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March 04, 1994 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-04

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12 - The Michigan Daily -- Friday, March 4, 1994

M' netters
come home
to take on
Bearcats
By JOSH KAPLAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
How nice are the comforts of
home? The Michigan men's tennis
team will rediscover the benefits of a
home-court advantage tomorrow
when it hosts the Cincinnati Bearcats
at the Liberty Sports Complex.
After a brutal Texas road trip, in-
cluding two 6-1 drubbings at the hands
of Texas A&M and Texas, the Wol-
verines (0-1 Big Ten, 2-4 overall) will
host their first dual meet since Jan. 29
against Northern Illinois.
Michigan coach Brian Eisner said
he feels this meet should give his
team a chance to bounce back from its
poor showing on the road. Cincinnati
(4-4 overall) should provide quality
competition for the Wolverines.
Eisner is not as concerned with his
opponents' level of play as with his
own players' performances.
"The other team, the other player
doesn't matter if you're doing what
you should be doing," Eisner said.
"Our goal is to play great tennis on an
individual basis."
In addition to execution, Eisner
stresses mental preparedness as a key.
"We need to go out very relaxed
and very focused," Eisner explained.
"Cincinnati is a good team."
One question mark for the Wol-
verines is senior Dan Brakus. After
dispatching the second-ranked player
in the NCAA, Longhorn Chad Clark,
the 18th-ranked Brakus fell two days
later to Texas A&M's Mark Weaver
in straight sets, capturing just a single
game. Which Brakus shows up Satur-
day will play a role in the outcome.
Among the negatives on the road
trip, several positives shone through. At
the Big Ten Singles Championship in
Champaign last weekend, Peter Pusztai,
Grady Burnett and Chris Wyatt all
turned in impressive performances.
"(Those) three players really
played some good tennis," Eisner said.
"We want them to continue to play
good tennis."
With the sting of the Texas matches
still lingering, a victory this weekend
will go a long way to boosting the entire
team's confidence, something the Wol-
verines will need if they are to compete
for the Big Ten title this spring.

No. 4 gymnasts face rival OSU
Wolverineslook to improve composite score, regionalrank

"

By MELANIE SCHUMAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
Traditionally, the rivalry between
Michigan and Ohio State is one to be
reckoned with, especially when the
Wolverines have to compete in Buck-
eye territory.
However, going into Saturday's
competition, Michigan's (3-0 Big Ten,
14-1 overall) biggest challenge is not
this Big Ten rival. Rather, the focus
remains on compiling a high enough
score to raise its composite for the
NCAA Championships in April.
"I know it sounds like a cliche, but
we have to go out and compete for,
ourselves," assistant coach Melissa
Kutcher said. "We're going out and
doing the things we have control over."
For the third week in a row, the
Wolverines maintain a No. 4 national
ranking, their highest standing in
school history.
But with a composite score of
193.644, Michigan is still chasing No.
3 Alabama (194.019) for the No. 1
seed at NCAA Central Regionals.
"No matter what meet we go to, we're
not competing against anyone else but our
ownperformance,"coachBevPlocki said.
"It's all a numbers game; the win/losses
don't mean anything."
In its last meet (Cal State-Fuller-
ton), Michigan walked away with a
194.10, which was averaged into the
latest composite. Plocki believes that
if the squad has a good meet at No. 30
Ohio State (0-2, 6-6) and scores close

enough to 195, it could overtake Ala-
bama.
"It would be great to be seeded
(No. 1) in our regional champion-
ship," Plocki said. "It would be ideal."
But for now, the immediate future
lies in Columbus.
With a .500 record, Ohio State
does not appear to be much of a chal-
lenge for the potent Wolverines.
Surprisingly, though, Ohio State
dominates the all-time series with
Michigan, 19-5. The Buckeyes did
pose a threat in last season's meet,
when Michigan edged them out by
only .35.
"OSU is going to be gunning for
us on their home turf, on equipment
they feel comfortable on," Plocki said.
"It would be the highlight of their
season if they beat us."
Junior Beth Wymer admits there
is an aura of rivalry following this
weekend's matchup. However, she
does not have too much to worry
about on a personal level.
"I try not to get too worked up for
the meet because by the time the Big
Tens come around, my nerves are
shot," the All-American said.
Heading into the competition,
Wymer not only leads Michigan gym-
nasts but also some individual NCAA
rankings. Wymer is ranked No. 1 on
the uneven bars (9.931), balance beam
(9.912) and all-around (39.425), No.
3 on floor (9.900) and No. 13 on vault
(9.800).

As of this week, Ohio State as a
team only ranks in the top 20 in one
category - the balance beam.
Dominating the Big Ten from
1983-87,and breaking into the NCAA
top tens, Ohio State has recently fallen
to fourth and fifth place finishes in the
conference. Like Michiganthe Buck-
eyes do not face many Big Ten oppo-
nents throughout the season, which
raises the intensity and rivalry this
weekend.
"(Our) team is ready for a change
in our own competitive level and
'Michigan is every bit
deserving of their No. 40
ranking. For us to beat
them, they're going to
have to open the door.'
- Larry Cox
Ohio State women's
gymnastics coach
should be ready for this weekend,"
Buckeye coach Larry Cox said.
In each meet of the season, Ohio
State's composite score has risen, as
they gear up for Big Tens later this
month.
"Michigan is every bit deserving
of their No. 4 ranking,"- Cox said.
"For us to beat them, they're going to
have to open the door."

