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January 08, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-08

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(2) Duke 64,
(4) Kansas 111,
(9) Purdue 77,
(13) Florida State 74

(14) Mississippi 90,
(16) S. CAROLINA 71,
Vanderbilt 70
(18) Syracuse 77,
(19) XAVIER 104,
LaSalle 67
Ala:Birmingham 65,

(22) Arkansas 83,
Orlando 83.
Boston 108
New Jersey 88

Phoenix 92,
Minnesota 77
Boston 2,
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 5,


January 8, 1998


After tragedy, wrestlers grapple'
with task of getting back to mat

By Jordan Field
Daily Sports Writer
Amidst the chaos and disparity of the death
of one of their teammates, and after missing
nearly a month of practice, one would under-
stand if the Michigan wrestling team had decid-
ed not to travel out West to wrestle as planned.
But rather than take the vacation time to rest and
mourn their loss at home, the team traveled as
scheduled to Oregon and Las Vegas to compete
and honor their fallen teammate.
But the Wolverines didn't just compete -
they dominated. And they will look to do the
same as they travel to Penn State and Lehigh
tomorrow and Saturday for dual meets with
those two teams as well as with Hofstra on
The Michigan team hasn't won a dual meet in
Happy Valley since the 1964-65 season, but
look for their success over the vacation to con-
Ranked fifth in the nation before heading out
West, the Wolverines traveled first to Corvallis,
Ore., to compete in the Oregon Classic. With
Jeff Reese's initials on their singlets, Michigan
won the tournament, reaching the finals in nine
of the 13 weight classes.
"We went out there pretty rusty," coach Dale
Bahr said. "Considering the circumstances, we
went out there not knowing what to expect. But
this tournament didn't field competition that
was too stiff except for the Oregon State team,
so fortunately without wrestling at our best we
were still able to get back into the swing of
The day after the tournament, the Wolverines

faced their first dual meet of the season, meet-
ing the tournament host and 25th-ranked
Oregon State Beavers.
The Beavers, who finished second in their
tournament, couldn't match Michigan and lost in
a 23-18 thriller. The Wolverines fell behind, 9-5,
after the first three matches, but rallied behind
Teya Hill's pin of Luke Duffy at 150 pounds to
capture four of the final five matches to win the
meet. The only loss came in a forfeit at 190.
"Teya went out there and battled with that
guy," Bahr said. "Just right at the end, with
probably 15 seconds left he pinned him. And
that turned the whole match around."
Hill had faced Duffy the day before in the
consolation finals of the tournament and lost,
14-12. But Hill wasn't about to lose to the same
guy twice in a row. The pin came at 2:45 of the
third period.
"It was all about revenge,' Hill said. "It was
close in the first match, and this time it was
close again. But I got him in a head lock and
just held it as hard as I could. There was no way
I was going to let go of that guy until the ref
called the fall."
Riding high, Michigan traveled to Reno,
Nev., three days later to compete in the all-day
Reno Tournament of Champions. There the
Wolverines placed second, behind the nation's
No. I team, Oklahoma State.
After a bye in the first round, Michigan
slipped past Arizona State, 19-18, in the second
round. The Wolverines lost the lead by dropping
matches at 177 and 191, and looked to heavy-
weight Airron Richardson to win the meet.
Richardson, who Bahr has before labeled,

"money in the bank," came through again %lhip-
ping Joe Micela, 20-6, to seal the win.
"We needed a major (decision) from Airros
to win the meet, and I went over to talk with hi
during the 191 match," Bahr said. "He looked at
me and said 'Yeah, I know coach.' In all of my
years here I've never had a closer like Airron.
Not even Kirk Trost, who was a national cham-
pion. It's great to feel such security when you
are in a situation like that:'
The victory over the Sun Devils earned
Michigan a spot in the finals opposite the top-
ranked Cowboys. The Wolverines were over-
matched by the powerhouse, falling 30-3. But
the Wolverines weren't discouraged by the lI
sided loss because the match was much closer
than the score indicated. Although only
Richardson won his match, five of the other
nine matches were decided by two points or
fewer - three in overtime.
"Oklahoma State has a very good team, but
we stuck with them," Richardson said. "As good
as we were all vacation, we were still rusty and
that showed against OSU. Had we faced them
later in the season, some of those points could
have gone the other way, and with a win here
there, you never know what would happen."
Now back in Ann Arbor, the team is back to
the regular practice schedule, and can begin to
focus on the rest of the season despite a contin-
ued media frenzy.
"We always think about Jeff, and we are
wrestling for him," All-American captain, Jeff
Catrabone said. "He loved this team and would
want us to continue the season and win. So
that's what we will do."

Michigan senior Bill Lacure and his teammates resumed competition after a three-week hiatus following
the death of Jeff Reese. The team will continue this season with Reese's initials on their singlets.


