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March 01, 1994 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Hockey
vs. Ferris State
Saturday, 7 p.m.
Yost Ice Arena

Si

Men's Basketball
vs. Purdue
Sunday, 2 p.m. (Ch. 7)
Crisler Arena

Baseball goes 3-5 in
annual Florida trip

Women's gymnastics
falls to No. 7 UCLA

By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY BASEBALL WRITER
n The Michigan baseball team was
. hitting on all cylinders during its
spring break road trip.
Unfortunately, the pitching and
defense wasn't firing at the same pace.
The Wolverines (3-5 overall)
did- get off to a better start than
last year, however. And that was
mostly due to an offense that put
up an average of six runs per game
and a .303 team
' batting average.'
The team
reached double
z figures in two of
its wins - an 11-
9 victory over <<<<
South Florida
and a 10-6 win
over Saint Leo.
The other vic-
tory came at the Simmons
hands of Eckerd,
9-8. The three wins were earned
by Matt Ferullo, Ray Ricken and
John Arvai, respectively.
"We hit really well," junior Sean
Coston said. "We were really seeing
the ball well, and we got more aggres-
sive as the week went on."
Leading the way for the Wolver-
ines offense was sophomore Brian
Simmons. Through eight games,
Simmons leads the Wolverines in
every offensive category -hits, runs,
doubles, triples, home runs and RBIs.
Simmons is hitting .471, but he is not
the only Michigan player hot at the
plate.

Five other Wolverines are hitting
.333 or better.
However, hitting is not the only
aspect ofthe game, and last season's
team weaknesses, pitching and de-
fense, started off slowly again.
The pitching staff had trouble
keeping the ball over the plate
amassing 32 walks in the eight con-
tests and a team ERA of 5.82. How-
ever, Coston felt that the pitchers
performed well enough to win most
of the nights.
"Our pitching was fairly strong,"
Coston said. "It was a good experi-
ence for (them) to find out where they
are. We didn't give our first two pitch-
ers enough support.
"When you don't walk people, it
makes it that much easier."
What Coston was speaking of were
the first two nights of the season. The
Wolverines only scored two runs both
nights and were defeated by No. 3
(Div. II) Florida Southern, 5-2, and
Tampa, 7-2. The other losses came at
the hands of Stetson, 6-4 and 6-5, and
Rollins College, 7-6.
Despite the poor offensive out-
put the first two nights, and the
walks, Michigan still had its chances
to come away with a few more vic-
tories. However, Wolverine errors
created runs for their opponents and
this cost the team a chance for a
better road trip.
"Errors were the difference be-
tween coming back (from the trip) 3-
5 and 5-3," Coston said. "We have to
come around defensively. We have to
make the routine plays."

By TOM BAUSANO
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Sometimes winning and losing are
not the most important things.
The women's gymnastics team lost
its first meet of the season at the
UCLA Quadrangular on February 12.
Despite placing second to host UCLA
the Wolverines held onto their fourth
place ranking in the national polls
while UCLA slipped to seventh.
The national rankings and regional
qualifying are based on each team's
composite score.
Thescoreistheav-
erage of the two ;
highest home
scores, away
scores and at large
scores minus the
highest and low- >
est marks.
Michigan was
able to replace one Wymer
of its existing
away scores with the 191.95 achieved
at the UCLA meet.
Although Michigan fell short to
UCLA, they did beat No. 7 Arizona
State and No. 13 Auburn.
"The trip out there took a little bit
of a toll on us," coach Bev Plocki said.
"This team has shown that we are
polished and sharp and later in the
week we were more ourselves."
Due to jetlag, the Wolverines felt
as if they were competing at 1 a.m., so
it is no wonder that the routines were
sluggish.
Sophomore Dianna Ranelli fought
off fatigue to tie for first on the floor

