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March 29, 1999 - Image 15

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March 29, 1999 - SportsMonday - The Michigan Daily -7B

Men's track adapts
to outdoor meets
By David Mosse
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track team kicked off its outdoor season by travel-
to Tempe, Ariz. to take part in the Castillo Invitational.
e two-day event provided an opportunity for the Wolverines to shake
off the rust from their long layoff following the indoor campaign.
The trip to Tempe marked the first time the Wolverines have competed
as a team since their eighth-place finish in the Big Ten Indoor
Championships last February.
Michigan's best result came in the 5,000, where junior Steve Lawrence
*d freshman Mike Wisniewski finished first and second respectively.
"I was really surprised with my performance, Wisniewski said. "I was
not expecting to run that well right away."
Wisniewski confessed to being rusty and also of the psychological tran-
on to the outdoor season.
utdoors is a different environment' Wisniewski said. "It's a lot more
competitive."
Another Wolverine standout was javelin thrower Andy Derr, who placed
second, and in the process, set a personal record.
Ironically, the two Wolverines who enjoyed the shortest break between
seasons, both had subpar performances. Junior Jay Cantin and freshman
Oded Padan were Michigan's lone representatives in the NCAAs.
Cantin, an All-American during the indoor season, finished in the mid-
dle of the pack in the 1,500. Padan, who struggled in the latter portion of
the indoors, continued his woes, by placing seventh in the long jump.
"I was pretty bad," Padan said. "I really wasn't ready for this meet."
*adan attributed his lethargy to fatigue generated not only from his
extended indoor campaign, but to the rigorous practices leading up to this
tournament.
"I was really tired," Padan said. "We've been working really hard the last
couple of weeks to get ready for our tougher meets coming up."
Fellow freshman Ike Okenwa, the revelation of the indoor season, is still

Men's golf tangled up

By Uma Subramanlan
Daily Sports Writer
Living in Michigan has its advantages.
Is there anywhere else where could you pin-
point exactly where you live on your left hand?
Probably not. But along with the perks, there
are a few drawbacks to living in a state where
the weather has sinusoidal mood swings. The
Michigan men's golf team witnesses several of
those drawbacks.
Competing as a northern school, the
Wolverines are already at a disadvantage.
Winter snow denies the the team the ability to
practice outside. But this year, with the spo-
radic changes in climate over the past several
months, the team's practice time has dwindled
even further.
So far this spring season, that lack of practice
has carried over to tournament play resulting in
poor showings. The latest proof came this past
weekend at the Dr. Pepper Tanglewood
Intercollegiate in Pottsboro, Texas.
The Wolverines finished in ninth place out of
19 teams in the 54-hole event.
"We haven't had a chance to go out and play
much," Michigan coach Jim Carras said.
"That's really affected us. You must go out and
shoot if you're going to win."
Ironically, though this weekend the weather
improved in Michigan, it definitely didn't
cooperate in Texas. In fact, Carras said the
golfers carried umbrellas, raincoats and hand-
warmers along with their clubs.
Nonetheless, after the first 18 holes,

round to put itself in a third place tie with
Illinois. That round was the best round ,the
Wolverines notched this year, including the fall
competition.
But in golf, like most sports, consistency
eventually gives teams the edge needed for a
win. In Saturday's afternoon round, the
Wolverines plummeted in the rankings after
shooting a collective 306. All five golfers were
at least two strokes over their previous round
totals.
Sunday's round of 301 wasn't enough to help
the Wolverines out of the hole they had dug
themselves into.
"Sunday's round was the most disappointing
of all," Carras said. "We probably are where we-
should be (after little practice). But we could've
been a couple of spots higher. We can't do it
unless we play consistently.
"The team is young and inexperienced, b4t
this is the last time I'm going to say that. After
this weekend, you must go out and shoot; if
you're going to play."
Though a lack of a senior would indicate
inexperience, last weekend, one of Michigan's
top performers was freshman Andrew
Chapman. Chapman turned in the most consi,-
tent performance shooting 73-75-72-210 and
finished only one stroke behind team leader
Mike Harris.
Except for a triple-bogey on the fifth hole,
Harris played well and became Michigan's only
medalist in the tournament.
Michigan still finished ahead of Big Ten foes
Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa and Indiana.

Todd Snyder won't be running indoors, as he is here, for quite some
time, because the outdoor season started this past weekend.
recovering from an ankle injury which hampered him in the Big ten cham-
pionships. Okenwa ran the 4 x1 leading Michigan to a third place finish.
"I felt really good," Okenwa said. "Outdoor is more my style, and I am
expecting a big season."
The Castillo Invtitational was looked upon as a warm-up meet as the
team prepares for the grueling outdoor season, notoriously tougher than
indoors.
"This meet was just to see where we all are and what adjustments need
to be made,' Okenwa said.
The Wolverines boast an extremely talented squad. However, their inex-
perience surfaced at times over the winter, especially when encountering
top competition. During outdoors, every tournament contains stiff compe-
tition and Michigan's resolve will surely be tested.

