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April 01, 1996 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-01

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6B - The Michigan Daily -- SPORTSMonday -- Monday, April 1, 1.996


Buckeyes win Big
Ten; 'M' finishes last

'y Sharat Reju
Daily Sports Writer
The Big Ten is the dominant confer-
ence in men's gymnastics.
Ohio State, the best team in the best
Conference in the nation, didn't disap-
point this weekend at the Big Ten cham-
pionships in Columbus.
The top-ranked Buckeyes defeated
all challengers, scoring 231.375 points.
Iowa finished a close second with
229.125, followed by Penn State
(225.475), Minnesota(224.925), Michi-
gan State (222.45) and Illinois
The 0-11 Wolverines brought up the
rearin seventh place with 211.55 points.
This finish isn't as disheartening as it
sgems, though.
°"We were prepared to come in sev-
nth place," Michigan coach Bob
tDarden said. "We knew the strength of
the other programs ... and we would
have had to have a Herculean perfor-
dmnce to have overtaken one of the
ither teams.
"Overall, we're happy with our per-
,The best single performance for
Michigan was junior Tim Lauring on
the vault. His first day total of 9.35 was
-ood enough to tie for ninth, and al-
:wed him to compete in the finals
Sunday. He didn't disappoint as the
only Wolverine in the finals, finishing
fourth in the event with a score of 9.35
Junior Jason MacDonald also per-
formed well on the high bar event, grab-
bing 10th place with a 9.55.
The Buckeyes were the story of the
weekend, though.
"Ohio State really showed all their
championship form during the Big Ten
meet," Darden said.
5In the end, Ohio State's talent-heavy
squad proved too much for the rest of
the field. The Buckeyes had at least
three gymnasts to finish in the top nine

in each event.
Blaine Wilson, one of two U.S. Na-
tional Team members on the Buckeyes,
was the Big Ten gymnast of the year
and responsible for most of the Ohio
State success. He won the high bar with
a 9.95, second on the rings (9.9), took
second on pommel horse (9.8), third on
the parallel bars (9.725) and won the
all-around (58.225).
Wilson wasn't the only gymnast re-
sponsible for Ohio State's success,
though. Ofthe top seven finishers in the
all-around, four were Buckeyes -
Wilson was first, Tim Elsner was fourth
(56.6), Drew Durbin was sixth (56.575)
and Michael Morgan was tied for sev-
enth (56.4).
Durbin also won the pommel horse,
scoring 9.9, and finished second on the
parallel bars (9.75). Fellow Buckeye
David Eckert won the rings with a 9.925
The only event Ohio State did not
thoroughly dominated was the floor
exercise. Penn State took care of the
event, with five gymnasts finishing in
the top 10. Joey Roemer placed second
(9.65) with teammates J.M. Michel
(9.625), Ron Roeder (9.4), Steve
McSparren (9.3) and Roy Malka (9.25)
grabbing third, seventh, eighth and ninth
place, respectively.
Third-ranked Iowa placed second
in the meet with a score of 229.125.
Top Hawkeye performer Jay Thorton
placed second in the all-around (57.4).
He was also terrific in winning the
floor exercise (9.9), the parallel bars
(9.8) and the vault (9.6). Teammate
Travis Rosen took second on the vault
with a 9.45.
Minnesota, the No. 9 team in the
nation, finished fourth in the meet, scor-
ing 224.92 points. Chris Harrington
placed the highest for the Golden Go-
phers, scoring a 9.6 on the floor exer-
cise for a fourth-place finish.
The No. 4 Spartans finished in a

Frosh lea(
to fifth str
By Kevin Kasilborski
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics
team proved that youth is not necessarily
a liability, as four freshmen led the Wol-
verines to victory at the Big Ten champi-
Fourth-ranked Michigan scored a
194.600 to top all seven teams at the
conference meet in Columbus on Satur-
day. The victory marked the fifth con-
secutive year the Wolverines have been
crowned Big Ten champs.
Michigan State scored a 193.925, nar-
rowly edging host Ohio State for second.
The Buckeyes finished third with a total
of 193.900.
Michigan is only the second team to
win five straight conference titles. Ohio
State won five in a row from 1983-87.
The Wolverines dominated the top of
the scoreboard. A different Michigan
gymnast placed first in the all-around and
the four individual events. Four of these
champions were freshmen.
Freshman Beth Amelkovich captured
the all-around title with a score of39.050,
despite not winning an event. Her perfor-
mance was highlighted by a career-high
9.950 on the uneven bars.
"Not even in my wildest dreams did I
think that (winning the all-around) was
going to happen," Amelkovich said. "But
it wouldn't have meant anything if our
team didn't win. The fact that our team
won just made everything sweeter."
The winner on the bars was freshman
Nikki Peters, who became the first gym-
nast to ever record a perfect 10 in that
event at the Big Ten championship meet.
Herscore ledthe Wolverinestoa49.525
on the bars, breaking the two-week-old
school record. Peters and senior Wendy
Marshall are the only Wolverines to re-
ceive a perfect mark this season.
Marshall, who was named Big Ten
gymnast of the year, was the only Michi-
gan upperclassman to win an event. The
senior's score of 9.850 made her Big Ten

