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May 12, 2008 - Image 14

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-05-12

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141

Monday, May 12, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
20 YEARS WAITING

Gray skies lead
to Blue victory

I

Senior Matko Maravic didn't finish a single match in Sunday's regional championship against Texas Tech.
claim s regionali

By JILLIAN ROTHMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Senior Matko Maravic woke up
Sunday morning to answered prayers
- rain.
"We are a much better indoor
team," Maravic said.
And whether it was playing on
the indoor courts, having the home
crowd's support or knowing that
achieving their season goals were so
close, the 16th-ranked Wolverines
beat No. 17 Texas Tech 4-2 to become
NCAA Regional Champions.
"I didn't see a soft spot in our line
up today," Michigan coach Bruce Ber-
que said.
The win sends Michigan to its first
Sweet 16 in 20 years.
"It really has been something we
have had our eye on for a long time,"
Berque said. "It is just another step for
the program."
Last year the Wolverines lost in the
second round to Illinois. But this year,
Michigan was ranked first of four
teams in the regional so they hosted
the first two rounds.
The Wolverines barely clinched
this home-court advantage. The top
16 seeds host, and Michigan ended the
regular season ranked 16th.

Sophomore Mike Sroczynski was
the first to finish his single match in
the victory. He came back from a 5-1
deficit in the second set to win 6-2,
7-5.
Sroczynski said the home court
played an important role in his win.
"I've never been in an atmosphere
like this before," he said.
After his match ended and he
extended Michigan's lead to 2-0,
Sroczynski hid behind his team-
mates, hardly able to watch the other
matches.
"I wanted to give them my
full support, but it was very
nerve-wracking," he said.
Besides being a monumental game
for the team, Sunday's match was
Maravic's last home match of his col-
lege career. But in his last appearance
in Ann Arbor, Maravic wasn't able to
finish his doubles match or his singles
match.
Michigan clinched the doubles
point before Maravic and his partner
junior Andrew Mazlin could finish,
and Mazlin won the fourth and final
point of the match while Maravic sat a
court away waiting because his oppo-
nent took an injury time out.
But Maravic didn't seem to mind
that Mazlin finished his match first,

as long as the team won
Putting the team firs
the things the Wolver
from Maravic next seas
"He is the best com
ever seen" Mazlin said.
Maravic's leadership
ly important against
because it helped M
out energized and focu
verines beat Western
Saturday, but looked l
their doubles matches.
"I told them that
enough and Michigan
ter," Berque said. "I to
that I wanted them tc
crazed animals."
The No. 2 doubles pa
ski and Freshman Jasox
urday, but heeded their
and dominated Texas T
win.
"We got a little down
yesterday, but today we
mitment to each othert
pick each other up ifv
Sroczynski said.
The Wolverines will
ginia on Friday. Michig
ginia 5-2 on Feb. 3rd.
"We know they're a t
anything is possible," M

By ACE ANBENDER
For theDaily
After playing Saturday's
match against Western Mich-
igan outdoors, Michigan
received a
break when NOTEBOOK
rain forced
the Regional Final indoors
to the Varsity Tennis Cen-
ter. The Wolverines felt much
more comfortable playing
inside, where they spent much
of the season, and it showed
with their great all-around
performance. Michigan beat
then-No. 16 Pepperdine there
this year, as well as amassing
upsets of No. 12 Texas and No.
8 Illinois last season.
CLIF REEDER/Daily "It's a confidence thing
indoors," sophomore Mike
Sroczynski said. "We just
know we can win indoors here,
and we've had our best wins
indoors here."
On top of being more com-
fortable on the indoor surface,
n. the Wolverines also fed off of a
st is just one of raucous crowd that was decid-
ines will miss edly pro-Michigan.
on. "We've had big crowds
ipetitor I have all year, and this crowd was
amazing again," Mazlin said.
was extreme- "I mean, to play indoors, it's so
Texas Tech loud, especially in doubles and
ichigan come during singles on big points. So
ised. The Wol- it was really exciting to play
Michigan 4-1 in front of a big home crowd,
ackadaisical in especially in a match like this
when itdefinitely helped."
wasn't good DAZZLING DOUBLES: One
deserved bet- day removed from a sluggish
id them today 2-1 loss to Western Michigan
o come out as for the doubles point, Michigan
came out against Texas Tech
air of Sroczyn- determined to have a stronger
n Jung lost Sat- performance. The Wolverines
coach's words came through, sweepingthe Red
ech for an 8-1 Raiders 2-0. The duo of Mara-
vic and Mazlin was leading 5-3
n on ourselves when freshman Chris Madden
e made a com- and sophomore George Navas
that we would clinched the doubles point for
we got down," Michigan.
"ItoldthemtodaythatIwant-
play No. 1 Vir- ed them to ... compete as hard as
an lost to Vir- they could from the first point,
and especially when times get
ough team, but tough," Michigan coach Bruce
lazlin said. Berque said. "And that's what

they did."
LAST CHANCE: Matko Mara-
vic may not have finished a
match, but the All-Americanileft
an indelible mark on Michigan's
4-2victory over Texas Tech yes-
terday in the NCAA men's ten-
nis Regional.
The senior left his doubles
match with junior Andrew
Mazlin unfinished after Michi-
gan quickly took the other two
doubles matches. It was only
fitting that Maravic and Mazlin
were the only two Wolverines
left on the courtwhen Michigan
needed one more point to clinch
the regional championship.
Both players held commanding
leads in the third set, and the
only question was which one
would clinch the regional for
the Wolverines
Leading 5-2 in the third set,
Maravic had to wait through
his opponent's injury timeout.
The break allowed him to watch
as Mazlin secured the regional
title with a blazing ace, blowing
his serve by Texas Tech's Lenior
Ramos. Mazlin'svictory setoff a
raucous celebration on the court
of the Varsity Tennis Center, but
he admitted afterwards that the
victory came with a twinge of
guilt.
"The whole time I felt bad
because (Maravic's opponent)
took an injury timeout and
Matko was going to win that,"
Mazlin said. "He took two
breaks serving, and the kid is
an animal. He wasn't going to
lose in tightsituations like that.
It was tough watching Matko
just sit there when he had the
opportunity to close it out."
Maravic, however, didn't
let not finishing either of his
matches affect him. He was
too busy being excited for the
team, which won 20 matches in
a season for just the third time
in team history.
"I really don't feel bad at
all," Maravic said about the
last home match of his career.
"(Mazlin) had a great year.
It's a team sport, and it really
doesn't matter who gets the
point. If he doesn't clinch it, I'll
clinch it."

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