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March 11, 1991 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-11

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The Michigan Daily - Sports Monday - March 11, 1991- Page 7

M'

netters smash

Wildcats

Men's impressive singles play trips up Northwestern

y Becky Weiss
daily Sports Writer
ahrNorthwestern literallystumbled
through their match with the Michi-
gan men's tennis team, as Giora
Payes tripped and twisted his ankle,
causing his match to be retired in the
second set 3-6, 5-5 (30-0).
Payes' fall was the deciding
point of the No. 2 singles match be-
tween Payes and Michigan's Dan
Orakus. Michigan also took four out
of the five remaining matches from
the Wildcats.
The doubles matches were called
off as Michigan (7-2 overall, 2-0 Big
Ten) had compiled all five wins
needed to win a dual meet at the end
of the singles competition.
Since the match was played in
the Track and Tennis Building on a
on-concrete surface, Northwestern
oach Paul Torricelli was also not
anxious to risk his players health in
finishing the already determined
match.
"The chances of injury are in-
creased on this kind of surface," he
said. "I can't afford to take that kind
of chance."
Though they were unavailable for
this match, dual meets are usually
*eld at Liberty Sports Complex
courts, which Torricelli feels are
more desirable. He thought the un-
usual sight had an effect on his
team's performance, but not a piv-
otal one.
"The sight certainly had an ef-
fect," Torricelli said. "Under the best
of conditions, if we had won, I
would have considered it a great win.
It would have been an upset."
i Michigan's strength was demon-
strated as No. 1 through No. 5 sin-
gles matches were won in straight
sets, with the exception of the retired
No. 2 match. In their first meeting
ever, Michigan's nationally ninth-
ranked David Kass defeated fifteenth
ranked Steve Herdoiza, 6-0, 6-1.
Michigan's No. 3 singles player

Scott Cuppett and Northwestern's
Todd Occomy met before, in last
year's Big Ten championships.
Cuppett felt playing to his oppo-
nent's weaknesses led to his easy 6-
2, 6-2 victory.
"I knew the kind of player he
was," Cuppett said. "He has a big
forehand and a big serve, but he
wasn't consistant. I planned on be-
ing consistent yard getting it in until
he missed."
Cuppett said the surface added to
his opponent's inconsistency, as Oc-
comy fell once during the match, as

well as made many unforced errors.
Michigan's Brakus felt the surface
could have given him a slight advan-
tage as well.
"The bounce (on this surface) is
never the same," Brakus said. "We're
used to it because we practice on it,
so they were more frustrated than we
were."
Cuppett felt a better explanation
for the decisive victory was
Northwestern's graduation of three
seniors. Michigan has seasoned up-
perclassmen as well as frosh Brakus
at No. 2, moving the remainder of

last year's singles players down a
position.
Though the Northwestern team is
young, Michigan coach Brian Eisner
is hoping that their impressive vic-
tory will help prepare the Wolver-
ines for future challenges from Indi-
ana and Notre Dame.
"Northwestern is an explosive
team," Eisner said, "but very young.
We played very solid singles today.
Defeating them so soundly was an
outstanding feat and a sign of our
continual progress. It was an impor-
tant Big Ten win."

Women split over weekend

by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis
team split their matches last week-
end, falling to a tough Northwestern
squad on Friday and then defeating
Miami of Ohio on Sunday.
The Wolverines went into Fri-
day's match with an impressive'5-2
record. However, the Wolverines
were not able to keep the mo-
mentum rolling into their first taste
of Big Ten competition of the
season. Northwestern (9-3 overall, 4-
1 conference), ranked third in the Big
Ten in the preseason, notched six of
the match's nine victories. The, 6-3,
victory margin was very similar to
last year's hard-fought, 5-4, Wild-
cats' victory.
Northwestern waltzed to victories
in the four, five, and six singles
matches, but faced fierce competition
in defeating the Wolverines' one and
two doubles tandems. In each of
these matches, the Wolverines won
one set and took the Wildcats to a
close 7-6 set.
"The doubles matches were
especially tough," senior Stacy Berg
said. "We took them to set point but
they're really aggressive and played
really well. Their serves were