I tumblers*
aight title
champion on the vault, an event she has
dominated throughout most of the sea-
"This was the sweetest win I have ever
felt," Marshall said. "We won and that is
all that matters."
Junior Andrea McDonald, freshman
Lisa Simes and Peters each scored 9.825
on the vault. They were part ofa four-way
tie for second, along with Betsy Cousins
of Ohio State.
Simes shared first place in the floor
exercise with Mindy Knaeble of Minne-
sota. They both scored a 9.850.
McDonald and sophomore Heathe
Kabnick each scored a 9.825 on the floor,
leaving them in a tie for third.
Michigan freshman Kathy Burke's
career-high 9.850 tied her with Michigan
State's Carolyn Hecht for top honors on
the balance beam, but Burke was the only
Wolverine to perform weJl on that appa-
ratus. The team score was only 47.100 on
the beam.
"We tried to give this one away in th
last event," Michigan coach Bev Plock
said. "We were on such an adrenaline
high coming off bars and had to go right
to the beam. It was a great lesson for us to
learn from going into regionals and na-
The freshmen have been turning in
solid performances all season long, but
this weekend marked their best collective
efforts yet.
The four have only been in th lineup
together since late February. Injuries kep
Peters and Simes out of competition, an
the fifth freshman, Kristin Duff, has
missed virtually the entire season with an
This victory should put to rest any
doubts about who is the top team in the
conference. But Michigan isn't content
with just the Big Ten title.
The Wolverines have two weeks to
perfect their routines for the NCAAs.
They will be competing April 13 in th
Central Regional in Baton Rouge.
e Bulldogs
15-5 run to increase its lead to 57-41.
in hit two 3-pointers during that stretch
ur other Tennessee players scored as the
/ols took control.
y also were doing it on the defensive end
tree got nothing against Davis and Frett,
iissed only two shots in the first half,
get a second-half basket until scoring on
ack with just 1:59 remaining. By then, it
as such a frustrating half for Frett that at
>int, she missed a point-blank shot,.got
ound and then missed again fro' the
pot. Roundtree was equally frustrated.
d six assists but also six turnovers.
0 run that included a 3-pointer by Kedr
td drew Georgia to 57-48, and the Lady
>gs trailed 61-52 after Henderson's bas-
th 11:52 to play.
that's as close as they would get. Ten-
scored the next seven points for a 68-52
nd as the Lady Vols kept pounding away
the lead kept growing. An 11-2 run
it 81-60 and Georgia was finished, rel-
l to its second loss in as many appear-
in the title game. The Lady Bulldogs lost

Dominion in the 1985 finals.

Michigan finished last in the Big Ten championships this weekend.

disappointing fifth place (222.45).
Michigan State was poised to have a
strong showing after climbing in the
rankings all season long. The ordi-
narily potent combination of Joe Duda
and Ethan Stark did not perform nearly
as well as they did all season. Al-
though Duda finished fourth on the
parallel bars (9.6), and Sterk finished
fifth on the pommel horse (9.65) and

eighth on the high bar (9.525), neither
placed higher than 15th in any other
Tenth-ranked Illinois finished sixth
with a score of 218.875 points. Greg
McGlaun's fifth place finish on the
high bar (9.775) and Yuval Ayalon's
fifth place on the rings (9.625) were
the best performances for the Fight-
ing Illini.

