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March 10, 1995 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-10

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12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 10, 1995

Men compete in
een farewell
By Julie Keating
Daily Sports Writer
The men's gymnastics team is gearing up for a bitter-
sweet weekend.
The long anticipated Michigan Invitational will take
place tomorrow at Cliff Keen Arena, marking the last time to
see the Wolverines in action as they say goodbye to the
regular season.
"It's such a great way to end the season," Michigan coach
Bob Darden said. "The coaches always say how much they
like to perform in Keen Arena, and it definitely shows
because every team consistently walks away with excellent
scores."
Michigan hopes to do just this, as it will be looking to
improve its overall team score while concentrating on rou-
tines and accuracy. With regionalsjust around the corner, the
Wolverines are aiming for their best score of the year in an
effort to improve their season average.
"A lot of weight is placed on end of the season scores to
determine who goes to regionals," Darden said. "Because
this is the last meet for the regular season, it's very important
to come off this weekend with a strong, solid performance."
Michigan has seen two of tomorrow's opponents pre-
viously this season. The Wolverines have taken on Illi-
nois-Chicago and Western Michigan twice already, and
are aiming for a victory in their final meeting. Penn State,
one of the toughest teams in the Big Ten, and Temple both
beat Michigan earlier this season at the UMass Open in
December.
"Western Michigan has shown that they are definitely a
team who can contend," Darden said. "Both Penn State and
Temple have both achieved very high scores as well."
The Michigan seniors will also be ending their four-year
reign at Cliff Keen Arena. Brian Winkler is back in the lineup
after recovering from a back injury and will compete in the
all-around for only the second time this season. Raul Molina
is still unsure if he will have a final shot at competing in the
all-around. His most difficult event should be the parallel
bars, since he is fighting both an injured finger and ankle.
Rich Dopp, Bob Young and Royce Toni will also be
competing in their last meet at Keen.

No. 5 women host UCLA, Auburn

By Sarah DeMar
Daily Sports Writer
For the first time this season, the Michigan
women's gymnastics team performed in front of
a sellout audience at Crisler Arena. However, it
wasn't the gymnasts' exhibition which drew the
13,000-plus crowd.
During halftime of the Michigan-Penn State
basketball game Wednesday, the Wolverine tum-
blers hit the floor with mats and trampolines in tow
to promote their skills. Both of Michigan's next two
home meets will be held at Crisler in preparation for
regionals which will be held there April 8.
The No. 5 Wolverines (5-0 Big Ten, 13-2
overall) host No. 7 UCLA and Auburn tonight in
the Ryka Invitational. One of the Bruins' (15-3)
three losses was to Michigan by only three-tenths of
a point. Wolverine coach Bev Plocki is looking
forward to tonight's competition in the new envi-
ronment.
"At this point, we are starting to get motivated
and fired up about the post-season," Plocki said.
"It's great for us that the next two meets are at home

- it well be more relaxing and more fun.
"(UCLA) is going to be a great match-up,"
Plocki said. "Both teams are in contention for
the Super Six competition at Nationals. They're
on a roll and we are feeling rejuvenated lately."
Unranked Auburn, on the other hand, may
be there just for the experience. The Tigers (5-
10) have had a rash of injuries this season. Five
of their top gymnasts are out of competition
with knee injuries, and the team is only able to
use five athletes during its meets.
Plocki expects great things from her top
performers, Beth Wymer and freshman
Heather Kabnick. The duo, along with junior
Wendy Marshall, posted the highest scores
in Michigan's win over Kentucky last week-
end.

w

"Heather is coming into her own," Plocki
said. "She is more comfortable now that she's
gotten over the hump into collegiate gymnas-
tics, and Beth has overcome her adversities
from the beginning of the season. She's really
back to her old self in competition."

MICHAEL FITZHUGH/Daily
The women's gymnastics team hosts the Ryka Invitational this weekend.

