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February 21, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-02-21

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Women's Tennis
vs. Northwestern
Sunday, 11 a.m.
Track and Tennis Building

SPORTS

Wrestling
vs. Ohio State
Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Cliff Keen Arena

The Michigan Daily

Friday, February 21, 1992

F

Page 9

MICHIGAN SPORTS
1und'iV
Netters open on road
by Adam Miller
Daily Sports Writer
When the Michigan men's tennis team starts its spring dual-match sea-
son on the road this weekend, it won't be a trial by fire. But it will be hot.
Three of the four matches are outdoor affairs in unseasonbly mild
Florida. However, before Michigan hits the Sunshine State for matchups
with Florida, Miami (Fla.), and Georgia Tech (at Miami), the team makes
a detour to Wisconsin tomorrow for the Big Ten season opener.
The Wolverines have defeated the Badgers, 5-4, the last three years in
Wisconsin. Since Wisconsin is No. 4 in the Midwest region while
Michigan stands No. 7, coach Brian Eisner said he expects another tough
contest.
"Playing them where they're comfortable gives them a real advan-
tage," Eisner said. "We should match up well, but they're led by two sea-
soned veterans."
Wisconsin is led at No. 1 and 2 singles by Joey Deer, No. 2 in the Big
Ten, and Bryan Nelson, No. 5 in the conference, respectively. Eisner said
he expects Michigan's David Kass, ranked No. 4 nationally, to face Deer
and Dan Brakus to play Nelson.
Things really heat up Feb. 26 when Michigan faces No. 5 Florida at
Gainesville. The hot streak continues two days later at No. 10 Miami and
Feb. 29 vs. Georgia Tech in Coral Gables. Eisner expressed concern not
only of the quality of competition but also of how Michigan will perform
outdoors.
'M' skis into regionals
by Meg Beison
The Michigan men's and women's ski teams travel to Sugarloaf this
weekend for the regional championships. Both teams take with them
memories from past years of close races that ended in disappointment.
The men have qualified for regionals the past four years but have not
been able to extend their season further. Last year, the men almost ad-
vanced to nationals, losing a tiebreaker.
"We had the fastest times and were told we made it to nationals," se-
nior captain Kevin Gietzen said. "Western Michigan beat us by two place
points. It was very disappointing."
The women won the regional last year, but they also know how it
feels to miss the mark by only a few points. Two years ago, the women
were in first place after the slalom, but ended up losing a tiebreaker by
just one point.
Last year's success has much to do with the regionals being held at
Crystal Mountain, located in Thompsonville, Mich. The teams hope to
have the same advantage this year as they travel to Sugarloaf.
"We've only raced at Sugarloaf once this year," Gietzen said. "It's
going to be a good run. It's nice not having to drive nine hours; it will
definitely be an advantage."
The women have had much success this year, and rookies Kelly
Copeland and Amy Portenga have played a significant role.
"Kelly and I are real nervous," Portenga said. "We don't know what
to expect from the other divisions."
Michigan faces competition from the Lake Superior, Ohio and
Michigan divisions, with schools including Akron, Michigan Tech,
Wisconsin, and Northern Michigan.
Tumblers journey west
by Eric Sklar
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 15-ranked Michigan men's gymnastics team heads to the
West Coast for spring break with two competitions against California
schools.
On Feb. 28, California-Santa Barbara hosts the Wolverines and No. 16
Illinois. The next day, Michigan travels to San Jose State where it will
also compete against No. 18 California-Berkeley.
"We go out there so that we can experience the judging and get a look-
see at some of the competition out there," Michigan coach Bob Darden
said of his team's annual trip.
The Wolverines currently hold the eighth spot in the east region, mak-
ing them the final qualifier for the regional competition. Three teams, in-
cluding Illinois, are chasing Michigan for that final spot.
Individually, the Wolverines have several gymnasts ranked among the
leaders in certain events. Frosh Brian Winkler ranks No. 1 in the floor ex-
ercise and No. 18 in the vault competition. Ben Verrall (No. 6) and Jorge
Camacho (No. 12) are also nationally ranked in the floor exercise. Team-
wise, Michigan also ranks in several events, including a No. 1 ranking in
the floor exercise.
"We're expecting to use these two meets over spring break as a
springboard to our regional-qualifying bid, and establish ourselves in the
second half of our season," Darden said.

Women cagers seek revenge
Blue looks to pay back Iowa, Ohio State, Indiana over break

by Tim Spolar
Daily Basketball Writer
The Michigan women's basket-
ball team begins the backstretch of
its Big Ten schedule this weekend.
Michigan hits the road with games
against conference rivals Iowa and
Min-nesota and then returns home
for matches against Indiana and
Ohio State the following weekend.
The Wolverines hope to maintain
the defensive intensity that brought
them within two points of North-
western at Crisler last Sunday.
"I think overall our defense was
much improved," Michigan coach
Bud VanDeWege said. "It may take
a couple of weeks for the defense to
click in and maybe some things will
start to click."
Tonight's game at Iowa City
should prove a tough test of the
newfound Michgan pressure. The
Hawkeyes (10-1 Big Ten, 19-2
overall) lead the conference and
have brought their trademark ath-
leticism to the court consistently this
season. Forward Necole Tunsil led
all scorers with 20 points in Iowa's
73-61 victory in Ann Arbor Jan. 26.
"Necole possesses tremendous
athletic ability and basketball skills,"

