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April 14, 2003 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-14

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 14, 2003 - 78

Buckeyes' success leaves Wolverines envious

By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor

Wolverines trying to imitate Buckeyes is a new concept
in Ann Arbor.
But thanks to the experience of watching its biggest rival
celebrate a Big Ten and national title, the Michigan foot-
ball team certainly won't be at any loss for motivation
come August.
"After the (loss last season to Ohio State), it kind of hurt
to see the whole atmosphere of seeing them celebrating,
but that just drives you harder," Michigan left guard David
Baas said.
"It was nice to see a Big Ten team win,
but obviously, it makes me feel like, man,,
how much would I like to be there doings
that (at Michigan)," Michigan defensive
tackle Grant Bowman said. "It's an awe-
some thing, and it's what you work so hard
for. We put so much of our bodies and minds for four years
into this program, and to think about something like that
happening, I can't imagine it."
It's been 101 days since Ohio State celebrated its nation-
al championship. Long days, if you're a member of the
Michigan football team.
"We're always reminded every single day about the
national championship and Ohio State - how much we
should have been there, and we can't be there," Baas said.
"That's where we need to be next year."
All the Wolverines need to do is figure out how to get
"You can look back at each of the four years I've been
here, and you could change three or four plays in the
course of the season, and we could probably have -lost one
game or no games," Bowman said. "I could go through
every loss we had and name a play that probably could
have sent us to the Rose Bowl."
Michigan tight end Tim Massaquoi feels that the differ-
ence between the Buckeyes and Wolverines last season was
their rival's uncanny ability to make big plays in crucial sit-
uations - Ohio State won six of its 14 games this season
by seven points or less, while out of 10 Michigan losses in
the past three years, eight were by six points or less.
While the Buckeyes won games that they probably
shouldn't have with a killer instinct in the fourth quarter
(see Craig Krenzel's fourth-down heave to Michael Jenkins

that put Ohio State over Purdue in the waning minutes), the
Wolverines were plagued by costly mistakes at the end of
their three losses - to Notre Dame, Iowa and those Buck-
eyes. Where Ohio State had a Chris Gamble or Maurice
Clarett take his game to a new level when the Buckeyes
needed a jump start, Michigan's individual talent couldn't
do the same.
"The competition is so fierce and the big games, it really
can depend on one snap, the way the ball bounces," Bow-
man said. "That's why the teams prepare so well. It's the
little things that win games."
So can the Wolverines find the killer instinct that takes
good teams and turns them into national champions?
"There's nothing you can hold onto and say this is what
it is," said Bowman, who will be a senior leader next sea-
son. "It's just something that is out there. Everyone talks
about team, and that's just sort of what it is. If you can get
100 guys all focused on one thing and pointed in one
direction, you can really become better. There's no stop-
ping a team that can do that."
INCREASED FLEXIBILITY: "What? Marlin Jackson at safe-
ty?" This question was probably asked by many fans who
got to watch Michigan's final spring practice outside
Schembechler Hall Saturday afternoon.
Jackson, an All-Big Ten teamer and second-team All-
America selection at cornerback, has begun to learn the
safety position "just in case" the Wolverines need him
there in the fall.
"He can be a great safety," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "He's an outstanding cornerback, but a safety has an
opportunity to have more impact on a lot of games. So, we
simply want to put him in a position where if we have to, if
we need him, it won't be a move that we waited to the fall
to make. It gives us more options.
"I think he kind of liked it."
Jackson is one of the top cover corners in the Big Ten if
not the entire country. Many fans may wonder why Carr
and his staff would mess with what has worked so well.
"(Jeremy) LeSueur and (Markus) Curry are two out-
standing corners, and when you add Marlin you have
three," Carr explained. "That means when you're playing a
traditional two-back team, one of those guys is standing
over there by me while the game's going on. I think it'd be
a nice idea to get (all three of them) in the game."
Carr stressed that the move is not final, and that he just
wants to be prepared if young safeties like Willis Barringer

Continued from Page 11B
going to develop. He's got a lot of time to do that."
One part of the team that has developed - at least in
the eyes of the quarterbacks - is the defensive backs.
All three were excited about what they were throwing
against in practice everyday. Brinton went far enough
to say that he loves throwing at all the defensive backs,
as each one brings a different challenge to him -
which, in turn, makes him a better quarterback.
"They've always had the athleticism, but the one
thing I've noticed was, when they get in a different
type of defense, how they can play their technique (to
their advantage)," Brinton said. "They do receive a lot
of criticism, but I think they're going to come out and
do really well next year."
For Navarre, he faces the first string defensive
backs the most, and he's noticed that his job of throw-
ing in practice has gotten tougher for the better.
"They're doing a good job taking some things away
and they've adjusted well throughout the spring to
what we've been running," Navarre said.
And even though the defense has improved, it has
become "a game of cat and mouse" according to
Navarre, each side of the ball getting the best of one
another at times.
"It's fun," Gutierrez said. "With the complexities of
the offense, you have answers for the defense."


Michigan's Matt Gutierrrez gets in his reps at Michigan's
final spring practice this Saturday.
and Ernest Shazor don't develop quickly enough before the
fall. A defensive backfield of Barringer, Jackson, Curry
and LeSueur would give Michigan four players with legiti-
mate cover-corner experience.
"It gives you more flexibility in what you can do," Carr
said. "Normally in offensive, two-back sets, a safety only
has to cover a tight end or a back. When you have safeties
that have the experience of covering wide receivers, it
gives you more flexibility."
QUICK HITS: The Wolverines were without some of their
top young talent Saturday, as Carr said some players were
nursing minor injuries. Receivers Jason Avant, Carl Tabb
and Steve Breaston, running back David Underwood, full-
back Brian Thompson and safety Ernest Shazor were the
most noticeable absentees from practice. Carr said that all
are fine and should be ready to go for summer workouts ...
Starting linebackers Zach Kaufman and Carl Diggs, who
are both nursing knee injuries, are moving along well in
their recoveries and should be ready for fall practice in
August ... Fullback Sean Sanderson is still in Carr's dog-
house. Carr refused to make any comment regarding
Sanderson and his academic situation that kept him out of
spring practice.


