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March 17, 1997 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-17

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - March 17, 1997 - 7

PRACTICE
Continued from Page 16
'during the spring.
"We have a real problem at tackle
in terms of depth," Carr said.
"Backus and Tannous will both be
back in the fall, but in terms of prac-
ticing for the spring, we have a
tremendous problem. We may not be
able to play a regulation spring game
because of it"
Carr will try to compensate fbr the
losses of Backus and Tannous by
moving 6-foot-7, 227-pound sopho-
nore defensive tackle Chris Ziemann
to the other side of the ball.
"I think Chris has the type of ver-
satility to play more than one posi-
tion and I will be very surprised if it
s a move that we don't stay with."
Carr said.
"Ziemann, with his experience,
could also be a guy who still helps us
out on defense, in goal-line situations
for example."
Another issue Carr must address is
the team's kicking game. The
Wolverines need to replace kicker
gemy Hamilton and punter Paul
Peristeris. Hamilton had been a
ichigan fixture for the past three
seasons, while Peristeris followed in
a long line of inconsistent Michigan
punters by winning the job last sea-
son.
The battle to replace Hamilton will
be between a pair of juniors - Jay
Feely and Kraig Baker.
Feely handled much of the kickoff
duties last season while Baker has
-seen rare action as a punter in the
past.
"Feely has a very powerful leg and
Baker has good athletic ability," Carr
said. "That competition will be
fierce."
As for the punting situation, Carr
will let Baker and a pair of freshmen
- Cory Sargent and walk-on Jason
Vinson - duke it out.

.-"We, should have a pretty good
idea of what is going to happen with
the kicking after this spring," Carr
said.
The one area Carr won't have to
worry about completely revamping is
his defense.
Although he will have a tough
time replacing All-Big Ten selec-
tions, linebacker Jarrett Irons and
tackle William Carr, most of the
defensive corps is returning, led by
multi-talented cornerback, and likely
Heisman Trophy candidate, Charles
Woodson.
However, junior linebacker David
Bowens will miss spring practice for
what Carr has said is a "team mat-
ter."
The regular season is scheduled to
open Sept. 13, at home against
Colorado, an unusally late date. That
late start gives Michigan an 11-game
slate with no bye weeks.
But according to Carr, "that date
may change" as there are rumors of
perhaps Michigan adding a 12th
game to its schedule or playing one
of the games earlier than currently
scheduled.

'M' tennis chalks weekend up to 'experience.

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
It's always difficult to get back
into the swing of things after spring
break. Just ask the Michigan men's
tennis team.
Despite staying busy with a series
of dual meets over the vacation, the
30th-ranked Wolverines dropped
three disappointing matches this
weekend at the Blue-Gray Classic in
Montgomery, Ala. Michigan was
unable to come away with a victory,
losing the three matches by a com-
bined four points.
The first defeat came at the hands
of Alabama, 4-2. The Wolverines
battled through the singles matches,
extending five of the six contests to
three sets before falling to the
Crimson Tide.
The Wolverines' second round
matchup pitted them against South
Florida. This time, Mother Nature
would serve as a formidable oppo-
nent for the Wolverines.

After jumping out to a convincing
3-1 lead, the match was delayed for 2
1/2 hours by rain. As the downpour
subsided, so did the team's momen-
tum. The Wolverines dropped all of
their remaining singles and doubles
matches, handing South Florida a 4-
3 victory.
"This was a frustrating match
because we were in a position to win
but were unable to close it out,"
coach Brian Eisner said.
The Wolverines faced Alabama-
Birmingham in their last match, their
third top 35.opponent in the tourna-
ment. In a disappointingly similar
showing, the team led 3-2 going into
the final singles match, played by
junior captain Arvid Swan.
Swan forced a tiebreaker in the
second set and led 2-0 in the third,
and it looked as though the
Wolverines were about to score the
decisive fourth point in the match.
Swan was not able to pull out the
win, though, and the teams were

knotted at 3-3.
Swan's loss shifted importance to
the three doubles matches. Michigan
duo Miki Pusztai and Brad
McFarlane fell, 8-6, in the deciding
match, however, and the Wolverines
suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 defeat.
"It's frustrating, because we did a
great job positioning ourselves to
win," Eisner said. "When it came
down to the key points, we just
couldn't get it done.
"It's a matter of different players
performing well on different days.
We couldn't get everyone playing at
the right level every day."
He also pointed to the loss of
junior Brook Blain as a disrupting
factor in the tournament. Blain suf-
fered a herniated disc in his back
four weeks ago, ending a streak of
eight straight singles victories for the
Florida transfer.
. Eisner substituted Pusztai and
freshman John Long for Blain, who
is currently seeking a medical red-

shirt this season.
Despite the disappointing showing
at the tournament, Eisner is pleased
with the experience the team is ft-
ting.
"The good news is that none of the
games were in our section, regior
conference," he said. "Our playjis
are dramatically getting better,
although we have nothing to sho,
for it, the team is coming togetier
the way that I want."
Assistant coach Dan Goldberg
concurred with Eisner.
"I am pleased with the way our
guys competed, even if the luck did-
n't go our way," Goldberg said.
"The experience playing clge
games against strong competition
will help us during the Big Ten sea-
son." V
The Wolverines will have he
chance to prove Goldberg right, ,as
they open their Big Ten season
against Purdue and Illinois later this
week.

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