8 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 20, 1994
duel Broncos at Keen
By JOSH KARP
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Save men's gymnastics.
This phrase is pasted all over cam-
pus, as Coach Bob Darden and his
team hope to keep a varsity sport
which celebrates its 50th anniversary
at the University this season.
"Once you start chipping away at
tradition, everybody suffers some-
what," Darden explained.
This weekend's meet vs. Western
Michigan atCliff Keen Arena will show
the importance of the men's gymnas-
tics program, and may turn a few
influencial heads as well.
"We've extended an invitation to
the regents and (President Duderstadt),"
Darden said. "We want them to just get
a feel for our sport. Beyond that, we
want them to see the interest level of the
spectators that come. We want them to
know that there is an interest for the
sport of gymnastics at Michigan."
Besides the added pressure of hav-
ing the eyes of the regents and president
upon them, the gymnasts will have to
go out and compete against a Western
squad which should not be overlooked.
"They have a pretty good strength
in vault," Darden said. "It looks like
they're doing higher difficulty vaults
than the norm would have."
"Western has Jeff Kraft who works
all-around," Darden stated. "He is a
super performer on pommel horse.
John Hamilton (is also excellent) on
Some members of the Michigan
team are looking at the competition
"We're (using this meet) to get our-
selves geared up for Illinois (next week-
end),"junior Rich Dopp said. "It's kind
of atwo-week training session (forus)."
"We're gonna have a good meet
and beat Western Michigan," senior
Seth Rubin added. "We're not taking
Western lightly by any means, but
we're gonna try a couple of new things
in the lineup."
One of the beneficiaries of this
lineup fiddling could possibly be jun-
ior Royce Toni, who has yet to com-
pete this year due to back problems.
Last year, the Wolverines beat the
Broncos by a count of 267.65-261.60,
and to continue their success against
Western, Darden says his squad needs
to score better in two particular events.
"The events that really have his-
torically given us problems have
been parallel bars and rings," Darden,
explained. "The strength of our rou-
tines haven't been where we wanted
"Our goal is to have our top three
performers being the top three on
each event," Darden added. "(We
want) to win each of the events."
In addition to prevailing in the
events, the team hopes to capture the
attention of those watching, because
fifty years just isn't enough.
for three way
By ELISA SNEED
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
When is a 'quadrangular' really a
On Saturday, when the Michigan
men's track team travels to East Lan-
sing for the Michigan State Quadran-
gular it will find out.
The quadrangular was supposed to
have been a four-team event, but due to
the cancellation by Ohio State, only
Michigan, Michigan State and Penn
State will compete in the season's first
Michigan will be trying to improve
upon last year's third-place meet finish
behind OSU and Penn State. Assistant
coach Kent Bernard indicated that the
absence of the Buckeyes - last year's
winners - would be of some advan-
tage to the Wolverines.
"(We're looking forward to) win-
ning," he said. "Ohio State would
have been the toughest team there.
We expect to do well."
Head coach Jack Harvey agreed.
" We're fairly sure we can beat
Michigan State - we did last year -
but it will be a tough matchup with
Penn State," he said.
If the teams are similar to last years
squads, the Wolverines and the Nittany
Lions will indeed be evenly matched.
Penn State placed sixth in the confer-
ence in the indoor season, and Michi-
gan finished eighth. In the outdoor sea-
son the teams tied for seventh.
The Wolverines hope that their best
will be better than the Nittany Lions'.
"Penn State is a lot like us," Harvey
said. "They've got a lot of decent
people all over."
Junior Tyrone Wheatley is still un-
available to the track team for this meet.
"Wheatley won't run this week-
end," Bernard said. "Hopefully, he
will before the Big Ten meet.
"His former teammate Felman
Malveaux should make a good ac-
count of himself in the 55 meter
Bernard said that he thoughtMichi-
gan, as a team, would be strong all
Sophomore Todd Burnham, who
won the 400 meter at Eastern Michi-
gan last weekend, agreed.
"Practices have been like gaining
momentum," he said. "Everyone is
getting excited forthe upcoming meet."
The Michgan gymnasts hope to impress the Broncos and possibly the regents Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena.
BLUE Grapplers need more production
AT TERS from 118, 126,134 weight classes
By RYAN WHITE
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
If the last week is any indication, it's liable to be a bumpy road
through the rest of season for the No. 4 Michigan wrestling team.
After strong individual performances at the St. Louis and
Northern Opens, a fourth place team finish at the Las Vegas
Classic and a 3-0 start in dual meets, the Wolverines have
lost two of their last three contests. These losses will almost
definitely drop them in the polls when the new rankings
come out Jan. 26.
Last Saturday, Michigan lost to No. 7 Penn State, but re-
bounded to defeat Lehigh on Sunday. Wednesday night the
Wolverines lost to Michigan State. The loss was the first to the
Spartans in nine years.
The two losses exposed what's going to be the team's
weakness all year - inexperience in its first three weight
classes 118, 126, and 134 pounds.
It's that inexperience that Michigan is going to have to
counter if it is going to realize its hope of Big Ten and national
"I've been worried since Christmas about our first three,"
Coach Dale Bahr said."I look at those and I cross my fingers when
we 'go out there to wrestle."
