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April 09, 1992 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-09

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 9,1992- Page 9

COACH HOPES NEW FACES, WEATHER SPARK CHANGE

Golfers stir thei

y Brett Forrest
Daily Sports Writer
A shakeup in the lineup is the
remedy Michigan coach Jim Carras
has in mind to cure the woes of his
men's golf team. After a 12th-place
finish in the South Florida
Invitational and a 14th-place finish
in the weather-shortened Johnny
Owens Invitational, Carras has seen
*nough.
When the team tees it up in
Huntington, W. Va., for the
Marshall Invitational, there will be
three players on the scorecard who
have not appeared in the last two
tournaments.
Senior Denny Sikkila, sophomore
Carl Condon and frosh Bill Lyle will
replace juniors James Carson and
Bob Henighan, and sophomore Mike
*Will, who finished 17, 16 and 15
strokes off the team lead
respectively at the Johnny Owens.
The new players are looking for-
ward to the opportunity to play well
and make Carras' decision an easy
one for the next tournament.
"We have really come together as
a team in the last week," Lyle said.
"I want to play."
The weather cleared up a bit this
Spast week and the team has finally
been able to log some practice time
on its own golf course in Ann Arbor.
That should prove-to be a big help in
West Virginia.
"The weather has definitely been
better," Condon observed. "We've
all been playing well. We are all ex-
cited about going and playing well.

It is an important tournament. If we
play well, it can be a big confidence
builder."
Sikkila is also eager to break
back into the lineup after his poor,
early-season outing in Fripp Isle,
'We're going to have
to start getting top
three or four finishes
or we're all done. The
guys have been
working harder.
Everyone wants to
play a little more.'
- Bill Lyle
Michigan golf team
S.C., where neither he nor Condon
shot in the '70s.
"Having not gone to those last
couple of tournaments, it has given
me a lot more time to get ahead aca-
demically," Sikkila said. "I am much
more comfortable, from a mental
standpoint, than I was at Fripp
Island."
The team finished in fifth place
out of a field of 18 teams at the
Marshall last year. Dean Kobane
was the 'M' leader, finishing fourth
overall with two of his three rounds.
under par. Kobane was again the
leading Michigan golfer in last
week's tournament, tying for sixth
overall.
He is primed for the upcoming

r lineup
competitions, as the next five tour-
naments count towards All-Big Ten
selection and NCAA tournament
consideration. He is non-commital,
though, as to Carras' decision to
bring three new players to
Huntington. "(Carras) wants to bring
in some new players and that's at his
discretion. Hopefully it will work
out the best for us."
The Wolverines are praying that
at least some things will work out
the best for them. The season is
heading down the stretch run and
everyone on the team knows they
have too much talent to be perform-
ing the way they have been. There is
a feeling of underlying confidence,
forced by urgency, in all the players.
"We're going to have to start get-
ting top three or four finishes or
we're all done," said Lyle. "The
guys have been working harder.
Everyone wants to play a little more.
Scores should be lower this week.
We need to start playing well."
Consistent senior Anthony Dietz
had stronger comments. "We're go-
ing to have a good tournament this
week, we're going to have a good
tournament next week," Dietz stated.
"It's going to get better and better. I
think we'll be OK."
All five members of the squad
who are heading to this weekend's
tournament seem to be on top of
their games physically and mentally.
Also consider that the team has been
able to get some recent practice, and
all bodes well for Michigan at the
Marshall Invitational in Huntington.

