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October 06, 2003 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-06

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'M' golfers glad to be home

The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 6, 2003 - 3B
'Blame game'important to
. .recoveryfrom road defeats

By Ian Herbert
Daily Sports Writer
Every varsity team knows how important the home
tournament is. The players have the date marked on
their calendars months ahead of time. And, with the
support of family and friends behind them, teams
often set lofty goals for the event.
The Michigan women's golf team hosted the
Wolverine Invitational this weekend, came out strong
and won the tournament. The team beat James Madi-
son, the next-best team, by 25 strokes, shooting a com-
bined score of 943.
"Our goal coming into the weekend was to win our
home tournament," Michigan coach Kathy Teichert
said. "To put it together and actually do it - I am very
The team was lead by veterans Laura Olin and Amy
Schmucker, who individually placed first and third,
respectively. Olin, who shot 8-over par on 54 holes
and yesterday had the only under-par round of the
tournament (71), has always dreamed of winning her
home tournament in front of her family and friends.
"We only have one home tournament, and it was
great that (our parents) came out," Olin said. "Our par-
ents actually come to a lot of our tournaments. It's
really great to have their support. When you hit a good
shot they are smiling and waving, and when you do
bad they do the same thing."
All six of the Wolverines placed within the top 15,
but it wasn't easy. Saturday, they walked the course
wearing knit hats, wind pants and mittens just trying

to keep warm.
"It was pretty windy," Olin said. "The weather defi-
nitely made everything harder. It's difficult to know
what club to use in the wind, and you lose a little bit of
confidence. But Big Tens are like this every year. We
are used to playing in these conditions, and we will
have to play in weather like this again."
The golfers had to battle strong winds, below freez-
ing temperatures and frost, which delayed yesterday's
shotgun start by an hour. As difficult as the conditions
were, it may have ended up helping the Wolverines
because of their attitude.
"The conditions (this weekend) were very tough,"
Schmucker said. "When it gets challenging like that,
you just have to tell yourself that everyone is playing
in the same conditions. You just have to concentrate
and grind it out"
In addition to the inclement weather, teams were
forced to play with some very difficult pin placements
yesterday. With the holes resting near hills and tucked
behind bunkers, many players were visibly irritated
with Michigan Golf Course.
"Our team has obviously played this course numer-
ous times," Teichert said. "They may not have seen
some of the pin placements, but they played very well.
Everyone had to putt the same greens, the same holes.
The greens here are very tough. There is lots of undu-
lation in them, and some teams are not used to that. It
can get frustrating."
No matter how frustrating, everyone seemed to
agree that this tournament could prove to be a step-
ping-stone for this Wolverine team that has high hopes.

Junior Laura Olin shot eight-over par on 54 holes and
notched the tournament's only under-par round (71).
"It is always a confidence boost to get a big win,"
Schmucker said. "Now we will try to keep going and
win again on a course that is not our own. That would
be an even bigger confidence boost."

'Competitive' freshmen triumph in Invitational

By Jamie Josephson
For the Daily

A wave of beginner's luck seems to
have come over the Michigan women's
tennis team.
Opening their fall season by hosting
the Wolverine Invitational this past
weekend, all three of Michigan's newly-
acquired freshmen won each of their
respective singles flights.
"The freshmen are very competitive,"
Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt said.
"Together they are going to make an
outstanding class. When you have
freshmen who can come in and con-
tribute like that right away, it just makes
everybody better."
Freshman Kara Delicata easily
defeated Western Michigan's Carrie
Jeanmaire in the finals of the "Maize"
flight, 6-0, 6-2, with a combination of

aggressive net play and groundstroke
Delicata's championship match
turned out to be the only finals contest
Michigan played against an opposing
In the "Wolverine" flight, freshman
Lindsey Goldstein came out on top in
an evenly-matched final round against
her junior teammate Leanne Rutherford
(6-3, 1-6, 6-2). Several changes in
momentum contributed to the intensity
and competitiveness of this intrasquad
"It's all business," Goldstein said.
"You don't look at the face across the
Goldstein said that forgetting about
her second set loss allowed her to focus
on improving in the third.
Freshman Liz Exon took first place
in the "Blue" flight after defeating her

