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September 10, 1981 - Image 76

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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age 6-D-Thurday, Septemb r 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily

Women hoopsters reach for .500,
hopeto avoid end-of-game futilit5

By LARRY FREED
Gloria Soluk must continue
rebuilding the Michigan women's
basketball program next year following
a disappointing 12-15 season in 1980-81.
Despite the past year's losing record,
there are some bright spots for Coach
Soluk and the hoopsters. Three of the
starting five return, including all-stater
Diane Dietz (20 points per game), who
scored a season-record 540 points.
JOINING DIETZ IS the backcourt
duo of sophomore Lori Gnatkowski and

junior K. D. Harte. Both guards went
over the century mark in assists, in ad-
dition to tallying more than 10 points
per game each.
"Last season we dropped many close
games (seven by fewer than five poin-
ts) so our record was misleading,"
Soluk commented. "And with the
strong nucleus of players and recruits
coming next season, we are looking
forward to a successful year."
One player that probably will not be
returning is center Penny Neer, who

averaged better than six rebounds per
contest. Neer, who garnered All-
American track honors this spring, will
forego her last season as a basketball
player in order to concentrate on
throwing the discus.
THE DEPARTURE OF Neer gives
players such as Terri Soulier and Cindy
Baumgart the opportunity to see more
playing time. Soulier, playing only
sparsely last season, averaged 3.5 ppg.
Soluk, who has been successful in the
past as a recruiter, once again cashed
in on some new talent. The leading
acquisitions were Ohioans Connie Doutt
and Becky Hellyer. In addition to these
high school phenoms, Soluk received
help from present members of her
squad as she recruited two younger
sisters-Peg Harte and Suzanne Dietz.
Another consolation for Soluk is that
her team would have a hard time mat-
ching their recordof futility in close
contests of '80-'81. With just a little luck,

the Wolverines would have attained a
better-than-.500 slate.
INCLUDED AMONG THE hear-
tbreakers was a two-point loss to the
division champion Northwestern Wild-
cats in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten
tournament. The loss epitomized
Michigan's knack for getting close to its
opponent after an early deficit, but nog
being able to come back all the way.
However, Soluk's troops rallied late
in the season and captured four of their
last five games before succumbing to
the University of Detroit in the state
tournament's opening round.
Among the vacancies left by
graduation are those of Abby Currier,
the second all-time scorer in Michigan
history, and Brenda Venhuizen, wh
was the catalyst for the Wolverines ;of
of the bench.
Despite these losses. Soluk shouldin
the future be able to look back on 1981-
82 as her first .500 season as the
Wolverine coach.

Men gymnasts

5th in Big

Ten

Sports Informotion Photo
DIANE DIETZ, THE Wolverines' all-state scoring machine, drives past a
defender on her way to the bucket. Last campaign, she set a single-season
record by pumping in 540 points (20 per game) for the Michigan women, who
finished 12-15.

Vs

r I,

DOWNTOWN ANN ARBOR
WINE and CHAMPA GNE
One of the Finest Selections
LIQUOR * BEER " GROCERIES
SANDWICHES

By LARRY MISHKIN
During his- 34 years of coaching
Michigan's men's gymnastics team - a
record of longevity exceeding that of
any other Wolverine athletic coach -
Newt Loken has seen it all. He has ex-
perienced the ultimate jubilation of
winning the NCAA championship and
the depression that accompanies a
losing season.
His team's 1980-81 performance fell
somewhere between the two extremes,
actually a little closer to the latter.
Despite the fact that team 'captain.
Darrell Yee won his third consecutive
conference rings title and, along with
teammates Kevin McKee, John
Reickhoff, and Marshall Garfield,
qualified for the NCAA meet, the gym-
nasts finished 1981 with a 4-7 dual meet
record and a fifth-place Big Ten finish.
THE WOLVERINES were plagued
by losses to injury all season, the most
notable being those of all-arounder
Chris Van Mierlo before the season
started and Mike McKee, who broke his
hand in the second meet of the year and
was lost until the Big Ten Champion-
ships.k
Despite these misfortunes, the op-
timistic Loken preferred to reflect on
the bright side of things. "It was an in-
teresting and enjoyable season as far as
exposure to top gymnasts," he said, in
reference partly to Michigan's trip to
the southwest, where the Wolverines

