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March 30, 1998 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-30

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 30, 1998 - 3

;'M' tennis 'back on
track' after victories

The Bronx Bomber

By Mark Francascutti
daily Sports Writer
NMichigan coach Bitsy Ritt gave high-
fives to her players after the Michigan
omen's tennis team went undefeated
or the weekend.
The results - a 4-3 comeback win
against Indiana on Saturday, and a 5-2
victory over Ohio State yesterday -
brought all smiles, for the most part, to
the faces of the Wolverines at their after
match meeting.
Michigan (4-1 Big Ten, 7-6 overall)
had lost four straight and five out of the
past six matches, and the weekend was
its chance to get back on track.
* After a hard-fought victory over
Indiana the day before, the Wolverines
hosted Ohio State yesterday. The
Buckeyes were ready to exact revenge
after being obliterated last season by
the Wolverines, 7-0, in Columbus.
But the young Buckeyes were not
happy to see that the Wolverines had
rejuvenated doubles teams.
"We were really focused in doubles
today" Ritt said. "We had talked about
ttle things that make a huge differ-
ence. Like, our serving percentage was
way too low yesterday - we were rely-
ing too much on our second serve."
Yesterday, that problem seemed to
have been fixed as Michigan won all
three doubles matches in relatively easy
fashion compared to the poor showing
the previous day.

"We started out a little slow, then
tarted to hit better, (Ritt) told us to set-
tle down a little bit and things just
snowballed from there," Weggenman
But the Wolverines' power really
exploded in the singles matches, allow-
ing the Buckeyes only four games in
four straight-set wins.
Weggenman shut out her opponent
6-0, 6-0.
"I didn't have hardly any unforced
errors, and when that happens your day
is pretty good," Weggenman said.
The Wolverines did lose the last two
matches to finalize the score at 5-2, but
by then, the meet was in the books.
"We dominated in several positions
while others we really battled and
fought," Ritt said. "But I think, overall,
it was a good team performance."
On Saturday, Michigan hosted the
Hoosiers, who arrived as very grumpy
Indiana started by blanking the
Wolverines in all three doubles match-
es and earning the crucial doubles
Down 2-0 in team points, and facing
the prospect of having to win the last
four singles matches, Jen Boylan and
Erryn Weggenman brought the
Wolverines back into the meet.
Boylan broke the Indiana monopoly
with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Then Weggenman - behind 4-3 in

Brooke Hart and the Wolverines met the Buckeyes yesterday at the Varsity Tennis

Center. Michigan won, 5.2.
the first set - won the next three
games to take the set 6-4. She went on
to give Michigan its second point, and
most importantly, tie the team score, 2-
Brooke Hart's win at No. I singles
gave Michigan a 3-2 lead.
But Indiana's Jessica Anderson dom-
inated Sora Moon in the third set and
went on to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-2. The win
tied the score, 3-3, and moved the eyes
of the Michigan fans - those who
were still left in the stands - to the
deciding match between Michigan
sophomore Danielle Lund and
Indiana's Kelly Blanch.

After an easy 6-1 first-set victory by
Lund, Blanch barely came back to win
the second, 7-6 - setting up a third and
deciding set for both the match and the
Lund gained the upper hand, 6-5, in
the third set, but couldn't put the pesky
Hoosiers away.
Despite a 40-15 advantage, Lund
couldn't get that last point and Blanch
tied it up at deuce. But after several
back-to-back deuces, Lund finally
surged ahead and took the match 7-5,
securing the meet for the Wolverines.
"She had so many match points, it
just took her awhile." Ritt said.

