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January 17, 2006 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 17, 2006 - 7B

Blue duo successful
against nation's best

a. By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
In its final test before the upcoming dual-
match season, the No. 48 Michigan men's tennis
team got a taste of some of the nation's tough-
est competition. And even though the weekend's
,R scores may have left a bitter aftertaste, Michigan
is hardly swallowing its pride.
The Wolverines traveled to Coral Gables, Fla.,
Q for the 2006 Miami Invitational, in which they
competed in a four-team contest beginning on
Saturday and ending yesterday. In addition to
f k E ~ .~Michigan, the event featured national tennis pow-
erhouses No. 8 Duke, No. 22 Texas and No. 39
Miami.
The invitational was based on a "hidden dual-
match" format, in which results are recorded on
an individual basis instead of as a team.
But as a whole, Michigan struggled in terms of
results and mustered just four tallies in the win
column out of a total of 36 matches.
"We competed hard, but this weekend defi-
nitely shows us that (in terms of) the level we're
trying to reach, we're not there yet," Michigan
coach Bruce Berque said. "By the same token, we
scheduled these tough teams early to give us a
good springboard for the dual-match season. We
clearly didn't have good results, but I think it will
help us down the road. Now we won't be shell-
shocked later in the season against tough teams,
and we have seen what work needs to be done if
we want to be an elite program. We have some
work to do, but we're on the right track."
Though the singles competition proved to be
a challenge for the Wolverines, junior co-cap-
tain Brian Hung and sophomore Matko Maravic
STEVEN TAI/Daily provided a bright spot for Michigan. The tandem
While most of his teammates struggled in the Miami Invitational, junior Brian Hung and doubles partner Matko Maravic steamrolled their swept the doubles competition at the No. I posi-
competition en route to a 3-0 doubles record. tion with a perfect 3-0 record. In the 2005 Fall
Early losses don't deter Netters

ITA Midwest Regional rankings, the duo is listed
as No. 5, and it certainly lived up to this ranking
at the invitational.
"I think Brian and Matko did a great job and
(demonstrated) leadership," Berque said. "They
played at tough positions in both singles and dou-
bles, playing the other teams' best players. They
played excellent doubles."
Though Maravic (No. 58) came up just short
in a competitive three-set singles match against
Miami's Luigi D'Agord (No. 25), 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, the
sophomore phenom got his revenge on the dou-
bles end. Maravic and Hung outlasted D'Agord
and partner Vivek Subramanian, notching a 9-8
(6) tiebreaker victory.
"Matko and Brian did the right things consis-
tently and made the right decisions," Berque said.
"They've got very good skills, their styles match
up well, and they have good intensity. What
separates them from other teams is that they are
extremely disciplined, and their energy is very
good."
Michigan couldn't get on the scoreboard in the
first two days of singles competition but, on- the last
day of the event, Duke and Miami, freshman new-
comer Mike DePietro broke the Wolverines' dry
spell. DePietro defeated Texas's Luis Diaz Barriga
Ibanez, 7-6 (8), 6-3.
Despite the disappointing scores, Berque is not
concerned about his team's prognosis coming into
the dual match season. He explained that it takes
much more than just skills and talent to reach the
status of an elite program.
"I think the biggest thing that separates us
from (the toughest teams) is the consistency in
which we do the right things," Berque said. "We
need to get more disciplined.We're not going to
win some of these matches because we're more
talented. So, we need to make sure that we are the
more competitive team."

By Kimberly Chou
Daily Sports Writer
Georgia Tech's Kelly Anderson - ranked 35th in
the nation - bounced the ball off her forehead in
angry frustration after unranked Michigan freshman
Chisako Sugiyama won yet another point late in the
second set.
On Sunday afternoon, Sugiyama's 7-5, 7-5 upset
decision put her at 3-1 in singles competition at her
first ever Michigan Invitational.
Louisiana State, California and Georgia Tech par-
ticipated in the annual invitational, hosted by the
Michigan women's tennis team at the Varsity Tennis
Center. Though the event was set up in traditional
dual match format - with each team squaring off
against each other at different times - there were no
overall team scores. But individual wins and losses
still counted toward each player's record and ITA/
NCAA rankings.
No. 35 Michigan finished the weekend 10-13 in
singles matches and 5-3 in doubles competition.
Sugiyama's upset was one of the Wolverines' key
victories during the invitational. At other times, their
opponents left them frustrated.
Junior Elizabeth Exon defeated Louisiana State's

Anastasiya Dubova and California's Cristina Visico,
but she suffered singles match defeats on the last two
days of the Friday-Sunday event.
On Saturday, against the Golden Bears' Stephanie
Kusano - ranked No. 62 - Exon lost the first set
6-1, but she held Kusano at deuce for several minutes
before Kusano won the point as well as the next two
for the win.
The next day, Exon saw a similar situation with
No. 25 Tarryn Rudman. She lost the first set 6-1 but
played a tightly contested second set, going point for
point with Rudman. Though Exon was up 2-0 at the
beginning, Rudman won that second set 7-5, taking
the match.
"(It was) still great," Michigan's assistant coach
Amanda Augustus said. "Exon had a great win
this morning (over Visico) and not a lot of time
to rest."
Said Exon: "Everyone's doing well. It's not a tour-
ney where dual matches count, but it's very impor-
tant for us."
Though teams are often rusty in January, Exon
said Michigan was working through it. Prior to the
invitational, the team had been back practicing for
just one week.
"I have high expectations for everybody," Michi-

