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The Michigan Daily
Friday, April 10, 1992
Football springs into play
Depth a problem going into spring game
by Albert Lin
Daily Football Writer
Michigan's basketball and
hockey teams just completed their
Final Four seasons. The boys of
spring have begun their quest for the
World Series. Flowers have taken
bloom, and the temperature is stabi-
lizing in the 50's.
It must be time for football.
That's right, the Wolverine grid-
ders have been hard at work tuning
up to defend their Big Ten title, and
their three weeks of preliminary
preparation concludes tomorrow
with the (sometimes) annual Spring
Last year's intrasquad matchup
was canceled when injuries depleted
the squad, and although the team
faces the same situation this year,
coach Gary Moeller plans to go
ahead and play.
"We're gonna go ahead and have
the game and have some fun," coach
Gary Moeller said yesterday. "I
think the kids have more fun if it's a
game. The thing you find out is that
if it's a game. and we put it in the
stadium, the kid who's a rookie gets
"And as a coach, it's like coach-
ing your own kid in soccer. You're
out there hollering and screaming at
him all the time, because you're ex-
Moeller divided the team and
coaching staff into two units last
night, and each side will be ready to
go at 1:30 p.m. in Michigan Stad-
ium. This is a last chance for people
to step up and impress the coaches
before the players reconvene in
August. The team is still facing se-
vere depth problems, and chances
are that at least several players who
will be regular contributors in the
fall will not be in action tomorrow.
The receiver spot is of major
concern for Moeller. With Derrick
Alexander still recovering from his
knee injury and Desmond Howard
turning pro, the quarterbacks will
have only two scholarship receivers
to throw to - sophomores-to-be
Walter Smith and Felman Malveaux.
"I worry about who's going to
take (Howard's) position, and the
players where the support is going to
come from," Moeller admitted.
"Some of the others have to pick up
the slack, but (if they don't) you
can't flank a decoy out there. If you
put someone out there, you better be
able to throw the ball to him."
Todd Richards, a walk-on from
Reading, Mich., is currently the third
wideout on the depth chart. But
Moeller expects to give top recruits
Amani Toomer, rated the best prep
receiver in the country, and Mercury
Hayes chances to contribute.
The other position about which
Moeller expressed the most concern
is offensive tackle. The team has a
lot of bodies to play inside at the
guard slot, but lacks the bigger
"The offensive line is not where
I'd like to have it at this time,"
Moeller said, discussing the prob-
lems caused by personnel being
forced to shift along the line.
The one player who has shown
Moeller something is senior Doug
Skene, who played last year mostly
at guard. He was tried at tackle dur-
ing the team's scrimmage last Sat-
urday and performed well, perhaps
initiating a move for himself.
"Skene has looked as good as
anyone at this point," Moeller said.
"I'm really pleased with him. I don't
know if he really thinks of himself
as a first-teamer, although he played
a lot last year. It's the mentality."
Both quarterback Elvis Grbaca
and tailback Ricky Powers have had
very good springs, the coach exi
Defensively, the front seven is
coming together. Buster Stanleyand 1
Ninef Aghakhan are out with knee_,
injuries, but the rest of the line and
linebackers have performed well.
The secondary has plenty of bod-
ies, but has been prone to giving up
the big play thus far this spring.
The linebackers have apparently
settled down, with Steve Morrison,
Marcus Walker and Nate Holdren
manning the inside, while Martin
Davis, Matt Dyson and former full-
back Greg McThomas roam the out-
Michigan quarterback Elvis Grbac, shown in action last season, has had a strong showing in this season's spring
practices according to coach Gary Moeller. Grbac and his grid iron teammates take the field tomorrow at 1:30.
'M' tennis duels Minnesota and Iowa
Weekend play may determine seedsforwomen's Big Ten tournament
by Sharon Lundy
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis
team has a big weekend ahead.
Matches against Big Ten opponents
Iowa, Friday and Minnesota,
Sunday, will be important deter-
mining factors in the Wolverines'
seed for the Big Ten tournament be-
ing held April 24-26.
Michigan will attempt to ex-
tend its three-match winning streak,
but the competition will be tougher
than it has been against the past
"The wins were definitely con-
fidence-boosting," Wolverine co-
captain Amy Malik said. "But they
were matches we should have won,
and the competition was not at the
level we would like to be compet-
Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa
are currently ranked in the middle
of the conference, respectively, from
the match results so far this season.
Both Minnesota and Iowa have tal-
ented players and deep lineups that
are strong through all positions.
Iowa is led at the first singles
position by Minna Hatakka.
Minnesota also has a strong No. 1
player, Jennie Moe, who is highly
ranked in the region.
The Wolverines have been
preparing for these matches with
the mindset that these teams will be
difficult to beat.
"We've been working mostly on
playing more aggressive points and
making smarter decisions on the
tennis court," Malik said. "We're
trying to improve our fight out
there so we'll be tougher on the
court, and it seems to be going well.
