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January 29, 2003 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-29

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 9

Foreign influence adds parity

Weekend homestand
final tuneup for 'M'

By Melanie Kebler
* Daily Sports Writer
There was a time, according to Michigan coach
Mark Mees, when the Michigan men's tennis team
could go up against opponents and almost guaran-
tee itself a victory.
"If you go back 10 or 20 years, there were cer-
tain teams you would play where you
knew you were going to win," Mees
said. "There would be a couple good VARSIT
players on every roster, but they did- CE]
n't have depth." Who: Michiga
But these days things have State (2-1) an
changed, as evidenced two week- when:Noon S
ends ago by the Wolverines' strug- Sunday
gle against Western Michigan Latest: Men's
during the first home match of this are stronger ti
season. What might have been an part to the inc
easier match several years ago has national talent
now become a challenge, as many
teams have changed the way their lineups are
configured.
"A lot of these teams that we're playing are very
solid all the way down the lineup," Mees said.
"That's one of the things I think has changed in
college tennis over the years. No matter who you
play they've got six solid singles players down the
lineup."
Mees said that the strategy of depth has over-
taken previous team arrangements, in which a
team's roster would boast one or two superstars
without anyone to back them up in team play. This
weekend, Michigan faces two teams, Ball State

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and Florida State, which exemplify the new trend
in college tennis.
"Both of those teams don't have what you'd
call a superstar in their lineup, or anybody that's
ranked in the top 20 in the country, but what
they've got is a lot of depth," Mees said.
"They've got six great players that can come out
and really play. It's going to be a real challenge
for each one of the guys in our line-
! up."
TENNIS Mees also cited an increase in inter-
ER national players as a reason teams
2-1) vs. Ball have become much stronger. Every
Florida State Michigan opponent so far this season
urday, noon has had at least one international
player, and some schools' rosters such
nnis lineups as Tulsa are made up of a majority of
ever due in players from other countries.
ase in inter- "That's absolutely been one of the
things that has changed, certainly
since I played in the '80s," Mees
said. "With the influx of foreign players that are
in the programs and the depth of.good players,
most teams have depth."
Two Michigan players are international students
- David Anving is from Sweden and Josef Fisch-
er is from Germany. Still, Mees said the Wolver-
ines will have their hands full this weekend and
the rest of the season, which they are taking one
game at a time.
"What we've stressed for the guys is that the
only people we can control are ourselves," Mees
said. "We just (have to) play the best tennis we
can possibly play. We're not looking ahead at any-

By Anne Uble
For the Daily

This Friday will be senior night at
Canham Natatorium for the Michigan
men's swimming and diving team. For

push the Wolverines to swim at a high
level. Urbanchek added that his team is
at an advantage, playing host this week-
end, and he sees these meets as an
opportunities to excel over two Big Ten
powers.

captain Jeff Hopwood and
his fellow seniors, it will
also be their last two dual
meets as Wolverines.
No. 4 Michigan plans to
finish up its Big Ten dual
meet schedule with a bang.
The Wolverines - who

CANHAM NATATORIUM
Who: No. 4 Michigan (6-2) vs.
Northwestern and Ohio State
When: 6 p.m. Friday,
1 p.m. Saturday

"There is a lot of
emphasis on these
meets," Urbanchek said.
"I'm looking forward to
improvement with per-
sonal times and in the
performances of the
relays."

have won three of their conference
meets this season - are set to take on
Northwestern Friday night before turn-
ing around to face Ohio State on Satur-
day afternoon.
This weekend will be an important
preview for the Big Ten Champi-
onships, because the swimmers' times
will be used for seeding purposes at the
end of February.
With a 6-2 overall record, the
Wolverines are looking to emerge vic-
torious at the conclusion of the two
meets. Michigan coach John
Urbanchek believes Northwestern will
provide more competition than Ohio
State, although both teams are going to

Overall, Urbanchek has been very
impressed with his "Outstanding fresh-
man" trio. First year swimmer Peter
Vanderkaay won four events during the
team's California trip three weeks ago,
and fellow freshman Chris Dejong took
four individual first-place wins last
weekend against Purdue. In addition,
freshman Davis Tarwater has already
qualified for the NCAA championships.
But Urbanchek ultimately expects
his eight seniors to show a huge
amount of leadership this weekend in
their last two regular season competi-
tions, and he believes this mix of
youth and experience can translate
into victories.

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Junior Anthony Jackson looks to play an integral part
in both of Michigan's matches this weekend.
thing, we're looking at Ball State this Saturday."
The Wolverines will face Ball State on Saturday
and Florida State on Sunday, both matches taking
place at noon at the Varsity Tennis Center.

Blue looks
to Fenn
for steady
production
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
As a talented high school swimmer
from Connecticut, Emily-Clare Fenn
received lots of recruiting letters glori-
fying each interested university. But
the letter sent by Michigan women's
swimming coach Jim Richardson was
unorthodox.
"He sent out a list of all the bad
things about Michigan," Fenn said.
Chilling temperatures, expensive
tuition and difficult classes aside, Fenn
couldn't be more impressed with her
coach, school and teammates.
"Knowing that he was honest and
doing things the right way," Fenn said of
her coach, helped in her decision to
become a Wolverine. "He's just really
awesome and very flexible with classes."
But not quite as flexible of a swim-
mer as Fenn, a junior, who has compet-
ed in up to 10 out of 18 events in a
single meet this season.
Last weekend, Fenn won the 1,650-
yard freestyle with an NCAA consider-
ation time of 16:42.94, as well as the
500-yard freestyle (4:57.07) - times
which were paramount to her team's
success as the Wolverines narrowly
defeated Northwestern 155-142.
"She's had one great finish after
another," assistant coach Stefanie Kers-
ka said. "She helps out the team, works
real well with the other girls and pulls
her weight in practice."
Rehabilitation has been the corner-
stone for Fenn's breakout season. The
summer before her sophomore year,
she suffered from tendonitis in both
shoulders and overworked herself. But
last summer, Richardson found a high-
tech solution for Fenn's problematic
injuries. Using the "Robot," a compli-
cated mechanical-arm instrument dur-
ing rehabilitation and practice, Fenn
has been able to bounce back.
After losing the first two dual meets
against No. 2 Florida and No. 11 North
Carolina, Michigan may have saved its
season by winning its last three match-
es. The 19th-ranked Wolverines are
hoping to make it four consecutive vic-
tories this weekend when they face a
familiar foe in No. 18 Notre Dame.
Over the last two seasons, Notre
Dame has posted convincing victories
against Michigan, highlighted by last
year's 175-124 win in Ann Arbor.

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When: 2 p.m.

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