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March 07, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-07

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QkhL' 1WU"Ex-Wolverines Battle on the Hardcourt
Two former Michigan basketball players will battle each other in the NBA
tonight when Denver challenges Dallas. The Mavericks' Roy Tarpley, who
donned a Wolverine uniform from 1984 to 1987, has rejoined Dallas after
. a month-ng tint on the rnjred reerve.Rose, who was drafted in the
first round by the Nuggets last year after three seasons at Michigan
starts for Denver while Robert Pack nurses an injury.I

Page 10
Tuesday,
March 7, 1995

Line Drives

Hitters find holes in pitching staff
Loss of four starters leaves Michigan with low versatility and high ERA

14
r.

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Baseball Writer
The season began with four losses
before a game was even played.
Four losses that will likely be big-
ger and more bitter than any Big Ten
defeat. Four losses that will hurt the
Michigan baseball team this season
more than in any other season.
The Major League Baseball draft
and graduation had the effect of shot-
guns on the Wolverines in 1994, blow-
ing gaping holes in their pitching ro-
tation and severely limiting their
chances for success.
First, Michigan lost lefthander Chris
Newton when he received his degree
and signed with the Detroit Tigers.
The staff shrunk further with the
departure of three talented juniors to
the pros: Lefthander Heath Murray
(third round---San Diego); lefthander

Ray Ricken (fifth - New York
Yankees);and righthanderRon Hollis
(10th - Los Angeles).
To make things worse, the Wol-
verines lost a chance to heal these
wounds when they were left without
their top recruit, Brian Rose. The
pitcher committed to Michigan but
signed with the Boston Red Sox.
All Michigan coach Bill Freehan
can do is recognize his team's pre-
dicament.
"Our pitching is just not as strong
as it was last year," Freehan said.
How can it be? Replacing a four-
some that combined for 20 wins, 332.2
innings and a 4.12 ERA is a tough
assignment for a staff as young and
shorthanded as the Wolverines'.
And it has showed.
Michigan's team ERA is 7.39
after 11 games, compared to 1994's

4.31.
None of the Wolverines' top
four pitchers (in terms of innings
worked) carry an ERA under 6.80.
Sophomore Brian Steinbach has a9.26
mark after 11.7 innings of work, fresh-
man Tyler Steketee is at 7.50 after 12,
senior Matt Ferullo sits at 7.20 after
20 and junior Mark Temple has the
group's best - 6.88 after 17.
None of the top four are
lefthanded, which prevents Michigan
from giving teams new looks on the
mound.
The Wolverines have given up
17, 13, 11 and nine runs in single games
this season, costing them dearly. For
example, Sunday's 17-6 loss to Florida
State and Saturday's 11-9 defeat at the
hands of Louisiana State could have
been avoided with better pitching.
Late comebacks - such as the

one the Wolverines staged against the
Seminoles - and nine-run perfor-
mances by the offense are usually
enough to win. But when hitters have
to surmount double-digit hurdles,
losses are nearly inevitable.
Of course, the pitchers are not
completely to blame for Michigan's@
early stumbles. The Wolverine de-
fense has made some untimely errors
and Michigan is playing a tough non-
conference schedule.
To be fair, Freehan isn't looking for
stellar performances out of his pitchers,
either.
"Right now, I'm just looking to ste
how they perform," Freehan said. "I
just want quality innings out of them.*
They're in shape. Their armsarestrong."
But, unfortunately for Michigan,
their arms aren't Murray's, Ricken's,
Hollis' or Newton's.

MICHIGAN SPORTS INFORMATION
From left to right, Michigan's starting pitchers from last season: Heath
Murray, Chris Newton, Ray Ricken and Ron Hollis. All four departed for the
pros after leading the Wolverines to the finals of the Big Ten playoffs.

VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK:l
Men's volleyball starts
off slow after breakA

