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October 02, 1997 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-02

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IGA - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 2, 1997

Veteran a

ien' s tennis begins ,
nd 40-year drought

quest to e
By Mark Francescutti
For the Daily
The Michigan men's tennis team
has a new luxurious facility, a veter-
an team and a full summer of prac-
tice behind it. Now all that is left for
the Wolverines is to go out and dom-
inate.
In their 101st season, the
Wolverines will get their first chance
when they compete at the North
Carolina Tar Heel Invitational this
weekend in Chapel Hill. Michigan,
in its third visit to the tournament in
as many years, will be facing some
of the toughest competition in the
nation.
The Wolverines will face teams
that are expected to be in the top 20
- including Notre Dame, Duke,
North Carolina and up-and-coming
teams William & Mary and Virginia
Commonwealth.
Even though the tournament has
no bearing on the Wolverines' record
for the 1997-98 season, it is vital, not
only as preparation for the season,
but as an indication of how success-
ful the team will be.
Michigan coach Brian Eisner is
excited about his team's first tourna-
ment.
"I am eager to see how well we
will do," Eisner said. "Things are
dramatically different than last year.
I am also excited about the quality of

teams at the tournament.
give us a good idea (abou
ing season)."
Eisner has many good
be excited.
Not only does his team 1
veteran lineup, with fours
two juniors, but it is co
after a summer of grea
something the Wolverin
have last fall due to inj
nine members are returni
ing senior Brook Blain,N
back after missing the sec
last season due to a backi
The first preseason ran
finally released Sept.
Michigan at No. 51.
This leaves the Wolver
six teams in the Big Ten, in
year's Big Ten champion Ill
and second-place Northwes
Eisner, however, is not
about the low ranking.
"The (preseason) ranki
meaning," he said. "We
cerned about playing righ
Last season's Wolverin
54th in the polls, with
record of 9-14. This seaso
is their best chance to
NCAA by storm.
"We have the potential t
15 or top-20 team," Eisne
The Wolverines are als
their fall preparation a

MARGARET MYERS/Daily
Junior William Farah and the rest of the Michigan men's tennis team face a difficult challenge this weekend in North Carolina.
,The Wolverines will face some of the top teams in the nation at the Tar Heel Invitational.

It should Tisch Tennis Center.
it the com- Completed in early 1997, . tlie
state-of-the-art facility located on
reasons to State Street, north of the Michigan
Golf Course, has eight new courts,
have an all- modern equipment and plush spec
seniors and tor seats,
ming back The outdoor courts and spectator
t practice, facilities should be completed.by
es did not next summer.
uries. All With a top-notch structure in
ng, includ- which to play, the Wolverines will be
who comes able to gain an extra step on their
ond half of competition this season, but the
injury, effects on the seasons beyond will be
kings were much greater.
18, with The most important impact it*
have on the tennis program
ines behind recruiting. Eisner believes that. the
cluding last structure should help draw a fine
inois (17th) recruiting class to replace the four
tern (24th). departing seniors next year.
concerned "Recruiting will be heavy this year
because we have four seniors,"
ing has no Eisner said. "It can only help us.",
are con- Eisner, who is ninth among active
t now." coaches in all-time wins with 496,
es finished will be looking to achieve career.
an overall tory No. 500 in the coming match
n, however, He should be able to capture it
take the when Michigan's season begin,.;t
home against Virginia on Feb t.
to be a top- The Wolverines will then try"to
r added. bring back what came to Michigan
o enjoying 40 long years ago - a natiUI
t the new championship.
ire for Eck
weekend.
Although the Wolverines are ranked 19th iie
nation - tops in the Big Ten --Zawacki sai#Ie
girls are not overconfident.
"Every team works hard over the sumr:'
Zawacki said. "Preseason rankings don't ri ab
much."
The Wolverines will have their complete lir_
in South Bend. Head coach Bitsy Ritt planne6
taking sophomores Brooke Hart and Danne
Lund to Orlando, Fla. for the ITA Classic,-;Z
they pulled out to join the rest of the team at
Dame.
Hart and Lund will join freshman Alt$%
Sinclair, fellow sophomores Jennifer Boy if,
Tenley Hardin and Erryn Weggenman, and upjgi
classmen Tumeka Harris and Sora Moon in S412lh
Bend.
Although many teams experience a "sophoniofe
slump" after a record-setting season,'*
Wolverines seem prepared to avoid one.
With the unfaltering determination Zawacki
described, the Wolverines seem poised to repeae as
Big Ten champions and make a run in the NCAA
tournament.

MONTANA
Continued from Page 9A
healthy Arizona team could mean
trouble come November.
As for Weber State, the Wolverines
know little about the school from
Utah, but the coaches' poll has them
positioned in the eighth spot.
With all of this talent, do the
Wolverines still expect to win?
They said it's not out of the ques-
tion.
"First place-is not out of our range
if we run well," McLaughlin said.
"The polls don't give us that great of
a reading on the other schools.
"We don't really know how good
they are until we match up against
them."
Sophomore Jay Cantin believes
that the Wolverines have a chance
because of their top two runners.
"We have probably the best one-
two punch with Sullivan and
Mortimer," Cantin said.
The tandem of Sullivan and
Mortimer finished first and second,
respectively, last week, but it is the
supporting cast that helps improve

the team's final score.
"Ouir No. 3 and 4 guys are like the
one and two guys at a lot of other
schools," senior Cory Brown said.
Because the scoring system at a
cross-country invitational counts the
top five runners, it is advantageous
to have a deep team. Each runner
receives a point corresponding to the
place he finishes. Then the points are
added together and the lowest total
wins.
Another factor in the Wolverines'
success this weekend is the course.
The Montana course has not been
run by very many of the current
Wolverines.
"I think the only one of us who has
run at Montana is Sullivan,"
McLaughlin said. "We really don't
know much about the course. We do
know that there is a very big hill
along with some obstacles, logs,
near the end of the course."
This weekend may help the
Wolverines earn some respect, but
the success of Michigan's season lies
in the team's performance in the Big
Ten and NCAA championships at the
year's end.

