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January 23, 1997 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-23

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 23, 1997 -4A

'M' women's tumblers will see
lamiliar face in Massachusetts

By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Writer
When the No. 11 Michigan women's gym-
nastics team travels to Amherst, Mass., for a
eet against No. 22 Massachusetts, it will be a
union of sorts.
But don't expect the Wolverines to be gra-
cious guests.
Fourth-year UMass coach Dave Kuzara used
to be an assistant coach under Michigan coach
Bev Plocki.
But if Kuzara remembers anything from his
days in Ann Arbor, he'll know that facing the
Wolverines could be a handful for his
Minutemen.
The Wolverines have won the last five Big
*n championships and made appearances in
the NCAA championships each of the last four
years.
"Dave's a great coach" Plocki said. "He has
brought that program up from nothing in the last
two years with fantastic recruiting classes.
"But overall, we should beat them."
The Wolverines, coming off their first win of
the season last Saturday against Minnesota,
have had relative success smoothing out many
( their early season problems.
,The Wolverines upped their score on the bal-
ance beam to 48.4 against the Gophers, a world
of improvement over their scores at the begin-
ning of the season.
x "We had a lot more confidence," sophomore
Beth Amelkovich said. "Hopefully we can carry
what happened into next weekend."
jut Plocki is not satisfied with her team's sta-
W. quite yet.

"I hope we'll be able to make improvements
on (our performances)," she said. "We're not
where we want to be on any event."
The Wolverines dominated the first three
rotations Saturday and will head to Amherst
favored in three events.
But the Minutemen have dominated the beam
the entire season.
"We're not where
we want to be on any
event. "
- Bev Plocki
Michigan women's
gymnastics coach
In fact, the Minutemen were ranked sixth
nationally on the beam as late as last week.
Anita Sanyal will be the primary threat on beam
this weekend.
The beam was the Wolverines' weakest event
before the Minnesota meet.
They will also need to return to form on the
floor exercise to contend. The Wolverines'
scores dropped dramatically on the floor, their
last event, this past Saturday.
It was the first time this season that their floor
scores were low.
"I don't know if the problem was the floor,"
Plocki said. "We had a big lead and there might
have been a mental letdown."
The Wolverines cannot expect to build up as

big a lead against UMass however.
The Minutemen haven't lost a home meet this
season, and Michigan is winless on the road so
far this year.
Last event lapses won't help if the Wolverines
expect to challenge for the national title again
this year.
"I have yet to see the competitive fire in my
team this year that other teams have had in the
past;' Plocki said."They can't just expect good
things to happen, because they're talented."
That talent has suffered a bit in the past
weeks.
Co-captain Andrea McDonald has had a
nasty bout with influenza and may only com-
pete in the floor exercise, if she returns at all this
weekend.
Junior Heather Kabnick, an integral part of
the Wolverines' squad, probably won't be ready
for any events that involve running this weekend.
"We can probably count on her for at least
beam and bars, Plocki said. "But we ran into
problems when we put tumbling into her floor
routine in practice."
The Wolverines need. an experienced tumbler
like Kabnick competing to ensure there are no
more mental letdowns.
Though there were question marks, the
Wolverines turned their attitudes around last
weekend.
Plocki thinks there's no reason that can't
carry over against the Minutemen.
"I would think that we could expect as good a
performance as last week for the rest of the sea-
son, but with a few smaller strides in improve-
ment," Plocki said.

Andrea McDonald, who has been hampered by the flu, is questionable for this weekend's meet.

Extra men's netters get chance to swing in tourney

Read

,.
x
T
: ,-
:

by Jordan Field
Daily Sports Writer
'As the defending Big Ten champi-
tlhe Michigan men's tennis team
will travel to Champaign this week-
end for the 1997 Big Ten indoor sin-
gles championship.
*In the field of 64, the Wolverines
will showcase six players in the sin-
gle-elimination championship draw.
Two other Wolverines will com-
pete in the No. 7 and No. 8 player
bracket.
-"The bracket was created to allow
each school to send additional play-
ers to compete outside of the 64-per-
son limit.
"This tournament is one time
here players that would not nor-
lly have the opportunity to play
now have the chance to play against
very good competition at all levels,"
Michigan coach Brian Eisner said.

