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April 09, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-09

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April 9, 2003



takes third
base role
By Gennaro Filice
Daily Sports Writer
Alright baseball fans, do you know who Ron
Roenicke is? How about Sonny Jackson? Except
for a few baseball purists out there, these names
have no bearing. But Roenicke and Jackson faced
off last year on baseball's biggest stage as the
third base coaches for the Anaheim Angels and
the San Francisco Giants, respectively. So why
are these two well-qualified coaches relatively
unknown? Because in profes-
sional baseball, the manager
garners all the recognition..
Often times in the big
leagues, a third base coach's 8
role entails relaying the manag-
er's message from the dugout
to the diamond. Many college baseball programs,
including Michigan, eliminate the middleman.
Michigan coach Rich Maloney not only rules
the maize-and-blue dugout, but also hits the field
every inning as Michigan's third base coach.
"For me, I can see the game better when I'm
actually out there to make the decisions that I
have to make," Maloney said.
Although Maloney claims his assistants are
"certainly capable" of manning third base duties,
he gladly embraces the responsibility.
"There are a lot of situations that coaching
third base can make a difference in the game -
winning or losing," Maloney said. "I think that's
pretty significant, and that's one area where I feel
comfortable and enjoy being out there in the
Maloney likes his players to possess an aggres-

Fab Five II can make up
for failures ofFab Five I

The Daily Janitor
Fab Five II has officially landed.
No, not the reincarnation of
Travis Conlan, Willie Mitchell,
Albert White, Jerod Ward and Maceo
Baston. In fact, not even in that sport.
Ten years and five days after Chris
Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard,
Jimmy King and Ray Jackson played
their last Final Four game together in
a championship loss to North Caroli-
na, forwards Jeff Tambellini, Andrew
Ebbett and Brandon Kaleniecki,
defenseman Danny Richmond and
goaltender Al Montoya will play in
their first Frozen Four together.
True, the swagger that the originals
brought to Michigan will never be
replicated - just repeated on a lower
scale - and it is safe to say that
Tambellini's No. 15 won't sell near as
much as Webber's No. 4 did - partly
because college basketball is much
bigger than college hockey.
"We're different players on and off
the ice, which is why we bring so
much to the table," said Richmond,
the Howard of the group.
As for personality, they're quite
different from their hoops counter-
parts - many "purists" looked down
upon Webber and crew for the black
socks, baggy shorts and occasional
defacing of a Michigan State 'S' here
and there.
"Kaleniecki, he's the same as when
he's on the ice," Richmond said. "He
does his job and doesn't talk that
much. He's the Bull (his nickname is
the Pit Bull). Me and Tambellini have
similar personalities - we're pretty
outgoing, and we like to talk. Mon-
toya's a very focused guy, and his

maturity level is pretty high for 18
years old. Ebbett, he's one of the
older guys in our class ... he settles
us down if we're being crazy."
Although there are differences in
personalities between the two "Fabs,"
there are similarities.
Tambellini is the Webber of the
group (in a good way). In the same
way Webber was clutch throughout
his career, excluding a game or two,
Tambellini became Michigan's go-to-
guy this year, leading the team in
scoring and becoming the CCHA's
Rookie of the Year. Luckily, Tam-
bellini is at Michigan without that
whole federal indictment thing.
It also makes sense that Richmond
and Howard should be paired togeth-
er. They're both close friends with
their respective stars, they're both
vocal (and funny) and each had
growing pains adjusting to what their
positions entailed in their freshman
Montoya has every game resting
on his shoulders, much like Rose did.
So, Fab Five I, meet Fab Five II.
From Ebbett and freshman backup
goaltender Noah Ruden's room (the
rest of the group has to hang out
there as it is an easier to walk down
stairs to the basement of South Quad
than upstairs to anyone else's room)
to movies every week (Ebbett was a
big fan of "Basic" while Richmond
said "Dreamcatcher" was horrible),
this quintet sticks together.
Unfortunately for the originals,
they didn't have a senior class like
this year's hockey team. Jed Ortmey-
er and John Shouneyia helped Tam-
bellini break out on the top line.
Mike Roemensky, J.J. Swistak and
the other defensemen on the team
have taken a chance to assist Rich-
mond with his endeavors the blue-
line. More importantly, this senior
class has shown the group what can
be accomplished if they stay together
and don't leave for the minors.
From day one, Michigan coach
Red Berenson said that the seniors
See O'NEILL, Page 10

Michigan's Nate Wright tries to break up a double play opportunity for Minnesota in last Sunday's frigid
doubleheader at the Fish.

sive mentality on the base paths, but with the
team's current offensive onslaught and recent
weather patterns, the skipper has utilized a more
conservative approach.
"Right now, we're a power-hitting team - we
have homers and a lot of doubles," said Maloney.
"If the wind's blowing out, you want to let those
guys hit. You don't want to make outs on the
In the next few years, Maloney hopes to mold

Michigan into an extremely active squad on the
base paths and be able to flex his muscles as third
base coach.
"(This year's style) is a little bit different than
I'd like to run, so we're recruiting guys h-ere in
the future that have a lot of speed," Maloney said.
"I'd like to play more of a speed game, especially
in our park where the wind typically doesn't blow
See MALONEY, Page 10