Michigan appeared to be in contention
finish. The team shot a 291 in that

for a top
opening

Men's tennis extends streak

Raphael Goodstein
Daily Sports Writer
w The Michigan tennis team is like
Grand River Avenue in East Lansing
after a Michigan State loss - on fire.
The Wolverines have won their last six
matches and are now 9-1 on the season.
Michigan opened the Big Ten season
-with back-to-back road matches against
Iowa and Wisconsin and came away with
eck-to-back victories.
'The Wolverines came away with a
tough 4-3 win over Wisconsin yesterday.
It was a good win for the team consider-
ing the adverse conditions. The team
played indoors on a court that was built
for the Badgers.
. "After playing outdoors in Iowa with
'41 of the wind, it was tough to play in

Wisconsin,' coach Brian Eisner said.
"There courts are slick and very flat."
After landing in Madison after mid-
night on Sunday, the team was tired. But
the adversity helped unite the team.
"We spent the whole night together
Saturday night. We watched all the
games together and it really helped bring
us close together as a team" freshman
Ben Cox said.
The previous day, the Wolverines
played outdoors against Iowa. And the
Wolverines battled the bad weather con-
ditions and succeeded, beating Iowa 5-2.
The wind was 23 mph. There is a new
rule in the Big Ten that says if it is 50
degrees or above with winds below 20
mph, the meet should be played indoors.
"The Iowa match we played outdoors,

this was only the second time we have
played outdoors," Michigan coach Brian
Eisner said. "The other being earlier this
year against Virginia.
"We just wanted to come away with a
win. We're now 9-1, and any time you
win you look at the positives. We played
very well considering all of the adverse
conditions. It was very windy in Iowa
and having not played outdoors yet it
was tough."
Michigan will play back-to-back
matches again next week when the
Wolverines host Ohio State and Penn
State next weekend.
"If we play against these teams later in
the year I would expect us to win easier',
Eisner said. "These were good wins for
us. We needed to win these and we did."

John Long and the Michigan tennis team are, well, en"'uego

Women struggle in doubles, split weekend

Did Penn's
pinched jersey
mean bd luck:?-
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Ohio State is still
searching for No. 12.
No, Scoonie Penn wasn't missing during Saturday
night's national semifinal between the Buckeyes and
Connecticut. He scored 11 points and had four assists in
40 minutes, but had to do it in a new jersey.
The Big Ten co-player of the year wore a number other
than 12 for the first time since transferring to Ohio State
from Boston College. His usual red road jersey was
either lost, stolen or inadvertently left at home.
The Buckeyes, a self-described superstitious bunch,
aren't sure what happened.
"When he got to the arena, the red 12 was not in his
bag," Ohio State sports information director Gerry Emig
said. "We don't know if it didn't get back here from
Columbus or whether packing his stuff to come to the
game it fell out."
Asked if maybe the jersey had been stolen, Emig said:
"That's a possibility."
Penn didn't buy the argument that changing numbers
somehow may have played a role in a 3-for-13 shooting
performance or the outcome of the game, which
Connecticut won 64-58.
"That didn't have any impact," the Ohio State star
said, adding he discovered the jersey was missing about
10 minutes before the game.
"I came back in here and I couldn't find it, so I had to
wear No. 35," he said.
Teammate Neshaun Coleman said he was almost cer-
tain he saw the missing jersey before the Buckeyes went
out on the floor for warmups about 25 minutes before
tip-off.
"I'm ready to bet the house that I saw that jersey han-
ing up," Coleman said.
The jersey Penn wore is the Buckeyes' so-called
"blood jersey." The NCAA requires every team to carry
at least one extra jersey in case a player gets blood on his
regular uniform.
The last time Penn wore a number other than 12 was
when he was No. 11 at Boston College two years ago.