.Sisters in tennis become rivals, stay sisters

Underdogs' success make
for refehn~g toumameni
eeling down and depressed? Spend a weekend at the NCAA hockey tour-
nament and everyone's bound to find at least one form of the story of "The
Little Underdog That Could" to lift their sunken spirits.
Even before the tourney got underway Friday night, seeing Princeton and Yale
receiving invitations as two of the 12 best teams in the nation made us all realizc
that college sports are not as corrupt as we tend to think. Even though Ann
Arborites may have disdain for the uppity Ivy Leaguers, these traditional book-
worms proved that the words "student" and "athlete" carry equal weight on at
least some campuses.
In addition, these two schools' appearances widened the American college
hockey audience. Instead of stacking the tournament with teams like Lake
Superior and St. Cloud State, schools that are only recognized for their prowess
on the ice, college hockey was brought into the homes of people who like hocke
and don't have to look under a rock for the competitors.
The Ivy Leaguers' stories were also good because they were tales of underdo
rising from the depths of their sport. By matching its school record for victories
with 18 this season, Princeton made its first tournament appearance ever. Yale,
picked to finish 10th in the 12-team ECAC before the season, wound up winnip
the regular-season title and landed in the tournament for the first time since
Although the Tigers (whose stunning hot streak in the postseason carried then
into the tournament) and the Bulldogs (who play without their top scorer) lost
their first-round games, they made college hockey more palatable for a mid-
Atlantic audience that has yet to embrace it.m
Still down in the dumps? Consider what Ohio State accomplished this week
end, and for that matter, this year.
Just three years ago, the Buckeyes were a joke of a hockey program. They
played in a rink that could have been mistaken for a frozen bathtub and had abot
as many fans in Columbus as they do in Ann Arbor. Even as recent as last sea--
son, Ohio State was an embarrassing 12-25-2 and light years from the top of the
But in 1995, the Buckeyes' braintrust hired John Markell to rebuild, or rather,
just build the program. And now, faster than you could say, "rejuvenation," Ohlo
State is in the final four.
The Buckeyes' stunning 4-3 overtime victory over the nation's undisputed No.
I team was sweet revenge for the loss the Spartans handed them a week ago in
the CCHA finals, and, like Princeton and Yale, opened up college hockey to a
whole new audience.
"This is good for the (CCHA) and good for college hockey," Markell said.
"We have a great market for hockey in Columbus, Ohio, and with the Columbus
Bluejackets coming into the (NHL) and our 17,000-seat arena opening next year
we hope we can sell the product to a whole new area of the country."
But seriously, with this audience, the Buckeyes would have to do better than
that to cheer up a Michigander. With that said, who could have asked for a better
story from this weekend than that of Michigan? There were many great angles;
from which to view the Wolverines' spectacular weekend, which led them to
familiar but unexpected territory.
Let's start with the fact that Michigan is in the national semifinals for the
fourth consecutive year and the sixth time in seven years, and has won 30 ganes
for the eighth straight season - a dynasty in every sense of the word.
Other than the 20 guys in maize and blue on the ice Saturday night and the
men behind the bench, who could have figured this team - one that lost the
greatest recruiting class in college hockey history to graduation, and is forced to
routinely dress freshmen for half its skaters - to come within one point of the
CCHA title, and then three weeks later, fall two goals behind North Dakota, yet
come back and knock off the defending national champion?

By Stephanie Offen
DalDy Sports Writer
- For the past 19 years, Briana and Tumeka Harris
have been close sisters, but yesterday's match at the
Varsity Tennis Center brought sibling rivalry to a new
A spectator in the stands would be confused sitting
near the Harris family. They had their own cheering
section - yelling loudly for both teams.
Jackie Harris, the players' mother came in from
Cleveland to see her daughters play.
w"This gives me an opportunity to be with the fami-
ly' she said. "It also gives me a chance to support my
daughters in their tennis."
Tumeka, ajunior and Michigan's No. 3 singles play-

er, finished her match before her sister. She had a
tough match, which she lost 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, after com-
ing off a come-from-behind doubles victory. Tumeka,
along with Erryn Weggenman, won 8-2, after trailing
Briana, a freshman and Ohio State's No. 2 singles
player, was still trying to deliver the final blow to
Michigan's Danielle Lund when her sister finished her
singles match.
Tumeka came over to join the family, but would not
say who she was cheering for - her sister or her
teammate. Tumeka simply said, "It's a secret." And the
secret was never revealed.
Briana was able to deliver that final blow after three
long, grueling sets, beating Lund 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. She

was quickly congratulated by her sister, who also con-
gratulated Lund on a well-played match.
The two sisters try their hardest not to be competi-
tive with each other when it comes to tennis. They
have not competed against each other yet in the 15
years that they have been playing. And, since Tumeka
plays in the No. 3 spot, and Briana plays in the No. 2,
they probably never will.
Jackie Harris has done her best to keep this non-
competitive attitude among the girls.
"With tennis, and life itself - whatever you elect to
do, you should feel good about it," she said. "If you
put 100 percent in and you focus and go in and play
the best you can play, then you should be satisfied. If
you've given your best, then that's it."
Look fir
Yeager from
NCAA hockey
e meet may
ment made
,mntmae coverage from
. Freshman
is personal
ches with a Bosfin in the
third place.
pman, hurled Daily
,fini hpr in

