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February 03, 1995 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-03

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 3, 1995- 11
.Gymnasts look to bolster rankings
No. 4 women travel to Kalamazoo for Michigan Classic

By Sarah DeMar
Daily Sports Writer
With confidence and health on its
side, the Michigan women's gymnas-
tics team may prove unstoppable Sun-
day at the Michigan Classic.
The Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten, 5-0
overall) travel to Kalamazoo to face
four unranked opponents -- Michi-
gan State, Western Michigan, Central
Michigan and Eastern Michigan.
After snatching victories from Big
Ten foes Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa
last weekend, the fourth-ranked Wol-
verines are confident heading into
this weekend's competition.
"We know the Michigan teams
don't pose as big of a threat as a
couple of other Big Ten schools,"
senior May May Leung said. "We're
not worried about losing as much as
scoring well as a team to boost our
national ranking."
Georgia, Utah and Alabama are
the teams ahead of the Wolverines in
the rankings and are the main ob-
stacles that stand in Michigan's path
toward a national title.
After last week's victories, the
Wolverines' lack of confidence in
themselves has been greatly dimin-
ished. Senior Kelly Carfora struggled
to come up with a major weakness of
the undefeated squad.
"Our greatest weakness may be in
the confidence ofourselves. Actually, I

might have said that before last week-
end, but then we came off with two
really good meets, so that'snot much of
a problem anymore," Carfora said.
It may appear that the Wolverines
may not be up to their full potential on
the balance beam, but national
rankings beg to differ.
"The beam is always going to be
tough," Carfora said. "After all, it's

only four inches wide, but we are
ranked fourth."
A lack of injuries is the another
reason why Michigan has high hopes
for the tournament.
"We're all healthy, knock on
wood," Leung said. "In fact, we
were talking about that in practice.
We were like, 'Wow, nobody's in
the training room!' There is no rea-

son we shouldn't do well."
Of all the teams attending the Michi-
gan Classic, intrastate rival Michigan
State should give the Wolverines the
most difficulty. But Michigan has its
sights set on the top and hasn't bothered
to look behind.
"I have no idea about other teams in
Michigan," Carfora said. "We can take
everything if we think that we can."

No. 2 men host Big Ten foes at Cliff Keen Arena

By Julie Keating
Daily Sports Writer
After having a weekend off, the Michigan men's gym-
nastics team will faceoff against Big Ten rivals Illinois and
Ohio State tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan has met the Illini and the Buckeyes previ-
ously this season - finishing fourth at the Windy City
Invitational behind both teams in early January. Ohio
State swept the meet and Illinois finished third, barely
overtaking Michigan.
However, since regular season competition has started,
the tables have turned, and now Michigan is out on top.
The Wolverines are currently ranked second in the
nation, ahead of the No. 12 Buckeyes and No. 14 Illinois.
After a strong showing against Western Michigan
two weeks ago, the Wolverines are ready to compete
against the two former national title teams.
"If Western was an indication of how we can do, it's
going to be a really positive effort this weekend," Michigan
coach Bob Darden said.
The lineup for the meet is still unsure. The Wolverines
sport a very deep squad and have no "starting team." With
the exception of regular performers Brian Winkler, Rich

Dopp and Raul Molina, the rest of the roster is undecided.
"We are still waiting for adjustments to be made so we
can get in the strongest lineup personnel-wise," Darden
said.
Junior Chris Onuska and sophomore Flavio Martins
have shown considerable strength in their respected areas
and are expected to improve in this weekend's meet. The
remainder of the team is developing, showing that the
Wolverines should be a threat at the upcoming NCAA
Championships.
Freshman Justin Semion will attempt to repeat his
exceptional vault performance from two weeks ago, while
up-and-coming Tim Lauring will also be counted on for a
strong effort.
The competition will be a preview of the Big Ten
championship at Illinois. The team's nucleus of seniors
will have to perform well by hitting their routines and
staying on the pommel horse if they hope to come out on
top.
"When the chalk dust finally settles, the results will be
known," said Darden, referring to the Big Ten rankings.
"We are definitely capable. Right now we have the scores;
we just have to perform as well in competition."

