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Women netters face tough weekend
The Michigan women's tennis team opens the dual match portion of its sched-
ule this weekend. It will not be an easy two days for the Wolverines.
Tomorrow, Michigan will be in Madison to take on No. I Wisconsin. On
Sunday, the Wolverines will travel to Evanston for a date with No. 3
Northwestern, While both the Badgers and Wildcats will be all Michigan can
handle, coach Bitsy Ritt's squad Is coming off an impressive performance at
the Milwaukee Tennis Classic where it produced an ail-Michigan final,
January 31, 1997
tagers prepare for
Round II with MSU
'M' icers wallop
By Alan Goldenbach
Daily Sports Editor
A week ago, Michigan beat
tichigan State, 74-61, at the Breslin
enter in East Lansing.
But if you ask Big Ten
Commissioner Jim Delaney about the
game, he might not know what you're
Last week's contest wasn't a confer-
ence game, thanks to the schedule-
makers at the Big Ten offices. But
Satrday afternoon at 2:30, the scene
shifts to Crisler Arena where the Big
n says that, yes, this is a conference
The reason why the two teams only
play one conference game this season is
because the Big Ten expanded to I I
teams in 1993. Instead of increasing the
conference schedule to 20 games annu-
ally the slate was kept at 18.
Therefore, each team plays eight
opponents twice and the remaining two
only, once. These two teams are deter-
Gied at random each year and by
ance, Michigan and Michigan State
wound up scheduled only once during
-But that didn't bother Michigan coach
Steve Fisher and Michigan State skipper
Tom Izzo, and last week's tilt was sched-
uled. so that the two rivals could get
together at each other's building.
Speaking of the two buildings, the
crowd at East Lansing was particularly
utal on the Wolverines last weekend.
e partisan fans heckled sophomore
center Robert Traylor about his girth
and junior forward Maurice Taylor
about last winter's automobile incident,
when he, several of his teammates, and
then-recruit (and current Spartan)
Mateen Cleaves were involved in an
So will the Crisler fans be looking to
return the favor to some of the Spartans
"Hopefully, we'll have a loud, rau-
cous crowd that will go like crazy and
yell in a positive way for us and yell at
(Michigan State), but not in a way that
is vulgar or offensive," Fisher said.
"But I want our crowd loud. We need
What Fisher needs is for his home
crowd to offset the jeers he heard last
"I truly 99 percent of the time don't
hear (the insults)," Fisher said. "I hear
noise. And if you can do that, you're
But it's not easy to block out chants
about a weight problem and a near-fatal
"(Michigan State's fans) were pretty
loud," Traylor said. "But when you
could point to the scoreboard and see
that you're up eight or nine points, it
doesn't make the crowd seem that
However, Fisher thinks that once the
fans are taken out of the equation, there
is camaraderie between the players on
"I think that the kids on the floor and
the attitude they have is healthy," Fisher
said. "I do feel there is a genuine
respect for one another, even a liking
for one another. It becomes personal at
times from the crowd, and I don't think
that's the overall view of most people
who support Michigan State."
Don't go telling that to Michigan
fans, though. Expect them to be in full
force, especially if the Wolverines jump
out to a big lead.
Junior forward Maceo Baston, for
one, is expecting the Crisler fans to
bring the noise.
"Once we get our crowd behind us
and cheering loud, and get some dunks
and threes, (the crowd) will be rock-
ing," he said.
By Dan Stillman
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - There was no let
The Michigan hockey team showed
no signs of slumping last night in
Columbus, less than a week after grab-
bing its two largest victories of the sea-
son over Miami (Ohio).
Leading, 2-0, after one period,
Michigan (15-1-2 CCHA, 24-1-3 over-
all) put Ohio State (5-14, 7-21) away
with two goals early in the second en
route to a 6-1 victory in front of 1,850 at
the Ohio State Fairgrounds.
"Our team wanted to make sure we
had a good presence in this game"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said.
"We just came off a big weekend, and
you don't want to take a step back."
The victory extends Michigan's
unbeaten streak to 21 games, which ties
a school record.
