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February 10, 2000 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-10

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Washington inspires
netters for road trip

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 11A
Tough competition for
'M' at Cannon Classic

By Jeff Phillips
Daily Sports Writer
On Tuesday, the Michigan tennis team
mrived at practice to a surprise. Arguably
best player ever to wear a Wolverine
uniform humbled the Varsity Tennis
Center in street clothes.
Former Olympian, Wimbledon run-
ner-up and Wolverine Malivai
Washington was there to check-in on and
perhaps motivate his old team.
"It was really nice to see him there,
giving back to his team," senior Ron
Nano said. "I think that everyone was
really touched by that."
Washington's presence at practice
*ded sparked the team before they left
for Seattle.
"You could tell that people were work-
ing harder," sophomore Ben Cox said. "I
think that we wanted to impress him and
show him that we have a good team"
Washington left Michigan to focus on
his professional career after earning the
Big Ten player of the year award and
being named an All-American. He was
,nked as high as No. I1 in the ATP tour.
urrent Michigan coach Mark Mees was

Washington's private coach in the 1991-
92 season. He retired in 1999 and now
works as a TV analyst for professional
matches.
"Anytime you have a guy of that pro-
file and that caliber come back and see
the players, I think it benefits the pro-
gram" Mees said.
This weekend the team heads west to
Seattle, home of grunge rock, the Space
needle and Jamal Crawford.
The Wolverines will be competing in
the Great Northwest Shootout, hosted by
the Washington. The tournament will be
the first dual meet outside of the friendly
confines of the Varsity Tennis Center.
"The past few matches we have been
turned on and pushed by the crowd,"
Nano said. "The tournament will be a
good chance to see where we stand right
now."
The team arrived in Seattle last night
in order to have a day to adjust to the time
and location change.
"We will have a little time to adjust (to
the time difference)," Nano said. "A lot
of us are worried about that."
The tournament will also be the first
time the Wolverines will have back-to-

DANNY KALICK/Daily
This weekend, Matt Smith and the rest of the Michigan men's tennis team head to
Seattle where they will compete in their first dual meet on the road this season.

By James Mercier
For The Daily
Fresh off a strong performance in
last weekend's Meyo Invitational,
the Michigan women's track and
field team is hoping to deliver anoth-
er solid effort in a critical competi-
tion this weekend.
On Friday and Saturday the
Wolverines will take part in the
Cannon Classic, a two-day affair in
Indianapolis with a large field of 75
teams. With six nationally ranked
teams slated to compete, the Classic
should be a good indicator of the
Wolverines' improvement.
Michigan is expecting to perform
better in this year's Classic than it
did last year. In 1999, the
Wolverines struggled, capturing first
place in only the high jump.
At practice in the Indoor Track
Building yesterday, Michigan coach
James Henry eagerly looked forward
to the meet, which will feature a
half-dozen Big Ten teams.
"This will be a big invitational, the
biggest competition we've had this
season," Henry said. "This is where
folks go to post their last good time
before the Big Ten competition.
Most of the conference teams that

we think will be competitive will be
there. We'll treat this as a semifinal,
a dress rehearsal."
Henry feels that his team is peak-
ing at the right time.
"Each week, we've improved,"
Henry said. "Last weekend was our
best meet of the year. We're looking.
to top that in Indianapolis."
At the Mevo Invitational in South
Bend, the Wolverines posted. a pair
of individual victories. In the 200,
meter dash, senior Maria Brown and
freshman Carly Knazze finished
first and second, respectively.
Knazze's time was a career best.
Junior Regine Caruthers took first
place in the 500-meter dash.
The team's performance in the
hurdles and long jump also pleased
Henry.
Ashlie Wilbon, Tasha Phillips,
Robin Landfair and Marcella
Cornell each posted career-best
times. In the long jump, five
Wolverines finished in the top 11,
and Joniegh Slaughter, Breanna
Tenclay and Cornell all recorded
season-bests.
Still, Henry felt his team had
room for improvement. "I think we
can get better in a lot of areas,"';he
said.

back matches. Tomorrow, Michigan will
face Tulsa in their first match, then will
either face host Washington or
Northwestern on Saturday.
"Tulsa has a good team and a good
coach," senior Matt Wright said. "They
would be one of the top five teams of the
Big Ten"
Michigan is ranked No. 37 in the
nation with Washington and Tulsa are
ranked No. 26 and No. 46 respectively.
Northwestern is currently unranked.

"Our first two matches were pretty
much warm-up matches," Cox said. "If
we all play well, we can boost our rank-
ing up and maybe get a little more
respect."
In Seattle, the Wolverines hope to
get their 900th win as a program. In
103 seasons, Michigan has earned 36
Big Ten titles and have attained a
record of 899-351-14. The Wolverines
return home to face Eastern Michigan
on Feb. 18.