exercise with Leah Homma from
UCLA with a score of 9.85.
Junior Beth Wymer turned in a
solid performance despite the circum-
stances. She captured the all-around
at UCLA with the score of 39.20. As
well as tying her own school record of
9.925 on beam.
"I stay up pretty late anyway so
I was not effected by the travel,"
said Wymer. "I didn't get a chance
to watch UCLA in the meet but we
saw them practice and they look
beatable."
Michigan used the UCLA facili-
ties to practice during the week of
February 15 before traveling to the
Fullerton Quadrangular. The Wolver-
ines earned a 194.10 in route to win-
ning the Fullerton Quadrangular on
February 18.
Wymer continued her undefeated
season by capturing the Fullerton meet
with a 39.15.
"I watered down my routines for
Fullerton," Wymer said. "We did bet-
ter as a team later in the week."
Plocki had hoped to replace the
two existing away scores with marks
from the spring break meets. Its en-
couraging that the 194.10 was not
averaged into the current national poll
that placed Michigan fourth.
"I was disappointed afterwards
(UCLA)," Plocki said. "We had three
meets in a row without counting a fall
going into the meet so we were bound
to have falls. The biggest thing is that
we stayed healthy. Anytime you are
on the road with different equipment
you worry about injury."

MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
Kelly Carfora and the rest of the Wolverines placed second at UCLA.

Men's swimming freshman class meets expectations

Dominant freestylers give
xx~ 3
Urbanchek many choices
By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
MINNEAPOLIS - Problems of various shapes and sizes always pop up
in athletic competitions. For the Michigan swimming and diving team, one of
the biggest problems coach Jon Urbanchek may encounter at the NCAA
Championships in late March is with the 800-yard freestyle relay team.
However, the problem Urbanchek faces with this relay is one that every
coach in the country would like to face. The problem doesn't involve not
having enough 200-yard freestylers, but it revolves around having too many.
Urbanchek faces the tough decision of what three swimmers, .along with
- anchor Gustavo Borges, will fill out the defending NCAA National Champion
relay team.
And Urbanchek has plenty of swimmers to choose from.
At this weekend's Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, the Wolverines
dominated the 200 free, sweeping the top four positions with Borges (1:35.91),
freshmen John Piersma (1:36.17) and Chris Rumley (1:36.36) and senior co-
captain Rodney VanTassell (1:36.64).
Junior Tom Blake (1:37.95) and sophomore Courtney Faller (1:38.27)
placed sixth and ninth respectively, and both will be available at the NCAA
meet. In addition, freshman Tom Dolan, who did not swim in the 200 freestyle
at Big Tens, led off the Big Ten Champion 800 relay with a split of 1:37.05.
"This will put us in the favorite's position to repeat at NCAAs in the 800
free relay," Urbanchek said. "We have a lot of choices, but that is what this
meet is for - to make some decisions. If this didn't help make those choices,
'then we could just send in the relay teams through the mail before the meet."
As for the 800 relay itself, the Wolverines won the race with a time of
6:26.79. Although the team of Dolan, VanTassell, Rumley and Piersma were
victorious by almost four seconds, Rodney knows that the relay must be
stronger at NCAAs.
"It went pretty well," VanTassell said. "We have to go faster in three
weeks, but we'll have Gustavo. I think the freshmen need to learn how to swim
the relay - not that they don't know how, but I think John got a little excited
going out, and he payed for it coming home. I think that will come.
"As long as we stay healthy and continue to taper well, we should be the
team to beat in three weeks (at NCAAs). I just want to repeat. If I'm on the
relay, that's my goal. Right now, Dolan's swimming so well that I don't know
who will be on it."
In fact, the relay has become an event in which it is a honor just to compete
on.
a. "It was just a privilege for me to swim on it," Dolan said. "We got one, two,
three, four in the 200 free, so I think we have a great relay."
With relay points being so important, the decision of who to swim is
crucial. However, the plethera of options Urbanchek has should make the
decision more enjoyable. This is one event where Michigan has no worries.
For the best Michigan basketball coverage
Read
SPORTSMonday
I Furf f W@ Awr 1

