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April 15, 2010 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-15

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8A - Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Moundros tries his hand at defense*

By TIM ROHAN
Daily Sports Writer
Mark Moundros probably saw
the writing on the wall.
In Michigan coach Rich Rodri-
guez's spread offense, the fullback
wasn't going to be as vital as it had
been for past Michigan teams. No
more power-I formations on first-
and-10, that's for sure. So the senior
fullback decided to take matters
into his own hands - he asked the
coaching staff to let him play some
linebacker.
And that's where Moundros has
found himself this spring. But he
will be playing both sides of the
ball for the Wolverines, as he will
continue to play fullback as well.
Moundros perfectly suits the
fullback position in the sense that
he's a physical player. And with his
style of play, Moundros requested
to lay the hits on the offensive guys
instead of protecting them.
"Mark's a traitor - no, don't put
that in there," Magee joked last
week. "Mark's in the plans at full-
back. He's been that guy for a cou-
ple of years, we know he's there."
Last year, Moundros contrib-
uted on special teams in every
contest. But in Rodriguez's spread
offense, the Wolverines have used
a lot of two running back sets
instead of featuring a fullback. And

"I don't want to say it's a sur-
prise," Rodriguez said. "But a guy
who's shown he's goingtobe able to
help us over there is Mark Moun-
dros. We've really been pleased.
He'll still play a little bit of offense,
but our focus for all of spring, for
Mark, has been on defense to learn
that new position. He's got a lot
of intensity, he's a strong guy and
very passionate.
"I've really liked what I've seen
out of Mark playing over there. I
think it's a move that's probably
going to stick. And at the same time
probably help play some fullback."
Tackling people isn't anything"
new for the Farmington Hills
native, he has 15 career special
teams tackles. And though he
hasn't missed a game in three
years, he has just 10 career starts
at fullback.
Rodriguez added that the move
this spring has been smoother
because of the great spring that
redshirt junior fullback John
McColgan has had.
Moundros's impact certainly
has been meager, paving the way
for running backs or stopping a
returner in his tracks. But it is rec-
ognized.
He isn't the most decorated Wol-
verine, but Moundros will attempt
to prove his worth on both sides of
the ball this soon.

TORE HAN SHARMAN/Daily
RedshirttuniorAnthony Toth hit his first career home run in Blue's win over CMU.
Home run surge
leads Blue past
Bowling Green
ByZAKPYZIK first home runs today," Kittle said.
Daily Sports Writer "It's really just a race for every-
one in the lineup to get one before
With five different Wolverines Dufek. He was our home run leader
hitting a home run in the last two lastryear and he's still got the goose-
games, it's clear that the strength egg this year."
of their But it wasn't just the batters who
lineup has BOWLING GREEN 5 proved solid for Michigan. Junior
helped MICHIGAN 8 pitcher Kolby Wood replaced red-
them win shirt junior pitcher Matt Gerbe
as of late. The most recent victory, in the fifth and threw two strike-
the 11th in 13 games, was yester- outs to kick off the inning. He only
day's 8-5 victory over Bowling allowed three hits in the two and a
Green at Ray Fisher Stadium of the half innings he pitched.
Wilpon Complex. "It was a nice rally tocome back.
Michigan took its first lead in Kolby gave us a little bit on the
the bottom of the first inning after bump which was good," Michigan
an RBI double from redshirt junior coach Rich Maloney said. "I felt
Anthony Toth. The Falcons tied it that we battled, stayed the course
up in the second and it stayed that and found a way to win."
way until Bowling Green scored Afterward, Burgoon was called
three times in the fifth inning to go from the bullpen to send the Fal-
up 4-1. cons home. Burgoon recorded the
But the Wolverines kept their save after tallyinh an impressive
heads up and their bats strong. In four strikeouts in five batters.
the sixth frame, Derek Dennis tal- "You have to find ways (like
lied an RBI double, but it was Toth pitching) to win, much different
who surprised the crowd when he ways, if you want to be a cham-
cranked his first career home run pion," Maloney said. "We've been
out of the park to bring in Dennis finding ways to win which is a good
from second. thing. Hopefully we can keep it
After the game, Toth made a jok- going. They never give up and we
ingjab at his teammate. stayed the course, we could have
"I want to thank Tyler Burgoon panicked, but we didn't. It was good
for my inspiration for my first home to get these two midweek wins."
run," Toth said. "He inspired me by The Wolverines' comeback was
telling me I am never going to get on the strength of its depth in the
one. He tells me that every single bullpen and in its lineup, just like it
day, whether we have a game or has been in most games lately.
not, so I'm glad I got that monkey "It was a big comeback," Toth
off myback." said. "We come into this midweek
Bowling Green couldn't keep games knowing that our opponents
up with the Michigan surge, and come in here and they circle us on
it was sophomore outfielder Mike the schedule. So, credit to Bowling
Kittle who sealed the deal when he Green they played really hard and
rocked his own first career homer we came out a little lackadaisical
in the eighth. but we were lucky enough to come
"It was thanks to the wind I back fighting and we got a good
think (that Toth) and I both got our win, so we'll take it."
WINNER 8 2007 TONY
AWARD INCLUDING
,'EST MUSICAL

Senior Mark Moundros willlikely play linebacker along with his duties at fubhack.
when the quarterback's a threat to yards and just two career touch-
run, there are even fewer touch- downs (one rushing, one receiv-
es to be had for fullbacks in the ing).
offense. But after more than a month of
To this point, Moundros has spring practice Moundros has had
made a meager impact on the stat time to getused to the new position
sheet with four career catches for and is catching the eye of his head
13 yards, three career rushes for 14 coach.

