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April 22, 1996 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-22

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4B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, April 22, 1996


.ontinued from Page 1B
"I'm especially pleased with third
doubles," Eisner said. "We finally have
our No. 3 doubles operating like our top
two doubles teams."
The match, more importantly, is
the last chance for the Wolverines to
face competition before the Big Ten
tournament this weekend. Michigan
will have a chance to practice outside
this week before traveling to West
LThe Wolverines are searching for
their first conference title since 1988,
after two consecutive second-place fin-
ishes to Minnesota. The Golden Go-
phers, who enter the tournament as the
four-time defending champion, defeated
top-seeded Michigan last year, 4-2, a
loss that the Wolverines hope to avenge.
Michigan's opponentwill be decided
after the first day of competition.
Being the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten
tournament is nothing new to the Wol-
verines, and the pressure of being the
top seed is something that Michigan
can handle, Eisner said,
"I would really prefer to be the No. I
seed," Eisner said. "When you come in
as No. 1, you give a clear message to
everybody else in the tournament that
you are the best.
"Psychologically, there are cer-
tainly a lot ofbenefits to (being seeded
No. 1)."
Opponents are most likely wary of
the Wolverines, who have won eight
straight matches and have dominated
the Big Ten all year. Only Northwest-
ern has been able to defeat the Michi-
gan, taking a 4-3 victory by sweeping
the doubles matches.
And while the Wolverines would like
to enjoy their second consecutive finish
at 9-1 in the conference, the players
know that the season standings are ir-
relevant except for the purpose of seed-
ing. The team realizes that to win the
,title, every player must stay focused for
each of his matches.
"What we want to do is play great
tennis in this part of the season," Eisner
said. "We want to build on the tennis
that we've played during the dual meet
season, getting ready for the tourna-
-Continued from Page 1B
No. 3 singles for the Wolverines that
Today, Goldberg is helping to coach
a Michigan team that is looking for its
first conference title since Goldberg and
company won the crown. The team
may not be quite as talented as its 1988
counterpart, but Goldberg brings his
experience and teaching ability to the
"There's not necessarily a direct
correlation between being a great
player and a great coach," Goldberg
said. "My background as a player was
such that I was never the most gifted
athlete out there, and I had to rely on
my knowledge and strategy to pull
"That the thing I've really tried to
elate to our players."
The transition from high school to
ยข6llegiate tennis came quickly for
Goldberg, who immediately assumed
the No. 1 singles position at Michigan
in 1986, the first freshman to do so
since Vic Amaya in 1973.
Goldberg recognized the differences
between high school and college early
in his freshman year, and he made the
adjustments quickly.

'M' netters ready for
Big Te tourment
Blue looks to improve season tourney record


By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
Tournament time has been somewhat trouble-
some for the Michigan men's tennis team this
season,tbut the latest tourney may prove to be
the best for the Wolverines.
Michigan has competed in three team tour-
naments so far this season, facing nine ranked
teams in 10 matches. Overall, the Wolverines
have a 5-5 record, but Michigan has gong 9-1 in
dual matches since its last tournament. The
Wolverines have dropped matches to No. 5
Fresno State, No. 13 South Alabama, No. 24
Texas A&M and No. 40 Auburn.
Michigan defeated No. 20 Harvard, No. 21
Tennessee, No. 33 South Florida and No. 34
Arizona State this season, and enjoyed its best
tournament success thus far at the O'Charley's
Invitational in Knoxville, Tenn. The second-
place finish at the invite marked the highest
finish by the Wolverines in five years at
If this season is any indication of how the Big
Ten tournament will go, then Michigan will not
have any trouble in capturing its first confer-
ence crown in eight years.
"There is a reason why we are the No. 1
seed," Eisner said. "Basically, we've gone
through and beaten everybody."
Michigan has been seeded going into tourna-
ments, but it has not been the top seed until the
Big Tens. The advantage of facing conference
teams during the season is one Eisner is hoping
will benefit the Wolverines.
The advantage stems from the fact that Michi-
gan went 9-1 in the conference during the regular
season. The only loss came at the hands of North-
western, who swept the Wolverines' usually strong
doubles corps to steal a 4-3 victory.
"The fact is that, down deep, a lot of times
players of other teams sometimes get the feel-
ing that since they've lost to us and see that
we're getting better, that psychologically it
does give us the edge," Eisner said.
In the O'Charley's Invitational, Michigan's
No. I singles player Peter Pusztai was the most
consistent performer, going 3-0 with victories

