Page 12-The Michigan Daily- Friday, March 12,1993
Spikers seek revenge
against touted MSU
by Jeremy Strachan
Daily Sports Writer
This weekend the Michigan
men's volleyball team and nine oth-
ers will try to knock Michigan State
from its perch atop the Big Ten.
Yes, it's another trek up to East
Lansing today for the Wolverines.
Not only do the Wolverines have to
play in enemy territory, but they
must also vie for the Big Ten tour-
nament championship, led by the
host Spartans who are the favorites'
to win the tournament.
Play begins Friday for the two-
day tournament and the Wolverines
are confident that they can challenge
for the league title. Michigan lost a
close match at home earlier this sea-
son to the favored Spartans, but feels
it should be ready to play this time.
"I don't think we've peaked yet
this season," sophomore Chad Engel
said. "I think we'll be peaking for
the (Big Ten) tournament at MSU."
This weekend's tournament is
just the first of many in the weeks to
come for the Wolverines. Michigan
plays in the Midwest Invitational
next week and then in the Nationals
the following week. So will the
Wolverines be looking ahead this
weekend to the Nationals? Michigan
coach Pam Griffin doesn't think so.
"I think we'll be focused on the
Big Ten," Griffin said. "(The title) is
really up for grabs this year. Any
team can beat any other team this
year because the league is so strong.
I think Michigan State will be tough
along with Illinois and Purdue."
by Rich Mitvalsky
Daily Basketball Writer
It seems that hell has indeed
The Michigan women's basket-
ball defeated Indiana, 67-54,
recording its first conference vic-
tory since defeating the Hoosiers in
Ann Arbor during the 1992 season.
Sparked by senior Nikki
Beaudry's standout performance,
the Wolverines (1-16 Big Ten, 2-24
overall) pulled away from the
Hoosiers (4-13, 13-13) down the
stretch, a stage in the game where
Michigan traditionally falters.
"The players decided that these
last two games of the year, we're
going to get a win," Michigan
coach Trish Roberts said. "This is
the game we most wanted to win af-
ter losing 65-61 in January. We ex-
ecuted our game plan the way we
wanted, except for the turnovers."
Michigan took this one despite
ab first Big
turning the ball over a whopping 311
times. However, the Hoosiers weret
not much more protective of the
ball, committing 24 of their own.l
"This game is typical of our sea-
son, we play the good teams well,I
and lose to the worst team," Indiana
coach Jim Izard said. "We didn'tt
make Michigan pay for their mis-
takes. We didn't convert."J
Beaudry carried the Wolverines
with 15 points and 12 boards - 8j
on the defensive end. Her hustlei
was indicative of Michigan's over-t
all performance, as the Wolverines
outrebounded the Hoosiers, 45-31,1
with 34 defensively. Senior Trisht
Andrew led Michigan with 20J
points, while collecting eight re-
bounds herself. Forward Lisa Furlin
paced Indiana with 20 points on 7-
of-18 shooting, while frontcourtc
mate Dawn Douglass chipped inc
with 16 points.1
The game remained a see-saw
battle for the first 30 minutes, as the
teams traded one-point leads. A
Shimmy Gray four-footer with
10:40 remaining gave the
Wolverines the lead for good. After
Michigan established a five-point
advantage, Indiana staged a final
comeback, narrowing the gap to 49-
48 with 6:29 remaining. Michigan's
Jen Nuanes buried a three-pointer
with 2:48 left, extending the
Wolverines lead to 59-52, and key-
ing an 11-2 Michigan run to close
Michigan led at halftime, 29-26,
for the first time since its home con-
test against Michigan State in
January. The Wolverines also hit on
a remarkable 53.8 percent of their
"I think the team realized they
could play and beat IU when they
came out in the second half,"
Roberts said. "Our confidence just
Women hitters compete in South Florida Classic
by Charlie Breitrose
Daily Sports Writer
Playing softball in Michigan is difficult to do
in the middle of March, particularly when more
white is visible on the ground than green.
This minor detail has forced the Wolverines,
and other schools in colder states, to play their
pre-conference schedule in warm, far-off locales.
Michigan is playing the second of three tour-
naments held in sunny areas of the United States
this weekend. Starting today and continuing
through Sunday, the Wolverines will compete in
the South Florida Softball Classic in Tampa, Fla.
The 23-team tournament consists of two
stages, pool play and elimination playoffs.
Michigan's pool includes: Illinois-Chicago, Ok-
lahoma, Winthrop, East Carolina and Penn State.
The Wolverines must finish in the top three in
their pool to advance to the elimination stage.
However, coach Carol Hutchins doesn't feel this
task will be a problem.
"We think that we are very competitive,"
Hutchins said, "one of the most competitive in
"There will be some top-ranked teams at the
tournament: us, Florida State and Iowa."