Graduating seniors Sroczynski and
Navas will leave M' with huge void.

By MATT RUDNITSKY
Daily Sports Writer
Standing a combined 12 feet,
eight inches tall and weighing an
aggregate of 407 lbs, graduating
seniors George Navas and Mike
Sroczynski will leave a huge void
to fill for the Michigan men's ten-
nis team (6-1 Big Ten, 10-8 overall).
It's not just their size that the
Wolverines will miss.
Since arriving as blue-chip
recruits in 2006, the two athletes
have been invaluable to the team,
earning 149 and 147 career match
victories, respectively.
"They've both been integral
parts of the success we've had,"
Michigan coach Bruce Berque said.
"Carrying the program back to one
that is not only challenging for con-
ference championships, but one
that's also relevant on the national
level.
"They've also taken owner-
ship in creating the identity that
the team is going to need to have
in future years to get to the next
level, and I'm confident that when
they're done here they will have
left the program in better shape
than it was when they got here. I
think that that's a nice compliment
to them and something they should
be really proud of"
The pair is currently the No.
38 doubles team in the nation and
he's been rotating at the No. 1 and
No. 2 doubles spots with the pair
of junior Jason Jung and fresh-
man Evan King. After not playing
together since freshman year, they
are currently an impressive 13-6
against top competition, including
a win over the then-No. 20 doubles
team in the nation and a tiebreaker
loss to the No.2 tandem.
"It's weird," Navas said. "When
we were trying to decide what the
doubles teams were going to be, I
told Bruce (Berque) that I had a gut
feeling that me and Mike would be
really successful together. I don't
know if it's because we played
together freshman year, but we
have pretty good chemistry on the
court, we always know what each
other is doing."
Navas' the team captain, has
been a mainstay for the Wolverines
primarily at the No. 4 singles spot.
He has a 6-1 Big Ten singles record,
a huge reason for their success in

0

a

SALAM RIDA/Daily

Senior George Navas and Mike Sroczynski are the No. 38 doubles team in the nation.

conference.
Sroczynski, a self-described
aggressive baseliner with a big
serve, has played mostly at the No.
3 spot and has a 3-4 Big Ten singles
record.
Throughout their four-year
careers, Navas and Sroczynski
have accomplished great things.
They were vital parts of Michigan's
Sweet 16 appearance in 2008, a
moment that they both acknowl-
edged as the highlight of their
experiences.
Sroczynski was also the 2008
Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional
doubles champion, winning the
title with Jung.
The two are good friends off
the court, despite being polar
opposites. They roomed together
freshman year, but Navas's need
for cleanliness didn't exactly mesh
well with Mike's style of living.
"The quality of his living situ-
ations are subpar," Navas said. "In
the dorm room, it was pretty dis-
gusting, and I'm a clean person.
Not to put it all on Mike, but yeah,

it's pretty much all on Mike. It was
just atrocious. Not the cleanest guy
in terms of living.
"We're good friends. Mike is a
big goofball, basically. He's a big
guy, and can be intimidating if you
don't know him, but he's really laid-
back and funny."
Though both Navas and Sroc-
zynski are going to miss the colle-
giate game and their relationships
on the tight-knit seven-man roster,
they already have plans for their
post-college lives. And like their
personalities, their plans are com-
pletely different.
Navas, an economics major, will
be working for Bank of America in
Charlotte, NC.
He made it clear that he's loved
his time on the tennis team, but
that his experience was about so
much more than the tennis, and
he's ready to move on.
But Sroczynski isn't givingup on
tennis just yet.
"My plans for next year as of
now are to play." Sroczynski said.
"I think I'm gonna give it a shot,

play some tournaments once tennis
is done here after I'm done graduat-
ing. And just see how it goes, give
myself a shot. I figure I've put a lot
into tennis, and I'd like to continue
that after my playing days here are
over."
The two know how important
they have been to the resurrection
of Michigan tennis, from a team
that had missed the NCAA Tourna-
ment for several years before they
arrived, to one that has made it five
consecutive years.
The two imposing figures -
Srocynski is 6-foot-6 and 220 lbs,
Navas 6-foot-1 and 187 - will be
tough to replace,but they have done 4
everything they can to prepare the
team for life without them.
"I want my legacy to be that I
helped Bruce develop the program
into what he wants to be," Navas
said. "Which is successful year in
and year out, good character guys
who want to work hard.It's tough
to do that, it's tough to get to that
point, but I think the team is finally
there."

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