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February 10, 1997 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-10

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The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - February 10, 1997 3B

'M' gymnasts roll in record-setting day

SPRTSod

By Nita Srivastava
Daily Sports Writer
The crowd at Cliff Keen Arena went
wild yesterday as the Michigan women's
gymnastics team set a record for the
most points in a Michigan meet.
The Wolverines scored 197.3, defeat-
ing Nebraska (195.575) and Illinois
State (189.8).
4Michigan's point total was not the
only record broken in the competition.
Michigan freshman Sarah Cain finished
with her all-time high and first-place fin-
ish of 39.825, tying Beth Wymer's record
set in 1994.
. The Wolverines dominated the compe-
tition, finishing first in three of the four

apparatuses. Cain scored a perfect 10 on
both the floor exercise and the balance
beam, a significant improvement from
her disappointing scores of 9.350 and
9.375 on the floor and the beam, respec-
tively, against Ohio State last Thursday.
Cain's score on the beam was the first
perfect score in Michigan history on the
apparatus.
"I tried to concentrate and work a lit-
tle bit harder" Cain said. "I just want to
do whatever I can to help out the team."
Michigan fans roared when sopho-
more Nikki Peters shook her arms after
sticking a solid landing on the uneven
bars, scoring a perfect 10. It was her
third such performance this season.

Peters said that the strong perfor-
mance by sophomores Cain, Beth
Amelkovich and Lisa Simes helped
give her the confidence she needed to
finish with a perfect score.
"It really helps when your team is on,"
Peters said. "We're getting back our con-
sistency, and that's what we need."
Michigan coach Bev Plocki stresses
focus and hard work in her gymnasts'
routines.
"I try to get my kids not to pay atten-
tion to other teams, because it's a distrac-
tion," Plocki said. "The reason we're
successful is because we didn't let down
until the meet was over."
The vault was Michigan's downfall

yesterday. Nebraska grabbed the top two
places, and Peters and Simes tied for
third place with a score of 9.90. In past
competitions, the Wolverines have been
more successful on the vault.
The poorer performances on vault had
little effect on the Wolverines' overall
score - they still managed to grab the
top two spots in the all-around.
Amelkovich finished second, helping the
Wolverines capture the meet.
"I was really pleased with the way we
performed this afternoon, especially in
the all-around," Plocki said. "We just
have to stay healthy and continue to take
things one at a time, and we should do
really well:'

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By Tracy Sandier
Daily Sports Writer
It's probably safe to say that the No. 11
chigan wrestling team loves the state
oT Indiana. It destroyed the Hoosiers on
Friday night, 28-10, and Purdue, 21-12,
on Saturday night.
Against Indiana, Luiey Haddad wres-
iled at 142 pounds in place of Teya Hill,
who along with Bill Lacure, Otto Olson
and Jeff Catrabone, was bumped up one
weight class.
Despite the changes, the Wolverines
dominated the meet, starting with 118-
und Chris Viola's third consecutive
by major decision to beat Indiana's
Derek Moscovic, while Catrabone,
wrestling at 177 pounds, pinned the
Hoosiers' Aaron Del Mar.
Michigan continued its hot streak by
boiling Purdue the next night. Again,
Viola started the Wolverines off with an
8-3 win over Tim Dernlan'
Hill did not wrestle, due to a sprained

knee he suffered against the Hoosiers.
Haddad, wrestling in his place, beat two-
time All-American Frank Laccone, 6-4,
in an overtime match.
"We had Indiana and Purdue so tired,"
Catrabone said. "Every kid was so tired.
Win or lose, we walked off the mat with
our heads high. They walked off the mat
with their heads dragging."
Going into the weekend's meets, the
Wolverines were determined not to let
anything mentally disrupt their strategy.
"We wanted to dominate the two
matches," Viola said. "We were going to
give up nothing. We wanted to wrestle
our match, not theirs."
The Wolverines' current hot streak can
be attributed to a strong mix of health,
strength and leadership.
"Within the last three, we've had
good training and good conditioning
in," Michigan coach Dale Bahr said.
"We've also stayed fairly healthy,
avoiding the flu. We also don't have

