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April 10, 1997 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-04-10

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14A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 10, 1997

put Big
Ten streak
onthe line
4Nita Srivastava
Daiy Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis team
hasabig weekend ahead of it with dual
meets against Minnesota and Iowa at
the Varsity Tennis Center. The matches
,re two of the Wolverines' final three
this season.
So far Michigan is undefeated in the
big Ten, having lost only four match-
es overall. As of last week, the
Wolverines were ranked 19th in the
nation, but they should move up after
Their victory over No. 7 William &
Mary last week.
'Tis is the first time in Michigan
history that the
Weekend Wolverines
have held such
a high ranking
.Saturday: in the Big Ten
an vs. and the nation-
als at the same
, ntime.
"We are
, having a really
p. 1 am. great season,"
Where:VarMity sophomore
Tenisa Center Tumeka Harris
said. "So far,
everyone has been playing consistently
The matches this weekend are
against teams ranked below Michigan
in the Big Ten, so victories are a defi-
nite possibility.
Minnesota (4-2 Big Ten, 9-3 overall)
will try to put a stop to its three-match
losing streak Saturday.
"We know Minnesota is very capa-
ble of playing," Michigan coach Bitsy
Ritt said. "Our goal is to just win every
match in singles and doubles."
The Golden Gophers have been per-
forming very well in the singles posi-
tions, compiling a 50-16 record for the
dual-meet season.
The No. I position should be com-
petitive between Michigan senior
Sarah Cyganiak, No. 44 in the nation,
and Minnesota freshman Nora Sauska,
No. 48 in the nation.
Sauska is undefeated during the
dual-meet season and holds a 21-1
record. Cyganiak has a 7-0 record in
dual matches this season and has had
two wins over players ranked in the top
"Sarah has had a really good sea-
son," Ritt said. "As our senior, she is
the leader of the team on the court."
Sunday, the Wolverines will take on
Iowa (2-4, 7-10). Although Iowa's
record is below .500, the Hawkeyes
remain a threat for Michigan, accord-
ing to Ritt.
"In the Big Ten you have to be ready
for every match," she said.
Inconsistency has plagued the
Hawkeyes. They just beat Penn State,
4-3, last weekend shortly after
Minnesota lost to the Nittany Lions, 4-
3, earlier in the week.
The last thing the Wolverines want
to do is get too over confident and lose

the match, Harris said.
"Any team will be pumped to play
us, because we're No. 1 in the Big
Ten,"she said. "So we have to be ready
because anything can happen.'
The Wolverines have been practic-
ing and preparing for the upcoming
matches by ensuring plenty of rest and
making sure that they are healthy.
"We took two days off of practice
this week," Ritt said. "And when we
came back, the players seemed really
refreshed and upbeat."
Ritt has been focusing this season
on enhancing the team's depth and, in
her estimation, has been successful.
"We can compete at every position,"
she said. "If one person is having a bad
day, others can pick it up."
Ritt said the key to Michigan's suc-
cess this year is its competitive nation-
a -schedule. The Wolverines have had
the opportunity to play Notre Dame,
Pepperdine and William & Mary, all
teams ranked in the top 25 in the
"Even a loss against a team in the
top 10 allows you to gain experience,"
Ritt said. "But when we win, we gain
confidence and really look forward to

Swan puts Michigan over
the edge against Spartans.

By Andy Latack
Daily Sports Writer
It was a 3 1/2 hour war, a battle that came
down to the last possible moment. As always,
Michigan vs. Michigan State did not disap-
The Michigan men's tennis team won in
spectacular fashion last night, 4-3, over arch-
rival Michigan State. The victory propelled the
Wolverines (4-3 Big Ten, 6-10 overall) above
.500 in the confer-
ence for just the sec- aturday S
ond time this year.
Junior co-captain match
Arvid Swan deliv- W
ered the decisive vic- Who: Micngan vs.
tory, pulling out a 6- Penn a
7(5), 6-4, 7-6(4) Where: State
come-from-behind College e
win over Michigan When: 4 p.m.
State's Chris Struck.
The Wolverines 1
began the meet in
typical fashion, los-
ing the doubles point.
The Spartans took
two of the three matches, all of which were
decided by a score of 8-6. Michigan's No. 2
team of freshman Matt Wright and sophomore
Jake Raiton recorded Michigan's only win.
After easy singles wins by Wright and fellow
freshman Brad McFarlane, Michigan sopho-
more William Farah lost for just the third time
in conference play, 6-4, 7-5, to Ben Hetzler.
Then junior co-captain David Paradzik lost a
grueling three-set contest to Michigan State's
Trey Eubanks, giving the Spartans a 3-2 lead in
the match.
Raiton managed to tie the score by winning
a three-set match of his own, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, over
Michigan State freshman Ivica Primorac.
That stalemate set the stage for Swan's hero-
ics. After dropping a tiebreaker to lose the first
set, Swan battled back in impressive form and
forced a third set, winning in a tiebreaker and
sealing the win for Michigan.
The Wolverines will have little time to cele-
brate their victory, though.

