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February 15, 1996 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-15

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LOA - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 15, 1996

Utah comes to Keen

Men search for win

By Kevin Kasiborski
For the Daily
Last April, the top ofthe scoreboard at
the 1995 NCAA Women's Gymnastics
Championships in Athens, Ga., read: 1.
Utah 196.65, 2. Michigan 196.425.
Utah is no stranger to the top of the
scoreboard in championship meets. The
'95 title was the Utes' second consecu-
tive national crown, and the 10th they
have won since 1981.
For the Wolverines, though, second
place was their highest finish ever, and
an important step in their rise to national
prominence.
In every year since 1989, Utah, Geor-
gia and Alabama have constituted the
top three teams in the nation, until
Michigan's No. 2 finish last year broke
that streak.
The Wolverines get a chance to re-
new acquaintances with last year's
champs when they host the Utes at 7p.m.
Saturday in Cliff Keen Arena, in one of
the most anticipated match-ups in
women's gymnastics this year.
"Having the opportunity to host a team
that has won 10 national championships
is a wonderful way to introduce our fans
to the highest level ofgymnastics andget
them hooked," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said.
No. 4 Michigan has a record of 7-2
and is coming off a 194.425-192.575
victory over Ohio State in Columbus last
weekend.
Utah is 4-0 and ranked No. 3. Their
last meet was Monday, when they came
from behind to defeat No. 7 Oregon
State, 195.60 to 194.85.
Michigan is probably glad to have this
meet in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are
currently on a 46-0 win streak at home,
dating back to 1990.
Utah coach Greg Marsden, the only
coach the Utes have ever had, expressed

concern about taking his team on the
road.
"Unless we can find a way to step it up
a notch -and I don't know how we'll do
that in two days of practice - it will be
very hard for us to beat Michigan,"'
Marsden said. "They're at home and
they're avery good team ... they're fourth
right now and we are struggling."
Plocki and her team appreciate the
generous praise and respect shown to
thembyoneofthetopcoachesin America.
But Marsden's comments sound suspi-
ciously like something out of a Lou Holtz
press conference. Pump up the other team
and lament your own problems.
"A burden we carry is that we make
everybody's season if they beat us,"
Marsden said. "This meet is going to be a
real tough and interesting challenge for
us."

Some of Marsden's other burdens in-
clude an undefeated team, a No. 1 na-
tional ranking in the balance beam event,
and three 1995 All-Americans.
But the biggest factor in Utah's favor
this weekend is that they are healthy.
"We will give them the best run for the
money we can, but we are hampered very
badly by injuries right now," Plocki said.
"I was hoping we could field our stron-
gest lineup and have an opportunity to
beat theudefending champions on our
home court."
The team is hoping that this weekend
will mark the return to action for senior
DiannaRanelli andtwo freshmen, Kristen
Duff and Lisa Simes, from injuries.
However, it has recently lost senior
Tina Miranda to injury, possibly for the
year. Freshman Nikki Peters and sopho-
more Heather Kabnick have both been
competing hurt the last few weeks, but
Peters will have to sit out on Saturday.
Kabnick's status will be decided later in
the week.

by John Friedberg
For the Daily
In many sports, the University of
Minnesota is not seen as much of a
threat to the mighty Wolverines.
Michigan's open display of the Little
Brown Jug symbolizes football domi-
nation.
However, the Michigan men's gym-
nastics team tells a different story.
Michigan is looking for their first win
of the season when they take on the
defending Big Ten champion Golden
Gophers Sunday at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen
arena. This will be the first home meet
of Michigan's young season.
Minnesota is currently ranked sixth in
the country and fourth in the Big Ten.
Coach Fred Roethlisberger's Golden
Gophers are coming offa 225.45-219.25
loss to No. 4 Iowa. Minnesota brings in
stars Heath Wall (all-around), Andrew
Weaver and Chris Harrington. Wall
scored a 9.85 on the rings in winning that
event against the Hawkeyes and posted a
53.95 in the all-around. Weaver put up a
9.5 on the high bars to place second in the
Iowa meet. Harrington showed his versa-
tility in scoring a 9.65 on the floor exer-
cise and a 9.85 on the rings in winning
both events. The Gophers will be keyed
up and looking to rebound from the lossto
Iowa.
The 16th-ranked Wolverines will try
to build on last Saturday's solid effort
against the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Michigan stayed with the Buckeyes for
most of the meet, but ended up falling
228.925-209.750. The Wolverines
posted team season-highs on the still
rings (35.7) as well as the high bar
.(36.7).
The Wolverines were led by Flavio
Martins who posted season-bests on the
pommel horse, still bars and the all
around. Martins finished third in the