JUDITH PERKINS/Daily
Junior Li Li Leung competes on the balance beam, her strongest event.
Michigan attempts to remain atop the Big Ten this weekend.

BAS KETBALL
Continued from page 10
can stop them, we can beat Illinois."
Those guards-Johnson and Kiefer
- will have to show their home state
more than just their offensive prowess
for Michigan to handle Illinois, i.e. de-
fense and ball protection.
Johnson (15.5 ppg) has been a
scoring guru of late, with four straight
20-plus point games in a row, but the
pressure is on to step up her often
spotty defense. Kiefer, the Big Ten's
top gunner from three-point land (.459
shooting percentage), will be counted
on for the improved Wolverine offen-
sive swing.
Roberts also expects herpost-play-
ers to provide more of a punch than in
games past. While Jennifer
Brzezinski, Catherine DiGiacinto and
especially Shimmy Gray have had
their moments inside, they did not

produce in the Illinois loss, even with
Illini center Anita Clinton in foul
trouble.
"(We) have got to have a better
game in the post," Roberts said. "We
didn't take advantage of the fact that
Anita Clinton was out of the game.
She is their best post-player - she's
basically their only post-player."
Northwestern, a team that had been
expecting to contend for one of the top-
three spots in the Big Ten, is tied for
sixth and on the borderline for an NCAA
tournament berth. Like Michigan, the
Wildcats have suffered from a lack of
numbers - bottoming out with six
players earlier in the year - and will
carry only eight players Sunday.
Northwestern guard Moira
Kennelly leads the Big Ten in both
assists per game (7.5) and three-point-
ers per game (2.48), and center Patricia
Babcock leads the conference in re-
bounding (11.1 rebounds per game)
and is sixth in scoring (17.2 ppg).

HOCKEY
Continued from page 10
Bowling Green presents problems
for its opposition as well. Currently
the Falcons are second to Michigan in
CCHA overall team scoring with a
4.21 goals per game average. The
offense is led by senior Sean Pronger,
junior Brian Holzinger and freshman
Curtis Fry.
The team's top point-scorer is a
defenseman, however. Jeff Wells,
who tallied his 100th career point last
weekend, has six goals and 25 assists
on the year to pace the Falcons. As a
whole, the defense has been solid as
well, owning a 3.67 goals against
average.
"We have to play outstanding team
defense to limit their explosive of-
fense," York said.
Ferris State played last night
against Michigan State, losing, 2-1.

Last Friday, the Bulldogs upset the
Spartans, ignited by the second con-
secutive hat trick by senior Doug
Smith. He is the third Bulldog in
history to accomplish this feat.
Ferris' power play is strong, rank-
ing third in CCHA league play. They
have scored 37 times in 150 attempts
with the man advantage. Goaltender
Greg Lisko leads the league with 717
saves, but has given up 93 goals in the
process.
The Bulldogs are an improved
team that will finish the CCHA sea-
son respectably in seventh place.
However, their lackluster defense and
poor penalty killing may be just what
the doctor ordered to get the Wolver-
ines back on track before the 'real
season' begins.
"After losing three in a row we
want to start playing well again, and
this is a good weekend to do it,"junior
Mike Knuble said. "We don't want to
go in (to the playoffs) on a down

note."
Verbal Commitment: Michigan
received word that goaltender Marty
Turco of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. will
join the Wolverines next season. Turco
was the 21st-rated goalie in the Cen-
tral Scouting Service's mid-season
ranking of prospective NHL draft
choices.
Turco, 5-foot-11, 175-pounds,
owns a 27-8-2 record and had a 3.48
goals against average after 32 games
for the Cambridge Winterhawks of
the Ontario Midwestern Junior B
Hockey League.
With the departure of seniors
Shields and Chris Gordon, Turco will
battle with junior Al Loges for the
starting spot.
Both Shields and Gordon got a
good amount of playing time in their
inaugural seasons. Shields played in
37 games, recording 26 victories, and
Gordon managed 6 victories in 17
appearances.

PAID ADVERTISEMENT

An Open Letter
to the
University of Michigan Community
We, the Jewish students at the University of Michigan, offer our sincerest
condolences to the families of the victims of the Hebron massacre, .and the
Palestinian people.
We stand by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in his condemnation of this
"loathsome, criminal act of murder." We affirm President Ezer Weizman's state-
ment that "there is no understanding, no'forgiveness, and no atonement for this
horrible act." Finally, as spokespeople for the Jewish presence on campus, we unite
with the Jewish people behind the statement of Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir
Lau: "It is a desecration of God's name to connect faith to this incident."

0

0

The perpetrator of the Hebron

massacre was a terrorist, who in no way

0

I represents the hopes, dreams and ideals of the Jewish people. The greatest possible I|

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