Ritter continues in sister's path on mound

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
When freshman pitcher Jennie Rit-
ter tagged along with her sister,
Meghan, to a summer league tryout,
she simply planned to watch. One does
not generally anticipate what a signifi-
cant impact such a seemingly trivial
decision could have on her athletic
career when she is six.
And when Jennie learned that a
younger team was short a few players,
she decided to follow in her sister's
recently imprinted footsteps and join
the team.
More than a decade later, the
younger Ritter decided to, once again,
tread the path that her older sister
carved out when she came to Michi-
gan last fall.
While attending the same school as
her sister might seem like the most

logical step, the Ann Arbor native
maintains that this is not why she
decided to become a Wolverine.
"Meghan being here didn't really
affect my decision to come here," Jen-
nie said. "I mainly decid-
ed on Michigan because
of coach Carol Hutchins. I T
went to a lot of camps
here when I was younger, michig
so I got the chance to get Michi
to know her a lot better. Tut
I've only heard good Alun
things about her from
Despite the fact that having an older,
wiser sibling at school wasn't Jennie's
primary motive for remaining in Ann
Arbor, she feels that she made the
right decision. Meghan has provided
her with guidance in all aspects of life
at Michigan.
"She helped me out a lot with my

workload and showed me how to bal-
ance softball with academics," the
freshman said.
The older Ritter has also assisted
her sister in making the transition

pitcher. But the Ritters have managed
to rise above childish rivalry.
"There's never really been a lot of
competition between us," Jennie said.
"I guess we're just extremely support-
ive of one another. I'm happy when
she gets to pitch, and she's happy when
See RITTERS, Page 10

m vs. Central
dgan (PH)
e: 4 p.m.
ni Field

from high school to col-
lege ball.
"The competiton here
is undoubtedly harder
than any I've experi-
enced," Jennie said. "We
rarely play a team that
isn't good. I guess the
biggest change is that I
have to be so focused.

There's really no room for slip-ups."
One might think that with the sisters
vying for time in the same, highly
competitive position, they might har-
bor some animosity, or perhaps have a
secret desire for the other to develop
tendonitis, or another ailment that
would keep her out of the running for

Nolan juggles it all for 'M' netters


By Erb; Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
Life for a student-athlete is tough.

Writing a 12-page Ger-
man paper on a bus ride
home or taking an engi-
neering exam in a hotel Mich
lobby are examples of the Illinois a
weekly hassles for a trav- Time; 11 a
eling collegiate athlete. "1d0
The key to balancing the Varsity Te
stress is excelling on and
off the ice, field, green, or
in Michigan junior tennis player
Chrissie Nolan's case, the court.
Nolan has a career winning per-
centage of .633, winning 57 of her
90 career singles matches - an
impressive stat considering she plays
at the competitive No. 2 and No. 3
singles positions.
Nolan, a Glenview, Ill. native,
believes her strong mental abilities
translate into success on the tennis court.
"I try to maintain a consistent level
of play for each match," Nolan
said. "Most collegiate players possess
the physical ability needed to win
matches, so the winner of matches is
often determined by the player with the
most mental toughness."
Maybe an ever more impressive stat
than a career .633 winning percentage
are Nolan's accomplishments off the
court. She juggles the demanding aca-
demic schedule of the Business School
with time-consuming sorority activities.
"I have found balance," Nolan said.
"The benefits of being a student ath-
lete outweigh the missed social
Too bad Nolan misses out on some
social opportunities - she won the
2000 U. S. Tennis Association Helen

"This has been a very successful sea-
son and hopefully we will finish
strong," Nolan said. "Everyone has to
play well to win a Big Ten champi-
onship, but every team (in
the Big Ten) is beatable."
EEK END This season, Michigan's
ign vs. (4-2 Big Ten, 11-5 overall)
nd Purdue two losses to Big Ten oppo-
.m. Saturday nents (Ohio State and Min-
Sunday nesota) resulted in narrow
sCenter 4-3 defeats. The Wolverines
______ lost the doubles-point in
both matches.
"Throughout the season, we've
learned that the Big Ten has a lot of par-
ity," Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said. A
lot of it comes down to matchups and
the doubles point"
The Wolverines are undefeated this
season when they win the doubles point
and must play solidly this weekend if

they want to knockoff Big Ten oppo-
nents Illinois (5-1, 12-5) on Saturday
and Purdue (3-3, 8-9) on Sunday at the
Varsity Tennis Center.
The Boilermakers struggled earlier in
the season but have rebounded in the
past month.
Illinois, which is tied with Minnesota
and Northwestern atop the Big Ten
standings, should be a tougher match
for the Wolverines.
The Fighting Illini handed then-No. 1
ranked Duke its first loss of the season
in late February.
But Michigan does have the home
field advantage this weekend.
Michigan is 7-1 at the Varsity Tennis
Center this year, winning 14 of their past
15 at home dating back to last season.
"Illinois has a lot of confidence right
now," Ritt said. "I'm certainly glad we
are playing them at home.

Tune in to WCBN 88.3 FM or WCBN.ORG
Thursday April 10th - National Semis
UM vs. Minnesota
LIVE @ 5:45 P.M.
Saturday April 12th - NCAA Final
UM vs. Cornell/ New Hampshire

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