teammate, junior Chrissie Nolan (6-3,
6-1). Exon said that going with the flow
was key in her first tournament win as a
"I was just really relaxed," Exon said.
"I told myself just to step in."
Rounding out Michigan's sweep in
the top three spots of the "Blue" flight,
senior Kavitha Tipirneni claimed third
place after destroying DePaul's Gergana
Ganeva in straight sets (6-1, 6-1).
Tipirneni and Delicata brought their
singles success to the doubles competi-
tion, where they defeated teammates
Nolan and Rutherford in a nail biter,
eight-game pro-set (9-7).
Tennis matches don't get much closer
than this doubles final.
Down 15-40, match-point at 6-7,
Tipirneni/Delicata miraculously
bounced back, breaking Nolan/Ruther-
ford to tie the match. Though both sides

exchanged breaks a handful of times
throughout the round, this one proved to
be the deciding change in momentum.
"We just said, 'Take it one point at a
time; whatever happens, happens,' "
Delicata said. "As long as you have the
mindset that you can come back, then
anything is possible."
Of course, the win was a bittersweet
victory of sorts, as it came at the
expense of fellow teammates.
"Its always hard to play your team-
mate," Delicata said. "But we are so
close, and we understand it's a competi-
tion; when it's done, we are all friends
in the lockerroom."
Goldstein and sophomore doubles
partner Debra Streifler added to the
Wolverines' tear, winning their consola-
tion finals match 8-4 against Lisa Mal-
oney and Heidi Romer of Bowling

The SportsMonday Column
OWA CITY - For the first time in
my esteemed Michigan football road
game career, I walked the other way.
When John Navarre's 49th pass of
the game fell incomplete into the Kin-
nick Stadium grass, I retreated through
an army of corn-fed ladybugs into the
stadium parking lot. There was no point
in sticking around to watch the celebra-
tion like I did against Purdue and
Northwestern freshman year, Michigan
State sophomore year, Notre Dame and
Ohio State junior year and Oregon this
year - I've seen it all before.
Step one in the "How to cope with a
Michigan loss on the road" handbook?
Opposing students storm the field, and
we watch in envy as they act like they've
actually just conquered heroes. They con-
veniently forget that beating Michigan is
something that happens all the time these
days - especially on the road.
The victorious fans, after they've
trampled the stadium turf and reflected
on what just occurred, say to their bud-
dies, "What a great football game," or
something they wouldn't dream of say-
ing if they were on the other side.
Step two is by far the most important.
Skip this one, and you're sure to not be
ready for next week's game.
Without further ado, the blame game
This is the crucial part of recovery
because we can rationalize Michigan's
deviant behavior as the fault of one play-
er, coach or unit. It's not Michigan's
fault, it's this person's, and he happens to
play or coach for Michigan.
UCLA 2000? Hayden Epstein! Pur-
due 2000? Second-half play calling!
Northwestern 2000? That damn sieve-
like defense! Washington 2001? Spe-
cial teams! Michigan State 2001?
Jeremy LeSueur! Ohio State 2001?
John Navarre! Tennessee 2001? John
Navarre! Notre Dame 2002? Offensive
turnovers! Iowa 2002? Markus Curry!
Ohio State 2002? Second-half play call-
ing! Oregon 2003? Special teams!
Iowa 2003? Hmmm ...
Luckily, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
got the blame game started just moments
after the loss.
"I take fMlresponsibility," Carr said.'
Carr and his staff were definitely in
the running for the Iowa 2003 hardware.
What in this scarlet-and-gray world was
that punt formation? Three big dudes
about 10 yards in the backfield and Gar-
rett Rivas --a kicker - a few yards
behind them? He runs out of the pocket

