2B - February 8, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
The curious case of
Blue's early enrollees
MAR ISSA MCCLAIN/Daily
Redshirt junior Anthony Biondo attempts to grapple in a match against Minnesota last month. Biondo, along with sophomore
Zac Stevens, accounted for four of the team's six victories this weekend against Ohio State and Penn State. Biondo and Stevens
have been two of the Wolverines' bright spots this season as Michigan has been firmly entrenched in rebuilding mode.
TopBi Ten foes prove
to be too much for 'M'
in rebuilding se ason
Michigan football recruit
Austin White took 10 classes last
one of the
team's seven g
early enroll- ANDY
ees in this
year's top-20 REID
eled to Ann Arbor for most of the
home games last fall. After the
first couple weekends, he started
thinking about finishing his stud-
ies at Livonia Stevenson High
School and coming to campus for
the Winter 2010 semester.
He had talked to receiver
Ricardo Miller, whose outspo-
ken personality and phone calls
to various recruiting prospects
definitely helped Rich Rodri-
guez pull this impressive class
together, and a couple of the
other newcomers, realizing that
the early-enrollee route was the
way to go.
But that was the problem.
Most players who graduate
early make that decision during
their junior season - the summer
before senior year at the latest.
That gives ther time to take sum-
mer classes and finish all their
high school requirements.
White didn't have that luxury.
On top of his six-class schedule
duringthe Fall 2009 semester and
his team's workouts, practices and
games, White took four online
self-taught courses to help him
reach graduation status.
Some of his self-taught classes
included meteorology and - brace
yourself - bowling.
And don't underestimate an
if I had
that I h
So he h
Day, I s
not as i
bowling class, like almost much thought into how these
ne who White told obvi- players accomplish graduating
id. early. Not only prior to coming
wling was probably the to Michigan, but after. They're
t class I had last semester," missing Prom, graduation and all
said at the National Signing of that sentimental stuff to come
ess conference. "You know, here and help rebuild a college
like 20 pages of reading football behemoth that's in need
eorology, I would have 40 of a serious boost.
cling. And then there was a Really, it's outstanding how
of terminology and phrases much work these guys have
ad never heard before." already put in to help out the
ng football season, White Michigan program. Miller said
t focus on his online he took advanced-level courses
because, well, there just through freshman and sophomore
time in his daily routine. year, which helped him build
ad to finish some classes in credits toward an early gradu-
ation. And Gardner had to deal
with his Inkster school district,
which had never had a student
yre missing graduate early, and thus was sep-
tical about letting him do so. J
'm, graduation Eventually, everythingworked
1d all of that "I was on my way to avisit (to
,f Ann Arbor), and coach called
timental stuff me and said,'Don't come back,"'
Gardner said with a laugh.
But that was two weeks after
the semester began. So Gardner
r of weeks, after the state had to play two-week catch up
s, but before the end of the while tryingto adjust to the col-
er. lege lifestyle.
't know about you, but These guys are dedicated to
no way I could have pulled Michigan and Rodriguez. And
kind of feat when I was that might be just what the belea-
r in high school. I could guered Michigan coach needs - a
toast my own Pop Tarts in group of players that not only fit
rning. his style but also have bought into
sacrifices these guys make the program and can develop into
e to Michigan early and get team leaders.
e football program immedi- Honestly, there's no telling
e exceptional. On Signing whether Rodriguez will be here
poke with White, Miller, in four years, especially if he can't
-back Devin Gardner and pull out a winning record next
g back Stephen Hopkins, Fall. But, if he is, from what I saw
ry all had pretty big hurdles in these guys on Wednesday, he's
to get here - albeit maybe going to have somethingspecial 0
ntense as White's chock- when these guys are seniors.
By LUKE PASCH Michigan coach Joe McFarland
Daily Sports Writer said. "But sometimes we didn't do
that, which gave them more oppor-
It's been a recurring theme all
The Wolverine wrestlers have
been unable to close out "swing
matches" in Big Ten competition.
They let early leads escape. They
come back from early deficits, but
fall just short. They lose focus in
the third period.
Look no further than Friday
night. Wolverine freshman Sean
Boyle took a one-point lead into
the third period over Ohio State's
20th-ranked Nikko Triggas before
he was pinned with 60 seconds left
in the match.
The performance typified Mich-
igan's frustrating season, and there
were plenty of reminders this past
weekend. The team suffered blow-
out losses at the hands of No. 3 Ohio
State and No. 11 Penn State by 20
and 19 points, respectively.
"We have to score early, be
aggressive, stay aggressive and get
our shots off when we need to,"
Each close match from this past
weekend was decided by at least
one of the factors he listed: scoring
early, aggression and shooting in on
Redshirt junior Aaron Hynes
got off to a slow start against Penn
State's seventh-ranked Dan Val-
limont, as he gave up both a take-
down and a reversal before he
rebounded in the second period.
But his efforts were too little, too
late and he fell one point short in a
Redshirt sophomore Justin
Zeerip seemed to lack aggression,
as he scored just one escape point
against Ohio State's 12th-ranked
Dave Rella, logging 6-1. The low
score was partly due to Rella's abil-
ity to react quickly to Zeerip's dives
and protect his legs, but ultimately,
it was Zeerip who didn't get the
The wrestlers who did heed
McFarland's advice were able
to garner individual victories in
each of their matches. Sophomore
Zac Stevens and redshirt junior.
Anthony Biondo accounted for
four of the team's six victories this
And Biondo recognizes that his
four straight Big Ten victories have
been a direct result of McFarland's
"Earlier in the season, I was
focusing on the tendencies of my
opponents way too much," Biondo
said. "What I needed to be doing
was focusing on conditioning
myself to be more aggressive and
get in on my guy's legs as much as
Biondo's ability to get shots in on
his opponent's legs allowed him to
score six takedowns en route to a
major decision victory.
