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April 12, 2004 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-12

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 12, 2004 - 7B
Injuies plague Michigan in Indiana

By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan men's tennis team just
* can't escape the injury bug.
The Wolverines (2-4 Big Ten, 11-6 over-
all) traveled to the Hoosier State with high
hopes this past weekend. But after cruising
past Indiana State 6-1 on Friday, they
couldn't overcome Big Ten foe Indiana on
Saturday. Once again, Michigan was forced
to battle through injuries, succumbing 4-3
to the Hoosiers.
"The key is to find a way to get healthy,"
Michigan coach Mark Mees said.
Junior Michael Rubin had missed
matches due to an injured rib muscle, but
had improved enough to return to action
two weekends ago. Unfortunately, the No.
1 singles player re-aggravated the injury
against Indiana State.
Rubin nevertheless decided to give it a
go against Indiana's Ryan Recht the next
BRETT MOUNTAIN/Daily day. After being edged out in the first set
Junior Michael Rubin was forced to retire from his No. 1 singles match against Indiana a day after re- 7-6(3), Rubin's performance slipped. He
aggravating a rib injury that has hampered him most of the season. fell behind 4-0 before retiring from the
* oubles poin hinders Wolverines

match due to injury.
"He was having some problems with it
after the match (against Indiana State),"
Mees said. "So we pulled him out of dou-
bles, and I was hoping that he could get in
there and play some singles."
With Rubin out of doubles play, junior
David Anving was forced to step up. In his
first doubles appearance of the dual-match
season, Anving teamed up with freshman
Ryan Heller to take the No. 2 doubles
match, 8-6. The Wolverines dropped both
of their other doubles contests, giving Indi-
ana the doubles point - the eventual mar-
gin of victory.
Michigan dropped its first three singles
matches, including Rubin's loss, to give
Indiana (4-2, 10-8) the team victory. With
the outcome decided, Michigan showed a
great deal of resilience wrapping up the
remaining individual matches.
After being held out of the Indiana State
match with a rotator cuff injury, freshman
Steve Peretz performed well enough to win
6-4, 2-6, 1-0(8). Senior Anthony Jackson
followed with a 6-3, 6-4 victory, and fresh-

man Brian Hung came out on top (6-4, 7-
6(5)) to finish.
"We've got guys on our team that have
got a lot of pride," Mees said. "While they
are disappointed in the team loss, they want
to take care of their individual matches."
The Indiana State match served as an
important tune-up for the Wolverines. They
dispatched their hosts, despite having to play
outdoors - a change from the controlled
conditions of the Varsity Tennis Center.
"Getting outside was a little bit differ-
ent," Mees said. "I'm glad we got that
match outside, because we (also) played
Indiana outdoors."
Once again, it was a weekend of mixed
results for Michigan. In the last three
weeks, it has lost three Big Ten nail-biters
by a one-point margin. The Wolverines
know they can keep up with anybody, but
at some point, the competitiveness must
translate to more wins.
"We've got four matches left," Mees
said. "We're going to get two days off, get
everyone in the training room, and we'll be
ready to go."

By Max Kardon
For the Daily
The No. 25 ranked Michigan women's
tennis team may need a blow to the head.
Right now, it will take anything that helps
it see double.
The Wolverines (3-2 Big Ten, 13-3 over-
all) had dropped consecutive doubles match-
es to Iowa and Minnesota entering action
with No. 35 Indiana (4-1, 12-6) Saturday at
the Varsity Tennis Center, and hoped to gain
the early point-advantage to lighten the load
for singles play. But things did not go
according to plan.
The No. 1 doubles duo of junior Michelle
DaCosta and freshman Kara Delicata
dropped its match to the Hoosiers' Sarah
Batty and Linda Tran, 8-3. This was the
same score that Indiana's Martina Grimm
and Karie Schlukebir compiled in the No. 3
doubles pairing of senior Kavitha Tipirneni
and junior Leanne Rutherford.
Senior Kim Plaushines and sophomore
Debra Streifler found more success in No. 2
doubles, as the pair trounced its opponents,
Cecile Perton and Dora Vastag, 8-2.
Michigan coach Bitsey Ritt was disap-
pointed with the results, saying: "We're
going to have to make changes in doubles.
Not in the pairings, just in our approach to
these matches."
Playing in a best-of-seven format, the
point at stake in the doubles matches is
crucial because it relieves the winning
team's pressure in singles play, where six

remaining points decide the contest. A 3-3
split in singles play gives the victory to the
team that took the doubles point.
Indiana took the point-advantage by win-
ning two out of the three doubles matches.
"Indiana has always been strong at dou-
bles," DaCosta said. "We just need to main-
tain confidence that we can make up the
doubles point in singles."
The Wolverines barely missed that goal,
coming up just short, though they battled
fiercely to the end. They split their six singles
matches, which gave Indiana the winning
edge, as the Hoosiers retained the decisive
seventh point from the doubles matches.
Streifler's success continued, as she
extended her winning streak to 10 matches
with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Indiana's Perton in
No. 6 singles. But Rutherford struggled
against Indiana's Schlukebir, losing 6-3, 7-6
in No. 5 singles.
The remaining matches were much
more dramatically resolved. On center
court, DaCosta rallied from a 5-3 deficit
in the first set, employing a strong serve
and solid play along the baseline to pull
out a 7-5 victory. With opponent Vastag's
confidence shaken, DaCosta rode her
momentum to take the second set and the
No. I singles match 6-1.
Senior Chrissy Nolan got off to a strong
start against Indiana's Laura McGaffigan in
No. 4 singles, taking the first set 6-2. But
McGaffigan rallied to win the final two sets
6-3, 6-4.
The day's best match featured Tipirneni in