Eisner said that unlike other tour-
naments played this year, this one
does not have doubles competition,
leading to a slightly different
approach for the team.
"We have focused extremely hard
on individual improvements this
week," Eisner said. "We really need-
ed to work on two major areas, the
return of serve and hitting passing
shots.
"We have had great progress this
week working on those parts of the
singles game."
Last year, the Wolverines fielded
three of the final four semifinalists
- two of whom are returning this
year.
Juniors Arvid Swan and David
Paradzik will attempt to repeat last
year's performance.
"The courts in Champaign are real
fast," Paradzik said. "I certainly

want to go down there and play the

way I know I an
"I'm not
guarantee-
ing a repeat
of last year,
but losing in
the first or
second
round would
certainly be
a disap-
pointment."
The third
of last year's
semifin al-
ists, Peter
Pusztai,
graduated
last year and
beat Swan in
the semifinals

m capable.

Ten singles title.
"I've got a big

tr

"I'M not
guaranteeing a
repeat of last year,
but losing in the
first or second round
would certainly be a
disappointment."
-- David Paradzik
Michigan tennis player

ophy cup in my
office with
Peter's name
on it," Eisner
said.
"It's a
traveling tro-
phy, so I'll
have to bring
it with me to
the tourna-
ment, but
hopefully we
can bring it
back for
another year
with one of

picked up seeds in the tournament.
Swan grabbed the No. 6 seed and
Paradzik No. 10.
"We certainly would like to come
away from this tournament with
good results," Eisner said.
"But not only good results on
paper, we also want to leave with the
feeling that we played well and feel
confident about our performance."
Junior transfer Brook Blain, who
is making his first appearance at this
championship, echoed his coach's
words.
"I really don't have any expecta-
tions for this tournament," Blain
said. "I just want to play well and
leave there with a couple good wins,
and especially with my confidence
high.
"As a team, we should leave this
championship feeling confident
about ourselves."

SPORTSMonday
for the
latest
coverage of
all Michigan.'
sports..

our
guy's
on it."

other
name

and then defeated

Minnesota's Ben Gabler for the Big

Swan and Paradzik, who both
carry rankings in Region IV, both

EAGLES
Continued from Page 10A
won the mile and the 3,000-yard race.
Harvey also noted an impressive per-
'xmance from freshman Steve
Iawrence, who finished third in the mile
last week.
Devasher won the 55-yard dash last
weekend. He says he is learning with
each race and is focusing on his start this
TEST
Continued from Page 10A
* rst away meet of their careers.
"I don't think that will be intimi-
dating," Henry said. "We had excel-
tent competition this past weekend,
ad we didn't win as many events as
the previous week, but our perfor-
mances were better. So the intimidat-
ping factor is normally in the compe-
tition, not necessarily the environ-
ment - I have more confidence in
em than that."
Ouellet is anxious to make her
mark on the Wolverines, especially
after having to sit out the entire
cross country season due to an
injury.
"I only really started running
about 2 1/2 years ago," Ouellet said.
"I got some good coaching back
home, and I'm really starting to feel
like I could come into my own. I'm
really hoping to do well for the team
id individually, just to make myself
appy.
' "I'm really happy, because I've
never run this fast indoors, especial-
ly at the start of the season."
Two other Wolverines to watch are
sophomore Nicole Forrester and
junior Tania Longe.

week.
Freshman Steve Jenkins also ran
strong in the 55, finishing only .04 sec-
onds behind Devasher.
All eyes will be on junior Don
McLaughlin, whose running has
improved tremendously in the last two
weeks.
McLaughlin ran a personal best in the
800 last weekend by shaving six seconds
off his time.

The meet begins at noon with the
field events, and the running events kick
off at 5:45 p.m.
Harvey hopes that things will run
smoothly and the runners will be able
to control themselves throughout the
day.
"It's a good rivalry, it's good
competition, but there's no reason
to let it resort to that again," Harvey
said.

Forrester has proved herself to be
a consistent power in the high jump,
placing first in both of Michigan's
meets this season.
Longe, the 1996 outdoor Big Ten
champion in the heptathalon, is com-
peting but is still taking things slow-
ly while recovering from a back
injury.
"The back is getting better," Henry
said. "She's doing more in her prac-
tices, but I'm just optimistically cau-
tious that I feel good about how
things are going.
"There's no need to stretch her or
rush her progress. We have bigger
and better things to look forward to.

Right now this is the most important
meet, but we're not going to pull out
all the stops to win it," Henry added.
As good as the Wolverines are
now, Henry is looking forward to a
season of developing their full
potential - a potential he feels is
still untapped.
"We improved (in) the second
meet," Henry said.
"But this is an interesting team,
because they don't know how good
they are, and they don't know how
good they can be. We're getting
sharper, but we're still not at a point
yet, and it will be exciting to see how
this team develops."

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