* Michigan hits the road
Blue cagers venture to Purdue and Illinois

SARA STILLMAN/DOay
Beth Wymer and the No. 4 Michigan women's gymnastics team will face
four other Michigan schools in this weekend's Michigan Classic.
Blue spikers try to
sustain winning ways

By Ravi Gopal
Daily Basketball Writer
Mired in a five-game losing streak
and coming off a last-second one-
point loss to Indiana, the Michigan
* women's basketball team should be
demoralized entering this weekend's
contests.
But it's not.
On the contrary, the Wolverines
(2-7 Big Ten, 7-12 overall) are raring
to go as they embark on a two-game
road trip. Michigan plays at Purdue
tonight and faces Illinois Sunday.
Michigan's confidence stems
10 from the positives of its last game.
Against the Hoosiers, the Wolver-
ines started out strong, unlike their
previous four outings. Their
frontcourtwas dominating (freshman
Tiffany Willard led all scorers with
21 points), the guard play was re-
freshing (freshman Akisha Franklin
displayed newfound moves to the
basket) and the defense was suffocat-
ing, as Michigan's press created all
sorts of problems for Indiana.
"Our kids played well, and they
deserved to win (against the Hoo-
siers)," Michigan coach Trish Rob-
erts said after the 78-77 loss.
The Wolverines will have to ex-
ceed all expectations if they are to
compete with the Boilermakers (6-3,
14-6). Purdue returns all five starters
from last year's NCAA Final Four
squad.
In order for Michigan to excel
tonight, it must solve the riddle posed
by Purdue's 1-3-1 half-court trap.
The defensive weapon is a mainstay
of the Boilermaker arsenal and has
allowed them to put away many an
opponent.

In the last game of last year's
regular season, this trap allowed
Purdue to hand the Wolverines a
101-51 shellacking. The insult re-
mains fresh in the minds of the Michi-
gan veterans.
"Oh, yeah, (we're thinking about
revenge)," sophomore Amy Johnson
said. "Going in, I want to give them a
run for their money."
Run is exactly what the Wolverines
will have to do. The Boilermakers hold
a large size advantage over Michigan,
making setting up a half-court offense
tough.
Regardless, the Wolverines are
driven to halt their losing skid.
"Everyone's really intense in prac-
tice," Catherine DiGiacinto said.
"Losing (to Indiana) made us angry,
and we're coming back fighting."
Against the Illini (9-10, 2-7) Sun-
day, Michigan will be fighting forsome-
thing it lost in its last meeting with the
Illini -respect. Illinois snuck by the
Wolverines, 68-64, in a game that left
Michigan wondering why it didn't
come out with a victory.
The Wolverines don't have any
lack of motivation, either, as no less
than five Illinois natives dot
Michigan's roster. However, only two,
Franklin and Johnson, will be seeing
time versus the Illini.
"Going to Illinois will always be
a big game for me," Johnson said. "I
have been waiting to go back and
play in front of my friends and fam-
ily."
Johnson hopes to break out of a
season-long shooting slump. She is
averaging only 12 points per game
this year, compared to 15.6 ppg av-
erage last season.

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer
There's no better medicine for a
struggling team than a string of victo-
ries. The Michigan men's volleyball
team received this panacea over the
past weekend, and it came just at the
right time.
The Wolverines played champion-
ship-caliber volleyball last weekend in
their victories over Western Michigan,
Iowa and Wisconsin. Theirperformance
was similar to the play that they dis-
played earlier in the season.
That level of play will have to
continue this weekend as Michigan
(7-2) faces a top-notch opponent -
Sacramento State - tonight, and
then competes tomorrow in the Col-
legiate Classic Tournament.
The match with Sacramento State
will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday
evening at Pioneer High School. The
CCRB will host the tournament Sat-
urday starting at 9 a.m. and lasting
until about 10 p.m.
Sacramento's State's size can be
misleading.
"Its program this year is the stron-
gest it'sever been," Michigan's Kevin
Urban said.
The depth of Sacramento State is
also extraordinary. It has entered sev-
eral tournaments in California and in
one instance its first team played its
second team in the finals.
"We can expect Sacramento
State to be one of the dominant
teams in the tournament," Urban
said. "They'll be good preparation
for us for Saturday,"
The Collegiate Classic Tournament
will be comprised of 40 of the top
teams in the United States and Canada.
Four of the more highly regarded
teams going into the tournament are
Graceland College (Iowa), Park Col-
lege (Mo.), the University of Windsor
(Ont.) and Sacramento State.
Graceland advanced to the finals
of this tournament last year and both
Windsor and Sacramento have de-
feated Michigan State this year.
The 40 teams are divided into two

