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April 02, 2007 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-02

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4B - Monday, April 2, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Netters
take two
on road
By KIRK SHEFFERLY
For the Daily
The 25th-ranked Michigan men's tennis team
faced the daunting task of winning back-to-back
road matches over the weekend.
Despite the tough schedule, the Wolverines
came away with a clean sweep, beating No. 29
Minnesota 5-2 on Saturday and Iowa 6-1ton Sun-
day.
The first step in claiming these two key victo-
ries was defeating Minnesota, a team Michigan
had not beaten since 1999.
The Wolverines got off to a good start, taking
all three doubles matches.
"One of the keys to winning (Saturday) was
gettingthe doubles point," Michigan coach Bruce
Berque said. "It got us off to a good start."
Although Michigan swept the doubles con-
tests, all three were closely contested.
"It was a good match because we were able to
get some close wins," Berque said. "It was very
competitive in the doubles matches."
Saturday's singles matches were as close as
the doubles side. After splitting the first four
singles matches, the Wolverines looked to fresh-
man Mike Sroczynski to seal the overall victory.
Sroczynski didn't disappoint, defeating Dino
Bilankov in three sets to secure a crucial confer-
ence dual win.
The Wolverines lost no momentum as they
traveled to Iowa for their Sunday match with the
Hawkeyes. Just as it did the day before, Michigan
dominated in doubles, winning all three match-
es.
And once again, the maize-and-blue clad
singles players performed just as well. The Wol-
verines came out on top in five of the six singles
matches, with four of those victories coming in
straight sets.
As they did on Saturday, senior co-captains

WOMEN'S TENNIS
Indoor sweep
stepping stone
to postseason

4

By CHRIS MESZAROS
Daily Sports Writer
It was 70 degrees on Saturday,
perfect weather to play tennis.
It was too bad the Michigan
women's tennis team had to play
its match against Iowa inside.
But the Wolverines were eager
to enjoy a beautiful spring day
and defeated the Hawkeyes 6-Ito
complete a sweep of their opposi-
tion this weekend.
Michigan started the weekend
on a high note with its 7-0 sweep
of Minnesota on Friday. The
Wolverines were propelled by a
strong effort on all fronts, and
seniors Jenny Kuehn and Kara
Delicata led the Wolverines with
stellar performances in both sin-
gles and doubles.
"My momentum is increasing
and my confidence is increasing,"
Kuehn said. "I am able to concen-
trate on tennis and my work has
shown on the court."
Sunday's effort was similar.
Led by Kuehn's near flawless 6-2,
6-0 victory over Iowa's Jacque-
line Lee, the Wolverines quickly
clinched the match. Michigan
combined to win all of its match-
es on Sunday in straight sets.
"I'm really pleased how we
played this weekend," Augustus
said. "We competed and played
really well against some tough
competition in Iowa. We did a
really good job lifting the level of
our game and taking it to them."
The return of sophomore
Lindsey Howard at No. 3 doubles
provided a boost for Michigan at
that position. Augustus has been
searching for a solid No. 3 com-
bination to complement her now-
dominant No. l and No. 2 doubles
teams.
Howard played with junior
Allie Schafner against Iowa and
they earned an 8-4 victory.

Michigan extended its dual
winning streak to seven and
is now 5-1 in the Big Ten. This
streak comes at the right time for
Michigan as the regular season
comes to a close.
"It was the best that we played
in a long time and puts us back on
track for our goal to be Big Ten
Champions," Augustus said.
To prepare for this aspiration,
Augustus plans to take her team
outside more.
She hopes to take advantage
of the warming weather, but also
plans prepare for postseason
play, which generally takes place
outside.
It may not seem as if the tran-
sition from playing inside to
outside would be difficult, but
playing with wind makes it a
challenge.
Many of the Wolverines will
enjoy this transition, because
a majority of the team is from
warmer climates.
"Most of our players grew up
playing outside," Augustus said.
"You just have to make some
adjustments and move your feet
more and expect longer points.
We just have to work on our fit-
ness to make sure we can play
longer points."
If Michigan hopes to win the
Big Ten Championship, it will
need every advantage it can get.
By beating other conference
teams, Michigan hopes it can bet-
ter prepare for the postseason.
"We're all really confident
about our play," Delicata said.
"We're in the meat of our sea-
son heading toward the Big Ten
Tournament and it helps us to
know that we've beaten these
teams."
The Wolverines continue their
regular season calendar with
road contests at Purdue and Illi-
nois this Saturday and Sunday.

I

Michigan senior Ryan Heller was solid all weekend at No. 2 singles. Michigan improved its Big Ten record to -".
Brian Hung and Ryan Heller led the way on the dence as we move forward."
singles side, playing in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, Michigan is currently rolling through its
respectively. They were followed up by strong schedule, picking up its fifth straight win and
performances from sophomore Andrew Mazlin fourth straight in the Big Ten. Despite their suc-
and Sroczynski, both of whom also collected vic- cess, the Wolverines still feel there is room for
tories against Minnesota. improvement.
The Wolverines improved their conference "I think we need to get more consistent as a
record to 5-1 and their overall record to 14-4 with team in order to succeed later in the season," Ber-
the two big road wins. que said.
"These wins were definitely important," Ber- The Wolverines will look to continue their
que said. "We had some tough matches and to success when they take on No. 6 Illinois in Ann
win both gives us better momentum and confi- Arbor on April 6.

4

'hi NOTE
Michigan splits with
ACC opponents on
their home water

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On historic Lake Monticello, in
the shadows of Thomas Jefferson's
VirginiahometheNo.19Michigan
women's rowing team fell to Vir-
ginia in the first and second varsity
eights on Saturday morning.
The second-ranked Cavaliers
won by nearly three seconds in the
first varsity eight and the second
by 10 seconds.
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In the varsity fours, Virginia
was once again the cream of the
crop, beating Michigan by nearly
nine seconds.
The afternoon session was kind-
er to the Wolverines as they beat
Duke in each race.
Michigan will compete against
Ohio State and Tennessee Satur-
day in Columbus.
For coverage of
the water polo
team's weekend
action, go to
our website at
michigandaily.
com.
And while you're
at it, check
out our blog,
The Game.

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ON EnSa OW E e Ewyt sl ne

4

*D StudentUniverse.com

I

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