I think people are playing better
than we were playing a month ago."
Although these schools are tra-
ditionally not the top of the confer-
ence, Michigan will approach the
matches with the same attitude,
because they are just as important.
Men netters' lineup still stinging,
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by Adam Miller
Daily Sports Writer
This year, everyone is calling
Minnesota "the State of Champions"
in reference to the numerous cham-
pionship contests held in Min-
nepolis. Major League Baseball's
Minnesota Twins stand alone on the
list of recent champions from Minn-
esota, but it may be time to add
TheUniversity of Minnesota's
men's tennis team (4-0 Big Ten, 11-
4 overall) is rolling toward the Big
Ten title. The Golden Gophers are
ranked No. 14 in the nation and have
won 10 of their last 12 matches, by a
combined score of 85-20. They will
put their streak on the line tomorrow
against Michigan (3-3, 3-11) in a 1
p.m. match at the Liberty Sports
Complex. After their match with the
Golden Gophers, the Wolverines
wrap-up the weekend Sunday at
Liberty against Iowa (1-3, 7-4), also
at 1 p.m.
Without its No. 1 singles player,
Brian Uihlein (3-0, 16-9), Minnesota
cruised passed Penn State last week-
end, 8-1. Uihlein will be back tomor-
row, and he'll be rejoining partner
Adam Krafft at No. 1 doubles. The
duo is 1-0, 16-2.
Another Golden Gopher to watch
is No. 2 singles player Mehdi
won its last six matches, and their
last loss was to Minnesota, 5-3, in a
match that featured three-set
matches at No. 1-4 singles (a 2-2
split) and tiebrakers in each of the
two sets at No. 6 singles (won 7-6,
7-6 by Minnesota). The Hawkeyes
are led by No. 1 singles player Klax
Bergstrom (11-5 overall).
Despite the success of his team
coach Steve Houghton is the real
story in Iowa tennis. A member of
the Iowa Tennis Hall of Fame,
Houghton is the winningest coach in
Iowa tennis history and, when he
played for the Hawkeyes, posted the
best winning percentage (.727) ever
in singles - a record that stands to-
Despite his team's streak,
Houghton predicted a tight contest
"We'll have to play better this
week than we did (in the past),"
Houghton said. "Michigan is always
The Wolverines once again bring
a severely-depleted lineup to its
matches. Injuries will hamper the
play of No. 1 David Kass (forearm
tendinitis), and keep No. 2 Dan
Brakus (shoulder), John Lingon
(knee) and Eric Grand (fractured
toe) out of the lineup entirely.
Wolverine gymanst Ruben Ceballos takes a twirl on the pommel horse.
Michigan competes inthe NCAA East Regional this weekend.
Gymnasts vault to Iowa
for regional competition
by Todd Schoenhaus
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's gymnastics
team began its season on a mission.
The team's goal was to generate
three scores high enough to qualify
for the Eastern Regionals. An aver-
age score of 279.92 has elevated the
eleventh-ranked Wolverines, plac-
ing them in distinct company. They
are one of only ten teams to qualify
for the regionals tomorrow at.
Michigan will also try to
achieve another goal - a bid to the
NCAA Championships held in
Nebraska. It will not be easy for
the Wolverines, who will need to
finish in the top four at Iowa to
qualify. The nine opponents are
sure to provide stiff competition.
Six will be Big Ten universities,
all of whom currently rank ahead
of Michigan. Temple, Syracuse, and
Kent State will complete the field.
The tournament will run
slightly different than regular
meets, in that each team will only
be allowed to field nine gymnasts,
instead of the usual twelve.
"I am still deciding between
four different lineup scenarios,"
Michigan Bob Darden said. "Each
lineup will most likely give us a
new school record, based on season
The Wolverines will probably
need that new school record if a
trip to Nebraska is to be a reality.
At the Big Ten Tournament held
two weeks ago, the top five teams
scored at least 281. The current
school record is 281.65, set three
weeks ago against Michigan State.
Fortunately for Michigan,
sprains and bruises should no
longer pose a roadblock to the goal.
Ruben Ceballos has recovered
from a sore shoulder and will be
ready to compete. Ben Verall's
sprained ankle has healed and will
allow him to participate as well.
"This is a big boost for us con-
sidering Ruben is a senior who
keeps the team's spirit alive and
Ben is No. 4 in the nation on the
floor exercise," Darden said.
Heading into the regionals
Michigan ranked first in the floor
exercises and second in the Pommel
Benyebka (1-0, 3-1). A transfer-stu-
dent from perennial tennis power
Southern California, Benyebka suc-
cessfully filled in for Uihlein last
week, defeating his Nittany Lion op-
ponent in straight sets.
Michigan will run into another
hot team in the Hawkeyes. Iowa has
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