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April 02, 2003 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-02

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 2, 2003 - 13

Mental toughness
key for M' netters

By Brad Johnson
Daily Sports Writer
A little home cooking cannot
come soon enough for the struggling
men's tennis team.
Michigan (0-4 Big Ten, 5-9 over-
all) is currently in the midst of a
three-match road swing and will
return home on Saturday to face

its squad works as hard as any team
in the Big Ten.
According to Goldberg, however,
Michigan's mental toughness is the
team's biggest work-in-progress.
"A lot of the improvements we've
had to make have been mental -
being a little bit tougher and a little
bit more savvy in the clutch," Gold-
berg said.

Continued from Page 13
Rudden is now the team leader in
batting average (.486) and currently has
an 11-game hitting streak.
Junior catcher Jake Fox tied senior
third baseman Brock Koman's 17-game
hitting-streak with two hits against the
Hawkeyes on Monday.
"(Fox) is a great player for us," Low-
ery said. "He hits for average and power.
It's always exciting to watch him hit."
Earlier in the season, the Michigan
batters carried the Wolverines to victory.
However, the pitchers found their com-
mand in the team's trip to Iowa City.
Three impressive performances from
sophomore Michael Penn, junior Bobby
Garza and sophomore Phil Tognetti

resulted in three crucial Big Ten victo-
ries this past weekend.
Both Penn and Garza pitched com-
plete games against Iowa, with Penn
striking out eight and holding the
Hawkeyes scoreless. Tognetti followed
the two by working 6.2 innings en route
to his second win of the season.
"Those three guys have never really
started a college game before," Lowery
said. "Garza and Penn have shown signs
of stardom. Once they relaxed them-
selves they did great. We only walked
four guys all weekend. (Tognetti) strug-
gled in the beginning of the season and,
on this team, if you struggle you got to
wait your turn to play again. Tognetti
waited his turn, and he really pitched
spectacular. He has done pretty good

Indiana at the Varsity
Tennis Center.
"It's kind of nice to
catch your breath and
play at home," assistant
coach Dan Goldberg
But before they
return to Ann Arbor,
the Wolverines have a
little date today in East

Michi~att at
Miehig~in $t~
MSU'Thnrns ~

Last Sunday's loss to
Iowa exemplifies the
coach's concern perfectly.
The Wolverines fell 4-3
in a very tight match that
could easily have gone
either way.
"Oneyof the things
we've been working on is
being able to sustain our
level of tennis for the

Doherty out as head
man in Chapel Hill

Lansing with Michigan State. Michi-
gan will attempt to snap a five-match
losing streak today against the Spar-
tans, its in-state rival.
"Anytime you play them is fun,"
said coach Mark Mees. "We're just
looking to win a match. Yeah, you
get into the rivalry, but you feel that
sense of rivalry with all Big Ten
The importance of winning a
match has been stressed heavily late-
ly, as the Wolverines have not picked
up a dual-match victory since pre-
vailing over Butler on February 22.
During the course of the losing
skid, the team has been outscored by
a margin of 28-7.
"The players have done a pretty
good job of shaking it off and mov-
ing on," said Goldberg. "It's frustrat-
ing sometimes when the effort
doesn't pay off with wins."
The team's coaching staff believes

entire three to three-and-a-half hour
match," Goldberg said. "(Iowa was)
just a little bit better coming up with
shots in the clutch."
According to the coach, the tricky
thing about mental toughness is that
it cannot be completely taught -
instead, some of it has to be learned
through experience.
The Wolverines have had some
matches in which they have stepped
up in this regard, especially against
Tulsa and Ball State earlier in the
season. When it comes to Big Ten
competition, however, Michigan has
to improve its toughness.
"It's a two-way street," Goldberg
said. "(The mental game) has to be
incorporated and integrated into a
playing situation ... a lot of these
matches are up for grabs."
In an effort to improve the team's
flagging doubles play, Mees mixed
up the doubles pairings last weekend,

Senior Chris Shaya has enjoyed a switch in the doubles lineup, now teaming up
with junior Anthony Jackson in the No. 2 slot.