V __ _ ___.__ ____ ______ _ _ _____ _ _ ___ ____

MICHIGAN SPORTS ROUNDUP:
Netters attempt to conquer puzzling Golden Gophers

By Brett Krasnove
Daily Sports Writer
For three years now, the goal of Big Ten men's tennis
has been to solve the riddle of the Minnesota Golden
Gophers. How do you beat them, especially at home?
Michigan (0-1 Big Ten, 5-3 overall) hasn't solved the
riddle just yet, but it will be throwing out all its best
answers tonight in Minneapolis as the Wolverines take on
Minnesota.
"They're the team that everyone's shooting for," Michi-
gan junior John Costanzo said. "We're the up-and-com-
ing team. We think we have a pretty good chance to be the
team that finally beats them."
In a sense, Minnesota, ranked 20th by the Intercolle-
giate Tennis Association, has become the rival of the 37th-
ranked Wolverines. The Gophers seem to always end up

number one with Michigan just a step behind.
At the finals of the Big Ten Championships last year,
Minnesota defeated the Wolverines. At the Big Ten Singles
Championships in Illinois in late January, Minnesota's
top player, Russ Loel, ousted Michiganjunior Peter Pusztai
in the finale.
Maybe the Michigan women's tennis team needs to get
back to more familiar territory.
After defeating the University of Puerto Rico sand-
wiched around non-conference losses to Kentucky, Notre
Dame and Wake Forest, the Wolverines return to Big Ten
action this weekend.
If Michigan's weekend caliber of play resembles that
of its first two conference meets, then the Wolverines'
despair over the last two weeks will be a distant memory.
Michigan (2-0 Big Ten, 5-4 overall) tore apart Iowa
and Minnesota four weeks ago by scores of 7-2 and 8-1,
respectively. The Wolverines hope to continue their suc-
cess against Big Ten foes when they face Ohio State (0-3,
9-3) today, and defending conference champion Indiana
(3-0, 11-4) Sunday.
The eighth-ranked Hoosiers will be the more challeng-
ing opponent for Michigan this weekend. The top team in
the conference for the past decade, Indiana handed the
Wolverines their only two Big Ten defeats last year. One
of those Hoosier victories came in the conference tourna-
ment finals, giving them the title.
"(Indiana) has dominated women's tennis in the Big
Ten for the past ten years or so," Michigan coach Bitsy
Ritt said. "But in our meetings with them last year, we
were more competitive with them than in other years.
We're going to use that as a confidence builder and we feel
we're right there with them."
- Alan Goldenbach
'Men's Diving
When members of the Michigan men's diving team
take to the water today and tomorrow, the crowd's atten-
tion will focus on them alone. For the first and only time
this season, Abel Sanchez and Alex Bogaerts will be
competing without their teammates as they head to Miami
(Ohio) for the Diving Zone Championships.
"It's a qualifying meet, so being in the spotlight really
isn't the point," Sanchez said.
Whether they want the spotlight or not isn't important.

It will be theirs. And with that comes pressure.
The significance of the meet is clear. Finish among the
top eight in a group of 40 divers from all over the Midwest +
and you go to Indianapolis for the NCAA National Cham-
pionships. Finish with the other 80% of the- competitors
and you go home.
- Dan McKenzie
On the surface, it looks as if the Michigan baseball
team will have its hands full this weekend, as it heads to
Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech.
Below the surface, nothing is different.
The Yellow Jackets (10-3) are on a tear, having won
their last four games by a combined 45-8. In that time, ace
pitcher Chris Wilson notched two wins, surrendering just
one run while fanning 14 batters. Collectively, Georgia
Tech's trio of Wilson, Jeff Duncan and Rich Thieme has
a 7-1 won-loss record while pitching the lion's share of the
innings.
Michigan (4-7) on the other hand, is struggling at the
plate. Sporting an unimpressive .235 team batting aver-
age, the Wolverines might see the Yellow Jackets' whiz
on by, as will their chances to begin the season respect- '
ably.
- Ravi Gopal
i -0
The Michigan men's volleyball team will be playing a
match at home this weekend.
Wow, what's so big about that?
Well, excluding the weekend of February 3-4, when
the Wolverines faced Sacramento State and hosted the ,
Collegiate Classic Tournament at the CCRB, Michigan
(8-4) hasn't played in Ann Arbor since its first regular
season match of the campaign. That contest took place on
November 19, when the Wolverines defeated Northwest-
ern.
So tomorrow's match against intrastate rival Tri-State
University can be called a homecoming of sorts.
But has playing almost its entire schedule thus far on
the road, bothered the Michigan players?
"It's really hard (playing on the road) and it's defi-
nitely wearing on me and my mental game," outside hitter
and team president Kevin Urban said. "Our whole sched-
ule up until now has been traveling."
- Alan Goldenbach

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