Michigan will get a taste of conference play
this weekend. The Wolverines will face Penn
State on Saturday, and may face its main rival for
the Big Ten title, Iowa, in the elimination rounds
of the tournament.
"They've been tough every year," Hutchins
said of Iowa. "Hopefully we'll be playing them
on Sunday in the final."
Hutchins will rotate senior Kelly Forbis and
sophomore Kelly Kovach in the pitcher's spot.
Both hurlers had a successful start to the season
during the team's trip to Arizona two weeks ago,
as Forbis won five decisions and dropped two,
and Kovach ended the trip with an even 2-2
A couple of positions will be platooned at the
"We will give Tina Martin and Tracy Carr a
look at third base," Hutchins said. "I think some
of the freshmen will get some playing time in the
Hutchins said some areas of the Wolverines'
game are in need of improvement.
"We're still working at fielding, we had too
many errors. We're not as sharp as we need to
"We have the potential to be very explosive
offensively," Hutchins said.
Men's gymnastics looks toward Big Tens
by Scott Burton we have the potential to do that." rid itself of certain inconsistency
Daily Sports Writer Western Michigan, Illinois- problems.
No longer in contention for an Chicago, Kent State, Temple and "To help develop consistency, we
NCAA tournament berth, the Michi- Gym-Quest of Canada will be com- need confidence," Darden said.
gan men's gymnastics team has re- peting with the Wolverines at the "Confidence is not about me chal-
focused itself on making a huge im- Michigan Invitational. Syracuse was lenging the athletes, it's not about
pact at the Big Ten Championship at also scheduled to appear, but the Or- assistant coach Mike Milodonis
Minnesota. angemen dropped out at the last challenging the athletes. Confidence
That goal makes tomorrow's minute. Michigan, ranked ninth in comes from challenging yourself -4
Michigan Invitational at Cliff Keen the region, and the Owls, ranked the challenge being always doing
Arena a significant meet for the eighth in the region, are the favorites better every time you step up on an
Wolverines. The meet provides in the competition. apparatus."
Michigan with one last chance to
develop its potential, solidify its rou-
tines, and put itself on track to peak
at the Big Tens.
"We seem to be real consistent as
a team in the 270s (scoring range),"
Wolverines coach Bob Darden said.
"We need to boost that score by
about five points if we want to be
competitive. But we all know that
The Wolverines' hope for a
strong showing will depend on a
number of factors.
One factor is whether Brian
Winkler and Royce Toni, who com-
peted for the first time this season
last week, can continue to develop
and give the team the boost that was
expected from them. Another factor
is whether the rest of the team can
Michigan once again will be
handicapped in a meet due to in-
Seth Rubin, out for over a month;-
will not return into the lineup until
the Big Tens. Ben Verrall, with a
fractured wrist, is a probable scratch
on the day, as well. The status of
Rich Dopp, who is suffering with
the flu, is still in doubt.
Women tui blers enter final home meet
by Mike Rancilio
Daily Sports Writer
Cliff Keen Arena will house a
special night of gymnastics tonight.
The Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team holds its annual Senior
Night during its meet against Okla-
homa and Ball State at 7 p.m., but
this year's festivities have special
significance for coach Bev Plocki.
"This is my fourth year," Plocki
said, "So this is my first graduating
class who have been with me for
their full four years."
The meet is also significant for
tri-captains Debbie Geiger, Julie
Hofmeister, and Ali Winski. They
will compete in their final home
meet of the regular season. Of
course, there is plenty of gymnastics
left for the entire 8th-ranked
Next weekend, Michigan hosts
the Big Ten Championships where
it's set to defend its conference
championship. After Big Tens, the
Wolverines compete in the regional
championship and then, if all goes
well, the NCAAs.
Right now, the team is in great
shape to qualify for the national
tournament. Plocki's system of rest-
ing the top gymnasts while creating
valuable experience for the younger
performers has panned out ad-
mirably. The line-up is now solid
top to bottom and the gymnasts are
well rested and virtually injury-free.
"My philosophy of rotating has
kept us away from injuries for most
of the season," Plocki said.
The usual aches and pains from
the pounding of competition have
been rehabilitated through rest. All-
American Beth Wymer has been
nursing a sore Achilles tendon, and
Tina Miranda has been suffering a
sore knee, but both, through the
breaks they took from competition,
should be healthy for Big Tens.
But don't think that the Wolveri-
nes' focus on the post season will
cause them to overlook tonight's
meet. On the contrary, it's all part of
the master plan.
"We need to score well (in
tonight's meet) to improve our sea-
son average," Plocki said. "If we
match our season high, it will allow
us to use that score toward our com-
Regardless, the Wolverines view
this meet as an integral ingredient in
their post-season plans. And a high
score could set the tone for the re-
mainder of the year.
Don't resort to this if you want
to leave town this summer...
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