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May 25, 1982 - Image 16

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-25

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Sports
16 Tuesday, May 25, 1982 The Michigan Daily
Out o the pack
Unseeded Leach wins NCAA singles crown

By LARRY MISHKIN
Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, and
John McEnroe, alll former NCAA
singles champions, have a new member
in their prestigious club, Michigan ten-
nis star Michael Leach.
While this comes as a pleasant sur-
prise to Midwest tennis fans, the folks
down south and out on the West Coast
are still scratching their heads trying to
figure out what happened at the NCAA
tennis tournament in Athens, Ga. After
all, the last 24 NCAA singles champs
have come from schools in the South
and West. The last time anybody out-
side of one of those regions won the
singles championship was when Barry
MacKay won the title for Michigan in

1957, the same year the Wolverines won
the team title.
DESPITE LEACH'S outstanding
career at Michigan, because of the
Wolverines' limited success at the
national level, he did not have the
reputation of a Rodney Harmon of
Southern Methodist or Marcel Freeman
of UCLA, the pre-tournament favorites.
However, with a convincing 7-5, 6-3
victory over Pepperdine's Brad
Gilbert, Leach took the title back to
Michigan while re-establishing the
Midwest't credibility in collegiate ten-
nis.
According to Leach, the turning point
in the match was when he broke
Gilbert's serve to win the first game of

the second set. "I thought at that point
that I could really win the whole thing
and it was a very powerful feeling."
Leach, unseeded and ranked 17th in
the pre-tournament rankings, entered
the singles competition coming off his
two toughest losses of the year, to Ernie
Fernandez of Ohio State in the finals of
the Big Ten tournament and to John
Mangan of Georgia in the NCAA team
competition.
"I played pretty well against Mangan
but was down mentally," said Leach.
"After the team competition I had only
three days to think about it and about
my future."
LEACH MUST have done some
serious thinking as he came up with a
'Right now I'm still in a

string of six impressive wins over some
of the top talent in the country to cap-
ture the title.
In his opening match, Leach knocked
off Glenn Layendecker of Yale, the
New England Collegiate Champion, 6-4,
6-2 and then went on to defeat trinity's.
Tomm Warneke, 7-6, 6-4. Warneke, who
was ranked 31st nationally, had beaten
Leach earlier in the season, 7-5, 6-0.
In the round of 16, Leach knocked off
Howard Sands of Harvard, 6-2, 6-2, to
advance to the quarterfinals where he
upset Glenn Michibata of Pepperdine,
ranked ninth nationally, 7-5, 6-2.
"I SAID BEFORE the tournament
that if I could make it to the quarters I
would be dangerous and from that point
on I was up for every match and every
point played," said Leach.
In the semifinals, the Michigan All-
American played his best tennis of the
year as he defeated seeded Christo
Steyn of the University of Miami
(Florida) 6-2, 4-6, 7-6. In the final set,
Steyn, who was ranked 11th nationally
and had beaten Leach earlier in the
year, was up 4-5 and had quadruple
match point with a 3-0 (no-add scoring)
lead, but Leach battled back and went
on to win the match ina tie-breaker.
"RIGHT NOW I'm still in a semi-
haze," said Leach following his big win.
"I still feel like Mike Leach and I
haven't ascended yet, but it feels darn
good to win it."
With the NCAA title, Leach caps off
an outstanding collegiate career in
which he finishes with a singles record
of 99-18, a doubles record of 80-15, four
Big Ten titles (two singles and two
doubles), All-Big Ten four years and
All-American twice. He has been
named to the National Davis Cup Team
and with the NCAA title, he
automatically qualifies for this year's
U.S. Open.

MICHIGAN'S MICHAEL LEACH returns a shot against Glenn Michibata of Pepperdine in the quarterfinals of the
NCAA singles championship. Leach went on to win the title by beating Michibata's teammate, Brad Gilbert, in the
finals.

He WOL VERINES LOSE IN BIG TEN TOURNEY:
AL Player No NCAA for 'M' nine
of Week By JIM DWORMAN good as OSU (which defeated the Wolverines, 7-2, in ane
At first glance, it might appear that the Michigan baseball game Saturday) or Minnesota in the games we played,
team just completed its most successful season since coach said. "They both outplayed us."

early
," he

NEW YORK (AP) - Outfielder
Larry Herndon of the Detroit Tigers
raised his average 39 points to .329 last
week and was named the American
League's Player of the Week yester-
day.
Herndon hit .520 for the week with 13
hits in 25 at bats, including a double,
two triples and three home runs for 26
total bases.His four consecutive homers
over two games tied the major league
record. In six games last week, Her-
ndon drove in eight runs and scored 10.
His slugging percentage was 1.040 and
he had a 5-for-5 game. At one point over
two games he was 7-for-7.

Bud Middaugh's arrival in Ann Arbor. But then again, it
might not.
Although the Wolverines won more games, 44, and had a
better winning percentage, .815, then in any of Middaugh's
previous two years at Michigan, the team's season came to
an early conclusion. For the first time in Middaugh's three-
year reign at the helm of the Wolverines, Michigan will not be
going to the NCAA tournament.
THE WOLVERINES were denied a bid after losing to Min-
nesota, 5-4, in the semi-final round of the Big Ten Tour-
nament last Saturday in Champaign.
In both 1980 and 1981, Michigan won the Big Ten and hosted
and won the NCAA Mideast Regional before losing in the
College World Series.
Minnesota won this year's Big Ten title by defeating Ohio
State, 8-7, 7-5, in Sunday's final doubleheader.
AS FOR THE Wolverines, they were simply outplayed at
the tournament, according to Middaugh. "We were not as

Michigan managed only 21 hits in three tournament games
and only four Went for extra bases. The Wolverines also
committed an uncharacteristic seven errors in the playoffs.
"We didn't hit very well at all," said Middaugh. "And on
defense, we played well at times, but not,so well at other
times. There are no excuses."
SENIOR RIGHTFIELDER Jim Paciorek was the lone
Wolverine to make the all-tournament team. Paciorek
finished his collegiate career as the all-time Michigan leader
in games played, at bats, runs scored and batted in, hits,
doubles, triples, home runs, batting average and slugging
percentage. He also holds single-season Michigan records in
nine offensive categories, including hits, home runs and
slugging percentage.
Paciorek will soon be named the first Big Ten Player-of-
the-Year.
Michigan finished the season with a 44-10 record, its best
ever.

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