The Wolverines stretched their lead to
3-0 just over six minutes into the second
period when Michigan left wing John
Madden found center Bobby Hayes
from behind the net. Hayes, coming
towards the goal from the left side, took
the feed from Madden and wristed the
puck past Ohio State goaltender Ray
Thirty-one seconds later, Michigan
struck again when defender Bubba
Berenzweig beat Aho clean on a slapshot
from the left point to make it 4-0.
The Buckeyes showed signs of life
ever-so-briefly later in the period on a
power play. Off of a faceoff in the
Michigan zone, Ohio State's Chad
Power skated into the right corner with
the puck and passed to a streaking Hugo
Boisvert, who scored to cut the
Michigan lead to 4-1.
But the Wolverines returned the favor
17 seconds later on a Madden wrist shot.
Up next ..
Who: Bowling Green
Where: Yost Ice Arena
When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Madden's goal was just one of 51
shots generated by the Wolverines, com-
pared to Ohio State's 14.
"We kept them to under 15 shots, and
that's always a good performance"
Michigan forward Jason Botterill said.
Turco stopped all but one of then
Buckeyes' shots, including a couple of
big saves in the first period.
"This is a statement tonight to give up
only one goal," Berenson said.
The Wolverines drew first blood more
than six minutes into the game on their
second power play. After Ohio State
failed to clear the puck out of its zone,
Michigan's Jason Botterill gained pos-
session, skated down the right side, and
crossed to Mike Legg, who got Aho to
commit left before Legg swerved the
puck into the right side of the goal.
Left wing Greg Crozier assisted on
the Wolverines' second goal more than
six minutes later. After Aho deflected a
shot to his right, Crozier swooped in near
the post and backhanded the puck in
front of the net to Warren Luhning, who
put it in, giving Michigan a 2-0 lead.
Botterill accounted for the only goat
in the third period, before the stanza,.
deteriorated into sporadic fighting. In
all, nine players were ushered off the ice
in the period. For Michigan, Sean
Ritchlin, Dale Rominski, Warren
Luhning and Bubba Berenzweig left
early, while Chris Feil, Ryan Skaleski,
Jason Selleke, Taj Schaffnit and Chris
Richards made the early exit for Ohio
The Wolverines return home to host
Bowling Green tomorrow night at 7.
Michigan's Maurice Taylor skies for a dunk earlier this season against
Northwestern. The Wolverines will need Taylor to be on top of his game when
Michigan State invades Crlsier Arena tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.
Women gymnasts vie for state supremacy
By Sara Rontal
Daily Sports Writer
Say Yes, Michigan! - the state, that
That's what the fans will be thinking
as they watch Michigan's women gym-
asts compete in the State of Michigan
assic on Sunday in Ypsilanti.
The meet, which also features Eastern
Michigan, Michigan State, Western
Michigan and Central Michigan, show-
cases some of the state's best talent.
So what does that mean for the
Say Yes, Michigan! -the Wolverines,
The Wolverines, who are currently
ranked 10th in the nation, lead the state
mpetition in almost every category,
ncluding the uneven bars, where they
are also ranked 10th.
Although Michigan is enjoying its
place coming into the meet, Michigan
coach Bev Plocki said the team cannot
let itself be fooled by the competition.
"Michigan State is a legitimate team,"
Plocki said. "Last weekend, there was
only a 1/10 of a point difference in our
Against Louisiana on Jan. 18,
Spartans Polly Kiker and Briony Lecky
tied for first on the uneven bars with a
That score puts both gymnasts ahead
of Michigan freshman Sarah Cain, the
Wolverines' leader on the uneven bars,
whose career-best score of 9.825 came
just last weekend.
In the floor exercise - hardly the
Wolverines' strongest event - it is
Michigan that has the edge on Michigan
"We were training well this week"
Plocki said. "But I don't know if we can
improve the floor routine. This week we
need more polish on the performance
This could prove troublesome when
competing against Eastern Michigan,
which is ranked 19th in the nation in the
floor routine - one place ahead of the
But there is some good news.