20-team brackets. The more talented
programs will be placed in Division I
and the remainder will be placed in
Division II. Among the teams in Divi-
sion I are Graceland, Park, Windsor,
Sacramento State, Michigan, Purdue
and Michigan State.
Division II will house teams like
the "B" teams from Michigan and
Michigan State and those from
smaller programs. Naturally, a divi-
sion wouldn't be created so that a
team's "A" team and "B" team could
potentially meet up.
"The reason for creating the two
divisions is to find equality of play
and matching up physical abilities
between teams," Michigan coach Jen-
nifer Slosar said.
Each division will also be subdi-
vided into four pools of five teams
each. The top two teams in each pool
will advance to the tournament round.
"It's going to be a real blood battle
to get out of the pool because there's
a lot of good teams in each pool,"
Urban said. "We're going to defi-
nitely have to play better than we did
in the previous weekends. This last
weekend we really played well.
"People wanted to play because we
had some good competition and itcaused
us to pick our level up that much more."
Michigan will not have to worry
about the injuries that hindered its play
throughout the month of January. Out-
side hitters Ernesto Rodriguez and Gun
Unluer have both recovered from their.
shoulder injuries and are ready to go
full-tilt this weekend.
"This is probably the highest-pro-
file tournament this side of the Missis-
sippi for club volleyball," Urban said.
"This tournamentplays abig role in
getting us national visibility and for
placement in the Big Tens and the
nationals," Slosar said.
Thoughts like these show how
much is at stake this weekend for the
Wolverines. A strong showing would
not only look good come tournament
time, but could also do wonders.for
Michigan's confidence for the remain-
der of the season.

Catherine DiGlancinto attempts to alter an opponent's shot earlier this
season. The Wolverines look to snap a five-game losing streak tonight.

Men tankers close out Big Ten season tomorrow

By Dan Mckenie
Daily Sports Writer
Tonight the Michigan men's swim-
ming team will participate in its last
dualmeetof the season. But this will be
no emotional send-off for the seniors as
they take on Michigan State for the last
time.
Ina fitting end to its long schedule,
a somewhat apathetic Michigan team
heads to East Lansing to take on a
considerably overmatched Spartan
squad.
"(Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek)
is trying to use the Indiana meet and
this meet to see those guys that are on
the bubble, to see if they're going to
make it (to NCAAs) or not," sopho-
more Tom Dolan said. "He'sleaving a
lot of guys at home that automatically
(qualify for Big Tens)."'
To say thatMichigan Statedoesn't
strike fear in the hearts of the Michigan
swimmers is probably an understate-
ment.

I'mt pretty mc using it as a train
ing (meet) more than as a performance
meet."
-- Tom Dolan
Michigan swimmer

ball," Dolan said. "It's not too even a
comparison between their team and
our team."
Freshman Derya Buyukuncu
agreed.
"I don't think it's that big because
they have a weak team and we will
probably win NCAAs," he said. "Idon't
think it's that much of a big deal."
While the apparent mismatch of
the two teams involved in this meet
will allow the Wolverines to relax
and not worry as much about win-
ning, Urbanchek plans on making sure
his team swims with intensity.
"Jon said he wants me to go up there

using it as training more than as a
performance meet."
Urbanchek does not even plan on
taking the entire team.
Two big names that will be swim-
ming against the Spartans are Dolan
and Buyukuncu. Both were sick two
weeks ago and did not make the trek
to Indiana.
Probably the best competition of
the night will take place on the div-

ing boards. Junior Alex Bogaerts
and senior All-American Abel
Sanchez will be going up against
some of the better competition
they've faced this season.
"They have two pretty good
divers," Sanchez said. "I would say
that they have at least one diver who
will finish in the Big Tens of the
springboards."
However, Sanchez was willing to
admit that by the time he takes his first
dive, the meet will probably be decided.
"Despite the fact that we'll have
the lead by the time the diving comes
along, the fact that they have some
pretty good divers is a good motivator
for me," Sanchez said. "My goal is to
just go out, have fun and have a good
meet personally."

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