2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 18, 2005
Baseball: not just a varsity sport
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Athlete o" the Week
Name: Lloyd Carr
Hometown: Hawkins County, Tenn.
Class: 11th year
By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer
Chris Joseph, an outfielder and first-year grad student, was tired of only getting to
play in summer baseball leagues in college. This year, he took matters into his own
hands and started Michigan's first baseball club.
"I've always been kind of mad that there wasn't a club team here," Joseph said.
"It's a little hard to believe that, at a school as big as Michigan, they've never had a
club baseball team."
Connected to the National Club Baseball Association through a friend at Michi-
gan State, where a baseball club was started last year, Joseph got in touch with the
NCBA and prepared for the application for club status.
"We needed to have a field for the spring, which was the biggest roadblock to
becoming a club team," Joseph said. "We got a commitment from the city of Ann
Arbor to use their field, and that's what really got the ball rolling for us."
Even though it is not a varsity team, club baseball is a serious time commitment.
During the winter, the team had one practice per week at the Coliseum and one at
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. That has now been increased to three days of practice per
week, in addition to three games each weekend.
Despite its first year of existence, the club is optimistic. Two weekends ago, the
team got its first win at Ferris State. Michigan then got two more wins to complete
"Our pitching has been really sharp, our hitting has been pretty good, and I think
of anything we could improve, we just need to tighten up on defense," Joseph said.
"We made a couple of stupid errors that allowed (Ferris State) to score a couple of
runs and make (the third game) closer than it should have been."
In the series at Ferris State, Michigan got a big boost from a trio of talented
starting pitchers - Dan Williams, Jon Thomas and Jeff Gurr. Williams got the
win in the club baseball team's very first victory. According to Joseph, third base-
man Joe Ypma seemed to be on base all game, constantly scoring runs.
"Our goals are to get a club going that is self-sustaining from now on and basically
start building a team that can start being tops in our conference," Joseph said. "From
the way we started out this year, I feel like we already have one of the best teams in
The 19 active members of the team have extra motivation to make this year a good
one. The 20th member was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year.
"He's at home undergoing chemo, but he'll be back next season," Joseph said.
The team will have him in their thoughts as they set their sights on a regional title.
Michigan is part of the Great Lakes Conference, in the North division. There are
three divisions in the conference. The three division winners, as well as an at-large
team, will compete for the regional title in Toledo, Ohio in the second week of May.
For Michigan, a dream season would culminate with the World Series, which will be
held in Bradenton, Fla., beginning on May 25.
"I think we have a good enough team that we could win our region and possibly
have a shot at going (to the World Series)," Joseph said. "I'm always optimistic - you
have to be when you're a Tigers fan."
Expectations for the team should be even higher next season. For one thing, the
players hope to have more sophisticated tryouts. This year, Joseph and two friends
posted flyers all over North and Central Campus to attract players. But, they had just
one day for tryouts after a couple practices.
"I think, next year, we'll probably have multi-day tryouts," Joseph said. "It's really
hard to do a complete tryout on just one day for a couple of hours."
Why: Despite being 59 years old, Carr hauled in a 2-point conver-
sion pass to end Michigan's annual Spring Game. With a tough man-
to-man coverage to beat, Carr snuck to the back of the endzone and
made a diving grab to complete the pass.
"Great catch wasn't it?" Carr said. "The only thing I could think
about was if I dropped it, I would be listening to it for a long time."
Softball vs. Eastern Michigan
Baseball vs. Toledo
4/21-23 W Gymnastics at NCAA
4/22 M Track & Field at EMU
4/22 W Tennis at Indiana
4/22-23 Water Polo at Western Division
4/22-23 Softball vs. Penn State
4/22-24 W Golf at Big Ten Championships
4/22-24 Baseball vs. Ohio State
DaCosta shines in last home match
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
Already down one set, Michigan senior
co-captain Michelle DaCosta found her-
self behind, 2-0, in the second and was
battling herself as much as her opponent
in Saturday's No. 1 singles match. Finally
settling down, DaCosta fought back to
win the second set and take a 5-2 third-set
lead. Apparently deciding that her fare-
well to the Varsity Tennis Center needed
some more drama, DaCosta dropped the
next two games, leaving the match up for
grabs. But with match point on her racket,
DaCosta stroked a forehand winner down
the line to win the match, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
"Michelle got off to a slow start and it
snowballed," Michigan coach Bitsy Ritt
said. "She did a great job to turn things
around and do the things she needed to
do to win."
By the time DaCosta's match was com-
ing to its exciting conclusion, the overall
team match had already been decided
and Michigan had beat the Buckeyes , 6-
1. But the outcome of this match was by
no means meaningless. The win allowed
DaCosta and fellow senior co-captain
Leanne Rutherford - who had easily won
her match at No. 4 singles - to walk off
the courts in the final home match of their
careers as winners.
"Of course you want to win on Senior
Day," Ritt said. "It can be a bit emotional,
but you always want to be able to send the
seniors off with a win."
Saturday was a special day for the
Michigan women's tennis team (5-3 Big
Ten, 10-9 overall). Not only was it Senior
Day, but beautiful weather allowed the
Wolverines to host the match outdoors for
the first time all season. Before play start-
ed, Michigan held a ceremony to honor its
seniors. The Wolverines carried the cel-
ebration onto the courts as they rolled past
the Buckeyes with a 6-1 win.
"We got off to some slow starts," Ritt
said. "But we were able to fight back and
turn the momentum around."
In singles action, the Buckeyes (1-6,
6-16) won the first set in three of the
six matches but failed to put Michi-
gan away. In the other three matches,
the Wolverines had no trouble taking
advantage of their early leads.
Junior Debra Streifler started the
trend by winning the first set of the No.
