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April 17, 2001 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-17

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2B - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Former players unhappy
SER trary by Schumacher herself. In a talk
between the two prior to her quitting,
Continued from Page IS Guevara felt the two had an under-
"Everything was always so nega- standing.
tive," she said. "There was no way I "When she left my office, I thought
wanted to deal with this for four we were on the same page," Guevara
years." said. Her being unhappy is "just com-
Robinson felt that Guevara was not pletely different than what she told
honest with the players in what she me."
wanted from them. Robinson claimed Schumacher said she twice tried to
she did what was asked of her in schedule a meeting with Guevara to
practice, but she still wasn't reward- discuss what she needed to do to
edwith more minutes. increase her playing after winter
"I think people leave because she break and that Guevara did not show
doesn't give everybody a fair shot," up. She also said that Guevara only
Robinson said. "She has in her mind came to the third one a half-hour late
who's going to play and who's not after she called Guevara at her home
going to play." to get her to keep the appointment.
Schumacher's mother was disap- Guevara said she did not learn of
pointed in Guevara's failure to recog- any of this until seeing a letter sent
nize a problem with her daughter. from the Schumachers to associate
"She thought because Christie was- athletic director Megan McAllister
n't talking, there wasn't a problem," after she already quit. Guevara said
she said. "When you only have 12 she was late for just one meeting and
players, you should notice if there's a called to warn Schumacher.
problem." Guevara added that she meets with
But Guevara said she was unable to the freshman players individually
detect any concerns from Schumacher once a week to talk to them about
because she was told quite the con- school, basketball and their lives in
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with coach
general.
Schumacher decided to quit the
team as soon as the team got off the
bus at Crisler after coming back from
a loss at Holy Cross on Feb 8. Gue-
vara called for a team meeting to be
followed by a practice. Schumacher
simply did not attend the meeting and
went straight home from the bus. She
did not want to be punished for a
game she did not play in. Guevara did
not realize Schumacher was not there
until she received a phone call from a
-player to tell her Schumacher had
quit.
"I was counting like this and I
thought, somebody's missing," Gue-
vara said. "I'm like, 'Well guys,
who's missing?' 'Nobody.' I was
looking at the whole group. She was
gone. I didn't realize she was gone."
Senior co-captain Anne Thorius
found in her four years for Guevara to
be ready to listen to players.
"Coach G. is definitely not shy about
talking about problems," she said.
"There's always communication."
Guevara expressed a desire to start
recruiting the whole player and not
just the talent as a result of these
recent departures. But she does not
think she turned people away once
they arrived.
"If kids do not want to be a part of
this program, then they don't have to
be," she said. "I have not run any-
body off this team. I haven't run a
soul off this team."

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Right and Wrong
To the unconfirmed
whose greatest risk was
to run a yellow traffic light
whose patriotism
a furniture sale
morality
a Hollywood movie
and values
a TV cartoon...
Vietnam was wrong.
To those who were there
character, an expectation
love, unreturned.
Even knowing the bitter end
most, overwhelmingly most
quietly say
they would do it again...
Vietnam was right.
Gary Lillie 2001
Chu Lai 1966
www.garylillie.com

At a place like Michigan,
freshmen enter in the fall as
faceless kids who struggle to
learn their way around campus and
university life. At parties, they stand
around nervously admiring their
newfound freedom. They often come
from a high school where they are
one of the best or brightest but
become nothing more than another
face in the crowd at Michigan.
At first glance this could have been
the description of tennis player Chrissi
Nolan. She does not strike one as a
tennis player. She is not the fastest
member of the team and would rather
stay back and play the baseline than
move up to play the net.
If not for a "Michigan Tennis" t-
shirt, one would never guess she was a
varsity athlete. She wears an unassum-
ing smile and is a member of Pi Beta
Phi sorority. Not the typical rap sheet
for the average Michigan athlete.
What she has in common with most
Michigan athletes is her unparalleled
success in high school athletics. Nolan
won three state singles championships
in tennis, amassed a career record of
103-3 and at one point, had an 80-
match win streak. This stellar play
earned her a place in the national spot-
light when she was named as one of
Sport Illustrated's "Faces in the
Crowd" in the December 6, 1999
issue.
Nolan came into Michigan as one of
the top freshmen in the nation, playing
the No. I spot in the lineup. Not even
Brooke Hart who was named to the
Big Ten Conference Team last year,
and'sits in the top 10 in career wins at
Michigan started at the top spot her
freshman year.
As the top spot in the lineup, she has
routinely played against top players on
the opposing teams, often juniors and
seniors with a wealth of experience. It
has meant she has faced players who

capitalize on mistakes and don't com-
mit any errors themselves.
"Chrissi has learned a lot playing one
or two singles this year," coach Bitsy
Ritt said. "I think she realizes she is
going to play a good player every
match. She has to be really ready to
play. In college, it is not enough to put
a lot of balls in the court. You have to
really step up and do something with
the ball whether it is working the point
and finishing at the net."
Nolan has spent the year learning
how to adjust her game from juniors.
In juniors, she could play a laid-back
style in which she could sit back on
the baseline and hit low-percentage
shots down the baseline and cross
court. In college, the level of competi-
tion takes a quantum leap and every
player is on her level.
"College is much more intense than
juniors," Nolan said. "I didn't even
warm up for some matches in juniors.
But in. college you have to take each
match seriously."
The disparity in the level of play in
juniors allows players like Nolan to
coast through early rounds of tourna-
ments on natural talent alone. The col-
lege game lacks these "coasting"
players and force players to be mental-
ly sharp for every point.
The other major adjustment from
juniors to college is the importance of
team play. While players do play on
teams in high school, the disparity in
skill level is even greater than in
juniors. Furthermore, not all of their
efforts go into their high school team,
and they divide much of their time
between high school and juniors.
While tennis is considered to be an
individual sport, it is very much a team
sport. With the exception of an occa-
sionally cheering teammate, players
are playing by themselves but repre-
sent the entire team. They are no
longer playing for themselves, as is the

case with juniors, but playing foe
greater cause. Consequently, there is
much more external pressure to win in
college tennis than in juniors.
"Emphasis is on individual success
in juniors," Nolan said. "While in col-
lege you succeed as a team, there are
no teams in junior tennis. In college,
you are not just winning for yourself
but your team and Michigan. It gives
what you do more purpose. It makes
the game more intense."
This can create strange situations
where a player can win, yet have the
team lose and vice-versa. That was the
case this weekend when Nolan won a
close match in doubles with partner"
Kavitha Tippirneni and then won her
singles match in three sets.
Despite her stellar play, Michigan
lost the match against Iowa 5-2.
"It is a great (individual) win;s
is hard to be negative after the match,"
Nolan said of the match. "College ten-
nis is still a team sport. I difl every-
thing I could to win, so I am satisfied
with myself but disappointed to lose to
Iowa in general."
As the season has continued, Nolan
has learned to adjust to the new level
of play, becoming stronger and gain-
ing experience.
"As the season has gone on Ih
learned to work points better, putttre
ball away and finish points at the net,"
Nolan said.
This newfound knowledge has
helped Nolan blossom into one of the
team's most consistent players in sin-
gles which has led to an eight-match
winning streak in doubles. She is lead-
ing the team in wins with 18 and has
won five out of eight three-set match
this year, all while playing against the
opponents' best players.
These accomplishments, along with
an outstanding freshman year, have
prevented Nolan from becoming just
another face in the crowd.

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