like he's running the option and executes
a ... fake fake punt?
Carr rationalized the decision as a
way to make up for the loss of injured
Jeremy Van Alstyne and Larry Stevens
on the punt team. Carr also felt it was the
best chance to keep Iowa return special-
ist Ramon Ochoa from breaking a big
one like he did in the first half.
Questions: Since when does Michigan
not have two top-tier athletes to take the
place of Van Alstyne and Stevens on the
punt team, and since when does Michi-
gan go to a gimmick formation just to
get decent punt coverage?
OK, so Carr should be blamed for this
one. He even admitted it.
But wait! The players want the blame,
too? Goodness gracious alive, we're
going to be up all night debating this
"That's our coach," Navarre said.
"He's going to say that. I respect him for
that, but this is a team loss. It always is."
"For him to blame himself for the loss
is wrong'" Chris Perry said. "We lost the
game. We should've won. He doesn't
play a snap. I haven't seen him out there
in pads yet."
This stuff is all too confusing. It's hard
to blame Perry, who rushed for 3.6 yards
per carry and a touchdown against a
stacked Iowa front. It's hard to blame
Navarre, who threw for 389 yards and
two touchdowns. And anyone with two
sides of a brain couldn't blame the
Michigan defense, which fought valiant-
ly against poor field position to keep the
Wolverines in the game.
We're really getting nowhere here. It's
the coach, it isn't the coach, it's the play-
ers, it isn't the players. I'm putting an
end to this right now.
The Iowa 2003 blame should fall on
my shoulders. I felt the same way after
the Oregon game, but I wasn't man
enough to voice it at the time.
Before the Oregon game, I bought a
green and yellow Oregon hooded sweat-
shirt. Bad karma. On the drive out to
Iowa, I wore my Oregon sweatshirt. At
the time, it was a part of the coping
process. I was trying to say, "I'm past the
Oregon loss. It's behind me"
I'm 4-7 all-time watching Michigan
on the road, and maybe it's time I should
just stay home. I'm a Boston Red Sox
and Buffalo Bills fan, and I should never
have brought my putrid luck to Ann
I've written columns that take down
the morale of the team and its players.
They play their hearts out, and I rip them
two days later in this newspaper.
So, when you're making your way
'thtough tep two of the Iowa 2003
recovery, take it easy on the Wolverines
- and yourself- and put the loss on
my shoulders.
J Brady McCollough can be reached at



Harriers run to second place in South Bend

By Phil Kofahl
Daily Sports Writer
Heavy rains and bitter cold make for a nasty day,
but it-makes- for even nastier running conditions. The
course in South Bend was treacherous, but the No. 12
Michigan men's cross country team didn't seem to
mind. The Wolverines ran to a second-place finish
behihd host Notre Dame in afield of 23 teams.
Sophomore Nick Willis led the harriers for the sec-
ond week in a row, finishing the race second overall.
Senior Tom Greenless was close behind, finishing

fourth, his third top 10 finish of the season.
"Tommy is running really well right now,"
Warhurst said. "He's only going to get better as the
season continues"
The third Michigan runner to cross the line
was senior Alex L'Heureux, finishing 24th.
Rounding out scoring for the Wolverines were
seniors Tarn Leach and Nick Stanko, 29th and
33rd, respectively.
The team showed improvement from a mediocre
fourth-place finish the week before at the Great
American Cross Country Festival in Cary, N.C. The

colder weather may have been a factor in the Wolver-
ines' improvement. Michigan ran in very humid, 88-
degree weather in North Carolina, while temperatures
in South Bend dipped down to a more familiar mid-
30s. The Wolverines were also'vwithout one of their
top runners, Nate Brannen, who took the weekend off
to rest. Junior Sean Moore is also still recovering
from heat exhaustion from the week before, but
should recover fully.
"Sean just wasn't able to recover in time, he was
just tired from the week before, but he'll be fine,"
Warhurst said.

Inconsistency plagues Blue golfers


By Jule Master
Daily Sports Writer
When you can't win them all, it's the
experience that counts. And that's exact-
ly the attitude of Michigan men's golf
coach Andrew Sapp.
This past weekend, the Wolverines
headed south as they faced tough com-
petition at the Franklin Street Partners
Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C. The
Wolverines came in 40 shots behind
tournament host North Carolina, finish-
ing seventh out of nine teams.
"This (was) a very strong field with a
lot of Southern schools," Sapp said.

"The competition was excellent, and
this is the type of competition that our
young team needs to gain experience
and improve."
Out of the five Michigan golfers,
freshman Mike McLaughlin stepped up
to deliver his career bests of a 15th-
place finish (226 in 54 holes) and a
career low of 74 in each of the first two
rounds. Senior Dave Nichols also came
through after a shaky start of 77 and 81
in the first two rounds to post a 1-over-
par in the final round.
"Dave played very well (yesterday),"
Sapp said. "He's shown some good sen-
ior leadership on the last day to finish

well for us."
Despite certain players shooting well
on a round or two, the team is continu-
ing to struggle with consistency.
"That kind of happened to all of our
guys," Sapp said. "Each one of them
shot one or maybe two good rounds, but
we didn't get anyone shooting three
good rounds in a row."
None of the Wolverines were able to
hit par this past weekend. Freshman
Will Kendall shot a 78-75-77 to tie for
20th with a 230 individual total, just
four shots behind McLaughlin. Follow-
ing Kendall was Nichols (231), Christ-
ian Vozza (233) and Kevin Dore (243).


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