By BRETT JOHNSON
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
MINNEAPOLIS - At the start of the swim-
ming and diving season, the Michigan men's team'
knew the crucial factor to an outstanding season
would revolve around its top-flight recruiting class.
The group had performed very well heading
into this weekend's Big Ten Championships at the
University Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, but no
one really knew how dominant it could be.
After this weekend, there is no question about
the class' swimming prowess. They came in and
took over the meet from the first heats of the 500-
yard freestyle on Thursday night and continued to
play a key role throughout the meet in the Wolver-
ines 154.5 point victory.
"We said from day one that the destiny of this team
depended on what the freshmen would do," coach Jon
Urbanchek said. "And they have definately proved
themselves to be immediate impact swimmers."
Tom Dolan was the story of the meet as he took
home Freshman of the Year and Big Ten Swimmer
of the Year honors while winning three events,
setting three pool records and two Big Ten records.
However, it was John Piersma who started the
freshman onslaught in the sixth heat of the 500
freestyle - the first event of the meet. Piersma set a
pool record and qualified for the NCAAs with a time
of4:19.02. The same event saw Dolan reach the finals

as the sixth seed. Two of the freshmen had gotten out
to good starts, finaling in their first event.
Piersma's record did not last long, however. In the
finals that night, Dolan came away with the victory, an
NCAA automatic cut, the pool record and the Big Ten
Championship record. Piersma finished second, bet-
tering his morning time by over .30 seconds.
Later on Thursday night, freshman No. 3 hit the
water in the 200 individual medley (IM). Chris
Rumley showed his skills by finishing second with
a personal best time of 1:47.40. The time was good
enough to make the consideration cut for the NCAAs.
However, Rumley was not satisfied, and he wanted
to reach the automatic cut.
Friday night that happened - twice. In the 200
freestyle, Chris found himself up against teammates
Piersma and three upperclassmen-Gustavo Borges,
VanTassell and Tom Blake. Although he placed
third behind Borges and fellow freshman Piersma,
Rumley's time of 1:36.36 was fast enough to qualify
him for NCAAs. Later, Rumley would reach the
consolation finals in the 100 freestyle.
"I'm happy I got the cuts out of the way,"
Rumley said after the 200 free. "I had a few jitters
coming in and I'm looking to swim better at NCAAs.
It was a little slower than I had hoped."
Just before Rumley and Piersma's swims, Dolan
competed in his second event - the 400 IM. Once
again, the Arlington, Va. native was a top the po-

dium with a victory, and once again, he had broken
a pool record and qualified for the NCAAs.
"I was happy with my (400 IM) swim," Dolan
said. "It went the same way as the 500 free. In the
morning, I felt pretty bad. I knew I could go a lot
faster. At the 200, I wanted to be as close to Paul
Nelsen (the second-place finisher) as I could. I
wanted to get top three; but after the first 200, I
knew coming home I could catch him."
Dolan's most impressive swim was in the 1650
freestyle, however. Dolan picked up the pace at the
600-yard mark and ended up breaking the standing
Big Ten record by 10 seconds.
After the 1650, Minnesota coach Dennis Dale
gave his four word answer to Dolan's performance.
"Tom Dolan is awesome," he said.
However, the culminating performance of the
freshman happened in the final event on Friday.
Michigan's strongest relay, the 800 freestyle, saw all
three freshmen help the team swim to victory. Along
with VanTassell, the terrific trioqualif='dtherelay for
the NCAA Championships with a time of 6:26.79.
With their outstanding performance, the Wol-
verines' recruiting class did what it looked like it
could do on paper - impress everyone.
"They performed great, Borges said. "They all
made NCAA cuts and have made a big difference
for us. Hopefully, they will be a big help in the
NCAAs in their events."

.
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