"There is a reason
why we are the No. I
seed. Basically, we've
gone through and
beaten everybody."
- Brian Eisner
Michigan men's tennis coach
over No. 26 George Bastl, No. 31 Pablo Mon-
tana and No. 6 Jan Hermansson.
In the Big Ten tournament, Pusztai could face
two ranked opponents, No. 29 Lars Hjarrand and
No. 94 Alex Witt. Pusztai has defeated Witt
already this season, but has not faced Hjarrand.
Going into the conference tourney, Pusztai,
No. 2 singles John Costanzo, No. 3 singles
Arvid Swan, No. 4 singles David Paradzik and
No. 6 singles William Farah all have winneg
records for the Wolverines in the Big Ten this
season, going a combined 64-19. The domi-
nance of the singles players also has vaulted
Michigan to the top spot in the region.
Michigan defeated Notre Dame, which had
been the top team in the region, by sweepingthe
singles matches. The loss was the first suffered
by the Irish in the region all season.
The top two doubles teams for Michigan have
combined for a 20-4 record in the conference,
making the path difficult for any team hoping to
knock off the No. 27 Wolverines.
The strength of the singles lineup forces op-
ponents to rely on the doubles point to gains an
edge. Unfortunately, the top two teams for Michi-
gan have played consistently, and now the third
doubles team is on a roll as well.
A Michigan victory would end Minnesota's
hold on the conference title and secure the top
seed for the Wolverines in the upcoming NCAA
regional tournament.
Minnesota has defeated the Wolverines in t
finals of the tournament the past two season
have won the Big Ten title the past four seasons.

uTOY A uBuAD/aily
Michigan No. I singles player Peter Pusztai led the Wolverines past Iowa in the final Big Ten match of
the season. The Wolverines clinched the top seed in the Big Ten championships with a 9-1 record.
Mon's Tennis Weekend Results
1. Peter Pusztai (Michigan) def. Tom Derouin (Iowa), 6-4, 6-4.
2. Marcus Ekstrand (Iowa) def. Arvid Swan (Michigan), 3-6, 7-6, 6-2.
3. David Paradzik (Michigan) def. Damir Seferovic (Iowa), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
4. Geoff Prentice (Michigan) def. Ryan Johnstone (Iowa), 61, 61.
5. William Farah (Michigan) def. Ulf Jentler (Iowa), 6-3, 7-6.
6. Jake Raiton (Michigan) def. Justin Pohn (Iowa), 6-0, 6-2
'. Pusztal/Paradzik (Michigan) def. Ekstrand/Jentler (Iowa), 9-8 (5).
2. Prentice/Swan (Michigan) def. Derouin/Seferovic (Iowa), 8-4.
3. Raiton/Farah (Michigan) def. Johnstone/Ben Bamsey (Iowa), 8-3.

"In high school, you're not pushed
quite as much," Goldberg said. "A lot
of guys can, basically, win on talent.
You can pick and choose when you
have to play hard. I point to a lot of
guys on the team now."
He brought a solid game to the court
but, by his own admission, lacked a big
weapon that could power him out of
trouble. He instead relied on his court
smarts, which he used with deadly
efficiency. This experience is what he
draws on when he coaches the team
"A lot of our players relied on talent
to win and in junior tennis," Goldberg
said. "That's all you really needed. In
college, you can't rely just on talent to
win. And that's what I try to stress with
these guys - good point management
and playing smart."
Point management was effective for
Goldberg as he led the team to a
second-place finish in the Big Ten in
his freshman year, winning All-Big Ten
honors and qualifying for the NCAA
tournament in the process. He also
captured the Big Ten singles title that
After leading the team to a second
place finish and winning All-Big Ten
honors in his freshman campaign,
Goldberg competed in several satellite

tournaments to become a more
aggressive player.
"I figured that during the summer it
would be a good opportunity to get
some tough matches in and work on a
few things," Goldberg said. "I wanted
to add a few things and try to take my
game to another level of aggressive-
Goldberg made a number of
adjustments to his style of play and
came into the fall season looking to
integrate those changes into his game.
He struggled early and started at No. 2
singles as a sophomore, but as he
stresses to the players now, the patience
paid off.
"It takes hard work," Goldberg said.
"Shot selection, playing the right shot at
the right time - those are things that
will take the (the current players) to the
next level. It's hard - it's lot different
than just hitting a forehand or a
Goldberg began to hit stride in the
beginning of the second semester,
winning 31 consecutive matches. His
winning streak ended in the finals of the
NCAA singles championship against
Andrew Burrow of Miami (Fla.), losing
2-6, 6-1, 6-4. The run to the NCAA
final that season boosted Goldberg's
confidence and established his