After two poor showings on the floor
in their first two meets of the season, the
Wolverines scored 49.300 against
Massachusetts, the fifth-best score in
Last weekend also saw Central and
Eastern Michigan competing head-to-
head, with the underdog Chippewas
But Plocki is not letting the talk of
other teams interfere with the practices
she is leading.
"The regular season has no determina-
tion on the Big Ten championship,"
Plocki said. "We go in there fresh, and
whatever happens, happens."
And after all, the Wolverines do have
Last weekend, she captured her sec-
ond consecutive all-around title with a
39.475 total, winning both the vault and
the floor exercise.
The Wolverines are again counting on
her to come through with another strong
showing on the floor, particularly
because of an injury to senior captain
Andrea McDonald. McDonald has been
slowed by back troubles since the begin-
ning of the season.
"We are hoping that she can compete
this weekend," Plocki said. "We probably
won't make the final decision until
Thursday or Friday.
"She'll probably compete on the bal-
ance beam and the vault."
If the Wolverines do well at the meet,
they will put themselves in good position
when they face Big Ten foe Ohio State
on Feb. 6.
But with all the good statewide teams
competing, it's anybody's game.
No wonder the fans are confused
about who to cheer for.
Irish only familiar foe for Wolverines at Meyo Invitational
By Chad Kujala
ly Sports Writer
Much like the reader of a murder-
mystery novel, the Michigan men's track
team doesn't know how this weekend's
meet will unfold. The Wolverines know
little about their suspects and are travel-
.ing into uncharted territory.
Because the Wolverines only traveled
a siort distance to Ypsilanti last week,
this meet is their first real road trip.
As for their opponents, Michigan
1no~ws little about them. Of the five other
teams, Notre Dame is the only team the
Wolverines have competed against this
Notre Dame is the host for the two-
day Meyo Invitational to be held today
and tomorrow. Big Ten foes Purdue and
Ohio State are among a field that also
includes Alabama and Missouri.
'When the Fighting Irish visited Ann
arbor two weeks ago, they were left in
he shadows as they witnessed Michigan
and Eastern Michigan duke it out in the
infield when a brawl ensued after the
4x400 relay. Because the Wolverines and
the Eagles took all of the headlines,
many don't remember that the Irish were
even here. They did, however, take home
three victories with them.
Notre Dame came up with winners in
the 200, the 600 and the long jump. It
also had several other strong second- and
The fact that Purdue and Ohio State
will be at this week's meet is positive for
the Wolverines. The more Big Ten teams
to which Michigan is exposed, the better
prepared it will be for the Big Ten cham-
pionship at the end of February. The
Wolverines will be able to gauge their
progress and see how they stack up
against other Big Ten teams.
The Wolverines finished a distant sec-
ond last week in Ypsilanti, but sonie run-
ners' fatigue and sickness forced coach
Jack Harvey to pull his team from the
4x400 relay, one of its best events.
This week, Michigan will throw its
best one-two punch at the Meyo
Invitational in the 55-meter dash.
Senior Damon Devasher has finished
first in the event the past two meets, but
his closest competition has come from
one of his teammates. Freshman Steve
Jenkins has been steadily improving
with each meet, and last week was no
different. Jenkins finished second, only
1 /100 of a second behind Devasher.
The success in this particular event
was greater than anticipated at the begin-
ning of the season. Michigan lost its top
sprinter from last year, Felman
Malveaux, to graduation. Devasher and
Jenkins have successfully filled the void
left from Malveaux's departure.
The 55 is not Devasher's only solid
event. The senior is also an improving
high jumper. Devasher won the high
jump last week with a leap of seven feet.
Devasher says his personal goal is to
Much like Devasher, Jenkins also has
a second event. He has fared well in the
200, finishing last week with the team's
best time this season. His time was good
enough for third place.
The Wolverines will also take the
always-dependable Neil Gardener with
them to South Bend. He has yet to be
beaten this season and will attempt to
keep his streak alive. Michigan will be
exposed to a lot of new talent this week-
end and the mystery won't be solved
until Saturday afternoon.
Who will it be? The Buckeyes, in
South Bend with the candlestick?
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