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October 02, 2003 - Image 8

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I

8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 2, 2003

Lakers provide early threat

Men's tennis opens
season in South Bend

By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer
Two years ago, the Mercyhurst men's hockey team
embarked on an adventure that was of Cinderrellic
proportions. The small school from Erie, Pa., stunned
the nation by making it all the way to the NCAA West
Regional, where it ran into a powerhouse program
nicknamed the Wolverines.
Michigan fans may remember this
game against the Lakers, which almost THIS
knocked the Wolverines out of the 2001
NCAA Tournament. Sixth-seeded Mer- York, M
cyhurst led until midway through the Mu
third period, when Michigan took com- Time:71:35
mand of the ice and finished off the 7:35 p.r
Lakers, 4-3. Yost I
"It was a great experience for our
kids," Mercyhurst coach Rick Gotkin
said at the time. "We don't know if we'll be back to
this or not. We're certainly going to try, but there's no
guarantee that we'll get back to this."
Fast-forward two years, as Mercyhurst prepares to
re-enter Yost this Saturday, and you'll find that
Gotkin's dreams have become a reality.
After starting slowly last year, the Lakers went 15-3

over the second half and vaulted themselves into the
postseason. The Lakers have plenty of players return-
ing from a squad that lost in the NCAA Regionals last
year. Mercyhurst has been picked as the preseason
favorite in the Atlantic Hockey Association this year.
"They've shown that they're one of the top teams
year in and year out, so I think they're a legitimate
Division I program now," Michigan coach Red Beren-

WEEKEND
ercyhurst at
chigan
p.m. tomorrow,
. Saturday
ce Arena

son said.
Many people are expecting Michigan,
which has been an annual contender for
the national championship for a long
time, to have a good season itself this
year. Berenson said that the Wolverines
are where they should be at this point in
the season.
"The good thing is we're healthy,
and I think we're excited to play an
opponent rather than each other,"

By Kyle Carpenter
For the Daily
The Michigan men's tennis team will
head to South Bend, Ind., this weekend
to kick off the season in an early tour-
nament featuring several teams from
around the nation.
"This tournament is our first chance
to compete this fall and will get us back
in the competitive mode" coach Mark
Mees said. "We will play a lot of
matches that we just can't sirpulate in
practice."
The young team, which includes
three freshmen and one sophomore,
will need some collegiate-level experi-
ence before the regular season begins.
Mees says the upcoming tournament
will provide just that. "It will give the
younger guys a chance to play some
quality matches," Mees said.
Junior standout Mike Rubin, who is
ranked No.78 in the ITA preseason sin-
gles poll, is looking forward to some
real competition.
"We will be introduced to some
competition, and there will be a lot of
other good players there," Rubin said.
"It is definitely a way for us to come

out of the gates and start the season
off well"
Despite the team's youth, the Wolver-
ines have a lot of depth this season.
"I have nine guys I am confident in
throwing into the lineup," Mees said.
"Our freshmen will definitely make an
impact on the team. They are getting
better and excited"
The Wolverines hope to walk away
with a Big Ten championship in an
extremely competitive conference.
The team has some confidence after
finishing 15-9 overall last year and 5-5
in the Big Ten, but won't be satisfied
until it is a top contender.
"I think we are going to be signifi-
cantly better this season," Mees said.
One of the biggest strengths of this
year's team, according to Rubin, is the
overall commitment to competing hard.
With a few months of quality prac-
tice still down the road for the Wolver-
ines, the mindset right now is getting
everyone on the same page before con-
stant competition begins.
"We really want to get everybody
playing their best tennis day in and
day out, collectively getting better,"
Mees said.

Berenson said.
"I think everyone knows that the York game is an
exhibition game, but it's a game you want to play well
in and a game you want to build on, because you've
got a game that counts on the NCAA record the next
night. So exhibition or not, they're important games,"
Berenson said.

BRENDAN O'DONNELL/Daily
The last time Mercyhurst met Michigan, the Lakers
came close to ending Mike Cammallerl's season.

Michigan's Weir' enjoys breakout weekend

By Matt Singer
For the Daily

In April, Canadian lefty Mike Weir
took the golfing world by storm, emerg-
ing victorious in the Masters. Fast for-
ward to late September in Bloomington,
Ind. Michigan's Canadian lefty, Kevin
Dore, may not have won at Augusta
National, but his seventh-place showing
at the Hoosier Invitational proved he
can be a force at the collegiate level.
"I changed my mental approach,"
Dore said. "During the first tournament,
I was trying to hit perfect shots and I
was a little too aggressive. I just tried to

stay patient this weekend."
A true freshman, Dore's break-
through performance came in just his
second college tournament. With his
14-stroke improvement from the previ-
ous week, the southpaw led the Michi-
gan men's golf team to a solid sixth-
place showing among a 15-team field.
"Actually, that's kind of the expecta-
tion that I have for Kevin," Sapp
explained. "He's just really played well
throughout his career coming up into
college.:
A strong short game contributed to
Dore's team-best 54-hole score of 214.
"There were times over the weekend

