The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 1, 1996 - 13
field hockey to host anticipated
showdown with Big Ten rivals
By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
The stage is set.
The Michigan field hockey team
turns home this weekend for the most
anticipated home series of the season.
The Wolverines (2-6 Big Ten, 7-8 over-
all) close out their regular season against
conference foes Northwestern and Iowa.
The Wildcats (2-6 Big Ten, 7-10 over-
all) head to Ocker Field today to face
Michigan at 3 p.m. Northwestern is
coming off an up-and-down week.
The Wildcats lost two tough contests
to Ball State, 3-2, and Iowa, 1-0.
#rthwestern played well in both match-
es, yet still lost both games. In fact, the
Wildcats gave Iowa fits for the most part
of the match - which is saying a lot,
considering the Hawkeyes are undefeat-
ed in the conference.
Iowa coach Beth Beglin certainly real-
izes the toll the Northwestern battle took
on her squad.
-"i'm a little concerned with how
banged up our team is and the fact that
* are not coming off a well-played
game,' she said.
Regardless of Northwestern's strong
play and a previous 4-2 win over
Michigan in Evanston, tomorrow's
match might be the undercard to
Sunday's main event - a showdown at
high noon with regular-season Big Ten
The second-ranked Hawkeyes have
I want to make sure they go out
with a bang."
- Marcia Pankratz
Michigan field hockey coach on her four senior co-captains
been nothing short of dominant this year,
with a 15-1 overall record, including an
8-0 run in the Big Ten.
Michigan is flying high coming into
the weekend, however, especially follow-
ing a 3-2 road win over Ohio State,
which vaulted the previously unranked
Wolverines to No. 18 in the nation.
"(Our) morale is on an upswing,"
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said.
"We've got a lot of good momentum
going into the weekend."
And it seems momentum has been in
short supply this year for the Wolverines,
who had lost four straight conference
games prior to the victory over the
The triumph was more than welcome
in the eyes of Pankratz.
"(The girls) now know that they have
it in them (to play consistently), and they
feel really good about that," she said. "I
think their confidence level is up."
Michigan's newfound excitement
should no doubt be fueled by the pres-
ence of its seniors. For senior co-cap-
tains Bree Derr, Meredith Franden,
Selina Harris and Michelle Smulders.
this weekend will be their last hurrah
with the Wolverines.
"I think (the seniors) are very, very
fired up," Pankratz said. "These four
seniors have put a lot into this program,
and we are going to miss them tremen-
"I want to make sure they go out with
a bang and really have a great experience
for their last home game."
And what an experience it would be
for Michigan, considering the
Wolverines have lost to Iowa in all of
their 30 meetings, includinga 6-1 defeat
earlier this year in Iowa City.
The contest also holds great impor-
tance to Michigan for another reason.
With the ultra-competitive Big Ten tour-
nament looming, Pankratz is stressing
the importance of heading to the playoff
"All of the teams (in the Big Ten) on
any given day can battle each other and
win,"she said. "So it's important to have
great momentum and be peaking going
into (the tournament)."
Michigan's Bree Derr and three other seniors will play in their last regular-season games as Wolverines against Northwestern
today and Iowa on Sunday. Derr, Meredith Franden, Selina Harris and Michelle Smulders will grace Ocker Field for the final
time before heading to the Big Ten tournament Nov. 8-10 at Evanston.
' netters carry high
ranking to Districts
By Jordan Field
aiy Sports Writer
With confidence and optimism, the
No. 24 Michigan men's tennis team trav-
els to East Lansing this weekend for the
District IV Championship as the highest
ranked team in the tournament.
"We are extremely optimistic and
anxious for this tournament" Michigan.
tennis coach Brian Eisner said. "We had
a tremiendous effort from everyone at
Georgia Tech (Oct. 18-20), and we are
nly going to build on that performance.
Wveryone is really ready to play."
The tournament is one of eight district
championships scheduled nationally for
this weekend. The winner and runner-up
in the singles draw, and the winner of the
doubles draw from each district tourna-
ment, will qualify for the National
Indoor Championship in Dallas in
"This championship in East Lansing
*ically serves as a sectional champi-
nship for the national championship in
February," Eisner said. "Our goal is to
have as many of our guys to qualify for
that championship and to continue the
excellent play we know we are capable
Michigan is the highest nationally
ranked team in its district, making it the
favorite at the tournament.
"Our national ranking just validates
the hard work we have put in this year,
id confirms our confidence, despite
osing three of our top five singles play-
ers from last year," Eisner said. "We feel
that we should even be ranked higher,
and this is our first opportunity to prove
our dominance in District IV"
Despite being the team to beat,
Michigan doesn't feel pressure heading
into the tournament.
"We have prepared very hard for this
tournament,' junior Arvid Swan said.
"No one feels pressure on their shoul-
ders. Everyone has a great attitude and is
very focused for this tournament."
Michigan is led by juniors Swan,
Brook Blain and David Paradzik.
Sophomore Will Farrah and freshmen
Matt Wright and Brad McFarlane will
also compete for Michigan in East
Lansing. All six will compete in the sin-
gles draw as well as the doubles draw.
Swan and Blain, ranked No. 34 in the
nation in doubles, will team up as
Michigan's No. I doubles team with
Paradzik and Farrah following at No. 2
and Wright and McFarlane at No 3.
"This tournament gives us, as a team
and individually, a chance to jump into
national rankings, Blain said. "Arvid
(Swan) and I are out to prove to the
world how good we are.
"We all want to prove that Michigan
again is a dominant tennis team."
Michigan is stressing this tournament
to show they have not lost a step since
winning last season's Big Ten title.
"I actually believe that we are a better
team now than we were at this stage of
the season last year," Eisner said. "We
are ready to prove ourselves and this is
the time to do it."
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