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February 02, 2004 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-02

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 2, 2004


Grapplers take
one fromrival
By Alex Cummins
For The Daily
Friday night in Cliff Keen Arena, the No. 5 Michigan
wrestling team dominated intrastate rival Michigan State 31-
6 on its way to a 3-0 start in Big Ten dual meet action.
Michigan coach Joe McFarland, in his fifth season, is no
stranger to the intrastate rivalry.
"There is definitely no love lost between the programs,"
McFarland said. "There is respect for each other but there is
a lot of pride on the line and a victory over Michigan State is
always a little sweeter. Our guys really stepped up in this
rivalry match."
Michigan (3-0 Big Ten, 13-2 overall) took an early lead
and never looked back while playing the overpowered
and outmatched Spartans squad. Freshman Mark Moos
and fifth-year senior captain Foley Dowd had the Wolver-
ines out to a 10-0 start as they both won their matches
convincingly by the scores of 6-0 and 4-0, respectively.
Dowd - ranked third by Amateur Wrestling News at 133
lbs. - has been a tremendous contributor thus far in the
season, continually giving the Wolverines early leads.
One might be surprised at the success Dowd has experi-
enced this season, considering he is coming back from
neck surgery this past summer - an injury that almost
left him paralyzed. McFarland has looked to Dowd not
only for consistency, but leadership as well.
"Foley is always there for us, winning big matches,"
McFarland said. "I'm real confident in his abilities and com-
ing back to the lineup from his injuries this past summer has
made him that much stronger."
After a hard-fought loss by fifth-year senior Clark For-
ward (141 lbs.), the Wolverines went on a tear, winning the
next four matches. Junior Ryan Churella (149 lbs.), senior
:Jeremiah Tobias (157 lbs.), fifth-year senior captain Pat
Owen (165 lbs.) and freshman Nick Roy (174 lbs.) all
thoroughly handled their opponents to extend Michigan's
lead to 25-3.
Sophomore heavyweight Greg Wagner built on his
sparkling performance against Iowa last week that won the
dual meet for the Wolverines. Wagner muscled his way to a
5-2 win over Michigan State heavyweight Mike Keenan,
closing out the Spartans' night in Ann Arbor.

After nine years, Blue gets lucky'

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
At the end of Thursday's competi-
tion, the Michigan women's tennis
team gathered on the court, singing
the school's fight song. The celebra-
tion displayed an enthusiasm that
the program hasn't had the opportu-
nity to show, following a match with
Notre Dame, in nearly a decade.
The No. 34 Michigan women's
tennis team defeated No. 21 Notre
Dame, 4-3, for the first time since
the 1993-94 season, bringing its
overall dual-match record to 2-0.
"It's a great win, especially at this
point in the season when we are just
getting started," coach Bitsy Ritt said.
Michigan took the doubles point
for winning two out of the three
doubles matches early in the compe-
tition. Despite that, the Wolverines
certainly looked like the underdogs
after dropping five out of six first
sets in the singles matches.
Junior Leanne Rutherford's win
over Sarah Jane Connelly (4-6, 6-2, 7-
5) turned out to be the deciding match
in Michigan's victory. Down 5-4 in
the third set, all eyes were on the vet-

eran to stop the Irish momentum.
"I just didn't look up (in the
stands)," Rutherford said, chuckling. "I
just tried to take it one point at a time."
With her overpowering ground
strokes and great hustle, Rutherford
sealed the deal for Michigan. She
explained that she simply tried to
stay competitive and force her
opponent to hit more balls.
"I don't think I played my best
match today" Rutherford said. "But
any time you beat a team ranked
ahead of you, it's a huge positive for
the program."
Michigan senior Kavitha Tipireni
defeated Catrina Thompson on straight
sets (6-3, 6-3), and junior Michelle
DaCosta held off Christian Thompson,
3-6, 6-0, 6-2 in key singles victories.
"I know the seniors haven't beaten
(Notre Dame) the whole time they
were (at Michigan)," DaCosta said.
"So this was kind of a gift to them."
DaCosta rebounded after a tough
first set loss with a more aggressive
style at the net, and completely took
control of the match in the last two sets.
The junior star was the only
Wolverine to have both a singles
and doubles victory against Notre

Dame. DeCosta played with fresh-
man Kara Delicata for the first
time, and the duo defeated the
Thompson sisters (8-6).
"Kara forces me to be more
aggressive," DaCosta said. "We did-
n't want to have any regrets, so we
just went for it."
Senior Kim Plaushines and soph-
omore Debra Streifler also con-
tributed to winning the doubles
point for Michigan with their 8-5
victory over Notre Dame's Sarah
Jane Connelly and Kristina Stastny.
"The doubles point was critical to
having that momentum going into
the singles," Ritt said. "That's what
you have to do - get the doubles
point and win the big matches."
Ritt explained that, though the girls
knew they were the'underdogs head-
ing into this heated rivalry, Michigan
saw the pressure on Notre Dame. She
also said that this team victory proved
that Michigan can compete with the
top programs in the country.
The girls' competitiveness and
aggressiveness on the court certain-
ly contributed to this upset.
"I felt a little lucky too," Ruther-
ford said.