And it's clear that the team needs
to adhere to McFarland's coach-
ing advice if it wants to rebound in
Big Ten play this weekend when it
faces off against Indiana and Wis-
re I talked to these guys
ek, I never really put that
- Reid can be reached at
No.36 Michigan drops
tense match to Waves
M-Note: Wolverines lose first
dual meet to Fighting Irish
The No. 16 Michigan tennis Junior Rika Tatsuno, in the No. non-scoring meet, Michigan had
team relinquished an early lead to 3 singles position, held the burden won four straight dual-matches
13th-ranked Notre Dame for their of playing in the final match, bat- before stumbling against Notre
first team loss of the season, 4-3. tling back from a first set loss to Dame.
The doubles teams set a good force a third set. The loss of their ace from last
pace, winning two-out-of-three Tatsuno lost the final set, 6-0, season hasn't seemed to slow the
of their matches. But the singles sealing the game for the Fighting Wolverines just yet, despite the
struggled, losing four out of six Irish. loss.
matches giving up the After playing a sequence of -MICHAEL FLOREK
Writefor Dail 1Sports
By ANDREW HADDAD
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis
team dropped a tense match to
Pepperdine yesterday, 5-2, at
the Varsity Tennis Center. The
underdog Wolverines hung tough
against the 13th-ranked Waves,
but lost a couple close singles
matches that would have made
The 36th-ranked Wolverines
grabbed the early momentum
by winning the doubles point.
They split the No. 2 and 3 doubles
matches before junior Jason Jung
and freshman Evan King won at
No. 1 doubles in dramatic fashion,
On match point in the tiebreak-
er, Jung hit a blistering forehand
that just caught the baseline to
seal the victory.
"My heart was pounding when
I hit it," Jung said. "I missed a
couple returns right before that,
but I knew I had to step in, trust
myself, and give it my best shot."
King, one of Michigan's high-
est-touted recruits in years, also
impressed during the match with
his creative shotmaking. The Pep-
perdine players seemed caught off
guard by the sharp angle of his
But Michigan was unable
to capitalize on its advantage,
dropping four of the five singles
matches. The most dramatic and
controversial match of the day
was probably at No. 1 singles, in
which King lost 6-2, 7-6
(7-4) in his first appearance at
No. 1. Leading 5-4 with set point
in the second set, King hit a win-
ner that appeared to be in, but a
questionable out call by his oppo-
nent and the line judge's decision
to uphold it kept Pepperdine's
player Bassam Beidas alive in the
The call was met by loud boo-
ing and accusations of cheating
from the audience.
"I hit the ball, I saw it go in and
he called it out," King said. "The
set was over, and then it wasn't.
But the ball was definitely in."
The controversial ruling
appeared to weigh on King's mind
He became much more ani-
mated and missed shots he had
been hitting consistently before-
hand. Even after the call, he had
two consecutive set points and
was unable to take advantage.
Beidas bounced back to win the
second-set tiebreaker and clinch
The fact that King was able
to compete so well with Pep-
perdine's top player showed the
potential that has many saying
the 17-year old King has a future
on the professional tour. But it
also showed that he perhaps still
has room to improve mentally.
"I didn't see the call," Michi-
gan coach Bruce Berque said.
"But even if it was a bad call, he
still had plenty of opportunities
to win the match afterward. Bad@
calls are a part of tennis. The key
is how you handle them. I think
that Evan's starting to learn that
if he wants to meet his goals both
in college and professionally, he's
going to have to fix some prob-
lems with his mental focus."e0
At No. 4 singles, senior George
Navas won the first set 6-3, but
lost the next two sets by the same
score in the longest match of the
The Wolverines' lone single
win came from Jung, who took
care of business in dominatiig
fashion, 6-2, 6-2.
"I was actually surprised by
how easy it was," Jungsaid. "Most
of the Pepperdine players play
with a lot of fight, but this player
in particular seemed a little ner-
vous, and I was able to jump on
him and take advantage."
All in all, the day showed some
promise for the Wolverines, but
they knew they could've done
"I have mixed thoughts about
our performance," Berque said.
"I'm happy with the doubles, but
I think we need to improve our
competitive maturity overall. We
have the physical skills to beat
these types of teams, but we need@
to give strong, competitive efforts
on all six courts to do it."
Help us study strategies for preventing influenza
' q ,._ ._ .. Pmemna m.-
The University of Michigan School of Public Health is enrolling students living in
residence halls in a research study to see how well influenza ('flu') vaccines and other
* "S". S *strategies work in reducing the risk of influenza illness in university residence halls.
Participants will be asked to complete two surveys, one at enrollment and one in Spring
2010. Participants are also asked to report any flu-like respiratory illness. Ill persons will
0O 0 ""be invited to have a throat swab collected for laboratory testing. All participants will be
invited to have a blood sample collected at the end ofithe influenza season to track
pandemic H1N1 infection.
You are eligible if.
*"sYou are at least 18 years old
-"You live in one of the following residence halls: Alice Lloyd, Stockwell, Markley,
Mosher-Jordan, or Couzens
Compensation: Participants are entered into a lottery for one of ten $100 cash cards for .
each survey they complete. Participants will receive $10 for permitting collection ofla
throat swab ifthey have a flu-like illness, and $20 for permitting collection of a blood
nvestigators: Aold S. Monto, MD; Suzanne Ohmit, DrPH ; Allison AAelo, PhD
qFor more information or if you are interested in participating, please contacteour study
Phone: (734)f 47-0092
Email: umsphchips lumich edu