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September 19, 1996 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-19

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 19, 1996
'M' women's tennis faces
top foes in opening tourney

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41
"Ass

By Nita Srivastava
For the Daily
Senior Sarah Cyganiak and junior
Sora Moon will lead the Michigan
women's tennis team as the
Wolverines begin their season at the
William & Mary Invitational in
Williamsburg, Va., tomorrow.
After a good first week of prac-
tice, the Wolverines are ready to kick
off the season with the three-day
tournament.
"All of us are playing really well,"
sophomore Tumeka Harris said. "We
have a lot of depth this year, so we're
going to do pretty well as a group."
Five of the eight teams competing
in this weekend's invitational fin-
ished in the top 20 in the 1996
national rankings.
Duke led the way with a No. 3
ranking, followed by No. 6 Notre
Dame, No. I I Wake Forest, No. 16
William & Mary and No. 17
Tennessee.
Syracuse, Maryland and Michigan
round out the field.
Although the Wolverines did not
finish in the top 20, they say they are
ready to take on top-caliber competi-
tion.
"We're starting at a pretty high
level of play, but it's a great opportu-
nity for us to play the best players in
the country," Michigan coach Bitsy
Ritt said.
Harris added, "All the teams are
going to be tough, but everyone is
really motivated."
With good chemistry among the
teammates, and a lot of motivation,
the Wolverines expect to do very
well this weekend.
"I'm not worried about any of it,"
Ritt said. "I think we'll do well.
We're really excited to get started."
This first tournament will benefit
the four freshmen on the team, as
they make the transition from high
school to college tennis.
"This will be a real eye-opener for
our freshmen to see what we can
really aspire to," Ritt said.
The experience of the older play-
ers on the team can aid the freshmen.

The upperclassmen will be able to
give good insight as to the strengths .
and weaknesses of the other players
in the tournament.
"We are definitely ready for it,"
said freshman Brooke Hart.
With three days of solid tennis.
seven of the eight Wolverines will
have a chance to participate in the
tournament.

Junior Jen Boylan, who had knee
surgery during the off season, is sit-
ting out.
With four singles pools and two
doubles pools, every player is guar-
anteed matches.
There is even a chance tha
Michigan teammates could play
against each other if the tournament
brackets work out that way.

FILE PHOTO/Daily
The Michigan women's tennis team Will face some top-caliber competition when it
competes in the William & Mary invitational this weekend at Williamsburg, Va.

Blue men netters hope fountain
of youth will help defend crown.

By Andy Latack
For the Daily
The Michigan men's tennis team is
hoping youth will be served in the
upcoming season.
The Wolverines hope the trend
will begin tomorrow, when freshmen
John Long, Brad McFarlane and
Matt Wright play in the Tom Fallon
Invitational in South Bend, Ind.
Michigan, last year's Big Ten
champions, fosters a team without a
single senior and will rely heavily
upon young players like Long.
McFarlane and Wright during the
season.
After this weekend, Michigan
coach Brian Eisner will have an idea

of just how ready the youngsters are
to help the Wolverines defend their

title.
They will
face players
from schools all
over the country
at the three-day
event, including
Colorado,
Clemson and
tournament host
Notre Dame.
"We want to
evaluate where
they are and see
how they stack up

"Wewa
freshman
what coll
is all aboi
Michigan men'
against some of

the top players, both in the Midwest

and from all over the country,"
assistant coach Dan Goldberg said.
E i s n e r
elected to
nt the use the invi-
tational as an
to see individual
t event, as
ege tennis opposed tog
team tourna-
N ment. An
-Brian Eisner indlividua l
e v e n t
's tennis coach re q u i r e s
three or less
players and
does not count toward the team's
overall record.
"What I tried to do is analyze
what's best for the team," Eisner
said. "In the fall, I would like S
have all of the players playing, but I
didn't want to use up a team event."
Teams are limited to 25 events.
and matches occurring before Jan. 1
do not count in NCAA rankings.
The freshmen have the chance to
turn some heads in South Bend,
given their past accomplishments.
McFarlane was the top-ranked
under-18 singles player in Canada
and Wright, from Wichita, Kat.
was undefeated his entire high
school career. Long, an Ann Arbor
native, won all-state honors his
junior and senior years en route to
winning two Michigan state cham-
pionships.
But the young players know that
their high school days are long
gone, and they face a huge adjust-
ment to the college ranks.
"It's my first college tournamen*
Long said. "I want to get accus-
tomed to the new level of play,
because it's a big step- up from
juniors. I want to see where I am
and where the team is."
Eisner agrees that the tournament
will serve as a learning experience.
"We want the freshmen to see
what college tennis is all about. It's
a nice way to get things started f;
us," Eisner said.

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