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March 20, 1996 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-03-20

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 20, 1996 - 11

Walton nips
Cleaves for
top hoops
honor
DETROIT (AP) - Winfred Walton
says he's still havinga hardtime trying to
deal with Detroit Pershing's ouster from
the Michigan state high school basketball
tournament Friday.
But the Doughboys' star got a nice
consolation prize Monday when he was
named winner of the 1996 Hal Schram
Mr. Basketball Award.
Walton, a6-foot-8 forward, edged Flint
orthern guard Mateen Cleaves by 13
points in the closest voting ever for the
award, presented annually to Michigan's
top senior high school basketball player.
"I still haven't gotten over the game
Friday," Walton said, "so I don't know if
I enjoy this as much as I would if we were
still in the tournament."
Walton received579pointsto Cleaves'
566 in voting among 276 members of the
WsketballCoachesAssociationofMichi-
gan.
Mike Chappell, whose Southfield
Lathrup team upset Pershing, 67-65, in
Friday's regional finals, was a distant
third in the voting with 185 points while
Todd Schroetenboer of Grand Rapids
South Christian was fourth at 183.
Newaygo's Mike Burde garnered 154
points to round out the top five.
Walton averaged 28 points and 15 re-
hounds a game for Pershing, which was
~beaten, nationally ranked and a pro-
hibitive favorite to win the Class A state
championshipbeforethelossto Southfield
Lathrup.
"That was my No. 1 prize, to win the
state title," Walton said. "But this award,
myteammates and coaches supportedme
a lot for this, so I owe a lot to them."
Walton is the second player from
Peishingto wintheMr. Basketball Award
the past three years. Former Doughboy
illie Mitchell, who just completed his
sophomore season at Michigan, was the
1994 winner.
Walton and Cleaves were generally
regarded all season as the favorites to
become Mr. Basketball.
Walton said he has narrowed his col-
lege choices down to Michigan State,
Syracuse, Kansas, California and Ala-
bama-Birmingham and would soon be-
in official visits to all five schools.
"Me and my coach and family are
going to sit down in about a week or so
and talk it over," Walton said. "I was
focused on the season more than about
next year."
Walton said he fell two points short of
therequired 17 score on the ACT test and
will retake the exam next month.
Walton is the 16th winner of the Hal
SchramMr. Basketball Award. Itisnamed
,r the late Hal Schram, who covered
gh school sports at the Detroit Free
Press for more than 40 years.

'M' netters look to dethrone

-

-0

reignmg"
By Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
In the wild, the ordinary gopher is
no match for the sharp claws and
waiting jaws of the fearless wolver-
ine.
A duel between the furry creature
of "Caddyshack" fame and the car-
nivorous mammal usually turns into a
quick meal for the latter. What could
save the gopher from the clutches of
the predator?
Give him a tennis racket.
In the past four years, the Minne-
sota Golden Gophers have dominated
men's tennis in conferenceplay, win-
ning four consecutive championships,
including a 4-2 victory over the top-
seeded Wolverines in last season's
final.
That victory marked the second time
in as many years that Minnesota beat
Michigan for the title.
The Wolverines, hoping to regain
the Big Ten title they last won in
1988, take a swipe at the Gophers
today at 1 p.m. in a dual match.
At stake today is first place in the
Big Ten standings in addition to a
more personal milestone.
Michigan coach Brian Eisner is
looking for his 400th win as head
coach of the Wolverines. For Eisner,
reaching that milestone against a team

Big TenC
that has defeated his squad in the Big
Ten finals the past two seasons would
be sweet revenge.
The Wolverines have won their only
Big Ten match going into today, de-
feating Penn State in early February.
Overall, Michigan is 6-6 after going
1-2 in the Blue-Gray championships
in Alabama.
The Gophers are 2-1 in the Big Ten
and a win today could propel them
toward a fifth-straight title. Minne-
sota is 4-9 on the season, but Eisner is
cautious.
"All of the (early) losses were to
very good teams," Eisner said. "I know
how good they are and the team knows
how good they are."
Even so, the timing of the match is
excellent for Michigan.
In the new Intercollegiate Tennis
Association's Rolex Collegiate Rank-
ing released yesterday, Michigan
vaulted from No. 25 to a season-high
No. 14.
Individually, the Wolverines' No.
I singles Peter Pusztai continued to
climb, moving up a spot to No. 22,
while the duo of Pusztai and John
Costanzo jumped into the top 20 as
the No. 17 doubles pair. The Wolver-
ines seem to be clicking on all cylin-
ders.
Minnesota, however, dropped out

