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Making the Grade

Daniel Cohen at the 2006 USTA National
Campus Championship.
One player with an exceptionally busy day on Friday, April 21, during the 2006 USTA National Campus Championship, was Daniel Cohen of the University of Michigan "Maize."  His day was not just about tennis.  With graduation only eight days away, he had to play four matches in one day and also had to take his next-to-last final exam.

The affable senior economics major from New York City and singles specialist for the Wolverines started his day with a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call so he could make it to the courts for a 7:30 a.m. singles match against James Madison University.  He finally went on court at 9:00 a.m. due to a delay caused by wet courts.

Cohen's team defeated James Madison in a decisive manner, 30-9.  Just after 11:00 a.m., he was called to duty once again and helped Michigan overwhelm the University of Alabama, 30-8.  The victory enabled the Wolverines to win their pool and clinch a spot in the Gold Bracket.

While most players went to lunch, Cohen entered tournament headquarters to take his Economics 482 (Government Revenues) final exam, proctored by Tournament Co-Director Valerie McCutchan of NIRSA.  After graduation, Cohen will work at a hedge fund, where he interned last summer.

Cohen spent the next 90 minutes filling his blue book with the answeres to the exam.  Then he was ready to head back to the courts.  "This is a perfect example of these kids' commitment to tennis and the USTA National Campus Championship," said McCutchan.

"I used to play competitively in high school," said Cohen, who played three different years in the highly prestigious USTA Boy's National Championships at Kalamazoo, Michigan.  "This tournament brings back the old fire."

At 4:30 p.m., Cohen led his team to a 26-16 victory over the University of Florida and the right to advance to the quarterfinals against UCLA.  While he was waiting for the match to begin, he could be seen chatting and laughing it up with the Bruins.

The University of Michigan "Maize" wound up capturing third place in the tournament, while Cohen earned an A on his exam.

Later, Cohen was asked what the most difficult part of the day was.

"I'd definitely go with the exam," he said.  "I have always taken my schoolwork seriously.  The tennis comes easy."