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April 13, 2009 - Image 10

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2B - April 13, 2009 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Search ingof America S

next great individual
A lot of sports fans would Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson ately the sport - and all sports, in
tell you spring begins were paired on the final day of a general - needs aderce individual
with baseball's opening major for the first time sincethey rivalry.
Day. In some cities, that might be walked the fairways at Augusta This era has no Ali-Frazier or
accurate. National together in 2001. Magic-Bird.
Others might point to March Woods is the greatestgolfer We've had Woods vs. all, (at-
Madness. The of our time - as almost everyone times Mickelson, Sergio Garcia,
calendar tells knows - and has a chance to be Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and others).
us this is the the greatest ever. Mickelson is We've had Tom Brady vs. Peyton
most accurate the man who should be Woods's Manningi We've had Roger Feder-
seasonal mea- toughestcompetitor, though their er vs. Rafael Nadal.'
suring stick for rivalry has never fully blossomed. But all of those rivalries are
the transition So for a few hoursyesterday, missing one key element: unpre-
from winter to we could have seen a rare sight in dictability. For a rivalry to be
spring. NATE modern sports: one-on-one cor- great, both competitors need to
For me, SANDALS petition between the best in the have a shot at winning on any
spring doesn't world and a "great duel" according given day.
start until the to the CBS announcers. With Tiger and his train of
Masters. It didn't pan out that way. rivals, the advantage always goes
I'm not much of a golfer, but The best moment came on their to Woods - yesterday's result
there's just something about that second shots on the par-515th beinga rare exception, of course.
early-April major in Augusta, Ga. hole. Tiger's shotgave him a great With Brady and Manning, one
Maybe it's the soothing music chance at eagle. Phil's chance came is up and the other is down. Rarely
that CBS uses. Maybe it's the just moments later and he stuck his dotheir teamsmeet as powerhous-
deep green and those perfectly ball between Tiger's and the pin, es. Plus, it's hard fot a individual
manicured fairways. Maybe it'sthe as if to say, "Anything you can do, I rivalry to playout in a sport like
reverent hush of the crowd before can do better." football. There is too much going
every big putt. Then they both missed their on and too many moving parts.
It could be any of those things or eagle putts. Federer dominated Nadal for
many, many others. So forgive me The final round at Augusta was years, except on the clay courts
for writing aboutthe Masters - as exciting as ever, but not because of the French Open. Their rivalry
but it's a special event in sports. of the Woods-Mickelson pairing. may have peaked during lastsum-
Even if you're not a fan of golf, They both played well, but not well mer's five-setepic in the Wimble-
or the Masters, yesterday's final enough to take over the event. don final. But Nadal's recent
round could have been epic. It just showed us how desper- dominance suggests that match in

riva ry
England was just the point where
their two paths crossed, rather
than merging.
For someone who has never seen
a great one-on-one rivalry first-
hand, those lackluster pairings and
yesterday's scene at Augusta are
disappointing. There's something
special aboutgreatness matching
greatness. It's hard to embrace an
individualsport where the best in
the game is unrivaled.
For sports like golf and tennis
to regain their popularity in this
country, there needs to be a new
generation of one-on-one rivals.
The same could be said for the
NBA, which is still looking for
the next Magic vs. Bird. Boxing
is made for true rivalries, but the
sport isn't honest enough to pro-
duce them anymore.
Young.sports fans in America
probably don't realize how much
they're missing by not having
great individual rivalries to follow.
Those were gone before we started
spending our weekend afternoons
in front of the TV.
If an individual rivalry does blos-
som again soon, I just hope our gen-
eration will be able to appreciate it.
- Sandals can be reached
at nsandals@umich.edu,

Sophomore Jason Jung has now won three straight matches to rebound from an
early-season funk.
right shp w
B g Ten1vio
1 Icg '