.. . . Lady Vols take the bite out of th

The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tennessee was big-
ger and stronger, Georgia was quicker. In this
case, bigger was better.
Tenncssee dominated inside and got some in-
spired defense from Latina Davis in beating South-
eastern Conference rival Georgia, 83-65, last night
to win its fourth NCAA championship.
Tennessee now has twice as many national
titles as any other school in 15 years of NCAA
play. The Lady Vols won their previous cham-
pionships in 1987, 1989 and 1991 - all under
current coach Pat Summitt.
Tennessee's players donned the traditional
championship caps and pranced around the court
in celebration. Summitt, wearing a burnt orange
pantsuit, watched calmly from the sidelines and
chatted with a television reporter.
Tennessee's Michelle Marciniak, who had 10
points, five assists and two steals, was named
the outstanding player in the Final Four. She
scored 21 in a semifinal victory over defending
champion Connecticut Friday night.
Abby Conklin helped with some timely 3-
point shooting for the Lady Vols, who had lost
at Georgia, 77-71, during the season. Tennessee
outrebounded Georgia, 63-30, in that game and

enjoyed another big edge on the boards last
night, this time, 54-39.
That total included 21 offensive rebounds,
which led to 17 second-chance points.
Davis, Tennessee's leading scorer in the tour-
nament, stood out with her defense by shutting
down Georgia's All-America guard, Saudia
Roundtree. Roundtree had promised coach Andy
Landers a national championship when she signed
with Georgia out ofjunior college two years ago,
but she couldn't make it happen.
The 5-foot-7 senior, who had 63 points in her
two previous tournament games, rarely was able
to get Georgia into its deadly transition game and
scored only eight points on 3-for-14 shooting.
She went scoreless in the second half.
Freshman Chamique Holdsclaw led Tennes-
see (32-4) with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Tiffani
Johnson also scored 16 for the Lady Vols and
Conklin added 14, including four 3-pointers.
Pashen Thompson had 12 points and II re-
La'Keshia Frett led Georgia (28-5) with 25
points but had only seven in the second half.
Tracy Henderson scored 16.
Ahead 42-37 at halftime despite shooting only
43 percent, Tennessee opened the second half

Poor passing plagues M
volleyball in weekend 1

Tennessee beat Georgia last
night in the women's NCAA
basketball tournament, 83-
65, to win its fourth NCAA

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
Every team has a weakness, a part of
its game that will cause certain defeat.
This weekend, Michigan's opponents
found the Wolverines' flaw and they
Poor passing is sure to doom a vol-
leyball team, and this weekend was no
exception. The Wolverines lost to Min-
nesota in pool play and were eliminated
by Iowa State in the first round of seeded
The Wolverines entered the Michi-
gan Intercollegiate Volleyball Tourna-
ment on Friday on a high note. They
had defeated Michigan State the previ-
ous weekend and were looking to reach
the semifinals or even the finals of the
tournament in Kalamazoo.
But those dreams fell short as Michi-
gan was eliminated in the first round
once again. At the Big Ten Champion-
ships, the Wolverines steamrolled the
competition in pool play, faltering only
once the bracket play began.
That was again the case this weekend
as Minnesota- in pool play - and the

Cyclones - in tournament competi-
tion - took advantage of Michigan's
weak middle.
"(Minnesota) served us offthe court,"
Michigan coach Kent Booker said.
"They didn't serve to Ernesto
(Rodriguez) and only served to Ted
This focus on one individual is a
strategy not often employed in volley-
ball, but this time it worked. Skolarus
was worn down by the constant pres-
sure to return, and consequently, his
confidence suffered.
Skolarus isthe squad's primary passer
- and without strong passes, the all-
around game suffers.
"If the passing doesn't work, it's hard
to set the middle attackers and cover the
(center)," Booker said.
The coach tried to overcome this with
a number of strategies -none of which
were successful. He experimented by
moving three passers onto the court at
once, but this threw off Michigan's
Booker then attempted to substi-
tute in Judd Larned, but it was too

little, too late. Michigan stayed with
Minnesota point for point thereafte
but the Gophers had already jumped
out to a lead.
The tournament was not a total loss,
though. The Wolverines received strong
performances from Rodriguez and Chad
Stilstra, who led the team to pool round
victories over Miami (Ohio) and Cen-
tral Michigan.
The injury bug is playing tricks on
Michigan again.
Suresh Pothiraj was expected to s
out the MIVA Tournament after twist-
ing his knee in practice last week. The
sprain was not as serious as was first
thought and Pothiraj played the entire
weekend without problems.
Andy Spitser hadtroublepassing with
the soft cast he has on his thumb.
Spitser's effectiveness was limited,
decimating the Wolverines' power
Michigan heads back out onthe cou
with a rare home match at Cliff Keen
Arena Saturday. The 7:30 p.m. contest
will pit the Wolverines against Eastern


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