Lund eyes weekend return against Wolfpack

By Joe Smith
Daily Sports Writer

There is nothing more frustrating to a
.arce competitor than having to sit aside
Md watch their team go into battle with-
out them.
That is exactly what the Michigan
women's tennis team senior co-captain
Danielle Lund has had to deal with since
late October. Lund has been missing in
action ever since she aggravated her
stomach muscle in an early season tour-
nament.
Limited to only returning crisp fore-
*ids and overpowering backhands to a
machine, and not a real opponent, was-
n't good enough for this netter. Lund
wanted to play the game that she enjoyed
and had excelled at for three seasons -
leading Michigan during this period with
69 singles victories.
Unfortunately, all she could do was sit
in the stands with the small but loyal fan
base of the women's tennis team.
"I hated it - just sitting out and
wing you can make a contribution
Y'help your team," Lund said. "I liked
supporting and rooting them on, but it is

much better actually be on the court with
them."
Since aggravating her stomach injury
in a tournament in late October, Lund
has spent a lot of time in extensive rehab
with the team's student trainer, receiving
treatment before and after practice.
After an extended rest, Lund attempt-
ed to get back into the swing of things in
early December. This return didn't last
long, though, as she found that the mus-
cle was strongly hampering her serving
ability - a critical aspect of the game
that could not be overlooked.
"It takes a real committment from a
player to overcome such a slow-healing
injury," Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said.
"Danielle is a great player who has
won a ton of matches for us throughout
her career high in the lineup. She has
provided important contributions to the
team, including the 1997 Big Ten
Championship Team. With that type of
experience and success, we need her on
the court."
Lund is setting her sights on a possible
return for this Friday's match at North
Carolina State.
"I'm hoping to play," Lund said. "It is

not definite, but there's a good chance."
The senior has been practicing with
the team for the past week, which includ-
ed playing in a simulated eight point pro-
set double's match yesterday.
Even without Lund, the Wolverines
have gotten off to an impressive 3-0 start
going into their first road test
"I am proud of the team for overcom-
ing her absence by stepping up and mak-
ing key contributions," Ritt said.
At the No. I doubles slot, the Jen-Jen
combination of sophomore Jien Vaughn
and freshman Jen Duprez have been
unscathed so far in dual matches, posting
a 3-0 record.
Michigan's other senior co-captain,
Brooke Hart - who is Lund's frequent
doubles partner - leads the team with
I1 victories, including seven against
regional opponents. She has teamed up
with freshman Joanne Musgrove, who
has nine victories herself, to form a solid
No. 2 doubles tandem.
With senior Erryn Weggenman, who
is returning from a wrist injurv, teaming
with junior Szandra Fuzesi, the doubles
competition is becoming one of the
Wolverines' strengths this season.

In previous seasons, the doubles point
has posed a problem for Michigan. This
was especially true last season, when the
Wolverines went 18-44 overall in dou-
bles - losing four matches by one point.
Friday's match is going to be the third
meeting between Michigan and North
Carolina State, with the Wolverines win-
ning the first two matches in decisive
fashion.
North Carolina State should have a
familiar look to Michigan fans. They
return three seniors and boast a talented
freshman class, much like the
Wolverines.
What is not so familiar is the fact that
this evening matchup will take place on
four indoor courts instead of eight,
which means that many competitors
from both sides will have to wait it out
before they get a chance to serve it up.
"This will be a good test for us, having
a setting similar to the Big Ten
Championships," Ritt said.
"Depending on what happens, the out-
comes of the first few matches can be
either major confidence builders or
killers for those who have to nervously
wait for their chances to play."

Men's track tangles
with Michign's elite

By David Mosse
11ily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's track team faces
a big weekend. They will square off
against the premier programs in the state
when they travel to Mount Pleasant on
Saturday to take part in the Michigan
Intercollegiate, a competition head
coach Ron Warhurst has termed a " big
psychological effect meet."
Two weeks ago the Wolverines com-
peted in the Central Collegiate
Championships against many of the
same schools they will see this weekend.
In that meet, Michigan finished a disap-
pointing fifth out of nine teams.
Warhurst attributed those results in
large part to injuries and promises a bet-
ter effort this time around.
"We've been training very hard for the
last month," Warhurst said. "I think our
team is ready to go."

With the Big Ten Championship less
than a month away, Warhurst is stressing
the importance of generating momtp-
tum. Last week in South Bend, the
Wolverines answered the call.
Senior Jay Cantin led the way by run-
ning a sub-four-minute mile for the first
time in his career. By doing so, Cantin
booked his ticket to Arkansas for the
NCAA Indoor Championship.
"I have been waiting for years to see
that;' Warhurst said. "Jay is very talent-
ed, but it's all about having confidence."
This weekend, Warhurst is trying hard
to shift the focus away from the NCAA
Championship and back on the team. He
feels that going up against the likes of
Michigan State and Eastern Michigan
will help him accomplish this goal.
"We have a tendency to get too con-
cerned about times and distances,"
Warhurst said. "This weekend it's alt
about competing

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