Seniors lead Blue in last home match

of almo
didn't w
more ai
tennis to
to be exa
The w
fall off tl
But af
he woul
"A cou
lineup w
they had
dence," E
Jung 1
victory a
weeks a
native ha
utive sin
into thei
Ten rank
been m
able to
been dov

olverines find included, have a renewed sense
of self-assurance after picking up
hm with fourth some wins in the past few weeks.
Berque said he thinks that might
in five matches have been what the team needed
to finally get going in the right
By MARK BURNS direction.
DailySports Writer Michigan's win over Purdue
at the Schwartz Tennis Center in
Jung endured a stretch West Lafayette was its fourth in
st two months where he five matches.
in a singles match. The Wolverines had to bat-
g that span, the sopho- tle swirling winds and chilly
nd the Michigan men's 50-degree temperatures against
eam lost confidence while the Boilermakers (1-7 Big Ten, 7-13
g a lot of 4-3 matches: six, overall). Despite the conditions,
act. Michigan won five of six singles
wheels were beginning to matches and clinched the dou-
he bus. bles point for the second straight
ter the 49th-ranked Wol- match.
defeated Purdue with a "It was tough to get a good read
6-1 victory yesterday, on some balls," sophomore Chris
n coach Bruce Berque is Madden said. "A ball you thought
to see the team he thought was totally off could come back in
d at the beginning of the because of the wind."
Madden, like Jung, defeated
uple guys at the top of our the weather and continued his
ere playingbad tennis and hot streak in singles, winning his
I lost much of their confi- eighth straight match at the No. 4
Berque said. position (6-2, 6-3).
s one of those players. Berque needs Jung and Madden
clinching the Wolverines' to lead the Wolverines (4-4, 10-13),
igainst Northwestern two as they play their final conference
ggo, the Torrance, Calif., matches against Indiana and Illi-
as rattled off three consec- nois before heading into the Big
gles wins to pull his team Ten Championships.
middle of the cluttered Big "I feel we're playing a lot bet-
kings. ter with everyone on the court
slump - it was probably playing up to their level," Berque
mostly," Jung said. "I've said. "But we're going to need to
ore consistent and been bump up the level of play even
pick myself up when I've higher aind show even more hun-
wn in a match." ger as we head into these last few
Wolverine players, Jung matches."

Sugiyama and
Howard shine in front
of friends, family
and team
DailySports Writer
Close friends and seniors Lind-
sey Howard and ChisakoSugiyama
had an emotional final outing at the
Varsity Tennis Center on Saturday
against Purdue. Both seniors were
honored with flowers and a cer-
emony prior to the No. 20 Michigan
women's tennis team's 5-2 victory
against the Boilermakers.
During their time as Wolverines,
the seniors led the team in different
Although she doesn't donthe tra-
ditional "C"on her jersey, Howard's
contributionsasMichigan's captain
exceed a letter on a uniform.

Howard has been the Wolver- tennis for two years," Sugiyama
ines' captain for the past two years. said. "It was a really good feeling
She has accumulated a combined to have someone from my family
doubles record of 60-32, including there to watch me play."
an astounding 19-10 doubles record With her mother watching from
in Big Ten competition. the stands, Sugiyama notched two
She and soph- wins, a straight-
omore Denise set victory (6-4,
Muresan picked tia nt6-3) at No. 2 sin-
up a 8-2 doubles M y m omIy hash t gles and an 8-4
win Saturday en victory at No. 1
route to a doubles seen me --- doubles.
sweep for Michi- #ri And her per-.
gan (7-1 Big Ten, in two years, formance on Sat-
13-5 overall). urday was just
Michigan - one glimpse of
coach Ronni _her contribution
Bernstein said to the Michigan
that Howard's women's tennis
teammates look up to her and program. Sugiyama's time at Mich-
appreciate the energy she brings to igan is epitomized by one word -
the court. records.
Both seniors' parents attended The Parsippany, N.J., native's
the match, and Sugiyama's mother career includes significant hard-
even flew all the way from Japan ware: a conference-record six Big
for the special occasion. Ten Athlete of the Week awards
"My mom hasn't seen me play and the record for all-time singles

wins at Michigan.
With Sugiyama's routine singles
outing Saturday, she collected her
102nd career singles victory.
"After the match (on Thursday)
it was a relief," Sugiyama said ofthe
buildup and hype surrounding her
singles match on Thursday against
Texas A&M. "I knew how many
more Ineededbut I was personally
trying not to count how many more
I had to get to 101."
On Saturday, both seniors pro-
vided their usual early sparks by
contributing to a sweep in doubles
competition that set the tone for
Michigan's success. It was the
fourth doubles sweep for the team
this year.
Both fans and Michigan coach
Ronni Bernstein acknowledged the
seniors' efforts and the legacy the
duo will leave on the program.
"Our younger kids know what
is expected from them, and that is
due to our upperclassmen," Bern-
stein said.

