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April 15, 2002 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-15

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 15, 2002 - 7B
Led by a resurgent Cox, netters
easily dispose of Hawkeyes, 5-2

By Brian Steere
Daily Sports Writer

It has been a difficult season for
Michigan senior Ben Cox.
Having to overcome a mid-year
bout with mono as well as consistent
arm pain, he has struggled to a sub-
.500 record in singles.
But yesterday, in his final home
match as a Wolverine, Cox posted an
impressive three-set victory at No. 2
singles to help Michigan (4-4 Big
Ten, 13-6 overall) roll to a 5-2 win
over the Hawkeyes (3-5, 11-8) out-
doors at the Varsity Tennis Center in
Ann Arbor.
"It was fun because it was my last
home match," Cox said. "A bunch of
my family was here - not just my
mom, my dad and my brother, but my
extended family and friends came
from hours away to watch. So it was
more or less just an enjoyment."
Despite dropping a tough second
set to Iowa's Jake Wilson, Cox
remained aggressive until the end and
rode his powerful topspin forehand to
a 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory.
"My forehand is my whole game,"
Cox said. "I was trying to rip his sec-
ond serve to set up my shot.
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After claiming the doubles point
with victories at the No. 2 and 3
spots, Michigan clinched the match
by taking the close singles contests.
Freshman Matt Lockin rebounded
from a horrendous start to defeat
Iowa's Petor Moudic, 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 at
the No. 3 position.
"I came out a little flat," Lockin
said. "I was confident but not ready
to play mentally. He's a good player,
and you can't do that."
The match turned at the beginning
of the third set when Moudic threw
his racquet at the end of the first
game.
He received a point penalty from
the umpire for his behavior, and then
he got an entire game penalty when
he continued to argue.
"I felt like he just folded up shop
mentally after that," Lockin said. "It
was all downhill from there."
Playing in just his third match of
the season, freshman Josef Fischer
rallied from an early deficit in the
first set to dispatch Iowa's Pete Rose,
7-6 (3), 6-3 at the No. 6 position.
"I felt good out there today," Fisch-
er said. "It's different outdoors, but a
little bit more suited to my game. As
long as I play my game, I give myself

a good chance to win."
In the only lopsided match of the
afternoon, senior Greg Novak used
aggressive net play to trounce Iowa's
Justin Gaord 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 5
spot and round out Michigan's singles
scoring.
The win marked the Wolverines'
first triumph outside this year. After
struggling last week on Ohio State's
outdoor courts, coach Mark Mees
made sure the team, was prepared for
Iowa.
"I think we were a little bit better
this weekend than we were last week-
end," Mees said. "I would assume
that as we keep playing and keep
practicing out there, we'll get a little
more comfortable."
Michigan will play outside for the
rest of the season, which means that
it will be imperative for the Wolver-
ines to adjust their games.
"It's a different game (outside),"
Mees said. "You have to approach it
mentally a little bit different. Things
aren't quite so easy - you can't just
hit a big serve and have the point be
over.
"Most of the time the ball is going
to come back, so you have to work a
little bit harder on the points."

TOM FELDPKAMP/Daly
After a season plagued by injury and illness, senior Ben Cox helped Michigan defeat Iowa this weekend.
Flat performance against Iowa
destroys Wolverines' momentum

By Bdan Schick
Daily Sports Writer

Only a week after completing one of
the greatest weekends in Michigan
women's tennis history, the Wolverines
might have finished their most disap-
pointing weekend of the season.
Yesterday, Michigan (3-5 Big Ten,
10-9 overall) lost in Iowa City 5-2, end-
ing a stretch.in which the Wolverines
had won six of the last eight matches.
The Wolverines fell to eighth in the Big
Ten standings heading into the final
weekend of the conference season, and
they lost any momentum produced from
last weekend, when Michigan had three
victories - two against top 40 oppo-
nents.
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt felt that
her team was unable to capitalize on key
opportunities throughout the match. Of
the four sets, she considered "close,"
Michigan lost three, which doomed the
team to failure.
"Give Iowa credit because they
played well," Ritt said. "We played pret-
ty well, but didn't get it done."
The match against the Hawkeyes (4-
4, 7-11) was the first time that both
teams were ranked in the ITA poll, and
Michigan was ranked higher than its
opponent. But, the role of favorite was
not kind to the Wolverines. Yesterday
was also the final road match of the sea-
son, and Michigan concludes its regular
season with a 3-5 record away from the
Varsity Tennis Center.
Yesterday saw the return of junior
Joanne Musgrove, who had been out of
the lineup since March 31 with a shoul-
der injury. Upon returning to her usual
spot at No. 6 singles, she showed little
sign of rust as she beat Iowa's Gloria
Okino, 6-2, 6-1.
"Joanne is a great player, and I knew
she could go in there and win that
match," Ritt said. "I knew she'd be
ready."
Sophomore Kim Plaushines, who
was filling in for Musgrove in weeks
past, was once again out of the lineup.
Despite seeing limited playing time all
season, she managed to build a 3-3
record in Musgrove's absence and
earned important points last weekend.
Junior Jen Duprez was Michigan's
other winner, at No. 5 singles. Despite
spending two weeks nursing a hip injury
last month, she has still been one of
Michigan's most consistent players all
season. With her win yesterday, Duprez
now leads the team in singles victories
and winning percentage with an 11-5
record and a .686 winning percentage.
In order to continue competing, Duprez
has had to play through the pain.

"I just learned to block (the fatigue
and pain) out," Duprez said.
One of the key factors in last week-
end's success was the play of the dou-
bles tandems, which came out fiat
against Iowa. In the past, the doubles
have helped the Wolverines achieve an
early lead and build momentum enter-
ing the singles matches. The Wolverines

have won all 10 matches when they
secured the doubles point, but are 3-6
when losing the point. They lost the
point to the Hawkeyes, and the rest is
history.
"We talked about not having a let-
down in singles if we lost the doubles
point," Ritt said. "I thought we came out
tough despite losing the point."

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
The Michigan women's tennis team could not muster a win as a favorite in Iowa.
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