5 singles match, 6-0, and then leading
the second set, 3-0, before her oppo-
nent had to stop due to injury. At No.
4 singles, Rutherford capped her home
career in dominating fashion with a 6-
2, 6-2 victory. Sophomore Elizabeth
Exon was in total control of the No.
2 singles match, winning, 6-2, 6-1, to
seal the victory for the Wolverines.
At No. 6 singles, junior Nina Yaftali
battled back from a disappointing first set
to easily take the second and third sets and
win the match, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-0, setting the
stage for DaCosta's dramatic home finale.
Earlier in the day DaCosta and Deli-
cata teamed up to win the No. 1 doubles
match, while Streifler and Exon won the
No. 3 doubles contest to give Michigan the
W Track & Field at EMU Twilight
M Tennis vs. Indiana
Softball vs. Ohio State
W Tennis at Penn State
M Tennis vs. Penn State
Baseball vs. Ohio State
Grove City, Penn.
Des Moines, Iowa
4/28-30 M Track & Field at Penn Relays
4/28-30 W Tennis at Big Ten
4/28-30 M Tennis at Big Ten
4/28-30 W Track & Field at Drake Relays
4/29-30 Water Polo at Eastern
4/29 Baseball at Michigan State
4/30 W Rowing at Big Ten
4/30 Baseball vs. Michigan State
4/30 M Golf at Bruce Fossum/Taylor-
Senior Michelle DaCosta won her final home match of her career yesterday.
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The win gave the Wolverines a final
home record of 8-2, but both losses came
to teams that are currently ranked in the
top five in the nation - No. 2 Kentucky
and No. 5 Vanderbilt.
Michigan will head to Bloomington on
Friday and State College on Sunday to fin-
ish out the Big Ten regular season. Each
team's individual results from the Big
Ten season will be used to determine the
brackets for the Big Ten Championship,
which will be held in East Lansing begin-
ning on April 28:
Netters whiff in Columbus
By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team
(5-3 Big Ten, 12-9 overall) left
Columbus with the sour taste of a
6-1 defeat at the hands of one of its
biggest rivals. With Saturday's loss
to No. 30 Ohio State, the Wolver-
ines suffered their second consecu-
tive Big Ten defeat.
But don't judge a book by its cover.
"I think the score was misleading,"
Michigan coach Bruce Berque said.
"All of the matches were extreme-
ly close. We came up just short in
almost every match. It was really just
a couple points here and there that
would separate (a win from a loss).
We're certainly not far off."
Down to just six players because
of senior Michael Rubin's season-
ending fractured wrist and because
senior David Anving was unavail-
able due to personal reasons, Michi-
gan struggled to stay with Ohio
State. Even though most of the Wol-
verines managed to stay close, they
still came up short.
In its final road match of the sea-
son, Michigan's lone point came
from Matko Maravic's impres-
sive performance at No. 2 singles.
One of Michigan's most consistent
singles players in recent matches,
Maravic improved his individual
record to 13-8. After losing to Ohio
State's Joey Atas in the fall, Mara-
vic sought his revenge when playing
Atas for the second time. The rising
freshman phenom came through in
dominating fashion, defeating the
Buckeye sophomore in straight sets,
"I think Matko has improved a
lot," Berque said. "He was very
aggressive today. He had a game
plan and stuck with it."
Unfortunately for Michigan,
Maravic's victory proved to be the
only tally in the Wolverines' win
column on the day.
At No. 4 singles, senior Josef
Fischer refused to go down without
a fight. Fischer got off to a great
start, taking the first set in a tie-
breaker. But he was unable to hold
off Ohio State's Scott Green, who
bounced back to secure the second
set and eventually defeated Fischer
after a third-set tiebreaker, 6-7(5),
Sophomores Steve Peretz and
Vinny Gossain also gave impres-
sive performances at No. 5 and No.
6 singles, respectively. But both
Wolverines were unable to come up
Ohio State (6-1, 14-6) sported a
talented roster against Michigan,
including Atas, who claimed the Big
Ten singles championship in the fall.
But Berque believed that his team
has the talent and competitiveness to
compete with such a strong opponent.
"I am very disappointed to lose
because I thought it was a team we
were capable of beating," Berque
said. "But I'm still proud of the way
Playing on the road, in Columbus,
the Wolverines were not welcomed
with a friendly Buckeyes atmosphere.
"Certainly, things didn't go our
way in terms of the crowd and some
of the officiating," Berque said.
"But it's part of playing on the road,
and it's a good experience."
With the final two Big Ten match-
es coming up next weekend, Berque
is confident that Michigan is in line
to secure a strong seed in the Big
Ten Tournament, which starts on
April 28. But Berque explained that
the team still needs to work on its
doubles play. All three Michigan
duos suffered defeats against Ohio
State, allowing the Buckeyes to earn
the doubles point.
"In doubles, we have to do a bet-
ter job putting away volleys and
finishing points at the net," Berque
said. "There are no secrets. We just
need to continue to improve our
skills. Mentally and competitively,
we're good. I think we're on the
The Wolverines will return to the
Varsity Tennis Center next weekend
to close out the dual-match season
against Indiana on Saturday and
Penn State on Sunday.
"We're excited to play next week-
end because we have an opportunity
to finish a lot higher in the Big Ten
standings than we have in the past,"
0 WATER POLO
Blue wins three games out west
By David Spielman
For the Daily
In its final tournament before the playoffs, the No. 12
Michigan water polo team went 3-1 in the Long Beach
Invitational in Long Beach, Calif. Yesterday, the Wol-
was the fact that Welch set the record despite playing just
12 minutes of the 28-minute contest.
"I wouldn't have taken Shana out of the game if I knew
she had set the record," Michigan coach Matt Anderson
said. "If I had left her in the pool, she would have set aO
record that never would have been broken."
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