They continue their conference road swing,
traveling to Happy Valley to face Penn State on
The Nittany Lions (2-4, 8-6) do not have his-
tory on their side. Since their debut in the Bi
Ten two seasons ago, they have beat
Michigan only once. The Wolverines hold an 8-
1 series advantage and have taken the past five
contests, including last year's 5-2 victory in
Ann Arbor.
Penn State is improving on last year's eighth-
place finish in the conference, however.
Before dropping two matches last weekend
at Illinois and Purdue, the Lions had won seven
straight overall. They have defeated
Minnesota, which handed Michigan a 6-1 loss
last week, as well as conference doormat lo
for their two Big Ten wins.
Senior Michael Carter, an All-Big Ten selec-
tion last season, leads the Nittany Lions at No.
I singles. Coach Jan Bortner, in his seventh
year at the helm, has yet to suffer a losing sea-
son at Penn State on his way-to compiling an
83-55 overall record.
Wolverines' contest against Michigan State
was a nail-biter, it overshadowed Michigan's
recent dominance of its cross-state rival, esT
cially in the Spartans' own backyard. Michigan
has won the last five meetings en route to a
commanding 39-5 series advantage and has not
dropped a match in East Lansing since 1967.
RAITON TIME: Jake Raiton, who struggled
through the early part of the season, has won
his last three singles matches. Raiton won eas-
ily at Iowa and took the Wolverines' lone sin-
gles victory at Minnesota.
Raiton's win at Michigan State raised his
dual-meet record to 7-7. He is 4-2 in Big TM
from No. 40 to No. 57 in the recent national
collegiate rankings, released on April 1. The
Wolverines are the fourth-highest ranked team
in the Big Ten, after No. 15 Illinois, No. 22
Northwestern and No. 26 Indiana. Michigan
State and Minnesota are ranked No. 60 and 61,

The Michigan men's tennis team struggled to overcome the Spartans yesterday. The Wolverines should-
n't worry as much when they visit Penn State on Saturday. The Lions are just 2-4 In the Big Ten.

productive in
leadoff spot
By Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
The month of April brought a change at the
top of the Michigan baseball team's batting
order, and thus far, the offense hasn't missed a
Last weekend, Michigan sophomore third
baseman Mike Cervenak, who had been hitting
in the sixth spot for most of the spring, became
the Wolverines new leadoff man. And he
responded immediately.
In his debut last Friday, Cervenak went 3-for-4
with two RBI in a 7-5 loss to Minnesota. Saturday,
he had two hits in five trips to the plate with an RBI
in a 10-5 Michigan win over the Golden Gophers.
Yesterday, Cervenak went 2-for-5 again, as
Michigan defeated Wright State, 11-3.
"I like hitting leadoff a lot," Cervenak said.
"You always have the third baseman pulled in,
because he thinks you might drop one by, and
that opens up some holes."
Cervenak is not a stranger to his new role. He
batted leadoff in a few games last season, as
well as his entire senior season in high school.
Michigan coach Geoff Zahn says he made the
switch last weekend for matchup reasons -
Cervenak had two home runs in a game last
year against Minnesota pitcher Mike Diebolt -
and because he gives the Wolverines more
power at the top of the lineup.
Cervenak "gives us a little different look than
if we lead Bobby Scales off," Zahn said.
"Bobby can bunt a little better than him and
move the ball a little better. Cerve's liable to hit
the ball out or he's going to hit a double, where-
as Bobby can run a little bit better.
"So they give us a different looks, and they
give the defense different problems. We'll
switch them around according to what we see
on the other team."
Although Cervenak was moved up to bring a
little more pop to the top of the Wolverines'
order, he says that he needed to adjust his mind-
set at the plate.
"I think you have to make a little bit of
adjustment from hitting down in lineup to lead-
off," Cervenak said. "I don't think you can be

