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April 05, 1996 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-05

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12- The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 5, 1996

'Houston, we have a problem': Blue grounds Rockets, 23-1.

By Pranay Reddy
Daily Sports Writer
Coming off two heartbreaking weekend
losses to Virginia Tech in the Pittsburgh Invi-
tational, the Michigan men's lacrosse club (4-
1 Big Ten, 10-4 overall) was looking some-
where - anywhere - for a win.
Well, there's no place like home.
In their Wednesday night match with To-
ledo, the Wolverines quickly put to bed any
thoughts of a Rocket upset, producing their
highest offensive output of the season on the
way to a crushing 23-1 victory at Oosterbaan

Fieldhouse.
Due to the late start of Toledo's spring
season, this was the first game of the year for
the Rockets.
The difference in conditioning between the
two teams, though, cannot begin to tell the
story of the game.
Michigan was clearly the better of the two
teams heading into the contest, and both teams
knew it.
"We traditionally have a stronger program,
so I started people who don't ordinarily start,"
Michigan coach Bob DiGiovanni said.

The first quarter was a testament to the
depth of the Wolverine bench, as Michigan
racked up 10 goals, the most the team has
scored in a quarter this season.
The younger Wolverines took advantage of
the opportunity for more playing time, par-
ticularly freshmen attackers Eric Olson and
Fred Yun.
Olson led the way for Michigan, tallying
four goals and two assists; Yun followed with
five attack points, including two goals and
three assists.
"This was their opportunity to expand from

their normal roles," DiGiovanni said. "(The
Toledo game) let me know the future of the
program is in good shape."
The offense not only did its part by scoring
23 goals, but it also prevented the ball from
being in the Wolverines' end of the field for
the majority of the game.
Michigan's constant pressure - the Wol-
verines shot 55 times - had the Rockets on
their heels the entire night. And had it not
been for a brief defensive lapse late in the
game, the Wolverines might have recorded
their first shutout of the season.

"Maybe once in a season we have a game
like that," senior captain Brian Molitor said.
Michigan hopes to keep up its momentum
when it plays Marietta tonight at 9 p.m. irr
Oosterbaan Fieldhouse. The Marietta contest
looks to be more of a challenge than the
Toledo tune-up, considering Marietta's status,
as a Division III varsity squad.
"I expect (Marietta) to be well-drilled an@
in good shape," DiGiovanni said. "If we play
with anything near the level of intensity as the
games against Virginia Tech (in the Pitts-
burgh Invitational), we'll do very well."

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The end is near for gymnastics' Darden
Men's mentor faces final regular-season meet after 13 years of leading Michigan

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By Sharat Raju
Daily Sports Writer
For 13 seasons Bob Darden has
been head coach of the Michigan
men's gymnastics team.
For the next 13 seasons someone
else will be in charge, perhaps even a
whole bunch of people.
East Lansing, Saturday, will be the
site of the last regular-season meet
for which Darden will serveaas head
of the program he's been a part of for
more than 20 years as gymnast and
coach.
"It's going to be great," Darden
said. "I will be working for the next
several years at the club level ... so I
won't be divorcing myself completely
from the sport."
Darden's resignation announce-
ment came nearly two weeks ago,
after he decided that it was time for
someone else to have an opportunity
to make a difference in the program.
The Athletic Department is making
an active search for a potential suc-
cessor for Darden, but no one has
been named yet.
His final season has been a some-
what difficult one. The 0-11Wolver-
ines are in danger of finishing the
season without a victory for the first
time in Darden's career.
Realistically, the Wolverines know
that they will probably not defeat
Michigan State in their final weekend
of competition.
In gymnastics, as in many indi-
vidual sports, a team victory is not
4 alwyas the focus, though.
"This meet is important for those
individuals who have an outside chance
to make the regionals," Darden said.
"Chris Onuska has a good chance to
make the cut-off, and Kris Klingeris on
the bubble. Flavio Martins has an out-
side chance in the all-around, and Jason
MacDonald on the high bar.
"If the rest of the team can go into
there with a good frame of mind of
supporting those individuals, then it's

Michigan's men gymnasts take on Michigan State on Saturday in coach Bob Darden's final meet as Wolverine mentor.