all-around, missing second by 1.5
points. He was Michigan's top scorern
the meet.
"Minnesota is always strong, espe-
cially their vaulting team. They wonthe
Big Ten last year and we expect a tough
competition on Sunday," Martins said.
Martins also indicated that Michigan
will attempt to improve on the pommel
horse against the Gophers. The h*
has been a weakness forthe Wolvennes
this year. Martins said he is looking to
give his all-around score a boost this
weekend.
Captain Chris Onuska also achieved
season-bests on the still rings and high
bar. The senior from Manalapan, N.J.,
scored a fourth-place finish in the all-
around against the Buckeyes. Onuska
is comingback from an Achilles tendon
injury that sidelined him for the st
month ofthe 1995 season. He is reg-
ing the form that has made him one o
Michigan's top tumblers, as evidenced
by his top-15 ranking on the pommel
horse. Onuska is on track to becom
just the 41st gymnast in school histo
to win letters all four years.
Teammate and fellow senior Kri
Klinger will become a four-year lette
winner as well. Klinger is coming of
his season-best performance on the
allel bars against the Buckeyes.
one of three Wolverines who have
high national ranking in an individua
event. Klinger hopes to improve on hi
No. 15 rank on the high bar.
Another gymnast who has earne
national respect is sophomore Tim
Lauring. Lauring is ranked 16th in the
vault and hopes to improve on his im-
pressive performance against Illinois-
Chicago. Ifthe Wolverines are to cause
an upset on Sunday, though, they l
need to keep improving on their previ-
ous meets.

No. 4 Michigan hosts No. 3 Utah Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena.

Women's tennis will get its first real test in Virginia

V

By Pranay Reddy
For the Daily
After two relatively easy matches against Penn State and
Western Michigan, the Michigan women's tennis team hits its
first real test of the season this weekend in Williamsburg, Va.
The 7-0 sweeps previously attained by the Wolverines won't
be as easy to come by as they face Maryland and William and
Mary.
The Terrapins, whom Michigan plays Saturday at noon, are
somewhat of a mystery to the team. The Wolverines haven't
faced Maryland in coach Bitsy Ritt's entire 12-year tenure.
What Ritt does know about the Terrapins, though, is their lack
ofexperience, with three ofthe top four starters being freshmen.
"It is a program that is relatively inexperienced," Ritt said,
"but they have improved a lot from last year."
Maryland has had trouble in the past with recruiting due to
lack of scholarships, but with the influx of more scholarships
into the program in recent years, all that has changed.
"Recruiting has really improved for them," Ritt said. "(The
Terrapins) are much more talented than in the past."

Playing No. 1 singles for Maryland is freshman Thea
Ivanisevic, the cousin of highly ranked professional men's
singles player, Goran Ivanisevic. Senior Bresha Byrd returns for
the Terrapins, playing No. 2 singles, while freshman Meg
Griffin will play No. 3 singles. Freshman Adrian Pavelko
rounds out the freshmen for Maryland, playing No. 4 singles.
The real challenge for Michigan comes Sunday at I I a.m.
when it faces William and Mary, the 13th-ranked team in the
nation. The Wolverines, currently ranked 33rd in the nation, lost
5-1 to William and Mary in last year's meeting.
Michigan hopes to give a better effort this year. Last year's
contest was won by William and Mary after singles play, since
the match was already decided.
"They're a tough team, with quite a few top-notch players,"
junior Sarah Cyganiak said. "It's definitely amatch in which we
have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Sophomore Lauren Nicholas, William and Mary's No. 2
singles player from a year ago, returns to play No. I singles.
Currently ranked 20th in the nation, Nicholas is her team's
strongest asset.

Going into the weekend, the Wolverines may have to shuffle
their lineup a bit due to the injury of freshman Jennifer Boylan.
Boylan has a swollen knee, which caused her to miss the
Western Michigan dual match on Tuesday. As of yesterday, her
status was still up in the air.
"I'm going to an arthroscopic surgeon (today) to find out
what's wrong," Boylan said. "We'll see what happens from
there.".
If Boylan can't make the trip, Ritt is prepared to bump senior
Angie Popek into the No. 5 single slot, while sophomore Sibyl
Smith plays No.6 singles. Smith, who primarily played doubles
for Michigan last year, has Ritt's approval going into the
weekend.
"Sibyl gained a lot of experience this fall," Ritt said. "She's
ready to play."
With two wins under its belt, the entire team heads into
Williamsburg prepared to play, Ritt said.
"We've been playing each other over and over again," Ritt
said. "We've practiced enough, so now we need to see some
strong competition."

SWIMMERS
Continued from Page 8A
where I am. It should give me insight into what I need to work
on.
Freshman Tom Malchow, who is making his Big Ter
Championships debut this weekend for the Wolverines, is
strong candidate for the Olympic team in the 200 butte
and is also keeping this meet in perspective.
"(This weekend) will be an indication of where I am nation-
ally both in terms of the NCAAs and the Olympics," he said. "It
is just a tune-up; it will not reveal the whole picture."
Despite the relative lack of importance placed on this meet
by many of the Wolverines, there is still an air of excitement
and importance heading into the three-day event.
"I'm psyched to wear the Michigan cap," said freshman
Andy Potts, perhaps the Wolverines' most versatile swim-
mer. "It means something extra to swim for both the school's
history and for myself."
The meet will be held at Canham Natatorium each o
next three days.I
Preliminaries will be held at noon and finals at 7 p.m. eaci
day.

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