BARRY
SOLLENBERGERr
Sollenberger in Paradise
3 4
Wolverines' Bik Ten
drought a bh' ridiculous
E leven years have passed since Michigan last won the Big Ten.
Eleven years. In that time, the Wolverines have had four consensus All-
Americans, six first-team All-Big Ten selections and eight players selectedin
the first round of the NBA Draft.
Still, there has been no Big Ten title.
Despite the Rumeal Robinsons, Terry Mills and Fab Fivers who Steve Fisher has
coached in his eight full seasons, the Wolverines have remained Big Ten-titleless.
So what's the point? That Fisher should be fired? No. Well, at least not now.
He's accomplished too much. In fact, the Big Ten title is perhaps the only jewel
missing from his crown.
Fisher has won a national championship. He's coached Michigan in two other
NCAA title games. He was the architect of the most famous recruiting class ever.
Still, Michigan hasn't won the Big Ten since 1986. With the talent Fisher's had,-
that's ridiculous. Perhaps this is why he is a lightning rod for many Michigan fans.
You've heard all of the complaints before: His players aren't disciplined. They
stand around on offense. They don't block out on defense, etc., etc.
In fairness to Fisher, the Big Ten isn't easy to win. Still, Fisher has had talent. Too
much talent to go this long without a title.
And yet, the title almost surely will slip through his grasp again this season.
Despite Maurice Taylor, Maceo Baston, Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock - four
players who helped make up top-ranked recruiting classes in 1994 and 1995 - the
Wolverines are all but out of the race, trailing Minnesota by three games in the loss
column with seven to play.
The Big Ten drought burns Michigan fans. Still, Fisher isn't about to change his
style - even if there are always 13,562 coaches at Crisler Arena.
"People that say things at games, most of the time, don't know what they're talk-
ing about, to be honest," Fisher said. "That's not disrespectful to them. I know what
I'm doing and ... I think we're doing things the right way."
He might sound bitter, but he's usually right. Fisher didn't just fall into this job.
When his mentor, Bill Frieder, left Michigan before the 1989 NCAA tournament,
Fisher stepped in as interim coach and led the Wolverines to six victories and the
NCAA title,
For his efforts, Fisher certainly deserved the permanent job.
But college basketball is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? world. Lately, the
Wolverines and Fisher have been moving farther away from the Big Ten title.
Three years ago, they finished second in the conference. Two years ago, they fin-
ished third. Last year, fifth. Currently, they are mired in fourth place.
Why this disturbing trend?
Perhaps its due to Fisher's emphasis.
"I would much rather have this ring," said Fisher, speaking about his 1989 nation-
al title ring, "than the ones I have in a drawer from '85 and '86 when we won the
Big Ten titles."
Fisher is right to concentrate more on the NCAA toumament than the Big Ten. But
that doesn't explain why Purdue has five league titles to Michigan's none since '86.
But, Fisher's job isn't in jeopardy. Michigan isn't about to fire a coach who has
the third-best winning percentage in the NCAA tournament among active coaches.
"Steve Fisher has done an outstanding job," Frieder said. "I think you have to rank
it a solid 'A."'
Well, he deserved highest marks for that first season, but since then, Fisher hasn't
made the grade.
In fact, some Michigan fans think Fisher should be booted now. That the success
he's had with recruiting is based more on Michigan's name than on anything he's done.
This talk is a little premature. But Fisher has had a lot of time and talent to capture
the Big Ten. If he doesn't do it soon, say, in the next two years, one thing is for sure,
The "Fire Fisher" chants will be right on the money.
- Barny Sollenberger can be reached over e-mail atjsol@umicll.edu.

The Michigan wrestling team continued to roll with wins over Indiana and Purdue.

the injuries from the early season, so
our lineup has settled down. Also,
someone always steps up."
In the past couple of weeks, Viola has
been coming through for the Wolverines,
which is important considering that the
Wolverines are 9-0 when he starts a meet
off with a win.
"I got over the mid-January slump,"
Viola said. "It's getting to be the time
when you need to pick it up. I've realized
that in the last couple of weeks."

Aside from Viola, 190-pound Frank
Lodeserto has also picked up his tech-
nique for the team, defeating Indiana's
Jason DeVries, 6-4.
"With three All-Americans
(Catrabone, Lacure and Richardson) and
a solid Chris Viola, we have four big
winners," Bahr said. "All we need is one
more person to go even with any team
and two more to beat them. That's helped
us get over the hump the last four
weeks."