Seg 'M' drops another

By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Writer
Saying that all Michigan students
look forward to week-long vaca-
tions isn't exactly true.,The Michi-
gan men's volleyball team may want
to petition the school to shorten these
breaks, considering how the Wol-
verines have played following long
periods of time off.
In its first action since spring break,
and in three weeks overall, Michigan
split its two matches Saturday in Co-
lumbus.
First, the Wolverines waltzed all
over Indiana in three straight games,
15-11,15-11,15-10. However,Michi-
gan couldn't make it a weekend sweep
as it fell to Ohio State in five tough
games, 15-8, 11-15, 15-12, 2-15, 15-
13.
But coming away from the week-
end with a split shouldn't come as a
surprise to the Wolverines, especially
in action immediately following va-
cations.
After winter break and a layoff of
six weeks total, the Wolverines split
their matches in the first two week-
ends of 1995. The same pattern may
be happening now following spring
break.
"More than anything, it's not that
we lose skills," outside hitter Kevin
Urban said. "It's a matter of getting
yourself back into the mental game.
"After a week off, you tend to
have mental lapses about playing with
a whole bunch of people. Many of us,
when we go home, are used to playing
two's (two-man teams) which is where
you do everything on the court. When
we play sixes, you play a spot on the
court and rely on your teammates a
lot."
Although Michigan may have lost
some of its sharpness and focus over
break, one thing it certainly didn't
leave behind was its heart. This was
evident in its comeback against Ohio
State.
Trailing 9-2 and later 14-6 in the
rubber game of the five-game match,
the Wolverines refused to pack it in
and concede the match to the Buck-
eyes.
They battled back to score seven
points in a row and 11 out of 16 to
bring the tally to 14-13 before falling

to defeat. It was only the second time
this season that Michigan lost a match
in rally play.
"When we came back in the fifth
game against Ohio State, it showed
how well we can play when we all
have alot of energy and communicate
well," Urban said. "When we lost 15-
2, there was no energy, no communi-
cation, and everyone seemed to be in
their own world."
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE: It's
impossible for every team to go
through a season without a little bit of
internal strife. The Wolverines are no
exception.
Last week, during practice, sopho-
more Ernesto Rodriguez and fresh-
man Suresh Pothiraj got into a brief
scuffle that resulted in both of them
being suspended for the Indiana
match.
"Suresh and Ernesto just need to
learn to set aside their differences on
the court and remember ihat they have
to work together as teammates," coach
Jennnifer Slosar said.
HELP IS ON THE WAY: Michigan's
blocking game will receive a shot in
the arm later this week when Scott
Smith joins the coaching staff. Smith
has played on Team Canada and on
the Asics East team.
"I'm just thrilled about it," Slosar
said. "(His help) will improve our
level of competition inpractice. When
you go through the same drills over
and over again, you kind of lose your
focus in practice."
YOUTH MOVEMENT:After basically
going with the same core lineup of
seven or eight players for much of the
season, Slosar gave Michigan's
younger players from the "B"-team
some action in the third game of the
Indiana match.
Freshman Judd Larned made
his first appearance of the season
and sophomore Ted Skolarus his
second for the Wolverine "A"-team.
Slosar was impressed with how the
two immediately established them-
selves.
"Judd and Ted were just phe-
nomenal," she said. "Their passing
was there and they really proved to
me that they are capable of stepping
in at any time and doing the job for
us."

top-ranke
By Sarah DeMar
Daily Sports Writer
Inhabitants of the bluegrass state
may have been a little more blue when
theMichigan women' sgymnasticsteam
departed from Kentucky after stealing
an victory from the Wildcats.
With a score of 195.475, the No.5
Wolverines proved that their victo-
ries over nationally-ranked UCLA and
Florida were no flukes. No. 10
Kentucky's score of 193.35 wasn't
enough to further bruise Michigan's
13-2 record.
Although the Wolverines notched
the win, Wildcat Jenny Hanson -the
two-time all-around National Cham-
pion - received the highest overall
score (39.875). Michigan's Wendy
Marshall was second in the all-around
with a 39.35 and freshman Heather
Kabnick scored a 38.995 for third.
It was asurprisingmeetin that three-
time All-American Beth Wymer didn't
place in the top three, especially given
the fact that she swung her way to a
perfect 10 on the uneven bars.
"I just made a few little mistakes,"
Wymer mentioned of her 9.35 on the
balance beam. "It's not a lack of train-
ing or talent, so Idon't really think it's
holding me back much."
The beam is the only event in
which Wymer has not yet achieved a
perfect score.
Hanson, on the other hand, was
satisfied with her 9.9 beam score along
with 10's on both the vault and floor.a
"Jenny looked great," Wymer said.
"I beat her when we played Kentucky
last year, and that was when I'd hit my
peak. But in NCAAs, she ended up on