Hawkeye coach Vivian Stringer
said. "She has an incredible love for
the game and is a fiery competitor."
On the other hand, the Golden
Gophers provide Michigan with its
best opportunity to break through
with its first road win this season.
The Wolverines beat the Gophers
Jan. 24, 83-77, for their sole
conference victory. At 2-9 in the
conference, Minnesota is one spot
ahead of Michigan in the Big Ten.
While both Indiana and Ohio
State took their turn crushing the
Wolverines last month, Michigan
hopes that the combination of the
home court, the end of a shooting
slump by the team's leading scorer,
Trish Andrew, and aggressive
defense will turn the tide in its favor.
The absence of these factors could
very well explain the combined 53
points by which Michigan lost the
first matchups.
While immediate results are not
expected from VanDeWege's new
focus on defense, the Wolverines
hope their hard work will begin
paying dividends by the time the
Buckeyes and Hoosiers roll into
town.

A

Senior guard Leah Wooldridge looks to be part of the Wolverines' resurgent
defense when Michigan plays Iowa and Indiana this weekend.

THE JOE
continued from page 1
"I have not changed my opinion
of them since the beginning of the
year," MSU coach Ron Mason said.
"I picked them to win the
conference, and if anything the
surprise is that they haven't locked
it up yet.But all teams go through
ups and downs."
Althoughsonly three points
behind the Wolverines, the Spartans
started the season with far different
expectations.
"We'd like to catch fourth
place," Mason said before this sea-
son began. "We know we have a
good team, but they're young and
we're not sure where the goals will
come from.,,
A number of older players
stepped up their production to key
the Spartan surge. Dwayne Norris
(30 goals-27 assists), Peter White
(18-34) and Bryan Smolinski (22-
27) are all in the top six in CCHA
scoring. Senior goalie Mike Gilmore
has anchored the success of the
Spartans as predicted.
"I think MSU is playing this
year like everyone expected them to
play last year," Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "They had the talent,
and were supposed to win the
conference, but it didn't work that
way last year. This year they've been
as consistent as anybody. These two
games will be really hard fought. I
expect them to bring the best out of
our team."
"Last year MSU had a real
advantage in the crowd," Ward said.
"I really hope our fans get out
there. When the loud, arrogant green
pricks think they get the best of the
cheers, they really get on you."
After this weekend the Wolver-
ines face Bowling Green next
Tuesday and Ferris State the
following weekend.

Blue hopes to scale standings
at Northwestern, Wisconsin

by John Niyo
Daily Basketball Writer
Wednesday's thrashing of Min-
nesota will give Michigan a needed
boost as it heads out on the road for
three straight games.
"We were able to run but that's
easier when your opponent doesn't
shoot well," coach Steve Fisher said
after the game. "Overall, we were
pretty good and we needed this vic-
tory with our road games coming
up.
The Wolverines (7-5 Big Ten,
16-6 overall) bounced back from an
intense, disappointing 70-59 loss last
Saturday at home to rival Michigan
State with a payback drubbing of the
Gophers, 95-70. Minnesota handed
the Wolverines their first Big Ten
loss back on Jan. 11.
Now Michigan will spend its
spring break trying to move up the
Big Ten ladder as it travels to

Northwestern (1-10, 8-13) tomorrow
and to Wisconsin (2-9, 11-13) next
Wednesday.

pressure opposing shooters.
Minnesota only managed to hit
43 percent of its shots Wednesday
- and just 28 percent in the first
half. For the season, Michigan op-
ponents are shooting .404 from the
field, ranking the Wolverines among
the nation's leaders in that category.
The Northwestern contest in
Evanston will provide a homecom-
ing of sorts for Michigan center
Juwan Howard. Family and friends
will be on hand to cheer the former
prep standout from Chicago
Vocational.
Howard broke out of an early-
season slump when the Wolverines
last traveled to Illinois to take on the"
Fighting Illini in Champaign. Since
that game, Howard has become the
primary option in Michigan's half-.
court offense, scoring in double fig-
ures in 9 of 10 contests.

Howard
It appears that Michigan's suc-
cess in those two games will again
rely on how well the defense can

Softball opens in the Southwest

by Meg Beison
The women's softball team
slides into its season over spring
break when it travels to Albu-
querque, N.M., and Phoenix.
The Wolverines will face New
Mexico, Iowa State, San Diego
State, and No. 12 Arizona State.
The team will miss the perfor-
mance and leadership of graduated

seniors Andrea Nelson, Julie
Cooper and Bonnie Tholl, but coach
Carol Hutchins said she has confi-
dence in her team.
"They were all four-year star-
ters and will be difficult to re-
place," Hutchins said. "But we are
pleased with the freshman class
we've brought in. We just need to
put them on the field and play some

games."
Hutchins said she is excited
about the play of the outfield. She.
has seen strong play at first and
third base as well as behind the
plate. The trip will be an.
opportunity to see all the players in
action.
"It's a chance to see what we're
made of," Hutchins said.

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS
LS&WANTED!
Here's the chance to tell your classmates
what your years here at
The University of Michigan
have meant to you.
WHO: All eligible graduating LS&A seniors (through
Winter Term 1992).

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