ten title

By Sarah DeMar
Daily Sports Writer
With four straight wins, the Michi-
gan women's tennis team is making
quite a racket.
After victories over Western
gMichigan, Miami (Ohio) and Iowa,
the Wolverines hosted Minnesota last
weekend and beat the Gophers, 8-1.
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said that
winning such a lopsided game was a
major boost of confidence because
Minnesota was competitive with two
other nationally ranked teams, .
"Beating Minnesota was espe-
cially good for us," Ritt said. "We
discovered that we could really raise
ur level of play when we had to."
Michigan needs to raise its intensity
Sunday when it travels to Lexington,
Ky. The No.22 Wolverines are looking
for revenge against No.12 Kentucky.
"(The Wildcats) will definitely be
challenging," Sarah Cyganiak said.
"Last year they only won, 6-3, so I
think we stand a good chance of beat-
ing them."
* Just a sophomore, Cyganiak has
been holding her own against her op-
ponents. She currently sports a flaw-
less record in the No. 1 singles slot.
"I expect a lot from myself on
singles," Cyganiak said. "We all ex-
pect a lot from each other."
Simone Lacher is the only Wolver-
ine who is out of action this weekend.

" I thinkwe
stand a good
chance of beating
them.''
- Sarah Cyganiak
Michigan tennis player

The senior sprained her shoulder in two
places a month ago and was told it
would take six weeks to heal. However,
Lacher has already begun serving and
hitting overheads in practice.
Although Kentucky is not a Big
Ten school, the contest is still impor-
tant for Michigan.
"We try to get scheduled with
really good teams," Ritt said. "It's
important to play the Kentuckys so
that we can gain the experience of
playing against those kinds of teams.
We want to qualify for NCAAs this
year."
With Lexington located only an hour
away from senior Jamie Fielding's
hometown, the Louisville resident is
expecting her own cheering section.
"It's great to be going home,"
Fielding said. "My parents will be
coming along with a lot of friends
from home, too. I also have a friend,
Courtney Allen, who plays for Ken-
tucky."

By Rebecca Moatz
Daily Sports writer
As the Michigan women's swim-
ming and diving team begins, its
quest for a ninth consecutive Big
Ten title, the squad is in an enviable
position - it's the top ranked par-
ticipant at the Big Ten Champion-
ships.
The No. 2 Wolverines' biggest
challenge in the meet figures to come
from No. 10 Northwestern.
The Big Ten Championships is a
three-day meet that begins today at
the Indiana Natatorium. This venue
is not new to Michigan. The Wol-
verines traveled to Indianapolis two
weeks ago and beat the Hoosiers,
136-87.
That meet proved to be a trial run
for Michigan as the freshmen were
given a chance to test the facility in
preparation for this weekend.
"When they made (that) meet ...
they wanted to give the people who
had never swam at Indianapolis be-
fore the chance to look at the facil-
ity and almost imagine what it would
be like when they go there to swim
in Big Tens," senior co-captain
Alecia Humphrey said.
"It's a very big natatorium with
a lot of space for seating, it can be
overwhelming, and it just (gave) us
every little advantage we could get
for the meet."

And Michigan will need that ad-
vantage. Though the Wolverines
shouldn't have trouble with the com-
petition this weekend, Michigan
must deal with its biggest nemesis
- the clock.
While the other teams are out
vying for top finishes in the confer-
ence, the Wolverines are trying to
meet at least seven more NCAA
qualifying times. With the NCAA
Championship meet exactly one
month away and only two more op-
portunities to qualify for the meet,
the Wolverines are racing against
time.
"The only thing we can control
is how well we prepare today, to-
morrow and the next day," Michi-
gan coach Jim Richardson said. "If
we do all of those things really well,
then we'll swim as fast as we're
supposed to swim. Our destiny is
partially in our hands and the things
that we have control over, we need
to do a good job of controlling."
Michigan needs to qualify as
many swimmers as possible, as the
race for the national title may come
down to the Wolverines and No. 1
Stanford. The teams met earlier this
season with the Cardinal winning
by two points. With a large squad
participating in the meet, Michigan
will have a better chance of obtain-
ing the title.

The Michigan women's swimming and diving team strives for its ninth
consecutive Big Ten championship today in Indianapolis.

RODRIGUEZ
Continued from page 8
Big Ten honors and'was named to
the All-National Tournament team
as a freshman. He was a major fac-
tor in Michigan's jump from eighth
to second place in the Big Ten.
Rodriguez's family has had an
ndeniable impact on his volleyball
areer.
He started playing volleyball at
age 10 and has been around the sport
his entire life - by virtue of his two
older sisters.
His oldest sister, Lisa, was an out-
side hitter and played on Duke's var-
sity team. Another older sister,
Beatriz, was a setter for Penn's var-
sity squad.
I "Both of my sisters have influ-
enced me a lot," Rodriguez said.
"Maybe my oldest sister a little more,
but only because I play her position.
But since I am now beginning to set,
I'm trying to be as good a setter as my
other sister, which is weird."

Rodriguez says that the differ-
ences in playing styles in Puerto
Rico and the continental United
States may be the reason why people
think he gets overly emotional on
the court.
"The perspective of the game is
a lot different," Rodriguez said. "We
take it a lot more personally than
here.
"I look at the game for enjoy-
ment, and (Americans) look like they
are doing it more for a business or
more like a job."1
The enjoyment factor is one
Rodriguez always emphasizes.
"(Volleyball) is what I have the
most fun doing," Rodriguez said.
"It's when I am the most like my-
self. I just feed off my emotions."
Just about the only thing sepa-
rating Rodman and Rodriguez, are
championships. Rodriguez hopes to
get his first this season.
"We're gonna win the Big Tens.
We're gonna do the best we can in
the nationals," Rodriguez said.

I look at the
game for
enjoyment, and
(Americans) look
like they are doing
it more for a
business or more
like a job."
- Ernesto Rodriguez
Michigan volleyball player
"There's a lot of work to do, but I'm
pretty sure that we're the best team
in the region."
Given the opportunity,
Rodriguez, like Rodman, will al-
ways make sure that people know
what he thinks of his team's, or his
own, self-confidence.

BASKETBALL
Continued from page 8
Northwestern enters tomorrow's
matchup coming off an 89-77 non-
conference victory over Northern Illi-
nois, Tuesday. The Wildcats are led by
guard Maureen Holohan. The senior,
who garnered honorable mention All-
Big Ten honors last season, is averag-
ing 14.8 points per game and is seventh
in the conference in rebounds (8.4).
Northwestern's record stands at 6-7,
and it is in seventh place in the Big Ten
following a 86-62 loss to Penn State.
Iowa is having an uncharacteristi-
cally poor season. The perennial con-
ference contenders are in ninth place in
the Big Ten and in the midst of a three-
game losing streak.
Tiffany Gooden, the only freshman
to rank among the league's top twenty
scorers, leads Iowa with an average of
14.8 points per contest. Fellow fresh-
man Tangela Smith leads the Big Ten in
blocked shots, averaging over three per
game.

I

ry i

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