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September 08, 1998 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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16A - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 8, 1998

Kovach and Tate
head to Happy Valley

By Umn Subrammian
Daily Sports Writer
Over the past few years, Kelly
Kovach and Kellyn Tate have been fix-
tures in the Michigan softball dugout.
They watched the team develop into
one of the top programs in the Big Ten
and the country.
And just last year, they participated
in the Wolverines' two wins over Penn
State. This year, they'll be trying to
prevent a Michigan win over the
Nittany Lions.
Both Kovach and Tate left Michigan
over the summer, taking up assistant
doaching positions at Penn State under
coach Robin Petrini.
For Kovach, a Pittsburgh native who
both played and coached at Michigan,
the transition is a homecoming of
sorts.
"I've been at Michigan for seven
years" Kovach said. "I had a great
experience, but it's time to move up
and move on. I guess I just needed to
try something new. Also, now I'm
closer to my family."
= But the thing that most attracted
Kovach to the Lions was the opportu-
nity to help build a program. When
Petrini arrived at Penn State, the Lions
*re at the bottom of the Big Ten.
They have been steadily climbing and
finished seventh last season.
"Michigan has a lot of tradition in
the program," Kovach said. "I don't
know what it's going to be like at Penn
State. There doesn't seem to be much
tradition yet, but there are the right
kind of kids here.
"It's great to be part of the building
process. It's different and I'm really
excited."
n Many people -- including Petrini -

can only speculate as to whether Penn
State will gain an advantage with
Kovach and Tate on staff.
But Kovach doesn't believe the
Lions will have one when they face the
Wolverines.
"A few -days ago, Coach Petrini
remarked that it will be good because I
know how they hit and their weakness-
es, but I don't think it'll be an advan-
tage;' Kovach said. "It all comes down
to how teams execute on a given day."
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins has
received numerous accolades in her 15
years as head coach.
Another credit to her abilites as both
coach and person is that Hutchins
trains her players in such a way that
they themselves are desired as coaches
around the U.S.
"There's a ton of us who played for
and coached under Hutch," Kovach
said. "People hire us because they
know she taught us well. That speaks
for itself about her."
Kovach hopes to bring to Penn State
some of the qualities that Hutchins
instilled in her both on and off the
field. She is confident that her new
team will be receptive to her ideas,
As the first assistant coach, Kovach
- the all-time victories leader as a
pitcher at Michigan - will primarily
be working with pitchers and hitters.
But more importantly, both Kovach
and Tate will bring knowledge about
what it takes to win to Happy Valley.
"While I can't teach them what it's
like to be part of a winning program, I
hope I can show them the important
things like how to build comraderie,"
Kovach said. "I learned a lot from
Hutch, and I'm going to miss working
for her."

Point guard is
first to commit
for 1999-2000
By And Laa
Daily Sports Writer
After signing on to coach the Michigan basketball team
through the year 2003, coach Brian Ellerbe set out to secure
other future plans - those of his team.
Less than two weeks after inking the long-term deal
Ellerbe received a commitment from Kevin Gaines, a blue-
chip point guard from Las Vegas.
Gaines, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard out of Edward
Clark High, is considered among the top 10 players in the
nation at his position by national recruiting publications. His
August 25 commitment to Michigan ended a recruiting bat-
tle that included Duke, Arizona, Kentucky and Connecticut.
Although Michigan won the quest for Gaines, Duke and
Arizona received verbal commitments from Jason Gardner
and Jason Williams, respectively, also top 10 point guard
prospects.
With his early commitment, Gaines can now spend his
senior year concentrating solely on basketball.
The former Los Angeles native, who averaged 23 points,
eight rebounds and eight assists as a junior at Clark last year,
saw his stock soar after strong performances in many camps
this summer.
Gaines was rated the sixth-best player at Nike's All-
America Camp in July, which featured more than 200 of the
nation's best prospects. Gaines was also the leading scorer at
the Adidas Big-Time Tournament, also held in July in
Gaines' home town of Las Vegas. He averaged 29.8 points
per game in six games, scoring 46 points in one contest.
Neither Gaines, who began school two weeks ago, nor
Clark coach Brad Query could be reached for comment.
Ellerbe declined comment as well, as NCAA rules prohib-
it a coach from speaking about a recruit until a National-
Letter of Intent has been signed.

