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January 30, 1997 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-30

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 30, 1997

Michigan
q..
duagmatc]
:.y Andy Latack
aily Sports Writer
With the conference season rapidly
approaching, the Michigan men's tennis
team is preparing to defend its Big Ten
title.
The Wolverines will begin the dual-
match portion of their season this week-
end, as they travel to the O'Charley's
Tennis Classic at Tennessee.
Unlike the individual events in
which the Wolverines have participat-
d so far, a dual-match gives them a
taste of what their conference meets
will be like.
Players' matches count toward an
overall team score, something the
Wolverines have yet to experience this
year.
"So far, we have only been in indi-
vidual tournaments," Michigan coach
Brian Eisner said. "We have to get back

men's tennis hits
h portion of season

After all
these years,
Target as

in the team concept. It's a different type
of focus."
The Wolverines will face nationally
ranked and third-seeded Alabama-
Birmingham in the first round, and
Eisner said he isn't looking for any
Southern hospitality.
"They're always a good team," he
said. "At this point in the season,,you
never know exactly what to expect,
because you don't know who graduated
or how their new players are, but they'll
definitely have talent."
If the Wolverines advance, they
will face either South Florida or sec-
ond-seeded Middle Tennessee State
in the second round. South Alabama,
Virginia, Indiana and host-
Tennessee round out the eight-team
field.
The Wolverines will bring eight play-
ers, the same eight who contributed to

the team's strong showing last weekend
at the Big Ten singles championship.
Six players will enter the singles
bracket and then pair up to form three
doubles teams.
Dual-match scoring awards the win-
ner of the majority of the three doubles
matches one point, as well as one point
for every singles victory.
"It's extremely important to do well
in doubles," Eisner said. "They are
played first, so they set the tone for the
rest of the match."
Eisner noted that the singles matches
are often split between the two teams,
making the doubles matches the deci-
sive factor.
Junior Brook Blain and freshman
Matt Wright join to form the No. I
doubles team, and juniors Arvid Swan
and Miki Pusztai combine to make up
the No. 2 entry.
Pusztai is playing in just his second
event as a Wolverine after transferring
from Virginia Tech, where he was the
top doubles player since his freshman
year.
Junior David Paradzik and sopho-
more William Farah completethe dou-
bles lineup.
With only a few more tournaments
before the Big Ten season commences,
Eisner knows the team must gain valu-
able experience from this weekend.
"When we evaluate this tourna-
ment, it will be an all-team evalua-
tion' he said. "All of the major events
we will play in, such as the Big Ten
and NCAA tournament, will be dual-
matches. We need to get our team
focus back.
"We like to represent Michigan as a
team:'

going pro

0

FILE PHOTO
The Michigan women's track team heads to South Bend this weekend to compete
in the Mayo Invitational.
M track to face
Pur due at Mayo

By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
All unopened birthday presents
carry with them a certain sense of
mystery and anticipation.
Will the gift be a success and per-
haps contain a Nintendo 64 and an
eternity of game-playing fun, at least
until the next fad?
Or maybe the shiny wrapping
paper will reveal only disappoint-
ment: a pair of wool socks knit spe-
cially by Grandma - she thinks
video games are evil.
Well then, Saturday may just as
well be Michigan women's track
coach James Henry's birthday. The
gift-opening will occur in South
Bend, Ind., at the Mayo Invitational,
where the Wolverines will prove to
him whether they are worth the wait.
After Saturday's emotional loss to
Eastern Michigan at the Michigan
Interregional, Henry isn't sure how
the Wolverines will respond.
"Well, I think that's going to be the
$64,000 question, is how did (the
loss) affect them," Henry said.
"Psychologically, I know they were
set back by it. I don't know how
they're going to respond. I do know
that they're continually down the
practice path to improve themselves
in the long run.
"What they will do when they get
on the track will be something that I
will be anxious to see."
A mix of new and familiar compe-
tition will give Michigan another
unknown factor to deal with.
Although the meet will only be
scored on the basis of individual ath-
letes' performances, the Wolverines