.

hEMIRE
Continued from Page 1B
progress and looked forward to the Big
Ten schedule. But she would have to wait
to play in her first Big Ten game. Her
season ended prematurely in practice on
Dec. 18, the day before a home game
against Houston.
"I was so excited to be here and be a
member of the team," Lemire says. "It
was a good feeling to be part of the team.
*as really looking forward to the rest of
the season.
"We were doing some simple drills
when it happened, and it was a big shock
when I found out what it was."
It was an injury that would wipe out
the entire season for Lemire, who had
enjoyed four relatively injury-free years
at Frankenmuth.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines struggled
hout her, winning only three games,
le bowing out in the first round of the
Big Ten tournament, losing to
Northwestern.
Immediately, Ann's focus shifted from
improving her play to simply being able
to play. After having surgery in early
January, Lemire began rehabilitation on
her knee. She immediately set goals for
the summer in the hopes of being 100
percent at the start of this season.
"My first and foremost goal was get-
my knee really strong," Lemire says.
'Tworked a lot over the summer - I
think I worked hard at getting in shape
and getting my shot back"
And although it wasn't a pleasant
experience, Judith believes that it was an
important experience for Lemire.
"It was something that I prayed would
never happen to Ann, Judith says. "But
,she handled it reall '. It was a matter
of taking some" le that hap-
pd and turning it into a positive force.
I think that it was an important learning
experience for her."
The Wolverines were also undergoing
changes, with Roberts' resignation at the
end of last season and the arrival of inter-
im coach Sue Guevara. Lemire would
have to prove herself to the new coaching
staff, and more important, get back to
being comfortable with her game:
After starting off slowly at the begin-
of the season, Ann scored 17 points
o -of-12 shooting in Michigan's near
upset of top-ranked Stanford at the
Hawaiian Air Wahine Classic in
Honolulu. The game against Stanford
was the turning point for Lemire.
"I was a little apprehensive at the
beginning of the year, wondering if my
shot was going to be on," Lemire says. "I
think I was a little rusty, and it took me
three or four games into the season
b re I felt comfortable.
The Hawaii tournament was a big
boost for me and for the team:'

Lemire earned her first start of the
season against Minnesota and led the
team in scoring for three consecutive
games, including a career-high 26 points
in Michigan's 93-87 victory against
Illinois on Jan. 12.
Her improved play on both ends of the
court are, in part, the reason Michigan is
enjoying more success this season than
in the past. The addition of freshman
guard Stacey Thomas and the return of
Lemire has helped Michigan to its best
record since 1989-90, with a 12-9 over-
all record. The Wolverines also have
more Big Ten wins than they have had in
the past two seasons combined.
Her improved play has earned her the
respect of opposing team's coaches.
Purdue coach Nell Fortner said after the
Boilermakers' win yesterday that Lemire
was one player they looked to contain.
"I think that (Michigan) has three key

players -- Lemire, (Pollyanna) Johns
and Thomas," Fortner says.
She is versatile on offense, switching
frequently between point and off-guard.
She can also create scoring opportunities
off the dribble, faking out Michigan
State guard Tamika Matlock so convinc-
ingly in their Jan. 19 contest, that
Matlock ended up falling down. Left
open, Lemire drained a short jumper at
the halftime buzzer. She also likes the
role of playmaker as well as shouldering
part of the scoring load.
"I don't think there's ever a game
when a player doesn't think that they
need to score," Lemire said. "But it
might be more important for me to take
charge and be the playmaker."
This season has seen ups and downs
for the Wolverines and for Lemire per-
sonally, but the team is better off with her
than it is without her. Her 10 points per

game average ranks third on the team,
and she has connected on 31.4 percent of
her 3-point attempts.
Recently, Lemire violated team rules
and was removed from the starting line-
up. She has struggled during the demo-
tion, including a two of 16 shooting
effort in her last two games. She has not
reached all of her goals, but she is work-
ing hard toward them. But Judith thinks
that Lemire will bounce back, stronger
than before, much like she bounced back
from her knee injury.
"She's making her mistakes, but she's
learning from the mistakes," Judith says.
"That's all you can expect. You can want
the best for your kids all the time but
when they make mistakes, you help
them get back up and make something
positive out if it.
"As (Ann's) mother, there's a lot to be
proud of."

Students are welcome to
Meditative worship for Campus and Community
A service of Scripture, prayer, silence, meditative singing
of music from the Taize Community, imposition of ashes
and Holy Communion
February 12 7:00 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church
1432 Washtenaw Ave. 662-4466

waa.
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