Duprez, Musgrove honored in final home meet


By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer

On the final weekend of home matches
for the Michigan women's tennis team, all
the focus was on seniors Joanne Musgrove
and Jen Duprez.
Saturday, fans were asking why Mus-
grove wasn't playing, and Sunday they
were asking the same about Duprez.
The very day their brilliant careers were
honored, both ladies were injured.
Despite their injured co-captains, the
Wolverines played some of their most
inspiring tennis of the season.
Sophomore Michelle DaCosta led the
Wolverines (5-3 Big Ten, 12-6 overall) on
Saturday against No. 22 Illinois (6-2, 13-6),
winning her singles and doubles matches. In
No. 1 singles, DaCosta handled No. 69 Jen-
nifer McGaffigan easily, winning 6-4,6-1.
"McGaffigan is so tough to beat,"
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said. "Michelle
played a really smart match from the base-
line and did a great job finishing at the net."
DaCosta had beaten McGaffigan in mul-
tiple junior tennis matches, but lost to her
the last time the two met in the fall season.
"I've played her so many times in the
past," DaCosta said. "I played loose and

tried to play aggressive. I wanted to control
the points."
Considered one of the toughest teams
in the Big Ten, the Fighting Illini never
challenged the Wolverines in their 5-2
Leanne Rutherford won her 18th match
in her past 20 tries at No. 3 singles, beating
Illinois' Eldina Fazlic, 6-1, 6-1. Freshman
Debra Streifler also picked up a victory at
the No. 6 position, beating Illinois'
Michelle Webb, 7-6(1), 6-2.
"You can't tell that she missed part of the
season," said Ritt about Streifler's perform-
ance. "Debra is good under pressure, and
she always finds a way."
Playing in the final match of the day,
senior Jen Duprez sprained her ankle late
in the second set and was forced to retire.
Duprez suffered a first-degree sprain and
would be forced to sit out her final match
ever at the Varsity Tennis Center the fol-
lowing day against Purdue (5-3, 10-9). Fel-
low senior Joanne Musgrove, already
suffering from injuries, was inserted into
the lineup.
After upsetting Illinois on Saturday, the
Wolverines returned to the court yesterday
to play a rebounding Purdue team, a win-
ner of four consecutive matches.

Riding momentum from Saturday's
superb doubles play, DaCosta and Ruther-
ford cruised in No. 1 doubles, leading the
Wolverines to an early 1-0 advantage.
Michigan appeared well on its way to its
second Big Ten win of the weekend, taking
four of the six first sets. But unlike the
Fighting Illini, Purdue fought back.
Boilermaker Lara Burgarello capitalized
on Musgrove's injury, winning 6-1, 6-0 at
the No. 6 singles position - evening the
match at 1-1. Shawna Zuccarini handled
junior Kim Plaushines 6-4, 6-2 to give Pur-
due its first lead of the match, 2-1.
But the Wolverines regained the lead
after DaCosta and Streifler won at the No.
1 and No. 6 spots, respectively.
Up 3-2, the Wolverines needed just one'
victory to clinch the match.
With just two matches left on the court,
both Leanne Rutherford and junior
Chrissie Nolan took their opponents into
deciding third sets.
Rutherford, being 10-1 in third sets this
season, couldn't outlast Purdue's Melissa
Igbal, losing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, giving Purdue
its third singles victory.
With the match tied at 3-3, Nolan held a
4-3 lead in the final set and was on the
verge of clinching the match for the

"Chrissie was in control of the third set
but started to cramp up late in the match,"
Ritt said. "It's just really unfortunate, but
she showed a lot of heart. She's a tough
At one point, Ritt told Nolan to shake
hands as the junior appeared to be in excru-
ciating pain, but Nolan wouldn't default the
"I've never cramped that bad before. My
whole arm and leg went numb," Nolan said.
"It was scary, but I knew it came down to
my match, and I didn't want to default
because I have never defaulted a match in
my life. I wanted to play through it."
Despite a valiant effort, Nolan quickly
dropped'the remaining three games, losng
6-3, 4-6,4-6.
Even though the Wolverines lost 4-3,
after the defeat, teammates celebrated the
careers of injured seniors Jennifer Duprez
and Joanne Musgrove with a lot of cake,
reminiscing and cheerful laughing.
"This team, more than any other team
I've coached in 19 years, has dealt with so
much adversity and so many challenges in
terms of injury and illness," Ritt said after
the loss. "But this team is so tough, and
they will bounce right back."

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Michigan sophomore Michelle DaCosta led the Wolverines Saturday
against Illinois by winning her singles and doubles matches.


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The 2003
Graduate and
Kasdan Scholarship Award
Arthur Miller Award
Chamberlain Award for Creative Writing
The Dennis McIntyre Prize
Helen S. and John Wagner Prize
Andrea Beauchamp Prize
Robert F. Haugh Prize
Meader Family Award
Naomi Saferstein Literary Award
Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prizes
Paul and Sonia Handleman Poetry Award
Geoffrey James Gosling Prize

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Will be announced Tuesday, April 15
3:30 pm
Rackham Auditorium
(main floor of the Rackham Building)
Lecture by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet and Translator
Richard Howard
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