Three years ago it seemed so right.
North Carolina hired a young coach
who had played college ball for Dean
Smith and alongside Michael Jordan.
It all ended so badly for Matt
Doherty and the Tar Heels yesterday.
Doherty resigned after a bumpy run
marked by feuds with players and his
failure to lead North Carolina back to
national prominence.
"You have to have an environment
where you can be successful, and I can
understand why Matt would feel that
the rumors and speculation were mak-
ing it very difficult," Athletic Director
Dick Baddour said. "I admire Matt for
valuing the traditions of this program
and the needs of this program over his
own. That takes a lot of courage."'
The team's failure to make the

NCAA Tournament in two of his three
seasons was secondary to Doherty's
leadership deficiencies, and his inabil-
ity to get along with players and UNC
athletic department staff.
Baddour and Chancellor James
Moeser said they had been monitoring
Doherty's activity for some time.
"We want good athletes and we
want to win, but on this campus coach-
es are also responsible for creating an
environment for learning, for character
development and building a team of
good leaders and good citizens. That's
the Carolina standard," Moeser said.
Doherty leaves with three years left
on a six-year contract that paid him
$855,000 a season. He will receive
$337,500 from the school, which will
include $150,000 from the upcoming
basketball camp.

placing senior Chris Shaya and jun-
ior Anthony Jackson together at the
No. 2 slot. Sophomores Vinny Gos-
sain and David Anving now com-
prise the No. 3 doubles team for the
The switch was effective last
weekend. Even though Michigan lost
the doubles point against Minnesota
on Friday, Gossain and Anving were
victorious, and the other two match-
es were very tight. On Sunday
against the Hawkeyes, the Wolver-
ines snagged the doubles point by

winning two of the three matches.
"We will probably stick with (the
new teams) for a little and see what
happens," Mees said.
Armed with new doubles pairings,
Michigan will look to get back on
track today against the Spartans.
"This is Michigan State's strongest
team in the last 10 years," Goldberg
said. "I'm sure they are going in with
a fair amount of confidence. It's
gonna come down to which team is
mentally tough and sticks in there
the longest."


hoops skills

help her in the water

Continued from Page 12
only played in one quarter of each of the week-
end's four games.
"One game she had three goals in the first
quarter, another game, she had four," Anderson
said. "She exploded out of the gate quickly,
which is nice."
Knudtsen was the other star of the weekend.
The freshman has seen more minutes of play
than any other Wolverine since stepping up to
fill Hausmann's spot a few weeks ago.
Knudtsen cited her bonus time in the pool as
a factor in her recent scoring success.
"It's improved my games (to be in the water
more)," Knudtsen said. "It's kind of a confi-

dence booster. It also gives you a change to get
into a groove and prove yourself that way."
The sophomore actually had aspirations of
being a basketball player before switching to
water polo in high school.
"I always dreamed of being a basketball
player when I was little," Knudtsen said. "I
played year-round up until my sophomore year
in high school. The positions (in basketball and
water polo) are somewhat similar. Especially
the 2-meter set in water polo and the center in
basketball (which) I play. I still love basketball,
but I really enjoy water polo."
Anderson is lucky this Wolverine switched.
Brown and Knudtsen's hustle this weekend
has only proved further that this team has the
depth to persevere through a shortened roster.

Senior Erin Brown enjoyed her finest offensive performance of the
season, scoring a team-high 10 goals over the weekend.

Matt Doherty resigned from his head coaching job at North Carolina yesterday,
just two years after he was named National Coach of the Year.

,q'i Fi a z ix s a L3Lxx 1 eN k8 ~J x za


The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
Intramural Sports Program


Please take the time to nominate outstanding
players and managers for the Intramural
Sports Program Awards Ceremony.
Nomination forms are available at all Intramural
playing sites and our website:
www.re sports.umi h~edu intramura s
Nominations are due Friday, April 4th at 5:00 PM



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