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January 27, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-27

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No. 20 Syracuse 84, BOSTON 94,
GEORGE TOWN 66 New York 85
No. 13 S. Carolina TORONTO 91,
79, Philadelphia 87
FURMAN 52 Phoenix 98,
59, Cleveland 94,
New Jersey 50 MIAMI 93

Seatt e
St. Louis 2
Washington 2,

Tampa Bay 1
N.Y. Islandes I.
Toronto 0

January 27, 1998

'M' tennis struggles
at Big Ten singles

By Mark Francescutti
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - After dominating most of
the individual-based tournaments last fall, the
Michigan men's tennis team looked to be a power
again in East Lansing at the Big Ten singles
championships this past weekend.
But East Lansing isn't always the most friend-
ly of places.
The Wolverines struggled the entire weekend
as all six of their players lost within the first three
rounds of the open-draw, 64-player tournament.
Northwestern's Alex Witt again stopped the
Wolverines' best chance at advancing.
Last fall at the Rolex Regional
Championships, Witt stifled the Wolverines,
knocking out three Michigan players.
This weekend, the top-seeded Witt defeated
l th-seed Michigan senior captain Brook Blain
- the only Michigan player to reach the third
round - crushing Michigan's hopes of a Big Ten
singles champion.
"Some of the guys, including myself, were just
not as focused as we were in the fall," Blain said.
"We need to get that back."
Seniors Arvid Swan and Dave Paradzik along
with juniors Jake Raiton and Will Farah each
advanced to the second round. Illinois' Matt
Synder upset eighth-seed Matt Wright in the first
One reason for the sudden losses could be
Michigan State's courts. The courts at Michigan's
Varsity Tennis Center are much slower - the
speed of the balls off the surface is slower than
the quick courts in East Lansing.
"The faster the speed of the courts, the closer
the competition becomes," Michigan coach Brian
Eisner said. "The timing becomes more diffi-
But the losses are not a disaster. Ironically,
they might have been a blessing.
"It gives us a chance to sit down and take a
hard look at some things that we got to do to play
the kind of tennis we have to play," Eisner said.
"We, just as a team overall, didn't play as high a
caliber of tennis as we had played.
Although the Wolverines had success against
those same players in the fall, their opponenents
returned the favor in the weekend's conference
"Every competition we basically have been in

"I don't think our
results here have hurt:
our confidence at all.'"
- Brook Blain
Michigan men's tennis senior captain
this fall, our performance has been the best of
probably any team in the tournaments," Eisner
said. "So it's kind of something you like to get
used to.
"Personally, for the rest of the conference;.
some of the teams have really picked up their
The singles championship concluded a long
fall season of individual tournaments that have
little effect on the team's standing and record.
With a firm list of things that need to be done, the
Wolverines now can prepare for the upcoming
dual meet season when they will face opponents
as a whole team instead of just individually.
"When the team events and dual matches roll
around, everybody is going to be a little more
focused," Blain said. "Everybody will be on the
same page and we should definitely have better
The singles tournament does bring all the Big
Ten teams together for a preview of who will
likely be the power of the season, and after its
play this weekend Northwestern appears to be the
favorite for the Big Ten title.
The Wildcats, after dropping many close
matches to the Wolverines at regionals, bounced
back to dominate the field.
Northwestern's, Doug Bohaboy, Marc Silva
and Witt all marched their way to the semifinals.
In fact, Silva upset Witt in the finals.
Illinois, last year's Big Ten champion, strug-
gled as much as Michigan did, managing to place
only Oliver Freelove in the semifinals.
Still, the Wolverines don't seem worried.
"I don't think our results here have hurt our
confidence at all," Blain said. "I still think that
everyone believes we have a legitimate shot at the
Big Ten."
Next up for No. 42 Michigan will be its first
dual match at home against No. 31 Virginia this

Michigan tennis player Will Farah was one of five Wolverines to advance to the second round in the Big Ten singles championships in East Lansing,
yesterday. Senior captain Brook Blain went the furthest in the tournament, reaching the third round.
Prior stellar in goaltending rivalry
Miami goalie stops 67 shots in two weekend games against Blue

By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
"OXFORD - Just more than two weeks
ago, Michigan goaltender Marty Turco was
celebrating his 112th victory, which made
him the NCAA all-time leader in that cate-
On several occasions, the senior
40lverine has been the deciding factor in
victories, making game-saving stops for
But in the two
Michigan losses this
past weekend, it was
Miami (Ohio) goal-
tender Trevor Prior who
outplayed Michigan's
All-America netminder.
"You've got to give
evor Prior credit,"
Michigan right wing
Bill Muckalt said. "He
was obviously the key to their success this
weekend. He played really well for them."
Prior stopped 67 shots this past weekend.
He was particularly impressive in the third
period in Friday's game, turning away all 15
shots the Wolverines fired at him.
The senior RedHawk wasn't as remark-
able in Saturday's game, allowing three

goals. He still managed to make 34 saves,
which included stoning Michigan forwards
Matt Herr and Bill Muckalt on breakaways.
"What's kind of ironic between Prior and
Marty is that they both played junior hock-
ey together in Ontario," Miami coach Mark
Mazzoleni said. "So they've been competi-
tors for the past six or seven years.
"Trevor Prior was a second-team all-
league goaltender last year, and I think he
made a statement again this weekend."
Turco has been able to have the upper
hand on Prior many times in the past. But
this weekend, Michigan's backstopper
seemed to be playing below his ordinary
level of performance. Turco was beaten by
three similar-looking goals from the left
,it - two on Friday and one onSaturday.
The performance was a far cry from
recent outings .where Turco kept Michigan
alive, often preserving one-goal leads.
"We go back to my junior days," Turco
said. "It's a good rivalry. I like playing
against Trevor because he's such a good
goaltender. It's unfortunate that he got the
better hand on us.
"The league is not over. We've got one
more time in Yost."
The next time they meet will be at Yost
Ice Arena on Feb. 13.

But right now, Prior's .907 save percent-
age is edging out Turco's 0.905.
Both trail Michigan State's Chad Alban
who leads all regular starters with 0.917 in
the CCHA.
HAYES DAYS: Although Michigan had a
tough time this weekend, one Wolverine has
been playing remarkably for the past three
Center Bobby Hayes hasn't had trouble
scoring recently. He's recorded at least a
point in his last eight games.
Against the RedHawks, the Westland,
Mich., native scored the only goal in
Friday's game and another one on Saturday.
He also added an assist in the series finale.
Last week, the junior center scored two
goals and recorded two assists in
Michigan's 5-1 blowout against Alaska-
"Luckily for me, I'm the one who's on a
roll, right now," Hayes said. "It could be
anyone on this team - Muckalt, (Dale)
Rominski or anyone."
Hayes has been able to play big for the
starting forward line. Ordinarly, the starting
line is the production line, getting things
done for Michigan. But Miami was able to
control the high-octane offensive attack of
See PRIOR, Page 10

Michigan goaltender Marty Turco Is used to being in the spotlight. The senior netminder is the NCAA's
all-time victories leader. But this weekend he was overshadowed by the play of Miami (Ohio)'s goalie
Trevor Prior. The senior RedHawk saved 67 shots during the weekend against the Wolverines.

The Michigan Daily.
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