SDatnncing

Blue gymnasts
reach for titles

by Andy Stabile
Daily Sports Writer
After winning the Big Ten
Championship two weeks ago,
Michigan women's gymnastics
assistant coach Dave Kuzara
suggested the team had some pretty
high aspirations.
"Eventually, we're talking about
being the best in the nation,"
Kuzara said, "That's going to be a
while, but this is a big step for us."
The next big step is here.
Saturday, the Wolverines (11-0
in the Big Ten, 20-3 overall) will
take the floor at the University of
Missouri for the NCAA Central
Regional Championships - the
qualifying meet for the national
championships. The region's top
team receives an automatic bid,
season-long composite scores
secure seven other wild card berths
to nationals. Headed into the meet,
the Wolverines are ranked third in
their region, behind Alabama and
Auburn.
The Wolverines' title dreams
are like those of a sophomore who
wants to be named senior prom
queen - premature. It's a matter of
time. Instead, they focus on
intermediate goals; this year's is to
qualify for the NCAA National
Championships. In all, 12 teams
will make the trip to (where else?)
St. Paul, Minn., in two weeks.
Right now, the Wolverines are
ranked No. 14 nationally.
But even if the Wolverines don't
go further than this weekend,
Michigan will be represented. Big
Ten Gymnast of the Year Beth
Wymer is ranked No. 8 in the
nation and will almost certainly
compete for Michigan at the
NCAAs.
A seed will be planted.
Much like a seed was planted at
the NCAA Central regional
competition last season. Michigan
failed to qualify for the meet as a
team last year, but sent rookie
gymnast Wendy Wilkinson, and
sophomore Ali Winski to compete
as individuals. In a year's time
Michigan has become a contender.
And next year...
"We could be top five in the
nation as soon as next year,"
Wolverine head coach Bev Fry
says. "I don't want to say that we
will be... but we should be in the
top five in the next two or three
years."
Ironic. Only three years ago, Fry

"Club spikers capture title

Michigan's Kelly Cafora competes on the uneven bars. No. 14 Michigan
won the Big Tens, and will compete atthe regionals this weekend in
Missouri. They hope to be one of 12 teams to qualify for the NCAAs.

from staff reports
While most Michigan students
had their eyes glued to a television
last Saturday, in anticipation of the
tip-off between Michigan and
Cincinnati in the NCAA semifinal
basketball game, the Michigan
women's club volleyball team was
n enemy territory facing a battle of
its own.
The Wolverines found them-
selves in the final of the Midwest
Intercollegiate Women's Club
Volleyball Championships in
Miami, Ohio.
The Michigan 'A' team downed
Miami, 15-12, 15-11, in the final to
come away with the title for the
hird straight year. Michigan con-
vincingly reached the finals by going
undefeated in their pool, which
included two Miami teams and
Northwestern.
Sophomores Becky Noerr and
Sheri Kurashige, along with Diane
Snoeyink earned spots on the all-
tournament team.
Kurashige modestly accepted the
honor as she praised the team's ef-
fort and hard hitting as the keys to

its success.
"I was surprised," Kurashige said
of the award. "The tournament was
great because we finally started
working together."
The tournament was the last ac-
tion of the year for the team and was
the grand finale for graduating club
members Snoeyink, Sarah Cosovich,
Heather Hannapel, Michelle
Mustonen, Karina Boehm, and Kris
Sterett.
"At the beginning of the season I
didn't know we would do this well,"
Hannapel said. "It was a great way
to finish off the season."
The Wolverines overcame some
early season problems to finish
strong by winning their last three
tournaments.
"We got over the hurdle of losing
in the semis (in past tournaments),"
Snoeyink said. "We were able to
break out of the rut and everything
just came together."
The graduating seniors will be
greatly missed, but the team has
confidence that they will be back
next year to accomplish even more

goals.
"They played better than I
thought they would," Coach Mark
Tessmer said. "With three returning
starters and some great middle hit-
ters they will be just as good next
year."
The Michigan 'B' team also had
some bright spots in the tournament
as it finished in a tie for second in its
pool with a 5-5 record. The
Wolverines lost a chance to play in
the semifinals when they suffered a
disappointing loss to Miami in the
tie breaker.
"We were really disappointed
with the loss," sophomore Shannon
Lucas said. "We were hoping to
meet the other Michigan team in the
finals, but now we can just look
forward to next year."