d squad
We just pulled
together when we
had to and did

what we had to
do

0

- Beth Wymer
Women gymnast
top, so I guess this could be better for
me now."
Michigan coach Bev Plocki said
that she mainly focuses on improving
the Wolverines' individual scores.
"I don't want to pay attention to ifS
Beth beat Jenny or if Jenny beats
Beth," Plocki said. "We try to avoid
worrying about things beyond our
control. We pay attention to our own
performances and let the other teams
worry about theirs."
Plocki's philosophy appears, on
the ball as evidenced by Marshall's
10 and Kabnick's 9.95 on the vault,
and senior Kelly Carfora's 9.925 on
the floor exercise.
"We probably struggled the most
on the uneven bars," Plocki said. "But
we did very well on the vault and floor
- a couple of breaks on the beam
helped usoutalot, too. I'm very pleased,
but we can always do better."
In the end, it was the unity of the
entire squad that pulled off the vic-
tory for the Wolverines.
"We just pulled together when we*
had to and did what we had to do,"
Wymer said.

STEPHIANIE (GRACE LIM/Daily

The women's gymnastics team beat No. 10 Kentucky Friday, despite the
fact that the Wildcats' Jenny Hanson won the all-around competition.
-1

CYCLING NOTEBOOK:
Cyclists break away from norm

AP Men's Basketball
Top 25

By Ravi Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
"This whole year's been kind of
screwy."
Michigan cycling club president
Matt Curin best describes his team's
season. In their first three meets, the
Wolverines had to contend with all
sorts of breaks from the traditional
competition.
At Bloomington this past week-
end, Michigan dealt with a 70-mile
road race and a 40-mile criterium.
Most road races are 60 miles, and
most criteriums are 25 to 30. The
added length made the going tough,
since the course was very hilly.
In their first meet of the season, at
Lexington, Ky., the Wolverines faced
a win-and-out. This meant that the
first racer who finished a sprint at the
end of five laps would win, and then
fall out of the race. Subsequent places
were determined following a neutral
lap, and then another sprint.

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" MULTI COLOR SPECIALISTS
" ARTIST ON STAFF
F " RUSH ORDERS
" NEAR U OF M CAMPUS
1217 PROSPECT, ANN ARBOR 665-1771
SFF with this ad.

-

Usually, this part of the race is a
lose-and-out, meaning the last person
who finishes the lap must retire, leav-
ing the rest of the field to contend for
the top spot.
The following week at Xavier,
Ohio, Michigan contended with a one-
kilometer time trial before Saturday's
road race. Most competitions feature
just a road race on Saturday and a
criterium on Sunday.
The oddness doesn't stop for the
Wolverines, as next week's stop at
Miami (Ohio) features yet another
twist on the usual meet format. In that
meet at Oxford, Michigan will cope
with a criterium and time trial on
Saturday, with the road race moved to
Sunday.
"(When it comes to the format of
the meet), each school kind of does
their own thing depending on the
course they can get," fourth-year rider
Dennis Hahn said.
ONLY A'S AND C's: Although the
Wolverines have been able to suc-
cessfully compete in their first three
races. they have been a bit short-

cal," said Hahn of the B-team.
There are other reasons for the B-
team's dwindling numbers. Vince
Chmielewski, formerly on the B-team,
falls into this latter category.
Chmielewski, a triathlete, is used to
going at the same speed throughout a
course, rather than variable speeds.
What varies even more is the mem-
bership of the cycling team itself. The
Wolverines hold meetings in Septem-
ber to lure in students at the beginning
of the year, only to tell them that no
racing goes on until the next semester.
"It's hard to keep everybody to-
gether," Curin said. "People disappear,
and you never hear from them again."
THE LITTLE 500: Indiana boasts
the largest collegiate cycling club in
the country. With big numbers, the
Hoosiers are able to flood the B, C
and women's races with cyclists, rack-
ing up points and winning nearly ev-
ery meet. Indiana is ranked in the top
two in the country.
One possible reason for the Hoo-
siers' success on the road is the popu-
larity of The Little 500. Named after

8. Massachusetts. 24-4
9. Michigan St. 21-4
10. Maryland 23-6
11. Virginia 21-7
12. Arizona 23-6
13. Villanova 22-7
14. Purdue . 22-6
15. Mississippi St. 20-6
16. Oklahoma 22-7

1202
1078
1074
1012
983
813
759a
740,
592:

Team:
1. UCLA (65)
2. Kansas (1)
3. Kentucky
4. North Carolina
5. Arkansas
6. Connecticut
7, Wake Forest

Record: Pts.
23-2 1649
22-4 1556
22-4 1479
22-4 1419
25-5 1321g
23-3 1304
21-5 12481

101

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