will face representatives from Notre
Dame, Ohio, Purdue and maybe even
their old adversaries, the Eagles.
Michigan competed against the
Fighting Irish at the Red Simmons
Invitational earlier this season, but
this will be the first time the
Wolverines race against against their
Big Ten rivals, the Boilermakers.
The emphasis on individual place-
ment may actually help the
Wolverines regain their winning atti-
tude after losing to Eastern
Michigan.
"It's a non-scoring meet, but at the
same time, our focus is on being
much more mentally tough as we
compete," Henry said. "The athlete's
focus, of course, is that I want to
improve my placing. I'm interested
more in them improving their mental
toughness."
Henry held team meetings yester-
day as well as after Saturday's loss in
order to rebuild team morale and
promote his message of persever-
ance.
"There was a discussion following
the meet stating that this was only a
prelude to the Big Tens, so let's make
our mistakes now and corrrect them
in four weeks," Henry said.
Mistakes? The Michigan
Interregional included outstanding
performances by many of the
Wolverines.
Sophomore Nicole Forrester
placed first in the high jump for the
third straight week.
Sophomore Sarah Hamilton
destroyed the competition in the
800-meter run with a time of
2:13.89, an accomplishment indica-
tive of what many of the distance
runners were able to do Saturday.
Freshman Maria Brown came
close to qualifying for nationals with
a winning time of 24.42 in the 200.
Henry, however, still sees room for
improvement.
"The mistakes I might think they
have made and the mistakes they
might think they have made are dif-
ferent," Henry said. "They think
their mistake is that they did not win,
they did not beateathletes that they
should have beaten.
"That did occur, but some more
important mistakes to me are making
the height on the first attempt
instead of the third attempt, getting a
real good seed time going into the
finals from the prelim, those are the
things I look at as a coach that need
to be worked on."
After yesterday's team meeting,
Henry has nothing to do but contin-
ue to concentrate on training and
wait to see what happens on
Saturday.
"Now, looking more closely at the
results, we will talk about the things
that were discussed - how impor-
tant it is to get a good performance
early, how important it is to finish at
the finish line very strong," Henry
said.
"The question is: How will they
respond to these instructions?"

little known fact: I have som
thing in common with Chris
Webber, Juwan Howard arid
Tshimanga Biakabutuka.
I'm going pro.
Well, that and the fact that none of
us have a Big Ten championship.
But they've all gone pro, and I'm
soon to join them.
That's the purpose of this column,
really, to let my boss know that I'm
leaving.
Boss, I'm leaving.
Now, I know what you're thinking,
boss. You're thinking, how can we
keep him? What kind of ionetary
package can we put together to bring
him back for another year? Can we
show him the money?
(Editor's note: As much as Ryan
would like to think that, I am really
wondering when he's going to clean
his mailbox out so I can give it t6,
someonek
deserving. Also,
Ryan's graduat-
" ing and could-
a n t stay even if
~ .1. we wanted him
KY to, which we
don't.) k
RYAN Sorry bos,
WHITE there is nothi*
you can do,
White on Afterall if'
Target Desmond
Howard can be
Super Bowl
MVP, I must be able to find a job.
That said, however, I will miss cov-
ering Michigan sports.
The last three years, covering oen's
basketball once and football twicE,
have been entertaining to say the
I mean, no matter who the t
Wolverines were playing, there &s
always a chance that they could de
something dumb.
There was the NCAA tournament
game in 1995, when Michigan blew a
huge lead to Western Kentucky awd
ended up losing in overtime.
And who can forget the deba in
West Lafayette this season whe te
football team managed to lose tti
Purdue?
At the same time, however, the
was always a chance something antaz
ing would happen. Like the time ii
1995 when the Wolverines ended
Indiana's 50-game home winning
streak.
And when it comes to football,the
two obvious examples are the last two
games against Ohio State.
More than that, however, there w*
times like in 1994, when wrestlerS
Brian Harper and Sean Bormet
advanced all the way to the NCAA
championship match.
Both lost, but both were able t
smile afterwards. Harper joked that
the pain of the loss was nothing afew
beers couldn't take care of. They were
well-earned beers.
It was those kinds of athletes that
made this gig fun. Guys like Harper}
and Bormet, Jarrett Irons and Rod
Payne, Maurice Taylor and Robert
Traylor.
Everyone of them is a tough, intimi
dating figure who could probably toss
you over the Burton Tower if he want-
ed, but I don't think they ever would.
Off the field, all are thoughtful,
well-spoken and - this may surprise
some of you - intelligent individuals.
They're guys who I always looked f1
ward to talking to, at least after wins
and usually after losses.
In fact, the best quote I never used
probably came from Payne. Payne,
playing with a broken right hand, was
asked if it was difficult to snap left-
handed. He made an analogy dealing

with the ambidextrous use of toilet tis-
sue. Enough said.
Then, of course, there are the
coaches.
Over the years they've come ou
and "given a solid effort, fought the
fight, shot themselves in the foot,
come up big, been banged up,
always coached against oufstanding
teams who have put up outstanding
efforts, and along the way helped
their players be as good as they
wanted to be."
OK, so the coaches have been a lit-
tle cliched, but it comes with the teg
tory.
Probably the biggest thing I've
learned at the Daily, however, is that
there are more sports at this school than
just football, basketball and hockey.
The men's and women's swimming
-,.. .,r«. 1. '..t a v n n cccn

TFEJDU
- l
Shine (shin), v. i., to excel or be conspicuous !
in splendor or intellectual brilliance
Webster
Home for the summer? That class you need is here!
University of Pittsburgh Summer Sessions

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