Wright State second baseman Matt Brunner couldn't come up with this line drive, but it probably wouldn't have mattered - Michigan beat the Raiders, 11-3.

as aggressive. If that first pitch is there, you
can swing at it, but it has to be right in your
"As the leadoff hitter you want your team to
see what pitches the pitcher has."
Cervenak's .361 batting average ranks fifth
among the Wolverines.
He has four doubles and two home runs this
season and has started all 22 games during
which he was healthy. He missed eight games
earlier this spring after breaking his nose
against Maine on March 4.
The injury was ironic, because Cervenak
could be considered a hard-nosed player, espe-

cially the way he handles the hot corner for the
In the top of the sixth inning of yesterday's
game, Cervenak made two fine defensive plays
in row.
First he made a nice stop on a ground ball off
the bat of Wright State's Chris Wallace. The
next batter, Jason Cohill, sent a shot toward the
hole, but Cervenak dove to his right to grab it
and then got up and made a perfect throw to
first, robbing Cohill of a base hit.
After the game, Cervenak was all smiles
when asked about his soiled uniform and
Michigan's win.

"I enjoy getting dirty and diving for balls," he
said. "That's the fun part of the game, I think.
"We needed a weekday win. I think this'was
big. We came out a little more relaxed. We
weren't as tense as we have been in the past."
As the leadoff hitter, Cervenak is instrumen-
tal to setting the tone for the Wolverines at the
start of each game. But no matter where he h@
in the order this weekend, he expects a good
performance out of the Wolverines against
"We look for sweeps every weekend,"
Cervenak said. "I know we can play with any-
one in the Big Ten."


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TIME: 12:00 noon
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Continued from Page 13A
Third baseman Mike Cervenak hit
_...-! leadoff, as opposed to his usual sixth
spot. Left fielder Rob Bobeda has
moved down one spot to third, while the
regular No. 3 hitter, shortstop Brian
I Kalczynski, is hitting sixth.
"Last week, Minnesota's first pitcher
was (Mike) Diebolt, and Cervenak had
,alAde 9 two home runs off him," Zahn said.
Sg D O~~tCt' d "We wanted a guy at the top of the order
that had given him trouble, and he gave
him trouble again. He hit well off of
him. Then (Justin) Pederson pitched,
and he hit well off of him, so we want-
ed him up at the top, because he's an
'aggressive hitter."
The change helped Kalczynski work
his way out of a minor slump: He
smacked a homer and drove in the
game-winning run. He also stole his
sixth base of the season.
He's been great for us all year,"
491 fi o tg fl ail Zah said. "He's played well at short-

stop. He'll play anywhere we ask him, batting order, but an addition to lias
and he's been swinging the bat. I told well.
him that I thought last week he was a Dan Sanborn took over the design-
little bit tired, and he's had those days ed-hitting role from Bobby Scales, wW
off with Sunday pinch-hit for sec-
off and then ond baseman
Monday and We wanted a Kirk Beerman in
Tuesday. He the eighth and
came back to duy at the top of stayed in to play
swing the bat second in the
pretty well the order that had ninth.
today." "I wouldn'Lsay
Tgiven (Diebolt) that he's replaced
Wolverines' bats Bobby," Zahn
did not end with troubles said. "I think
their shortstop. that's just o
First baseman - Geoff Z ahn more weapon that
Bryan Besco hit Michigan baseball coach, we have. He's
his team-leading on why he moved Mike been swinging
10th home run. Cervenak to the leadoff spot the bat pretty
His twin broth- well, and Bobby's
er, right fielder still swinging
Derek Besco, had his 10th RBI of the well. So that's just one more guy that we
season, while hitting a double and a could put in there, and we'll see what
triple. happens. We want to try to keep as
Not only were there changes in the many guys as sharp as we can."

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