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April 04, 1996 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-04

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 4, 1996 - 11A

-chign spikers happy to
be home for weekend match

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
There's no place like home.
In an otherwise up-and-down sea-
son, the Michigan men's volleyball
team will get a chance to settle itself
this weekend.
Michigan will host Eastern Michi-
gan on Saturday night, returning home
for the first time in over a month.
A mixture of travel following games
and nights on the road has left the
Wolverines longing for their own
beds.
The combination of tournaments
Od road matches has left Michigan
ragged and on the brink of disaster.
The team faltered at last weekend's
MIVA regional tournament and is
looking forward to the match against
the Eagles as a chance to right its
record.
Michigan coach Kent Booker hopes
to correct the unforced errors that
doomed the Wolverines against Iowa
.ate.
The Cyclones lulled Michigan into
problems as the Wolverines had
trouble on their own side of the court.
"We lost it in our service game,"

"This week we're going to practice a
lot of serve-receive (to correct passing
problems)"
- Kent Booker
Michigan men's volleyball coach

V

v

Booker said.
Michigan began the tournament in
search of a high-ranking entering pool
play and accomplished that by gar-
nering the second seed in its pool.
But those hopes were dashed in the
first round oftournament play as Iowa
State trounced Michigan.
Booker felt the team was "out of
sync" and not playing up to its poten-
tial.
Potential has dogged the Wolver-
ines all season, and the time for change
is running out. After the match against
Eastern Michigan, Michigan will con-
clude its season the weekend of April
19 in Toledo.
But the coach remains optimistic
and thinks he has the answer to the
team's woes.

"This week we're going to practice
a lot of serve-receive (to correct pass-
ing problems)," Booker said.
The rotation is also a problem for
the Wolverines following last
weekend's matches. Although Ted
Skolarus started the tournament, he
had been replaced by Judd Lamed by
the time Michigan was eliminated.
"It's kind of a trade-off," Booker
said. "(Skolarus, Andy Spitser and
Lamed) all have different specialties.
It depends on practice this week."
Cliff Keen Arena will host the match,
as Michigan makes its first appearance
in the building this season.
Previous home matches, as well as
the tournament the Wolverines hosted,
were played at the Central Campus
Recreation Building.

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Pusztai
tompetes
inpro
tounament
Richard Shin
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan singles player Peter
Pusztai is currently ranked No. 22 in
collegiate tennis. Last Tuesday, he
took on the world.
The No. 220 player in the world, to
be exact.
Pusztai, an Ann Arbor native, com-
peted in the USTA Challenger tour-
nament at the Sports Club of West
loomfield on Tuesday, receiving a
wild-card bid into the tournament
draw. Four wild-card bids were avail-
able out of a 32-player field.
[he event, featuring Aaron
Krickstein, Bryan Shelton, Jonathan
Stark and No. 123 Gianluca Pozzi,
matched Pusztai against the No. 220
player in the world, Paul Kilderry.
The winner of the match advanced to
econd round action against Sargis
lrgsian of Armenia. Sargsian, who
was not seeded, upset fifth-seeded
Bryan Shelton in the opening round,
7-6 (7-4), 6-0.
Kilderry defeated Pusztai in straight
sets, 6-3, 6-4, in the first round of the
tournament.
"It was kind of overwhelming at
first," Pusztai said. "I couldn't focus
at times. "
Even though the tournament is
MJSTA sanctioned and the field is
ominatedbyprotourplayers, Pusztai
entered the draw as an amateur to
retain his college eligibility. This al-
lows Pusztai to earn points toward a
world ranking, while still in the colle-
giate ranks.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for
Peter to measure himself against the
next level," Michigan coach Brian
Eisner said. "He came away with a lot
f positives."
Although it was Pusztai's first
match against a professional oppo-
nent, he played well enough to stay
close for much of the two sets. At one
point in the second set, he broke
Kilderry's serve and led the set.
"It was a big step up for me," Pusztai
said. "I didn't play extremely well,
but it was still a good experience."
The tournament included players
mom around the world, including 16
from the United States. Eight players
earned seeds, and Pozzi of Italy gained
the top spot.
For his efforts, Pusztai gained one
point toward a world ranking.
"Peter didn't play his best tennis
(against Kilderry), and the match was
still close," Eisner said. "If (Pusztai)
was on top of his game, it could have
gone either way."
On the collegiate level, Pusztai
leads the Wolverines at No. I singles
and teams with senior John Costanzo
at first doubles.
His 30-10 record is one win from
his career high 31 victories he re-
corded in 1993-94.
Pusztai has resnonded to his role as

knowledge.
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NOPPORN KICHANANTHA/Daily
Senior Sarah Cyganiak and the Michigan women's tennis team hope to avoid April
showers after a March filled with downpours.
IM'women's tennis
ains for fresh start

By Jiten Ghelani
Daily Sports Wrter
Two weekends

four tough de-

feats.
This weekend the Michigan women's
tennis team has a chance to turn things
around as it ventures out for two confer-
ence matches.
The Wolverines will make their first
stop 2p.m. Friday in Champaign to take
on Illinois. The following day Michi-
gan will head to West Lafayette for a
dual match against Purdue.
The trip comes at a time when Michi-
gan could be its most vulnerable. The
team has lost four matches in a row and
seven of its past eight. To say that the
month of March was cruel to the Wol-
verines is an understatement.
April, however, may tell a different
story. Only conference teams remain
on Michigan's schedule, and the Big
Ten championships round out the sea-
son in the last weekend of the month.
The fact that the Wolverines have
played many ranked teams could help
in their quest to finish strongly. Also,
Michigan has already faced the top
two Big Ten teams, Wisconsin and
Northwestern.
"Even though we haven't experienced
the success that we would have liked,
it's important to realize that we have
played tough competition," Michigan
coach Bitsy Ritt said. "Now we are
looking for a fresh start in April."

their lineup; coach Jennifer Roberts
swapped players among the top two
doubles teams. The doubles are not
getting the job done, which is apparent
in the unusually late changes.
Michigan, on the other hand, has
been forced to make small adjustments
of its own due to injuries.
The Wolverines may be able to ex-
ploit the Illini's changes with their re-
cent doubles success. The top tandem,
Sarah Cyganiak and Sora Moon, leaped
into yesterday's rankings. Originally
unranked, the duo is now No. 26 after
winning four straight and nine out of
10.
The biggest difference between
Michigan and Illinois may be the
records. The Wolverines are 2-2 in the
Big Ten, 3-8 overall. The Illini are 4-1
and 9-8.
Purdue is a team that could cause
problems for Michigan. The Boiler-
makers (3-1, 9-3) return all six start-
ers from a year ago. They were the
most improved team in the Big Ten
last year.
The top singles match, Mary Beth
Maggart against Cyganiak, looks to be
in the Wolverines' favor. Maggart is 4-
6 and not ranked, while Cyganiak is 8-
3 and No. 76 in the nation.
Doubles have not been a strong point
for Purdue. Michigan will try to take
advantage of that against the Boiler-
makers as well. Purdue's solid singles

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