inherited a program that inhabited
the basement of the Big Ten. Now
she is knocking on the door of the
nation's elite. Whether or not Fry
can lead her team to the NCAAs
this year remains to be seen, but
one thing is certain: the Wolverines
will get there eventually.
The women's gymnastics team
is Michigan's most rapidly
improving program. This year
alone, Fry coached her team to six
school records, playing triage with
a team comprised of walking
wounded.
With commitments from a
handful of solid recruits and the
return of gymnasts like Wendy
Wilkinson and Li Li Leung from
injury, this program is on its way.
After talking about the team's

long-term goals, Kuzra was quick
to note that the Wolverines have
gotten this far relying on their
youth.
"We have a young team. A lot
of freshmen," he said. "They have
no clue. It takes a long time to
develop maturity."
Talented youth. Sound familiar?
The goals. The records. The
conference championship. The
struggle to the top. All signs of a
surging program. The women's
gymnastics team is the first
Michigan program, besides football
or swimming, to win a Big Ten
team title since baseball in 1987.
With all that the future
promises, don't bet on a
disappearing act. You'd win more
money betting on championships.

Wolverine spikers hit season's last tourney

I

by Dan Linna
Daily Sports Writer
When the Michigan men's volleyball team
began practice more than six months ago, April 9
loomed large in the players' minds.
Today, the Wolverines (15-5 in head-to-head
matches) will find out if countless matches and
practices have been enough to prepare them for
the Collegiate Club Nationals at Buffalo, N.Y.
Play will begin at 4 p.m. today and continue at 8
a.m. Friday and Saturday.
"This is the end - this is it," co-captain Rico
Latham said. "We want to put all of our ups and
downs behind us and come out with a solid ef-
fort. We're going to really try to leave Michigan
with a good name for the '91-'92 season."
Michigan is just one of 54 teams which re-
ceived invitations to the tournament. Sacramento
College enters as the No. 1 seed followed by
California-Berkeley, Graceland College, and
Maryland. Berkeley has won the tournament the
last two years and Michigan middle hitter Tim
Werner feels they may be the team to beat.
"They have a very good program and they
play at the level of a varsity program," Werner
said. "Since they aren't varsity, they clean-up at
the club level."
The Wolverines have been hurt by player

losses all season and this weekend will be no
different, as starters Chris Peirce and Keith Baar
are injured and will not play.
"We'll be looking for Scot Lauer and Curt
Schroeder to pick up the slack," assistant coach
Pam Griffin said. "I think we are as well pre-
pared as we can be and we just want to do every-
thing we can to win."
Werner is confident Michigan will fare well
in the tournament and feels a top 10 finish may
be attainable.
"I know we definitely have the potential to
put it together," Werner said. "Everybody indi-
vidually has to keep their heads in the game. We
have to have all six on the court playing to their
full potential if we expect to compete at this
level ."
While the Wolverines are not a small team,
Latham expects to see many teams that are big-
ger than Michigan. He feels the Wolverines will
have to play flawless defense to be contenders.
"The 'Cali' teams and the East Coast teams
have great ball control," Latham said. "They are
going to get their kills and we'll have to serve-
receive well. I'd like to see 15-point games that
take an hour because there is so much siding
out."

Michigan has proven to be one of the top
teams in the Midwest with victories over
Graceland College and Michigan State this sea-
son. However, mental lapses against lesser oppo-
nents have kept the Wolverines from realizing
their full potential.
"If we stay focused, we can beat these teams,"
Griffin said. "We need to communicate and pre-
vent any big runs."
One advantage Michigan has over many of
the teams is that the Wolverines have already
played at Buffalo twice this year. Although they
did not perform as well as they hoped to at
Buffalo three weeks ago, the Wolverines were
able to get a feel for the courts and their sur-
roundings.
"We've had a good look at the facilities and
we know the problem spots," Griffin said.
"There are going to be a lot of spectators there
and we are preparing so we aren't distracted."
It is no secret Michigan is not totally satisfied
with its performance this season. However, a
good showing this weekend would more than
make up for this year's pitfalls in the minds of
the Wolverines.
"Redemption is definitely at hand," Latham
said. "If we stay mentally in tune we can earn
some serious respect there."

a

Shwing!
Wayne Grady blasts from the sand during yesterday's practice round for
the 1992 Masters in Augusta, Ga., which runs today through Sunday.
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