Van Ryn happy to be
home after absence

Savor the Wolverines' first national
championship since 1948 for years
to come with a glossy, full-color
poster of The Michigan Daily's front
page. The poster sells for $5 and
will be available next week at
The Michigan Daily's offices in
the Student Publications
Building at 420 Maynard St. z
and at select retail outlets in
the Ann Arbor area. Add a
poster of Michigan's Rose
Bowl-clinching win over Ohio
State for an additional
$2.50. Read the Daily to
find out when the posters ,
will be available for


By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Writer
Slowly but surely, all the pieces have
been falling into place for the Michigan
hockey team. In fact. with the Wolverines
alone at the top of the CCHA standings
for the first time this season, the
Michigan jigsaw puzzle is starting to
look picture perfect.
What's even more amazing is that the
Wolverines' puzzle has been coming
together without one of its primary
Freshman defenseman Mike Van Ryn
spent the past few weeks trying to fit into
another team's plans - the Canadian
world junior hockey team, which played
in the 1998 World Junior Hockey
Championship in Finland from Dec. 25
to Jan. 3.
But Van Ryn's Canadian team didn't
have nearly as much success as his
American team. The Canadian's had their
worst showing ever in the tournament,
finishing eighth after losing to
Kazakstan, 6-3, in the final consolation
round on Saturday.
Think eighth isn't all that bad?
Consider that Canada won the past five
world junior championships before this
year. Overall, the Canadians won only
two games out of seven during the entire
tournament, which featured 10 interna-
tional teams.
The native of London, Ontario, tried to
remain optimistic about Canada's disap-
pointing showing.
"It was a good experience," Van Ryn
said. "But like I told the guys, I'm sick of
losing. It was something new for me; I
wasn't accustomed to losing all those
games. But that happens. We had a young
team - only two guys back from last
year. "We weren't focused the whole
time, and we weren't disciplined, either."
Van Ryn is one of the top defensemen

on another young, inexperienced team -
the Wolverines. There was a chance the
Wolverines would falter without his help
behind the blue line. Instead, however,
during his absence, the Wolverines only
lost one game - the championship
match of the Great Lakes Invitational to
Michigan State.
Van Ryn said he's happy his team
improved so much during his trip abroad
... just as long as the Wolverines still
want him back, of course.
"It's great when you go away and you
see your team still winning;" Van Ryn
said. "Every day, I woke up and called
my home, and asked my mom how the
guys did. They just kept winning.
"Kind of made me feel bad - I don't
really make that much of a difference, I
guess - but it's good to know your team
can still play without you."
All kidding aside, though, Michigan
coach Red Berenson said the team was
grateful to have Van Ryn back in the
maize and blue.
"We're glad to have him back, because
we don't have a farm team," Berenson
said. "He's going to upgrade our team
just by his presence."
Berenson said he was pleased with
Michigan's performance without the aid
of Van Ryn - but that the time has come
for the freshman's return.
"The good thing about having guys out
or missing is that it gives other guys the
opportunity to step up," Berenson said.
"Players like Bubba Berenzweig, Sean
Peach, Chris Fox and Dave Huntzicker
really stepped up.
"But are we a better team with Mike
Van Ryn in the lineup? Absolutely."
But Berenson and the rest of the
Wolverines may have to wait a little while
for Van Ryn to get back in sync. Van Ryn
said the international competition wasn't
up to par with what he faces in American


Freshman Mike Van Ryn has been seeing red - instead of maize and blue - fore
the past few weeks. The defenseman played for the Canadian junior hockey team.


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college hockey.
"To tell you the truth, I think the col-
lege game is faster than international
play," Van Ryn said. "The coaches asked
me what I thought, and I told them the
same thing. I thought it was faster here,
the players are older, bigger and stronger.
"So, maybe mentally I'm a stronger
player, but physically it didn't do any-
He may have felt a little rusty at first,
but Van Ryn said he was anxious to get
back into the action.
"It was weird," he said. "When I came
down Tuesday, we were all gathered
around the room - all the frosh - we
were sitting down. I said, 'Geeze, this
feels like my first day back at school.' It
was so long.

"It was just good to see the guys again,
get back on the ice and get into the swing
of things."
Not only did the world championship
tournament take him out of action for the
Wolverines, it also changed Van Ryn's
academic schedule a little bit. He was
forced to take his final exams for the f
semester a week early so he could leav
for tryouts for the team.
"It was a rush," Van Ryn said. "It kind
of hurt me, too. I only found out two days
before, so I had to get my exams ready
and write them the next day, and also I
didn't get to really study for any of them."
But the most important thing: Did he
"Yeah," he said with a laugh. "I passed
by a lot."



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