The Michigan Daily - Friday, May 17, 1985 - Page 15
Netters capture Big Ten title
By PHIL NUSSEL
It was a return to business as usual
last weekend in Champaign, Ill. for
Brian Eisner and his Wolverine tennis
team as they won their 15th Big Ten
Championship in 16 years. It was
Michigan's 17th title in 18 years.
In the team-play tournament,
Michigan downed Ohio State in the
first round, 5-1. The Wolverines then
avenged an earlier loss to Illinois by
downing the Illini on their home cour-
ts in swirling winds, 5-3.
IN THE finals, Michigan made a
fierce comeback to beat Big Ten
regular season co-champ Minnesota,
5-3. All three of the Wolverines' top
singles players had lost, but freshmen
Jon Morris, Brad Koontz, and Franz
Geiger won at the last three spots to
tie the match at three going into
Michigan then won at second and
third doubles to take the first place
trophy away from the 1984 title win-
Michigan won the championship
with five freshmen and a sophomore
with no Big Ten tournament ex-
perience. Only two players-Jim
Sharton and John Royer-played last
year. Despite his young squad, Eisner
"I WOULD have been very disap-
pointed had we not won it," he said.
"We really arethe best team. We had
beaten what I think was the major
competition in the Big Ten."
Eisner said his biggest concern was
the team's lack of Big Ten tour-
nament experience. To deal with the
situation, he tried some new ideas.
"We did literally all our practicing
back here in Ann Arbor," Eisner said.
"I wanted to keep them (the players)
out of that environment as long as
possible. Secondly, I had them stay at
a hotel that nobody else was at so that
they wouldn't see anybody before or
after their matches." sophomore Ed Filer at second singles. Illinois with a 6-0, 6-4 drubbing of Mike
EISNER also never discussed the The South Bend, Ind. native defeated Bouton. Morris, Koontz and Geiger
team's upcoming matches until a half one of the Big Ten's premiere players, were the other singles victors-none
hour before the actual match so that Mike Massie, 6-1, 6-3. Sharton was the yielded a set. Koontz and Tomas An-
the players wouldn't think too much, only loser, falling to Roger Smith at dersson clinched the win at third
something that can make them ner- first singles, 3-6, 3-6. Doubles were not doubles, downing Chris Lapriore and
vous. played because Michigan had already Mark Long, 6-2, 7-5.
The opening win over Ohio State clinched the win. THE KEY to the Illinois win, accor-
was highlighted by the play of Filer continued his hot play against ding to Eisner, was the team's ad-
justment to the swirling wind.
Gaining control of the net made the
difference. "You get a wind like that
and it is very difficult to pass or lob,"
said Morris. "Somebody at the net has
all the advantage in the world."
The final was indeed a matchup
between the best two teams in the con-
ference. Michigan and Minnesota tied
for first in the regular season at 7-2.
Minnesota was the defending champ,
but the Wolverines had beaten the
-E Gophers earlier in the season, 6-3,
Michigan with its depth proved it
was the better team. Koontz, who had
a to win a playoff to get back his fifth
singles spota few weeks ago, played a
-leading role in two of the wins by
beating Andy Salentine, 6-1, 6-1, and
- -then teamming with Andersson to
,,3 dump Tom Olmscheid and Gary
Aasen at third doubles, 6-2, 6-0.
MORRIS was involved in two other
wins, overpowering Peter Kolaric, 7-
5, 6-3, and then hooking up with Royer
at second doubles to outplay Kolaric
and Casey Merickel, 6-4, 7-5.
Toledo freshman Franz Geiger ac-
counted for the other win, trouncing
Olmscheid, 6-3, 6-l.
"We didn't want them (Minnesota)
to feel like they were going to win the
Big Ten twice in a row," Morris said.
"Nobody played great though.
Nobody played the best match they
Daily Photo by DAN HABIB"
Sophomore Ed Filer and his netmates returned the Big Ten title to Ann Suav e Tie
Arbor last weekend with aggressive net play and consistency.
s ruins net women a4
"The final match was just a
tremendous tennis match," Eisner
commented. "Both teams really went
after the match and it was very, very
well-played. Minnesota played better
against us this time than last time. We
beat Minnesota playing their best."
The Wolverines now head for the
NCAA tournament in Athens, Ga.
where they meet the fourth-seeded
Mustangs of Southern Methodist. Play
...played key role
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By ADAM MARTIN the match against the Spartans. was named to the second A
Coach Bitsy Ritt was hoping to Michigan was one match away from team for her regular seas
finish fifth. But without a star per- clinching the victory after singles but The junior economics maj
formance from her number-one again the doubles teams faltered All-Big Ten selection in 1984
player and an abysmal showing from three times, handing State the win, 5- Freshman Tina Basle tot
the doubles teams, the women's ten- 4. four matches in Iowa City
nis team fell to an eighth-place finish "I THOUGHT winning two of three Ritt's liking. "Tina had an
at the Big Ten Championships in Iowa (doubles matches) against Illinois weekend. She came back t
City, May 3-5. would be tough but not impossible," had a good year."
Number-one singles player Paula Ritt recalled, "but to lose all six is The Wolverines failed to
Reichert, Michigan's leader almost unbelievable." the NCAA Championships
throughout the season, captured only Michigan opened the Champion- in Oklahoma City, finishing
two of four matches over the weekend ships with a 6-3 victory over Ohio conference, 9-13 overall.
while the doubles tandems failed to State, a team that trounced the
deliver at critical moments. Wolverines, 7-2, earlier in the season.
"DOUBLES killed us all year long," The good start was quickly and '
said Ritt, "but I thought we could loudly nullified, however, when Nor-
have pulled some of the matches out." thwestern lambasted the Wolverines, - *
Doubles were the key in Michigan's 9-0. in match number two. The Illinois g
matches against Illinois and Michigan and Michigan State disappointments
State. After six singles matches in followed dropping Michigan to eighth. 1
both contests, the Wolverines were in RITT SAID Reichert was the first to EUROPE BY CA
winning positions but failed to admit she didn't have a productive one Rockefeller Plaz
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