No. 3 singles. She staunchly refused to
allow her 10-match winning streak to come
to a halt. Battling the Hoosiers' Batty, Tipir-
neni fell behind 4-1 to start the match, and
her frustration was evident as she resorted to
angry muttering. Tipirneni wrestled control
of the match, taking five straight games to
win the first set 6-4.
She eventually finished off Batty 6-4, 3-
6, 6-3 and pushed her winning streak to
11 matches.
"Kavitha showed her toughness today,"
Ritt said. "Before I even turned around, she
had already won the third set."
After Tipirneni's win, the attention of the
crowd shifted to the decisive No. 2 singles
showdown that pitted freshman phenom
Elizabeth Exon against Hoosier senior
Linda Tran. With the team match knotted at
3-3, the Wolverines looked to Exon to
decide the day's fate. After splitting the first
two sets 6-2, 2-6, Exon seemed poised to
complete a day of Wolverine comebacks..
Behind 5-3 in the final set, Exon held
serve to come within one, employing an
authoritative lefty stroke to build momen-
tum. Tran appeared weary with a faltering
backhand as Exon assaulted her with a bar-
rage of thundering forehands.
Exon's comeback seemed imminent, but
several unforced errors in the final game
secured Tran's victory as she took the set
and the match 6-4. Tran's smiling fist
pump relayed a jubilant mix of relief and
satisfaction as Indiana walked away with
the 4-3 victory.

Senior Kavitha Tipirneni extended her winning streak to 11 matches in an intense comeback victory over
Indiana's Sarah Batty on Saturday.

Harriers break school record in Tennessee

By Gabriela D'Jaen
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan women's track team started out
last weekend's Sear Rays Relays in full throttle.
In the first event of the meet, the fearsome
foursome of Katie Erdman, Theresa Feldkamp,
Lindsey Gallo and Jackie Gaydos crossed the fin-
ish line in the 1,500-meter relay with 28 seconds
to spare before the next team clocked in.
The women were unimpressed by the competi-
tion in that particular event, but were pleased by
their own performance, winning the event with a
time of 18:05.32. In the first two legs of the race,
Feldkamp and Erdman established a lead. Gaydos
kept ahead of the pack and by the time Gallo was
running, her task was to keep the large distance
from the other runners.
"It makes it easier to run faster if there are
good people around you," Gallo said. "It's hard to
push yourself to run your best time, but we all
ran pretty well, regardless."
The next day, Gallo found an abundance of
competition in the 800-meter relay. Erdman, Feld-
kamp, Gallo and Anna Jones ran against Ten-
nessee, who - according to Gallo - has one of
the best relay teams in the country. The Wolver-
ines' third-place finish of 8:36.65 might have been
eight seconds behind first-place Tennessee, but it
was enough to break Michigan's school record.
The girls knew they had come close to the

record while still in Knoxville, Tenn., but it was-
n't until they arrived back in Ann Arbor that they
realized the relay was 18 milliseconds faster than
the previous time of 8:36.83. This is Erdman's
second time securing a school record, as she
already holds the best time in the 800-meters.
In addition to breaking her first record, Jones
also ran her personal best in the individual 800-
meter, with a time of 2:10.46. If she can shave off
.17 seconds, she will qualify for the NCAA
Gallo summed up the team's goal for the week-
end: "The whole point was to compete hard and
win, regardless of the competition."
The team was pleased that its final weekend of
competition in the Southern region was accompa-
nied by warm weather. But Gallo was relieved
that her events were scheduled later in the day.
The mid-day heat was described as intense and
was an external problem to the runners.
Judging by her performance in the 400-meter
hurdles, senior quad-captain Vera Simms was not
fazed by the heat. Clocking in at 58.76 seconds
for the second week in a row, Simms ran a NCAA
Regional qualifying time.
For every event, coaches enter previous meet
times of each runner to determine which heat she
will compete in. Simms ran in the second section
and won her heat, but when all the times were
ordered, Simms placed seventh overall in the event.
"I think I could have ran better," Simms said.

"But I'm satisfied with how I performed and I
learned a lot from my experiences this weekend."
Simms is focused on constant improvement
from one meet to the next. When the team heads
to Walnut, Calif., next weekend for the Mt. SAC
Relays, Simms will keep the same goal in mind
that she has every time she's stepped on a track.
"Just to run faster," Simms said.
Michigan has competed in just five outdoor events tlns
season, but 12 Wolverines are already NCAA proi
sional qualifiers in 13 events. Below are thu athletes
who have qualified in their respective events, and thei
qualifying !marks.
i ndsay Gallo h150-mewter un 4.'4
Katie Erdman 1,5X0-maeer run 4:2&6,
Robin Landfair 100-meter hurdles 13.60
'era sins 400,meter hurds 423:47
Arnold, Madin, 4x4- meterrelay 423 ;41
Knase, Stims
Jennifer Kutkhar 1iglh Jump -e
Eh beth Bayk Pok W eVault 3-fer t 2
Melissa Bickn Dscus Thro w17 f, t-t1
Melissa Bickett Hanmmer Throw . 183teet
Alhey Eckel Hammer Throw79-tee
Melisaica t Shot Put } 4Steer '.':5
Ashley Eckel Shot Put 47 -ceet7 4
Lindsey Stephenson Javdte.r 4 e.

Junior Lindsey Gallo was part of the 800-meter relay team that broke a school
record, though it didn't realize it until they returned to Ann Arbor.


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