excellent and reflected their ag-
gressiveness."
The Wolverines had previously
trounced teams such as Toledo and
Bowling Green and had lost some of
the toughness which comes from
playing close matches. According to
Berg, who is half of Michigan's No.
1 doubles tandem, this is necessary
to defeat highly-ranked teams such as
Northwestern.
"Although they were the best
team we've played all year, we could
have won any of the three doubles
matches," Berg said. "We hadn't
played any close matches all year
long, and these are necessary in order
to remain mentally tough."
Berg and Kim Pratt, Michigan's
No. 2 and No. 3 singles players,
were the only Wolverines to pull out
singles victories. No. 1 singles
player Christine Schmeidel was
emotionally down during her first
set, but came back and nearly pulled
out a victory over the Wildcats'
Lindsay Matthews.
Despite the setback, the Wolver-
ines remain positive about the
possibilities for the rest of their
season.
"Our goal is still to win the Big
Ten championships and I still think

we can," Berg stated. "An early
season loss to a really good team
like Northwestern doesn't faze us. If
we focus on beating a team, we have
the ability to do it. The loss to
Northwestern is already having pos-
itive affects on the team by getting
us psyched up for Wisconsin."
The Wolverine netters easily
handled the Redskins on Sunday,
walloping them by a final tally of
eight victories to one. While Miami
may not be the toughest competition
the Wolverines will face all year,
they are the number-one ranked team
in the MAC.
"Our doubles played really well
against Miami," noted Berg. "We
pulled out our close matches, some-
thing that we will really need to do
to have a successful season. Overall,
the team played really well."
The Wolverines next face the
Badgers, ranked second only to
Indiana in the Big Ten, in Madison.
While the Wolverines face an uphill
battle, they are relying on the ex-
perience gained from the North-
western matches and their emotional
drive to carry them to an upset.
- Rob Siegel contributed to this
story

Michigan tennis player John Karzen hits a forehand return against
Northwestern's Eric Blakeman. Karzen , the No. 4 singles player,
defeated Blakeman in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4.
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- a a

*Cerutti battles to start for pitching-poor Tigers

Associated Press
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -
John Cerutti has a degree in ec-
onomics from Amherst. He oc-
casionally drinks beer with Prince
Albert of Monaco.
But John Cerutti considers him-
self a baseball player above all else,
nd that's making life very in-
"eresting around the Detroit Tigers'
camp.
Cerutti, as in beauty, is a left-
handed pitcher who signed asaa free
agent with the Tigers this winter
after 10 years in the Toronto
organization.
The Tigers, whose starters com-
bined for a 5.00 earned run average
last year, looked like the perfect club
,or Cerutti. So he signed a one-year
Contract.
' Thenhe arrived at spring training;
and learned he was one of 21
pitchers in camp, fighting for one of
two openings in the rotation.
''I've given him no guarantees,"
Detroit manager Sparky Anderson
said. "I'll either start him or use him
in long relief. It depends on what
happens down here."
0 Cerutti got his first live action
Sunday in a "B" game against the
Boston Red Sox. He gave up one run
in two innings.
"My stuff was pretty good,"
Cerutti said. "The main thing is that
I got in the work."
That's the stock response from a
pitcher who has been under-
whelming in spring training. But in
Cerutti's case it was true.
0 The "B" game was quickly

arranged because rain washed out
the scheduled exhibition between the
Red Sox and Detroit in Lakeland on
Saturday.
Cerutti pitched 205 1-3 innings in
1989 and finished 11-11 with a
respectable 3.07 ERA. Last season
the Blue Jays demoted him to the
bullpen about midseason. As a
result, he finished the season with
only 140 innings, an 8-9 record and
a fat 4.76 ERA.
He thinks there is a lesson to be
learned there. The Blue Jays didn't
see it. That's why he went looking
for work elsewhere.

"I know I have to pitch well. If I
do, I'll get the ball," Cerutti said.
"A big thing is innings. I thrive on
work. I had over 200 innings in 1989
and it worked well."
At the moment, Anderson
considers only Frank Tanana, Walt
Terrell and Bill Gullickson to have a
lock on starting positions. That puts
Cerutti in competition with Dan
Petry, Steve Searcy and a number of
rookies for the other starting berth.
Off the field, Cerutti takes a cer-
tain amount of good-natured kidding
about his education.
"I'm proud that I went to

Amherst. But I also played baseball
there," he said.
What about the beers with the
prince?
"We went to school together,
and he likes baseball," Cerutti
explained. "The last time he came to
Toronto, we got together after the
game."

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