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going to be a positive experience for
us."
The host Spartans will probably not
be kind enough to let the Wolverines
have a happy ending to their season.
Fou'rth-ranked Michigan State is com-
ing off a disappointing fifth-place fin-
ish in the Big Ten championships last
weekend.
Michigan State, although they have
already qualified for regionals, will
be looking to "tune up" their routines
before heading into regional compe-
tition.
Joe Duda and Ethan Sterk, who
lead Michigan State in nearly every
event, will be looking to regain confi-
dence in their performances after a
sub-par showing at the Big Tens.
The story won't be the Spartans,

"It's going to be great ..I won't be
divorcing myself completely from the
sport3"
- Bob Darden
Michigan men's gymnastics coach,
on his final regular-season meet and post-retirement life

though. The story might not even be
the meet itself. The focus for the Wol-
verines, at least, will be the fact that a
coach who has been a mainstay in the
Michigan athletic program over the
last 13 years will be making his last
appearance.
"I'll miss, of course, the athletes
we've had to deal with over the years,"

Darden said. "(Last week at the Bio
Tens) I had a chance to speak to a
visit with a lot of people I've become
friends with professionally and per-
sonally. It reinforced the sincerity the
community of coaches have in gym-
nastics for each other.
"It's a real nice thing for me to take
with me, outside the gym."

._

After hash bash, bring your

5toned bt' over to

Tower

TENNIS
Continued from Page 11
The Boilermakers are led by Cris
James at No. I singles and first doubles.
James has posted 22 wins at both posi-
tions, going 22-12 at singles. He forms
the 20th-ranked duo in the nation with
Derek Myers, and has posted a 22-4
record, including a 3-1 record against
Big Ten competition.
On Sunday, Michigan faces an Illinois
team that is ranked fifth in the region, and
is usually a strong indoor team.
"Illinois is a very good team this
year," Eisner said. "They have got a lot
of power right on through their lineup
and they serve and volley well."
Key players for the Illini are their
Nos. 4 and 6 singles players, Brady
Blain and Oliver Freelove. Both are
undefeated in four. Big Ten matches;
each has 22 wins on the year.
"Illinois is a pretty solid team,"
Pusztai said. "They have played well all

season."
But the Wolverines, too, have played
well this season. Michigan is enjoying
success at both singles and doubles,
with four players recording 15 or more
wins. Michigan has won three ofits past
four matches.
Eisner madethe decision to play both
matches indoors at the Liberty Sports
Complex - a decision that might actu-
ally favor the visitors.
"Both the teams play better indoors
than they do outdoors," Eisner said.
"The weather might be good or it might
not be, so I decided to move the matches
indoors to be safe."
And it's hard not to feel safe at home,
especially with the success that Michi-
gan has had at Liberty. One of the keys
for Michigan this weekend will be con-
sistency.
"We expect to play well," Eisner
said. "If we play the kind of tennis we
should be playing, there is no reason we
shouldn't be successful."

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Continued from Page 11
stellar effort, despite the doubled dis-
tance.
In the 3,000, seniors Jen Stuht and
Katy Hollbacher will join sophomore
Michelle Slater and freshman Marcy
Akard. Slater, currently nursing a swol-
len ankle, was one of four runners team-
ing up for a second-place showing in
last week's 4 x 1,600.
Slateris not the only Wolverinefigl
ing off injuries. McGregor comes to
Virginia battling a pulled quadriceps
muscle. Strong performances from both
athletes will be crucial to the squad's
success this weekend., If the team plans
on capturing a conference crown, it will
have to conquer its nagging injuries.
"It (a Big Ten championship) is defi-
nitely within reach," said All-Ameri-
can senior Courtney Babcock. "We j
have to stay healthy."
Babcock, in addition to the trio of
McGregor, junior Lamika Harper and
freshman Angie Stanifer, will run the
distance medley this weekend. Last
week, the four garnered a first-place
finish in the same event.
Senior Monika Black hopes to bounce
back from a disappointing performance
in the high jump at the indoor champi-
onships. With closer attention to h
technique, Black believes she can cleY
a height of 6-foot-2.
"it's not necessarily about running
fast or jumping high," Black said. "It's
about form. It's timing, as far as the
mechanics go."
"Wejust want good weather," Henry
said. "I think if the weather's good
we'll have some strong performances."
Hopefully, the skies will not rain on
the Wolverines' parade.

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