They don’t call her “Bam-Bam” for nothing.
With her highly emotional and physical style of play, Elizabeth
Exon quickly earned her nickname in her first season with the
Michigan women’s tennis team. During the Wolverines’
match yesterday against rival Ohio State (2-1 Big Ten, 7-8 overall)
— which No. 19 Michigan (3-0, 12-1) dominated 7-0 —
Exon was in usual form playing No. 2 singles against Buckeye Erica
Fisk. Her power and willingness to take wild shots attracted a
crowd, and her passionate play seemed to symbolize everything a
Michigan-Ohio State contest should be. Exon would tie it up or take
a one-point lead, only to be passed or tied again by Fisk.
“I was frustrated in general because this weekend I
wasn’t playing my best,” Exon said. “And this
girl just sent everything back. I was ahead in the second set and
then she came back, and she was just hugely competitive. She just
tried to get every ball back.”
By the time Exon had won the first set 6-3, but lost the second
6-7, the meet had already been decided — Michigan had claimed
the doubles point and all of the other singles points. Officials
ruled that Exon’s match would end in a 10-point tiebreaker
instead of taking the time to play out a third set.
But from the match’s intensity, one would never know that
it didn’t depend on the point between Exon and Fisk.
“It’s really intense because it’s ten points
to decide the match, it’s not like tennis (should be) —
you should play the third set out,” Exon said. “And
it’s the same thing that happened to me (on Saturday against
Penn State). So it was an emotional tie-breaker because it was Ohio
Exon and Fisk traded the lead several times, but it was Exon who
squeaked out to win 10-8.
Even though Michigan won all matches, it wasn’t for lack
of effort on the side of Ohio State. Most matches saw the lead
either go back and forth or remain close throughout.
“Michigan is having a really good year so we expected them
to do well,” Ohio State senior Meaghan Colville said.
“We beat them last year. Every win (over Michigan), no matter
what type of year we’re having or they’re having,
it’s always a good win.”
Colville’s passion about the rivalry showed in her doubles
matchup against Michigan’s Kim Plaushines and Debra
Streifler. Like Exon’s, the match ended in a tiebreaker which
Michigan won 7-3.
“That match was awesome,” Colville said. “I
think we were very evenly matched. That combination (of players)
— we hadn’t played before (so) it was a really fun
match to play in.”
Ohio State also may have been tired from its rigorous schedule
— yesterday’s game against Michigan was the
team’s 10th straight away game. In just the last week, the
Buckeyes have played in Las Vegas, Dallas, East Lansing and now Ann
Arbor. They even have another away game next week.
“Our coach wanted to get us more outdoor matches to
prepare us for the outdoor season,” said Colville, explaining
Ohio State coach Chuck Merzbacher’s decision to create such a
Michigan’s win over Ohio State completed a successful
weekend for the Wolverines, who also crushed Penn State in a 5-2