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March 19, 2002 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-03-19

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 19, 2002-13

Doubles key as Michigan readies for Falcons

By Brian Steer.
Daily Sports Writer

Strong doubles play is
a staple for any successful
collegiate tennis program.
Despite representing only
one point, it is always a
pivotal factor in close
matches.
After claiming the
doubles point in its first
seven matches, the
Michigan men's tennis
team (1-3 Big Ten, 7-4
overall) was cruising
with a 6-1 record.

VARSITY TENNIS1
Who: Michigan (1-3
Ten, 7-4 overall) vs
ing Green (9-7)
When: 4 p.m.
Latest: After startin
season 6-0, Michig
fallen on some hard
losing four of its las
matches.

four conference matches, losing the
doubles point in each contest. Against
Northwestern, if Michigan had garnered
the doubles score, it would
have earned a 4-3 victory.
CENTER The Wolverines will have a
break from Big Ten play this
. Bowl afternoon, when they face
Bowling Green at the Varsity
Tennis Center at 4 pm.
g the "Sometimes, when you get
an has up 6-0 in your record, you
times, lose sight of what the sched-
t five ule is and where your tough
moments are going to be,"
Chris Shaya said. "I think we
just got a little bit ahead of ourselves in
thinking we were that good. We didn't
realize that this is the moment where the
competition really gets jump-started."

Shaya and his roommate Chris Rolf
form Michigan's No. 1 doubles team
and have posted a 3-6 dual match record
so far this season (Rolf missed two
matches due to injury).
Shaya attributes the return of serve as
a reason for the tandem's sluggish start.
"I think the one thing that we need to
work on is our return games," Shaya
said. "Last year I think we did a really
good job of smothering teams by put-
ting so many balls in the court. This
year we're hitting the ball too hard and
trying to go through teams."
Shaya and Rolf should be able to aug-
ment their record against Bowling
Green (9-7), a team that Michigan
pounded 7-0 last year without dropping
a set.
One setback for the Wolverines is that

No. 2 singles player Ben Cox will likely
miss today's match due to mono. Cox
experienced symptoms prior to spring
break when he was forced to sit out
against Northwestern. After playing at
about 80 percent two weeks ago in Min-
nesota and Wisconsin, where he
dropped two straight-set decisions, Cox
has been absent from practice.
Coach Mark Mees knows that Cox's
presence in the lineup is essential to the
Wolverines' success.
"He's our senior captain and playing
No. 2 in our lineup, and that's impor-
tant," Mees said. "It certainly changes
our lineup when we have to bump
everybody up a little bit. We got to get
him back going if we want to do some
damage here in our remaining matches,
especially against the better teams."

But the tide has certainly changed
since the start of Big Ten play. The
Wolverines dropped three of their first
CHECKING
Continued from Page :1
chasing the puck.
Players must make sure that before
delivering a hit they have established
containment and are not going to
give something up by haphazard
checking. This is especially impor-
tant in the spring, when a mistake
can squash a team's championship
dreams.
"Everyone is a little stronger and
better in the playoffs. So, you have
to be stronger than you were in
October and you have to play your
best," Michigan coach Red Berenson
said.
One of the lost arts of checking,
but most exciting aspects to a crowd,
is the hip check. It involves skating
backwards, bent at the waist, before
laying into an opponent. One of the
drawbacks of hip checking is that the
checker limits his mobility by bend-
ing at the waist and skating back-
wards. This makes him vulnerable to
an opposing player.
If delivered correctly, a hip check
can send an opposing player head
over heels onto the ice to create one
of the most spectacular plays in
hockey - something that is sure to
catch the attention of even a novice
fan.
Due -to the level of difficulty, few
players execute the hip check. But
junior defenseman Mike Roemensky
is one of the few who is able to fre-
quently deliver a hip check on
opposing players.
"I watch the way his body moves
and try to get low enough that I can
lay into him with my hip," Roemen-
sky said. "If I hit him and he flips
over and that gives the fans some-
thing to cheer about, that is great."
Roemensky did just that Sunday
when he made a read on Michigan
State forward Steve Jackson and sent
him airborne with a hip check in the
Michigan defensive zone. The check
came on a Michigan State rush and
seemed to up the degree of physical-
ity in the game.
NFL plans
to switch
games for
audiences
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Important
late-season NFL games this year might
be switched from Sunday afternoon to
Monday night to attract more viewers.
Yesterday, Commissioner Paul Tagli-
abue said the 2002 schedule, expected
to be released in the next week or two,
will allow Sunday games in the last
four weeks to be moved to Monday
night. The change would be decided at
least four weeks in advance.
"We will ensure that there will be
attractive games in all the time slots on
Sunday and on Monday nights," Tagli-
abue said. "I think we can make it a
win-win situation. We would make
sure that CBS and Fox both have
strong programming late in the sea-
son."
The switch, which has been sought
by ABC's "Monday Night Football"
for years, was necessitated by the

unpredictability that free agency and
the salary cap have brought to the
NFL.
TWo seasons ago, for example, nei-
ther Super Bowl team - the Baltimore
Ravens and New York Giants -- had a
Monday night game. New England, the
current NFL champion, was not on
Monday night last year.
At the other end of the spectrum, the
final Monday night game of the 2000
season was a 31-0 victory by Ten-
nessee over Dallas. The Cowboys were
expected to be strong that season, but
finished 5-11.
There also was a Monday night

Henry Beam and the Wolverines started out strong in doubles, but trey have
struggled as of late. That has contributed to their recent losing ways.

r

V .

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