Distance squad stays in fron

y Nick Koster
For the Daily
Against some of the stiffest competi-
tion in the nation, the Michigan men's
track and field team proved what every-
one already knew: The Wolverines have
a'deep distance squad, but lack any for-
midable threat in the sprints.
- The Arizona State Castillo Invitational
at Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.,
#as the site of Michigan's initial outdoor
meet of the season this past weekend.
Although there was no team scoring, the
Wolverines were content with their per-
"It was a good way to start the sea-
son, Michigan distance runner Jay
Cantin said. "Everyone fared fairly well,
but we were more concerned with hav-
ing a good training weekend."
Heading up the strong distance crew,
All-American Kevin Sullivan won his
*ne race of the weekend, the 800-meter

run, in 1:52.05. In the same event,
Cantin and Don McLaughlin finished
fifth and 10th, respectively. John
Mortimer led the Wolverines in the
1,500-meter run with a fifth-place fin-
ish. Don McLaughlin followed in sixth.
Sullivan, the NCAA champion in the
outdoor mile, sat out the 1500.
Tom Snyder closed out the distance
events for Michigan with a fourth-place
finish in the 5,000-meter run. His time
of 14:21.40 was more than 25 seconds
faster than his best time last year.
As expected, Michigan also made a
good showing in the relays. The
Wolverines finished fourth in the 4 x 100
with a time of 41.17. But, in the 4 x 400,
Michigan was destroyed by Big Ten rival
Illinois. The Wolverines finished in
third, 3.5 seconds behind the Illini.
In the sprints, no Wolverine fared bet-
ter than Jon Cohen, who finished 13th in
the 110-meter hurdles -almost two full

seconds behind winner Ty Y
The biggest surprise of th
have been the vast improve
by the younger Wolverines
Charles DeWildt topped h
best pole vault by 1 1/2 in
vault of 16-7 1/2, good for
Andrew Derr, another freshn
the javelin 184-02 and also
third place.
"It's great to see the you
well. They are the future o
track," Cantin said. "For the
lege meet, they were phen
definitely something they ca
The Wolverines will turnt
diate focus to USC, which th
April 4 in Los Angeles.
"Right now we are more
about training for the Big T
said. "We want to take adva
weekend trips for working on

1inisne in
ng guys do
f Michigan
ir first col-
omenal. It's
n build on."
their imme-
ey will face
ens," Cantin
ntage of the
our speed."




Mid-distance runners
boost Blue women

By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Writer
qThis weekend's Arizona State
invitational provided the Michigan
women's track team with many stories:
solid winning performances, the dis-
tance crew's first outdoor competition of
the season and the not-so-illustrious
return of a runner who has been injured
since the start of the indoor campaign.
Maybe the most refreshing aspect of
the Wolverines is their variety of heroes
from week to week. This week, it was
the mid-distance squad's turn, as the
Volverines owned the 800-meter dash.
Five of the eight scoring places belonged
to the Wolverines, who were led by Sarah
Hamilton's 2:12.37 first-place finish.
Distance standout Katie McGregor
was just a step behind as the runner-up.
It was another meet and another
NCAA provisional qualifying height for
high jumper Nicole Forrester. The junior
cleared the 5-foot- 11 1/2 bar to win the
event in her second outdoor competition.
Although the performance was good
enough to secure the victory, it was not
Forrester's personal best, by any means.
E ......

"It just wasn't a good performance at
all," Forrester said.
Tania Longe reinforced her reputation
as Michigan's "Ms. Versatile" by scoring
in three events. The all-Big Ten per-
former took fourth in the 100-meter hur-
dles, as well as a runner-up finish in the
long jump with a leap of 19-9 3/4.
Longe has displayed consistency all
season in the hurdles and the long jump,
but she added a new angle with a sev-
enth-place finish in the javelin, even
edging out Michigan's specialist in the
event, Amy Johnson. McGregor showed
no negative effects of competing in two
events, as she took first in the 1,500-
meter run with a time of 4:25. Buried
deep in the standings was Julie Froud,
who is recovering from Achilles tendini-
tis. Her 10:28 finish in the 3,000 meters
earned her 12th place.

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