By Dan Williams
For the Daily
A strong showing in singles against
Iowa on Saturday, followed by a let-
down against Wisconsin yesterday,
left the Michigan women's tennis
team with a weekend split. Michigan
coach Bitsy Ritt said mental tough-
ness made the difference in these
matches.
"Iowa showed a lot of frustration on
the court when things weren't going
their way," Ritt said. "Our attitude
was better."
After losing two of the three dou-
bles matches to the Hawkeyes,
Michigan (3-2 Big Ten, 4-9 overall)
won five of the six singles matches to
secure a 6-3 victory. Freshman Jen
Vaughn set the tone for the
Wolverines with a 6-1, 6-4 victory
over Emily Bampton at No. 5 singles.
Then junior Danielle Lund rode pre-
cise passing shots to a 6-4, 6-3 victo-
ry over Iowa's hard-hitting No. 1 sin-
gles player, Toni Neykova. Three set
victories by. sophomore Alison
Sinclair and junior Brook Hart guar-
anteed Michigan's win.
"This was a good win for us" Ritt

said. "Iowa is having one of their best
seasons in a long time, but I think
they got over-confident after they
won the doubles."
Against Wisconsin, Michigan again
lost the doubles point, but straight-set
victories by Lund and Vaughn kept
Michigan in the match. But this time,
both Sinclair and Hart fell in the third
set of their matches.
Finally, Michigan sophomore
Szandra Fuzesi broke down crying
with the score 4-4 in the third set of
her match when one of her line calls
was overruled by the chair umpire.
She went on to lose the set, 7-5, and
Michigan lost the dual match, 6-3.
"She got a little emotional when
things weren't going her way," Ritt
said. "She had a long match the day
before and a bit of a muscle strain and
the overrule frustrated her."
While the team's mental strength
was inconsistent this weekend, poor
doubles play has been hindering the
team during the whole spring season.
They lost two of three doubles match-
es to Iowa and Wisconsin, and have
yet to win the doubles point against a

Big Ten opponent.
"We're not getting consistent per-
formances at No. I doubles," Ritt
said. "Danielle and Brook have done
well in the past, but you can tell that
they're lacking confidence right now."
Ritt has already recently changed
the lineup at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles,
and she feels the No. 1 team may need
a new look as well.
"A change might be just what they
need psychologically," Ritt said.
Hart and Lund, junior co-captains,
have gone 4-9 in dual meets this year.
The Wolverines still have reason-
able expectations to make the 64-
team NCAA Tournament, but to be
selected, they will need a great record
the rest of the way. Their next two
matches - this weekend at South
Florida and North Carolina - will be
crucial.
Also, for the first time this year,
the teams can automatically qualify
for the NCAAs by winning the Big
Ten tournament at the end of April.
So improvement is more important
than the Wolverines' record right
now.

FILE PHOTO
The Michigan women's tennis team beat Iowa but was defeat-
ed by Wisconsin in a pair of Big Ten matches this weekend.

Purdue women win NCAA title

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Pretty, it
wasn't. But Purdue will take it.
After starting the season by beating
three-time defending champion
Tennessee, Purdue ended it by winning
the title itself.
Purdue bounced back after the worst
half ever in an NCAA championship
e and beat Duke 62-45 last night for
i first national title. And for the top-
ranked Boilermakers, that was absolute-
ly beautiful.
It happened because seniors Ukari
Figgs and Stephanie White-McCarty,
who had gone through so many tough
times early in their career, refused to get
down after the team's terrible first half.
-They were the driving force in a 12-1
second half run that pulled the
Olermakers from behind and put them
ahead to stay.
Figgs, scoreless in an 0-for-7 first

half, had six points in the run and fin-
ished with 18 to earn the award as the
outstanding player in the Final Four.
White-McCarty had one basket and
helped keep the team together before
being injured late in the game.
The Boilermakers (34-1), who fin-
ished with 32 straight victories, then
made enough baskets and defensive
stands down the stretch to keep Duke
(29-7) at bay, even as White-McCarty, a
unanimous All-American, sat out the
final 4:01 after spraining her left ankle.
The loss ended an improbable run
through the tournament by Duke, as
well as any hope of a unique "double"
for the Blue Devils' basketball program.
The Duke men are favored in tonight's
men's championship game with
Connecticut.
The Duke women had earned their
first Final Four trip by ending

Tennessee's hopes for a fourth straight
title, beating the Lady Vols in the East
regional finals.
The championship was all the sweet-
er for White-McCarty and Figgs
because of what they had endured early
in their careers. They played for three
coaches in their first three seasons at
Purdue and saw their team ripped apart
when coach Lin Dunn was fired follow-
ing their freshman year in 1996.
They were among just three players
who stayed. Amazingly, two of those
who left played for Duke Sunday night:
Michele VanGorp and Nicole Erickson.
The victory also happily closed out
Carolyn Peck's brief but successful
tenure at Purdue. Peck is leaving after
just two seasons as the Boilermakers'
coach to become coach and general
manager of the WNBA's Orlando
Miracle.

frtea the
Daifyr
You
could use
some
Culture.
Purdue guard
Ukarl Figge cele-
brates the
Boilermakers' 62-
45 victory over
Duke in the
women's NCAA
championship
game last night.
Figgs flnished
with 18 points
and was named
the most out-
standing player
at the Final Four,
and Purdue
capped an
impressive
341 season.
AP PHOTO

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