gan coach Bitsy Ritt said. "We did a great job last
year coming together on the court. I'd like us to get
off to a strong start, with great intensity."
After the second day, Ritt noted that individual
players' fitness levels were strong, but other aspects
of the game did need work.
"Execution can improve, and it will," Ritt said.
Ritt was recently appointed associate Athletic
Director, a promotion that is effective immediately
after her team's 2006 spring season.
While the Michigan women's tennis team may not
have won as many matches as they would have liked
at the invitational, take note that all three opposing
teams are ranked in the top-50 nationally.
Senior captain Debra Streifier said this weekend
actually bodes well for the season.
"They're really good teams," she said. "We may
be losing some games, but we're (competing) in all
of them."
Michigan's performances against California dem-
onstrate Streifler's sentiments. After losing six of
eight singles matches to the Golden Bears on Satur-
day afternoon, Michigan rebounded in doubles the
next morning against the same team. Michigan won
on courts one and three; the lone loss on court two
was close, 8-6.

JUSTIN BASS/Daily
Freshman Chisako Suglyama pulled off a significant upset this weekend, knocking
off Georgia Tech's No. 35 Kelly Anderson, 7-5, 7-5.

Porter perseveres in photo finish, as

By John Geise
For the Daily

"

a

competes in non-scoring meet

YPSILANTI - Jeff Porter thought he had it.
In a tightly contested fight for the finish in the 60-
meter hurdles, the junior felt he had pulled in front
of his closest competitor, unattached Tino Ngoy. The
judges, however, were not so sure.
"They had to go down the line with the camera and
figure out whose body part was in front of who, to
finally figure out who won that race" Porter said.
After slowing the race frames down to thousandths
of a second, they came to the determination that Por-
ter had in fact pulled ahead of Ngoy, and by 0.008
seconds, the junior had a victory in his first race of
the season.
"Porter ran real well in the hurdles," Michigan coach
Ron Warhurst said. "He was Big Ten champion as a fresh-

man, and he had a real good race."
Porter's race was one of the major stories for the
Wolverines track and field team on Saturday at East-
ern Michigan Invitational. Many of the runners saw
this meet - the final non-scoring meet for the Wol-
verines - as little more than a training exercise.
"Next week, maybe we'll cut down on some of the
harder training and harder lifting in preparation," Por-
ter said. "We are looking at these next few meets as
preparation for the bigger ones later in the season."
Even with the reduced importance of this meet,
Warhurst still felt that a few performances stood out.
"(Freshman) Adam Harris made an impressive debut
(in the 60-meter dash), (freshman) Justin Switzer won
the half (mile) running really well, and (freshman)
Andre Barnes was very impressive," Warhurst said.
Barnes's race was especially impressive. The fresh-
man was neck-in-neck with fifth-year senior Darren

Adams for most of his 200-meter race. But in the
end Barnes prevailed, posting a 22.43 to claim fourth
place.
"I was hoping I was going to get him in the end,"
Adams said. "But he was way out there in lane six.
He got out (of the blocks) real well, and just held the
whole way."
Next weekend, the track team hosts the Red Sim-
mons Invitational, its first scoring meet of the sea-
son. The Eastern Michigan Invitational did not hold
the importance of the Red Simmons Invitational, but
Warhurst feels that the team has gained some valuable
lessons from this meet to carry through the season.
"We got some of the younger guys some experience
before our big home meet next weekend," Warhurst
said. "We'll have everyone running next week. But,
here, we got accomplished what we needed to get
accomplished and saw what we needed to see."

FILE PHOTO/Daily
Junior Jeff Porter won the 60-meter hurdles by the slimmest of
margins, edging Tino Nguy by just .008 seconds.

Last non-scoring event prepares
Wolverines for upcoming meets

By Chris Herring
Daily Sports Writer
Although the women's track and field
team had other schools to compete against
last weekend at the Kentucky Invitational, it
almost seemed as if the biggest challenge for
the Maize and Blue was racing against the
clock.
The team showed that even though the Ken-
r1-, Tn,;tntinl1 noc nnn_nrina the meet

Fieldhouse record in the 3,000-meter run with a
time of 9:19.37. Redshirt junior Katie Erdman
was also a winner, taking home the 800-meter
crown with a time of 2:08.31. Sophomore
Nicole Edwards posted the best mile (4:49.07),
and senior Jennifer Williams won the high jump
by clearing 5-foot-10. The 3200-meter relay
team, comprised of Erdman, Edwards, fresh-
man Geena Gall and redshirt sophomore Laura
GIvnn _krn k ame awav victoriou. with a time

There were also many bright spots outside
of the first-place finishes. Freshmen Gall,
Tiffany Ofili and Casey Taylor once again
provided sparks for the team. Gall took sec-
ond in the mile run behind Edwards, and
Ofili finished in the top 10 of four different
events. Taylor placed third in the triple jump
with a distance of 12.07 meters. Redshirt
junior Rebecca Walter took second behind
Webster in the 3.000-meter run with a time of

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