reputation as a top-five player.
"It gave me a different sense of
thinking of myself as a player,"
Goldberg said. "Every time I stepped
on the court, I expected to win."
Some people buckle under the
pressure of playing in the spotlight, but
Goldberg basked in it, relishing his role
as the top player on the team. The
experience helped build his confidence
and changed his attitude toward tennis.
"A lot of times tennis players tend to
be negative people and get down on
themselves when they make a mistake,"
Goldberg said. "I tend to be a confident
player both on and off the court and try
to make sure that rubs off on the
players I coach."
Goldberg dedicated two years to life
on the tour and reached a world ranking
as high as No. 250.
"I was able to get my share of wins,"
Goldberg said. "But down the road I
felt like, 'Am I going to make it into
that top 20 or 30 in the world,' and to
be honest, I wasn't a good enough
athlete and realized that it wasn't going
to happen."
Goldberg enjoyed the competition he
faced but does not miss life on the tour.
His decision to leave the pro circuit
came after two years, and he expresses
few regrets with his choice.

"In all honesty, I felt like I was ready
to settle down," Goldberg said. "I felt
like a bit of a nomad out there, traveling
from place to place."
The chance for a coaching career
came early for Goldberg, who could
have assumed a position as the assistant
at Michigan shortly after graduation.
He considered the position after former
assistant coach Tim Madden left to take
over the head coaching duties at
Goldberg expressed his interest to
Eisner and, after numerous discussions,
assumed the role as assistant in 1993.
"(Eisner) and I have a unique
relationship," Goldberg said. "Since
I've played for him as a player, I know
how he thinks. I think that the guys on
the team appreciate the fact that I was a
player with extensive experience."
Goldberg complements Eisner's
intense coaching style with his own
laid-back attitude. The two contrasting
personas assure that the players always
have someone to talk to.
The role of the assistant has fit
Goldberg perfectly so far. He and
Eisner have turned a team that finished
eighth three years in a row, including
Goldberg's first, into a perennial
winner through recruiting and through

the expertise that both coaches bring to
the court.
This season, the Wolverines have
clinched the top seed in the Big Ten'
championships for the second year in a
row. Michigan is looking for its first
Big Ten title since 1988, when
Goldberg was still a player.
"The difference between finishing
eighth and finishing first is paper thin,
Goldberg said. "It's a lot of the little
things that are involved - the
chemistry and camaraderie - it all
adds up and we've finally got that
going again."
In his new career, Goldberg is happy
to be around tennis and is content with
what he has accomplished so far. He
enjoys his current role and expresses
few regrets regarding his pro career.
"There's not a day that goes by
where I don't pick up the paper and
read a tennis score and a guy in the top
50 in the world who I beat in straight
sets is winning matches and taking
home big paychecks," Goldberg said.
"And sometimes I think, 'That could
have been me,' and that's been a regret.
"But I have a good career going
here between the teaching and the
coaching. Overall, I'm pretty happy
with where I am."

The First Annual Bursley
Street Party
Tuesday, April 23rd 3-9pm
Front Lawn - Bursley Hall
Picnic Style Dinner wIMeal Credit
Including Performances By:


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The Gentlemen
Aaron Radatz

- ACappella 3:15pm
- Illusionist/Magician 4 pm

Home Improv-ment - Comedy Troupe 5:30 pm
Amazin' Blue - A Cappella 6:30 pm

Every Bite Helps!
April 29 - May 3
May 6 -MaylO
Bring your unopened, nonperishable surplus canned
goods to the following campus-area congregations
between 9-5 weekdays during the 2-week period:

assistant coac
Dan Goldberg has
helped coach.
Michigan to a
first-place finish
in the Big Tep
this season.
Goldberg, In his
> fourth year as-
f ff { f f :assistant coach,
rplayed for the
wolverines from
1986-89 and
;f named All-
American three
years. B


i. air


Am A - -A 4


Arm - - m




Adult Lifestyle Program

All Day D.J.
The Gentlemen
Dunk Tank

Velcro Wall
Sumo Wrestling
Home Improv-ment
Special Guest Speaker



x ; 15 vial'


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