The Michigan Daily - Thursday April 7, 2005 - 9A
Gossain makes return to singles
By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
Senior co-captain Vinny Gossain would
have liked to forget the last time he played
in a dual singles match for the Michigan
men's tennis team - until last Sunday, that
is. Against Wisconsin in the first round of
the 2003 Big Ten Tournament, the Wolver-
ines' fate rested on the shoulders of the then-
sophomore. Unfortunately for Michigan, the
Okemos native fell short in a three-set heart-
breaker and the Wolverines' season ended
with his 4-3 loss.
Prior to this weekend, that was Gossain's
last memory of playing singles. But Michi-
gan coach Bruce Berque called upon the vet-
eran to make his singles comeback at the No.
6 position against Iowa. This time, Gossain
"(The Wisconsin match) didn't leave a
good taste in my mouth as a way to end my
singles career," Gossain said. "It's something
I've been waiting to do for two years. ... I've
been waiting for the opportunity, and it's
nice to get the chance to play and gain some
In his triumphant return to the singles
court, Gossain dominated Iowa's Aaron
Schaechterle in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Playing mostly doubles since his sopho-
more year, Gossain has been one of the most
consistent doubles partners on this year's
squad. Gossain has played with several dif-
ferent partners - including sophomore Steve
Peretz and senior co-captain David Anving
- and has compiled a team-leading doubles
winning percentage with a current record of
Now making his return to singles, Gossain
has tried to learn from some of the mistakes
he made two years ago.
"I struggled my sophomore year playing
singles, worrying about the results," Gossain
said. "Now, I have a much more narrow focus
on competing and being aggressive. It's been
easier because I've watched a lot of the guys
in (their singles) matches to see what works
for people. The one thing that sticks out is
that the guys who are competing well are
doing the best. Hopefully, I'll apply that."
With senior Michael Rubin out with a frac-
tured wrist, Michigan has had to adjust its
singles lineup, giving Gossain the go-ahead on
Sunday. The Wolverines will be down to just
six players this upcoming weekend because
sophomore Ryan Heller will be out of town.
Gossain is scheduled to play No. 6 singles again
in Saturday's match against Purdue.
"This weekend will be more of a competi-
tive match and more of a challenge," Gossain
said. "I try to help the team as best I can. It's
the end of the road for me, too, so getting to
play singles is (exciting)."
Playing in his last year for Michigan, Gos-
sain has thrived in his leadership role as co-
captain. But four years ago, Gossain said he
wouldn't have believed he would be in this
position today. After passing up tennis offers
from other schools, including Michigan
State, Gossain decided to attend Michigan
but didn't know if he would be playing ten-
nis or not. After showing impressive results
in the junior circuit the summer before his
freshman year, the walk-on secured a spot as
Now, as one of the team's leaders, Gossain
hopes to impart much of the wisdom he -has
gained in his four years at Michigan.
"I think, above all, the stuff the coaches
have stressed to me has been more about life
than tennis," Gossain said. "(These things
include) being professional, the way you
present yourself and body language on the
court, which is something I struggled with
"Hopefully, I'll leave a legacy that people
will remember and earn the respect of my
teammates as someone who came to practice
each day and approached each match with
the same outlook to hopefully help your team
win. My objective is to leave the program
better than when I came in four years ago."
At noon on Saturday at the Varsity Tennis
Center, Gossain hopes to lead Michigan (4-1
Big Ten, 11-7 overall) to a win over Purdue
- a victory that has remained elusive for the
Wolverines since Gossain's freshman year.
Michigan will also host Illinois - the school
that both Berque coached for and assistant
coach Michael Kosta played for prior to this
year - at noon on Sunday.
Senior Vinny Gossain dominated his match against Iowa's Aaron Schaechterle last Saturday in his
first singles match since he lost a heartbreaker in the first round of the 2003 Big Ten Tournament.
Continued from page 8A
The 2005 baseball All-Star game
will be held in Detroit. Same for
the 2006 Super Bowl and 2009
NCAA basketball Final Four.
Over the next five years, the city
of Detroit will no doubt undergo
some big improvements to cater
to those events. You can already
see some of them as the endless
string of burned-out buildings
have started to be bulldozed to the
ground. The sports world has seen
Detroit trying to bounce back and
has offered its hand.
Detroit will have the opportunity
to show the world that it is not just
a city of crime and devastation
- not just the butt of jokes. From
what I've seen, and from my expe-
riences in the Motor City, I'm more
than confident that Detroit will get
the job done.
All I can hope for is that the rest
of the country - and especially
everyone else in the state of Michi-
gan - will give Detroit a chance
Chris Burke can be reached at
Continued from page 8A
control of the game, but Central Michi-
gan did not back down. The Chippewas
responded with the go-ahead run off of
freshman Lorilyn Wilson in the bot-
tom of the sixth. Central Michigan (12-
S) sealed the win in the seventh when
shortstop Stephanie Crews threw out
Merchant on a close play at first.
' "I was disappointed that we came
back, and we just tie the game, and our
pitcher gives up a leadoff hit and then
nother base hit (to score the winning
run)," Hutchins said. "That's just unac-
ceptable. We needed to dig in a little at
That point of the game."
While Central Michigan built its
lead to four during the first five innings,
Garvin continually forced the Wolver-
ines to pull her curveballs and chan-
geups, creating weak groundballs. Her
defense consistently finished the plays
with strong throws and nice stretches by
first baseman Christian Dhondt.
"We weren't having fun because I
know we weren't playing well," Leutele
said. "We weren't playing the way that
we usually do."
Despite winning the second game
7-3, the Wolverines' struggles contin-
ued. Michigan jumped out early when
Merchant hit two three-run home runs
in the first two innings. But Michigan
didn't build on the 6-0 lead and, once
again, Central Michigan didn't stop
After Wilson only allowed two
hits and three baserunners during five
innings of pitching, Motycka relieved
her in the sixth inning. Against Motycka
who started the first game and sur-
rendered four runs - Central Michigan
made it a game. Motycka hit the first
batter in the head, and the inning spi-
raled out of control from there. Two hits,
three runs and an error later, Central
Michigan found itself down only 6-3.
But the Wolverines countered the
Chippewa attack with a Giampaolo
homer in the top of the seventh and
another clutch pitching performance
from junior Jennie Ritter. Ritter struck
out three of the four batters she faced
Fand did not surrender a hit.
Even though the Wolverines came out
of the doubleheader with a split, they know
that they did not play at the highest level.
"(These eames) were disapointing"