Fifth-year senior Clark Forward squares off in a meet against
Eastern Michigan earlier this season.
McFarland and the rest of the Wolverines have looked to
Wagner the past few weeks to help anchor the team.
"Our meets come down to having to have Greg win since
he's a heavyweight," McFarland said. "That's just the naturef
of dual meets. But Greg is going to keep getting better and
better. It's nice having a big guy who you can have a lot of
confidence in."
The Wolverines look to continue their winning ways as
they hit the road to face off with Ohio State on Friday in
Columbus and Penn State on Sunday in State College. With
the bulk of the Big Ten season coming up, the Wolverines are
looking forward to staying healthy and fresh for this impor-
tant stretch.
"We want a strong finish. We want to perform well in
the Big Ten Championships and the NCAAs," McFar-
land said. "I'm not concerned about our national rank-
ing, that's not important to us. We want to get better
each and every day."

Memories of defeat fuel Netters

Continued from Page 16
Reggie Howard intercepted in the
end zone.
Two plays later, Delhomme found
Muhammad behind the New England
defense for an 85-yard score, the
longest play from scrimmage in
Super Bowl history, to give the Pan-
thers a 22-21 lead with 6:53 left. Fox
again went for the 2-point conversion
and failed.
Brady came back with the TD pass
to linebacker Mike Vrabel with 2:51
remaining, and Kevin Faulk ran in for
the 2-point conversion to give New
England a 29-22 lead.
About two minutes later, Delhomme
and Proehl hooked up to tie the game,

setting up Vinatieri's heroics.
The game was scoreless longer
than any previous Super Bowl -
nearly 27 minutes.
Then the teams got going - 24
points in the final 3:05 of the first
half that left the Patriots with a 14-
10 lead.
New England dominated that dor-
mant period and finally took a 7-0
lead on the first of two 5-yard TD
passes by Brady. The quarterback
found Branch after Vrabel had sacked
Delhomme, forcing a fumble and giv-
ing New England the ball at the Car-
olina 20.
At that point, New England had out-
gained Carolina 125 yards to minus-7,
and Delhomme was 1-of-9 for 1 yard
and had been sacked three times.
But the Patriots' touchdown seemed

to wake up the Panthers. Delhomme
led Carolina on a 95-yard drive, tied
for second longest in Super Bowl his-
tory, capping it with a 39-yard TD
pass to Steve Smith , who beat Tyrone
Poole in single coverage. That tied it at
7-7 with 1:14 left in the half.
Brady came right back, hitting
Branch for 52 yards behind Ricky
Manning Jr. to set up the second 5-
yard TD pass, this time to Givens.
Carolina wasn't finished, either.
Vinatieri squibbed the kickoff and
Kris Mangum returned it 12 yards to
his own 47. With 12 seconds and a
timeout left, the Panthers crossed up
the Patriots by handing the ball to
Stephen Davis , who rushed 21 yards
to the New England 32.
After a timeout, Kasay kicked a 50-
yard field goal to close the half.

By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
With last season's 7-0 loss to Wake Forest still fresh in
their minds, the Michigan men's tennis players had plenty to
prove. As this year's Wolverines prepared for a visit from the
33rd-ranked Demon Deacons on Saturday, they knew that
every point would be hotly contested.
"I think everybody was real excited going in," assistant
coach Dan Goldberg said. "Everybody came out and had
that inner-belief they were going to win their match and
pull through."
The Wolverines' surprising 6-1 win was fueled by an
early doubles point. Doubles partners Anthony Jackson
and Brian Hung stretched their undefeated streak to four.
Junior Vinny Gossain and freshman Steve Peretz fought
through an extremely tight match, showing great relief as
they finished off their opponents from Wake Forest. The
pair provided the second win necessary for the doubles
point and the early lead.
"We played a very good doubles match, it was very satis-
fying," freshman Steve Peretz said. "(Vinny and I) are build-
ing that chemistry, getting much more comfortable."
The unranked Jackson didn't stop there. In the singles
portion, the senior barely allowed No. 77 Andrew Hamer a
chance to stay in the match, defeating him decisively. The
6-0, 6-3 win gives Jackson a 4-0 record on the dual season.
Junior David Anving prevailed in just his second sin-
gles appearance of the season, beating David Loewen-
thal 6-1, 6-3.
With three points on the board and four players still play-
ing, it seemed like Michigan had the game wrapped up.
And then Michigan's number one player, No. 34 Mike
Rubin, fell in straight sets to Derrick Spice, 7-5, 7-5.
"(Losses) really motivate me to keep pushing because I
hate it' Rubin said. "I'm not going to (lose) again, at least
not for a while."
After Rubin lost his match, it was up to one of the three
freshmen remaining on the court to provide the point needed
to give Michigan its fourth win on the season.
Peretz, Ryan Heller and Hung all found themselves
locked in tiebreakers, trying to remain undefeated in their
brief collegiate dual match careers. The pressure to remain
perfect rose when Rubin lost, as their points became more
critical, but the three freshmen stayed zeroed in on their
"The coaches just tell us to take care of your court,"

Peretz said. "There was a little extra pressure, but I was just
trying to take care of my court."
Peretz did just that, pulling off the tie-break win 6-3, 2-6,
6-4. Shortly before Peretz got his win, the crowd on the
court behind him roared. The fans were cheering as Heller
finished off another hard fought match in a 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-3
win. With the boost of excitement in the stands, Hung
seemed to step up his own energy level en route to his sec-
ond super-tie-breaker win in a 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-3 contest.
"Right across the board, after losing the first set in a
number of situations, the guys came back and really fought
hard," Goldberg said. "That's been a trademark of our team
all season."
The Wolverines improved to 4-0 on the dual season. The
team will spend the next two weeks practicing before taking
on Toledo at home.

Despite a loss from their number one player, Mike Rubin, the
Wolverines managed a 7-1 upset over Wake Forest.


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