The three wrestlers, Matt Stout (118), Andy Behm (126),.
and Bryan Sosinski (134) all lost their matches against Michi-
gan State and Penn State. As a result Michigan started the meet
against the Nittany Lions down, 20-0, and against the Spartans,
the Wolverines were down, 14-0, before they scored their first
Stout has seen limited action the past two seasons due to both
injury and sharing the duties with other wrestlers.
Behm was redshirted last season and is wrestling now
because Brandon Howe, the starter at 126, tore his anterior
cruciate ligament earlier this month.
Sosinski, after two years on the team, is also seeing his first
"It's tough when you lose your first four matches," Bahr said
after Wednesday night's loss to Michigan State. "It puts all the
pressure on your last six wrestlers"
While Michigan's lineup features some high caliber talent,
Sean Bormet at 158 and heavyweight Steve King leading the way,
it won't always be able to save the day for the team.
This past week has proven that.
The Wolverines also have another problem in that more
experienced wrestlers are not winning matches that they are
Both Mike Ellsworth (142) and Jesse Rawls Jr. (177) have
lost their last three matches.
"Jesse is struggling," Bahr commented. "For some reason or
another he's lost his confidence, and it shows out there.
"I've seen him wrestle Bormet tooth and nail. They could go
all night and be even, but right now that's not the case."
Michigan has a lot of potential but the Wolverines are going
have to get production from Ellsworth and Rawls, as well as
improvement from the first three weight classes, if the season is
to be a success.
"We can't change anything now," Bahr said. "We just have
to go with those guys, keep working hard, and see what we can
Hopefully they can smooth the road ahead of them.
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Women gymnasts visit Bahamas
By TIM SMITH
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
They're going to the Bahamas, but
this won't just be a day at the beach.
Although the Michigan women's
gymnastics team is in the Bahamas this
week in preparation for tomorrow's
Bahama Sunshine Invitational, fun in
the sun is not the main objective. Since
the meet is the team's second of the
season, it is primarily needed to get the
kinks out and help the team get into the
swing of things in time for the Big Ten
"Really the first three meets of the
season to me are like full blown
intrasquads," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "They are able to give us
indications of where we need work,
and it gives the kids a little bit of
experience so that they can build con-
The Invitational is an event prima-
rily for private club gymnasts between
the ages of eight and 16 who want to
showcase their talents. However, this
year is the first year that college teams
are invited to the competition. The
Wolverines will square off against the
The two teams will compete only
against each other, so coach Plocki
hopes that the Michigan gymnastics
program will catch the attention of
some aspiring young gymnasts.
"All of those private club kids who
are there competing in their private
club meet will come and watch the
University of Michigan compete
against Iowa," Plocki said. "This is
good for us from a recruiting stand-
Although the team did pretty well
in the first meet, according to Plocki,
there are a few things that the coach
would like to see ironed out in the
"Judging from out first competi-
tion, I would say that we need to do
more under pressure on the'balance
beam and we need to do the same thing
on the floor exercise," she said. "I think
our vaulting and our bars went very
well in the first meet, and the areas that
we had mistakes weren't big mistakes.
They were usually small mental er-
The team should be improved
with the return of sophomore Diana
Rinelli, who is back after a week off
to recuperate from a minor knee
"Just having Diana in the lineup
could make about a point and a half
difference in our team scores," Plocki
Junior Kelly Carfora said that the
squad must do better, and feels that it
could use new techniques to help en-
"We hope to improve upon last
weekend's performance," Carfora said.
"We're going to throw in some new
skills, but with the new judging sys-
tem, it will be a little bit more difficult
"I hope it's going to be a fun trip,
because it's part of the reason we're
doing it," Plocki added. "I will have
restrictions on the amount of sun that
they can get because it can fatigue you.
Hopefully, we'll have some other ac-
tivities and do some things that are fun,
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Volleyball searches for consistency in .
weekend journey to Hoosier State
By DAN McKENZIE
and MELINDA ROCO
DAILY SPORTS WRITERS
Just win, baby.
The Michigan men's volleyball
team hopes that it can live up to that
popular saying as it heads into a big
weekend in Indiana. The Wolverines
take on Tri-State tomorrow night in
Angola and travel to Bloomington Sat-
urday to play in the Indiana Tourna-
Despite beginning the season with
lems with team unity and communica-
"Our brilliance came when things
connected," Lee said. "But you may
have noticed that a lot of players saw
time in the Purdue match and that makes
it difficult to create a team chemistry."
Lee was not the only one who felt
that the numerous substitutions caused
some problems for Michigan.,
"Our consistency was incredibly
weak,"outside hitter Mike Rubin said.
"We need to hit the floor running in-
the lineup changes occurring, what we
want to do now is establish the middle
hitters as a major part of the offense."
Griffin scheduled an extra day of
practice this week in preparation for
"This weekend is a good chance for
the teams involved to get a first look at
each other," Griffin said. "We'll be
able to see all the teams in the Big Ten,
except for Northwestern and Minne-
sota, as well as Kentucky, Kansas and