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January 29, 1998 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-29

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 29, 1998

M'

swimmers host pair as coach seeks 100th victory

.

By TJ. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
Except for the conference and national championships,
swim meets are usually pretty repetitive just warm-ups
for the postseason.
But there are cases in which the
meets hold a little extra signifi-
cance. For the Michigan women's The Century
swimming and diving team,
Saturday's showdown against Notre Michigan women's s
Dame at Canham Natatorium is a Richardson (pictured
little more important than the aver- Wolverines to 99 vic
age meet, in 1985. Of those
This extra significance stems victories..
from Michigan's winter training
session in Hawaii. Because the Irish 3 71 have come
and Wolverines were back to back against Big Ten
in the training schedule, the two opponents
teams learned quite a bit about each N 35 have come in f
other.
otherundefeated seasons
"They were in the workout slot udfae esn
just before us," Michigan coach Jim N*11 have won a Big
Richardson said. "it was great, we Ten title.
stole some of their workout guides."
Both Notre Dame and Indiana,
who face off against the Wolverines tomorrow night, are
looking to steal something else - victories. With the
majority of the Wolverines resting for the Big Ten champi-
onships in three weeks, this may be the best shot both the
Irish and Hoosiers will get.
"This week was the first week of stepping down our
training for Big Tens," Richardson said. "We are only rac-
ing two individual events this weekend and we are resting
everyone except the girls who we think have already quali-
fied for NCAAs."

wi
b
to

The swimmers who Richardson thinks have sewn up
NCAA bids include seniors Talor Bendel and Linda Riker,
sophomore Shannon Shakespeare and freshman Kasey
Harris.
Instead of resting for Bi g Tens like their teammates, the
four swimmers will continue to
step up their training for a few
Club more weeks.
Whether the Wolverines are
imming coach Jim putting the pedal to the metal or
elow) has guided the are in cruise control, they will
ries since taking over face a challenge this weekend
because both Indian and Notrc
' LIamc have greatly improved this
"I really don't havec a great deal
J of kowledge of Indiana, but they
have swam very fast times this
year - much better than they
have in the past," Richardson
said.
The 24th-ranked Irish ha e also
seen some success, winning all
six of their dual meets this sea-
son. They are led by sprinter
Carrie Nixon -- a freshman who was heavily recruited by
the Wolverines.
"We recruited Carrie very hard last season," Richardson
said. "She is an excellent swimmer and a great person i"
More Michigan and Notre Dame links exist between
Richardson and third-year Irish coach Bailey Weathers,
who are good friends.
Their relationship was a big factor in the Hawaiian prac-
tice schedule during winter break.
Notre Dame's success is also incredible due to the

-0
"'N..'
FILE PHOTO/Daily
swimming and diving team that a couple of victories. Coach
century mark if the Wolverines defeat Notre Dame and
of the national championship hunt in March.
"Every team is different, but i feel we are definitely bet-
ter than we were last year," Richardson said. "Our training
has been better and we are at the point where we want to be.
"Generally speaking, every swimmer has trained
extremely well this winter. Our senior class really got its act
together in Hawaii."

a"

There is more at stake this weekend for the Michigan women'ss
Jim Richardson, perched at 99 career victories, could break thet
Indiana on Saturday night.
tragedy that befell the program five years ago. The team
bus crashed on an icy freeway on the way back from a meet,
resulting in the death of several swimmers.
Even considering these factors in consideration,
Michigan is in the driver's seat this weekend. After a slow
start last fall, Michigan feels it's on the right track to win
its 12th straight Big Ten championship and be in the thick

Blue women's tennis looks to
double up foes to start season

The Michigan
women's tennis
team will be
looking to start
its season
strong by
opening with
wins over
Western
Michigan and
Marquette.
FILE PHOTO/Daily

By Drew Beaver
For the Daily
After competing in several individual tournaments, the
Michigan women's tennis team will begin dual meet
competition this weekend. Sophomore Brooke Hart said
the Wolverines are looking forward to getting a good
start to this part of their season.
"It's a statement to come out and win the first two
matches of the year," Hart said.
The 28th-ranked Michigan women's tennis team will
host Western Michigan tomorrow at 6 p m. and
Marquette on Saturday at I p.m. Both matches will be
held at the Varsity Tennis Center.
Up first against the Wolverines are the Broncos, who
are not ranked nationally but are not to be taken lightly,
according to Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt.
"I think Western Michigan will be a great match for us
to kick off our dual season," Ritt said. "They're well-
coached, they're good competitors, they've had a lot of
success in the MAC conference, so they have a good pro-
gram.
The Broncos feature Heidi Cakans, a fifth-year senior,
as their No. I singles player. Cakans will battle Brooke
Hart. Hart and Cakans squared off in the fall at the
ITA/Rolex Midwest Regional tournament, and Cakans
came away with a close victory.
The match against Western will also feature the return
of Michigan junior Jen Boylan, who hasn't played a sin-
gles match in the past two years. Boylan suffered a knee
injury last season and could only compete in doubles
matches.
As a team, Western is strong on top, but the Wolverines
may capitalize on its lack of depth in the lower flight.
On Saturday, No. 55 Marquette will come to Ann

"It's a statement to come
out and win the first two
matches of the year"
- Brooke Hart
Michigan women's tennis player

Arbor. Like Western, Marquette has excellent talent at
the top of its lineup, but again Michigan players expect
depth to be on their side.
Nevertheless, Marquette's top four singles players
can't be overlooked. This group of international athletes
is led by No. 1 singles player Elisa Penalvo, who is
ranked fourth in the Midwest region and 36th in the
country.
At second singles, Ana Fernandez is ranked ninth in
the region and 72nd in the nation.
Penalvo and Fernandez make up Marquette's No. 1
doubles team, which is ranked second in the Midwest.
They will face Michigan's tandem of Hart and Danielle
Lund, which is ranked fifth in the region. Ritt expects
this match to be one of the weekend's most exciting.
The strength of this year's Michigan team is depth.
From top to bottom the Wolverines are strong and expe-
rienced.
This weekend will provide the first test for the
Wolverines as a team.
"We can tell a lot in the individual season and the fall
season," Ritt said, "but you learn so much more when
you go head-to-head against another school."

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