where I didn't hit it that great, but my
short game kept me in it," Dore said.
Although Dore is just beginning to
assert himself at the NCAA level, he is
no stranger to success on the links. In
high school, he was the second-ranked
junior male in Ontario. He medalled at
the 2002 U.S. Junior Championship
Qualifier at the Michigan Golf Course.
"I just liked the atmosphere when I
came here on my visit," Dore said. "The
coaches and the guys on the team are
great, and the facilities are also really
nice. It just seemed like the right place."
The Wolverines hope to build upon
last weekend's 15-shot team improve-

ment. Sapp is looking for greater focus
and consistency as the Wolverines travel
south for the First Street Trust Invita-
tional this weekend in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The tournament takes place on the
home course of Sapp's alma mater.
"The main thing we need to improve
is to take care of the small stuff," Sapp
said. "We need to maintain our focus
throughout the entire round, and finish
each round strong."
After just two weeks of play, Dore
has emerged as a leader on the Michi-
gan men's golf team. Down the road,
Weir might not be the only Canadian
lefty sporting a green jacket.

M' coxswains bring
volume, leadership

4

By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer

Spikers earn key win over nival Spartans

By Brad Johnson
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING - At 7 p.m. Wednesday night,
Jenison Fieldhouse was rowdy, boisterous and teem-
ing with electricity. By 8:30, it was as quiet as a
morgue.
The Michigan volleyball team (2-1 Big Ten, 10-4
overall) rolled into East Lansing
and swept the Spartans 30-20,
30-23 and 30-27.H
No. 14 Michigan State (1-2, 9-
4) kept trying to inch its way back throughout the
match, but simply could not catch up with the
Wolverines, who sprang out of the gates.
"Our team came out very prepared tonight," coach
Mark Rosen said. "It's not a matter of being motivat-

ed, it's how you handle the motivation."
Michigan handled it well, neutralizing what could
have potentially become a very hostile environment
for the visiting Wolverines.
"You get a few heckles from the crowd," junior
Lisa Gamalski said. "But we shut them up because
we were playing so well."
Michigan took the crowd out of it in the very first
game with its dominant play up front. For Rosen, his
team's early success was a matter of execution, since
the rival Spartans were such familiar foes.
Michigan State tried to close the gap in the second
set, but could not pull even with the Wolverines no
matter how hard it tried. Michigan swaggered onto
the court for the final stanza, which was the tightest
of the three, featuring many ties and lead changes.
The Jenison crowd finally came back to life near

the end of the match, but was silenced with two
momentum-changing kills by Michigan's Jennifer
Gandolph. The junior caught fire in the third game
and helped the Wolverines hold on for the victory,
their first over a ranked team this season.
"(Michigan State) is a great team and is always
consistent," Gamalski said. "We knew we had to play
our game and play it well."
The fact that the win came on the road made it
even sweeter for the Wolverines.
"It's my first time (beating Michigan State)," fresh-
man Megan Bowman said. "Everyone is real excited.
It was a lot of fun."
For Gamalski, Michigan's third straight triumph
over the Spartans was just as satisfying.
"It feels great," she said. "To play as well as we did
gives us confidence going into the Big Ten."

If you had your back to Belleville
Lake during a Michigan rowing meet,
you might think the Army is running
drills behind you. Booming off the
water are commands that make no sense
to the average ear while groups of peo-
ple move in unison. Odds are, the voice
issuing the commands is that of juniors
Louisa DiLeone, Tara Medina or Sarah
O'Brien.
They are the coxswains for the
Michigan rowing team. The coxswain is
one of the most vital parts of a boat's
crew, in charge of issuing commands
and steering the boat.
DiLeone (5-foot-0), Medina (5-foot-
2) and O'Brien (5-foot-3) are built for
coxing due to their short height and
have taken to the job and excelled in the
position.
The coxswain sits at the front of the
boat and coordinates the rowers to help
the team reach the finish line. It is the
coxswain's job to insure that everyone is
doing their part and staying in unison

with the rest of the team.
"Everyone has to be doing the same
thing at the same time." DiLeone said.
"If you can't work together, than you're
never going to go anywhere."
Being a coxswain carries connota-
tions off the lake as well. Because the
coxswains are essentially captaining the
boats, the rest of the team tends to look
to them for leadership and inspiration.
"We're not only steering and coach-
ing technique, but we also have to know
what's going on with each rower so that
during a hard workout we know what to
say to pump them up," DiLeone said.
Michigan has only been practicing
for a month now, but thanks to the lead-
ership of its coxswains, the Wolverines
are gelling quickly. The team will be
making a bid for its sixth consecutive
trip to the NCAA Championships this
year and looking to capture its first
national title.
The Wolverines will take on Ohio
State in a training race this Saturday at
Belleville Lake. It marks the second-to-
last home date before the fall season
draws to a close.

4



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