'M' tennis, Zawacki prepa

By Ryan DePietro
For the Daily
Last year the Michigan women's tennis team
completed its most illustrious season in history.
The Wolverines worked their way to a record of
21-5, including a 12-match unbeaten streak, a per-
fect 10-0 in the Big Ten and a 7-0 record at
Michigan's new Tisch Tennis Center.
They also brought home their first Big Ten
championship to go along with the NCAA
Southeast Regional title and an NCAA tournament
appearance. After the dust settled on the 1996-97
campaign, the Wolverines were ranked 16th in the
nation.
Will this year's team be able to generate the
same spirit?
New assistant coach Terry Ann Zawacki feels
confident it can. Zawacki, a 1996 Wake Forest
Graduate, was hired just more than a month ago.
She has been impressed with the team's attitude so
far.
"The girls are pumped," Zawacki said. "They're
working hard and are really serious about repeat-
ing as Big Ten champions."
In fact, Zawacki even went as far as to admit

that she has never encountered such a strong work
ethic anywhere else.
"I go to the weight room at 7 in the morning,
and to my surprise, there are players there,"
Zawacki said.
She thinks such a strong work ethic will lead to
good things for the Wolverines this season. Their
first test comes this Friday when the Wolverines
travel to Notre Dame for this weekend's Eck
Classic.
"This tournament will be a good measuring
stick for the spring," Zawacki said.
Because it is still the preseason, many teams
are juggling their schedules and have not con-
firmed their invitation to the Eck. At last check,
Michigan was unsure of which teams would be
competing.
"No warm-weather teams will be attending,"
Zawacki said. "Only cold-climate teams like
Michigan, and other members of the Big Ten."
Michigan's attitude has also been positive this
week.
"The girls are excited about the tournament,"
Zawacki said, who added that the level of focus in
practice has been stellar in preparation for this

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By Jacob R. Wheeler
Daily Sports Uriter
The Michigan women's soccer team
has been grabbing constant headlines the
past three weeks. The Wolverines are rid-
ing a seven-match winning streak, pro-
pelling Michigan to its best start in pro-
gram history.
But all that will mean very little if the
Wolverines don't win at least one of two
Big Ten matchups this weekend.
Michigan (4-0 Big Ten, 9-1 overall) trav-
els to Minnesota on Friday and Penn
State on Sunday for a couple of key
matches. The Wolverines, Golden
Gophers and Nittany Lions are all unde-
feated and share first place in the confer-
ence.
Travel forward through time to the
first week of November and one might
find a similar scene. Minnesota will host
the Big Ten tournament the weekend of
Nov. 9, and the Wolverines, Lions and
the Gophers will probably be the
favorites again.
After finishing at or below the .500
mark in their first three seasons, the
Wolverines are no longer worried about
staying afloat. Now is Michigan's time to
cruise to a Big Ten championship. That
makes this weekend the biggest of the
season for the Wolverines.
"They're two very big games this
weekend and we have to win them
both," Michigan forward Amber
Berendowsky said. "I think the pressure

is on" every team.
No. I1 Michigan enters this weekend
favored to beat both No. 19 Minnesota
and No. 23 Penn State, according to the
polls. Northwestern coach Marcia
McDermott - who watched her team
join the ranks of Michigan's victims last
Sunday - believes the Wolverines are
definitely the Big Ten's most talented
team.
"They're big and they're fast,"
McDermott said after Michigan's 5-3
victory over the Wildcats. The
Wolverines "had great talent last year,
they were just very young. But now their
talent has grown up."
Still, Michigan owns a measly 1-7 all-
time record against the two conference
powers. The Wolverines have plenty of
momentum on their side with the seven
consecutive victories, but five of those
wins occurred in the comfort of home.
Michigan won't have that factor on its
side when it battles for the driver's seat in
the conference race.
If a team's momentum is the biggest
factor, then no one has a clear advantage
in the Big Ten race.
Minnesota carries a seven-match win-
ning streak into the weekend, and the
Gophers have been blowing out their
conference opponents left and right.
Minnesota most recently disposed of
Iowa, 6-0, last Sunday. Michigan has
never beaten the Gophers in four meet-
ings.

Corner of
State and
N. University

I
JOHN KRAFT/Daily
Senior Ruth Poulin leads a young Michigan soccer team against Penn State and
Minnesota - teams the Wolverines haven't had much success against in the past:

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Coming off an exceptional Big Ten
season last year, the Nittany Lions
haven't lost their roar. Barring a surpris-
ing upset against Michigan State this
Friday, Penn State will have amassed a 9-
2 record and six consecutive victories by
the time the Wolverines roll into town
Sunday.
If Michigan has a clear advantage this
weekend, it is Berendowsky. The team's
leading scorer is undoubtedly the hottest
player in the conference. Berendowsky

won Big Ten Player of the week honors
after scoring three goals and assisting oil
two others against Wisconsin and
Northwestern.
Michigan climbed the next rung
week later, beating defending confere
champion Wisconsin. But the big.
rung of all is this weekend. With two
wins, the Wolverines will no longer be
looked at as a promising young program,
on the rise. By the end of the weekend
Michigan might already be on top.

. ._ . I

SEE YOU AT THE
JOB FAIR '97
ON OCTOBER 7TH
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