bamps

of the top 50 in the new rankings.
"Minnesota poses an unbelievable
challenge to us," Eisner said. "We
have lost to them in the final of the
championships the past two years'
and last year, we had beaten them,
decisively, 6-1, in a dual meet weeks
before the tournament.
"The fact that they dropped out of
the top 50 really means little to us."
The Gophers are led by No.38 Lars
Hjarrand and No. 22 Ben Gabler at
the first two singles slots.
Both are 19-11 on the season and
both match up well against Michigan's
singles players on paper.
"(Minnesota) is big, strong anda
very aggressive and powerful team,
Eisner said. "They usually play better
indoors than outdoors."
Last season, in the only meeting
between the two teams during the
regular season, Michigan broke the
Gophers' Big Ten home winning
streak at 40 games.
That match put the Wolverines
alone in first place and captured the
top seed in the Big Ten tournament.
which Minnesota eventually won.
"It was a very competitive match
and both teams went at it," Eisner
said. "We expect as much (today)."
Michigan is next in action March
30 at Northwestern.

FILE PHOTO/Daily

The Michigan's men's tennis team gets Into the swing of things today against
Minnesota, the reigning Big Ten champion.

Women's tennis bests Spartans, 6-1, in East Lansing

By Jiten Ghelani
Daily Sports Writer
In yesterday afternoon's tennis match,
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt found herself
opening up a mixed bag of treats.
While putting her hand in for the first
time, Ritt could only anticipate three
doubles victories. Ritt, however, didn't
know what she was getting herself into.
She was able to pull out three distinct, but
equally pleasing treats. Michigan beat
Michigan State, 6-1, last night in East
Lansing.
Entering the match, the Wolverine
doubles' tandems knew they had to im-
prove upon their recent performances.
Sarah Cyganiak and Sora Moon, play-

ing No. I doubles, gave the coach what
she was looking for. They took command
right from the start and stormed by the
Spartan duo of Laura Worzniak and Isabel
Oelze, 8-0. The No. 2 doubles match
wasn't quite as appealing to Ritt early on.
Things got off to a sour start for Angie
Popek and Tara Graff as the two seniors
fell behind 3-1. They showed great expe-
rience, breaking serve to cut the deficit to
3-2. After that, the veterans stayed even
with the Spartans' Stacie Bowman and
Sarah Hulewicz. Popek and Graff were
up, 7-6, when Popek held serve to finish
off the match.
"I didn't feel pressure because I held
serve in the (entire) match," Popek said.

Ritt couldn't have been happier be-
cause one of the most important goals
before the match was to hold serve 100
percent of the time.
As the third doubles game was un-
wrapped, the most exciting part of the
afternoon developed. Tumeka Harris and
Sibyl Smith played a long match that
concluded in a tiebreaker.
To even up the match at 8-8, Harris and
Smith faced a tough challenge. Angie
Catron and Jamie Tannenbaum had put
Michigan State ahead, 8-7, and were on
their way to closing out the match. Harris
and Smith weren't ready to crumble just
yet. They saved three match points and
broke Tannenbaum's serve, sending the

match to the tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, Michigan led, 6-3,
before Ritt almost choked on her seem-
ingly delightful treat. Michigan State won
the next two points but the Wolverines
survivedthe scare and won the tiebreaker,
7-5. Smith and Harris had worked on
attacking aggressively and did so suc-
cessfully enough to come out on top.
They reduced their unforced errors as the
match progressed and also seized oppor-
tunities for winning shots..
"We played well today," Smith said.
"We were a big improvement from.San
Diego."
Then Ritt reached into the bag once
more, pulling out five similar items. In

her palm were five convincing singles
victories for the Wolverines.
In No. 1 singles, Cyganiak cruised by
Hulewicz 6-3, 6-2. Moon put on a clinic,
defeating Oelze 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2. The
third slot belonged to Harris in her 6-1, 6-
2 win over Worzniak.
Ritt's last draw wasn't as appealing as
the others. The No. 6 singles match didn't
go exactly as Michigan had hoped. Smith
lost 6-4,6-3 to Bowman, bringing a rotten
taste to Ritt's mouth. Smith was some-
what happy because she did play better
than she had the past few weeks. She was
up against a tougher opponent who usu-
ally played higher in the lineup. Bowman
was saddled with a back injury.

Read Daily Sports.
More interesting than homework.
Less athletic than Sega.
Quieter than Dick Vitale.
Safer than smoking crack.

MICHIGAN
RECORDS
" phone: 663.5800
1140 south university (above goodtime chadeys), AA
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