faced some of the top squads in the
country.
There were many individual perfor-
mances that provided some bright
spots for last year's gymnasts. While
Yee captured his annual rings title,
Kevin McKee and Garfield also
distinguished themselves. McKee was
ranked first in the Mideast region in the
floor exercise, and Garfield finished
ninth in the nation on the parallel bars.
Reickhoff also enjoyed a fine year,
qualifying for the NCAA tournament on
the pommel horse.
DESPITE THE graduation losses of
Yee and Reickhoff, Loken is looking
forward to the coming season with his
usual enthusiasm. "Both Yee and
Reickhoff will be hard to replace," he
conceded. "But we're really all fired up
for next year. We'll be a young team,
but we should be older and more
mature, as well as wiser."
One luxury that Loken hopes to have
with this year's squad is the presence of
five healthy all-arounders. Van Mierlo
returns to join Garfield, Merrick Horn,
Milan Stanovich, and Al Berger. Kevin
McKee also comes back for another
year in the floor exercise and wherever
else he is needed.
Rick Kaufmann assumes the unen-
viable task of filling Yee's spot on the
rings, but he came through with several
impressive outings last season that en-
couraged Loken. The other rings spot
will be filled by either Stu Castle or Lee
Buckman.
Reickhnff's successor on the pommel
horse is 'new team captain Nevin
Hedlund, who had an impressive season
high of 9.4 in 1980-81.
So with a little luck and a lot of
quality performances, Loken and his
gymnasts look to begin a move back to
the lofty position the coach's teams on-
ce held.

4
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Sports Information Photo
WOLVERINE GYMNAST Kevin McKee displays tremendous concentration
and strength on the parallel bars. Last season he was a Big Ten finalist in
that event and was ranked first in the Mideast region in the floor exercise.

6

Five vets six recruits provide

N

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Ulrich's has it
engineering
frames, calcu
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and more. Ar
least as good,

\\

By BOB BARKER
If one were to pinpoint the single most
crucial attribute that last year's
women's gymnastics team, which
finished with a mediocre dual meet
record of 6-5, lacked, it would be, depth,
according to head coach Sheri Hyatt.
The tumblers competed throughout
most of their 1980-81 season with a
skeleton squad of only six team mem-
bers, but with six new recruits and at
least five returning veterans on this
year's roster, Hyatt believes that they
have acquired the depth needed to be
successful.
"LAST YEAR'S team was somewhat
limited because of our small size," said
Hyatt. "With this year's larger squad, I
expect to see a much improved team
over last year."
The Michigan tumblers fared
somewhat better in tournament com-
petition than they did in the dual meet
season. They took second place in the
state tournament behind Michigan
State and placed third in the Big Ten

tournament, breaking team-high scores
in both meets.
"Even though our win-loss record
was not as good as the previous year, as,
our scores show, we are vastly im-"
proving," said Hyatt. "We are setting
our sights very high for this year. Our
ultimate goal, will be to rpake
nationals."
' ACCORDING TO Hyatt, the team can
look for strong all-around performan-
ces from three incoming recruits: Pat-
ty Ventura and Andrea Scully, both of
whom are from Ohio, and Dayna
Samuelson from Traverse City. -
"Last year Patty placed third in her
state all-around competition, and An-
drea is a very skilled gymnast," said
Hyatt. "With Patty's consistency and
Andrea's natural ability, I expect to see
some pretty tough all-around com-
petition."
Other Wolverine recruits include
Christy Swartz from Birmingham,
Karen Deaver, who is from Ann Arbor
and is the sister of returning junior

ymnast Angela, and Lisa Sinelli, also
iling from Ann Arbor.
AFTER SUFFERING the loss of only
one of last year's team members, cap-
tain Teresa Bertoncin, Hyatt an-
ticipates a strong nucleus of returning
tumblers.
Sophomore Kathy Beckwith, who led

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Beckwith
...nationals qualifier
the team last year with an average
score of 35, can once again be expected
to provide a bundle of scoring and
leadership. Last year Beckwith wis
named to the all-state all-arounder
team and was the only Wolverine to
qualify for national competition.
"Kathy is a very consistent perfor-
Mher," said Hyatt. "And now, with a
year of experience in collegiate comn-
petition, I expect her to do even better
this season."
Twn ther returnes Angela nav

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