0

FILE PHOTO
Lovelta Wilkinson and the rest of the Michigan field hockey team rebounded from a 2, double over-
time loss to Maryland this weekend when they beat Wake Forest by the same score yesterday.
'M' stickers split games
agalnst top-tO opposition

lgdbh

2-140 OalK ValIj 1Drive
An Arbor, tlt46103
'WePEWORLcy(4) q13-42-5

Indoor
Soccer
Registration Deadline:
Team Processing:
Schedules Posted:
Season Begins:
Season Ends:

Indoor
Roller Hockey

10/12
10/15
10/16
10/22
12/19

Registration Deadline:
Team Processing:
Schedules Posted:
Season Begins:
Season Ends:

9/11
9/18
9/19
9/21
12/11

By TJ. Berka
Daily Sports Writer
No one can accuse the Michigan field hockey
team of easing into the season.
The 1Ith-ranked Wolverines, coming off their
first-ever Big Ten championship last season,
opened this one by splitting two matches at the
inaugural Big Ten/ACC Challenge this weekend
in St. Louis.
The Wolverines ended the Challenge on a
high note yesterday with a 2-1 victory over Wake
Forest. The victory over the Demon Deacons
helped soften the blow the Wolverines took
Saturday, when they lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to
sixth-ranked Maryland in double overtime.
"This was a big win for us," Michigan coach
Marcia Pankratz said. "We had a tough loss
against Maryland on Saturday and we knew this
was going to be a tough game. I think it was very
important to rebound and come away with a
win."
The Wolverines were paced by Amy
Philbrook, who scored her second and third goals
in the first half versus Wake Forest. After taking
the early lead, Michigan concentrated on
defense, allowing only a goal from Lisa Andres.
Saturday against the Terrapins, the goalies
dominated the action. Keli Smith opened the
scoring for the Terrapins early in the first half.
Kelli Gannon deadlocked the score at one by
depositing her second goal of the season. After
that, the goalies seemed inpenetrable.

Finally, Michigan goalie Kati Oakes flinched.
After Smith was tripped from behind, 'Carla
Tagliente used to the ensuing penalty stroke to
beat Oakes for the game-winning goal.
Despite allowing the deciding goal, Oakes
was superb in net, coming up with nine saves.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, Maryland
goalie Angela Platt was a little better, keeping 15
of Michigan's 16 shots out of goal.
"Hopefully, this will help us down the stretch
because we really played well against a very
good team,' Pankratz said.
The Wolverines also played well in their
opener against the Cardinals, outshooting Ball
State 22-6. Gannon opened the scoring in the.
first half, as she was assisted by Courtney Reid
and Catherine Foreman.
Ball State goalie Angela Del Russo kept
things close for the Cardinals, turning away 18
shots, but she was beaten again by Amy
Philbrook in the second half, putting the game
out of reach.
"This was a great win for us," Pankratz said.
"We played great defense, and if it weren't for
their goalie, the score could have been even more
one-sided."
The win, while big because it was the season
opener, was sweeter because Ball State shut the
Wolverines out, 4-0, last season.
This year, it was Oakes and the Wolverines
doing the skunking, as Oakes turned away all six
shots she faced.

Player'

The Top 10 Point Guards in The Nation
Rating next year's crop of playmakers, according to
FastBreak Magazine, a national recruiting publication

4. Kevin Gaines 6-3,185
5. Tony Robertson 6-2, 185.
6. Steve Blake 6-3, 170
7. Majestic Mapp 6-4, 185
8. Tony Bobbitt 6-5, 185

Las Vegas
Barrington, R.I.
Miami
Bronx, N.Y.
Daytona, Fla.
Compton, Calif.

Ht/Wt

Hometown

1. Brett Nelson 6-3, 175 St. Albans, W. Va.
2. Jason Williams 6-2, 185 Metuchen, NJ.
3. Jason Gardner 5-11, 170 Indianapolis

College
Choice
Florida
Duke
Arizona
Michigan
undecided
Maryland
Virginia
Florida St:
undecided
Iowa St.

9. Tito Maddox,

6-4,190

10. Kirk Hinrich 6-2, 180 Sioux City, Iowa

Form your owin Team
or egister Individuallj.
Located 5 Minutes from Campus.
4hetc us out on the web: www.wwsports.com

All of these are oral commitments. The class of '99 cannot
sign letters of intent until the early signing period, which
begins in November.

0 ti VI

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