Michigan's forgotten varsity sport:
Cheerleading is more fun than you'd think

t Michigan, there's a clear
pecking order as far as
sports go.
Football, men's basketball and
ice hockey sit atthe top.
Non-revenue sports come next.
And at the bot-
tom sits a team FELIX
that few people CARREON
even know has On
varsity status: cheerleading
I wanted to see what it would
take to make the team. So after
some thought and alot of pressure
from junior cheerleader Graham
Block, I decided to give it a try.
When I arrived at Cliff Keen
Arena on March 29 for the cheer-
leading team's clinic, my nerves
were palpable. It could have been
the loud music that filled the arena
and the So girls auditioning for the
Michigan dance team that had me

thinkingI was at the wrong place.
When I found the cheerleaders
who occupied a part of the arena,
I quickly realized there were just
two other mentryingout alongside
30 women. If I wasn't nervous
before, I most certainly was now.
For the men, the clinic was an
introduction to stunting, basically
learning how to toss andcatch
As I stood there in the gymna-
sium, a single thought clouded my
mind: whatever you do, catch the
What couldbe more embar-
rassing than dropping a girl on her
Luckily, the members of the team
immediately introduced themselves
and made me comfortable.
"I saw you hit a chair and work-
ing on a torch," said LSA junior
Kevin Ginsburg, referring to

a novel
Jim Martin
in a future world where humankind
has learned how to thrive in harmony
with a flourishing Nature, an oppressed
people awakens to its rage.
Please visit clementanovel.corn

cheerleadingstunts. "Ittook me
three days to nail a chair, and I'm
now one of five elite stunters on the
In a chair, thenmale cheerleader
tosses his partner in the air and she
sits in the palm of one hand while
the other is holding her ankle.
A torch is anmore complicated
maneuver. The partner steps onto
the man's hands while he is ina
crouching position. Then he lifts
her using just his legs and turns her
foot 90 degrees, while the other
hand is holding onto to her leg for
Instead of lifting my partner up
in the air for a torch, she ended up
in my arms. It didn't go so well.
Besides learningstunts, I real-
ized that I didn't know as much
about the team as I thought I did.
Most students think team only per-
forms atfootball games and other
sporting events,-but Ilearned the
cheerleaders do so much more. -
Besides their typical duties at
sporting events, the team prepared
for several months to compete at
the NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer
and Dance Championships in Day-
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tona Beach, Fla., last weekend. The
competition tested the Wolverines'
ability to tumble and stunt with the
best units in the country. Michigan
placed fifth out of 14 teams in the
intermediate coed division. Despite
having the second highest subtotal
score, the team stumbled through
apart of their routine thatresulted
in a deduction.
"It's the only opportunity they
have to represent the University
of Michigan as student-athletes,"
Michigan coach Pam St. John said
before the team left for the compe-
tition. "The kids are really excited
to participate."
I was especially impressed with
the way the males on the team car-
ried themselves. They didn't take
themselves too seriously and were
just a bunch of guys having fun.
In recent years, the team has
faced a sharp decline in male turn-
out. A few years ago, there were
20 males on the team, which has
since dwindled to just 10. Recruit-
ing efforts haven't had the desired
effect. Last year, the team per-
formed stunts on the Diag to gain
publicity. The female members
have also visited the Intramural
Sports Building and the Central
Campus Recreation to recruit more
But for men, being on the team
has its benefits. Members have
access to the varsity weight room
located in Canham Natatorium, as
well as access to a personal trainer.
Traveling tobowl games and
NCAA Tournament games isn't
bad, either. The cheerleaders also
receive a $150 stipend forbooks
each semester.
"Every guy has that look on his
face," senior Kari Teweles said."
'Are you serious? You want me to
be a cheerleader?' And thenthey
try it one time and they're hooked.
It's addicting,it really is."
So, guys, try it out.You just
might like it.

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