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February 08, 1999 - Image 15

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-08

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February 8, 1999 - SportsMonday - The Michigan Daily - 7

FI o short

Central chips away at women

Stephen A. Rom
r the Daily
As the lyrics to that infectious sports
anthem by 2 Unlimited played through the
.oudspeakers at Cliff Keen arena on
Saturday, no one would have guessed they
would serve as a precursor for things to
come.
"Are you ready for this?" the lyrics
blared, but Michigan, apparently, wasn't,
as Central Michigan took the State of
Michigan Classic.
The Chippewas came into Ann Arbor
Od toppled the sixth-ranked Wolverines.
Also going by the wayside wereMichigan
State, Eastern Michigan, and Western
Michigan.
After Percy Stamps, Michigan's public
address announcer, read Michigan State's
third-place final team score of 193.075,
mtst of the 1,521 fans in attendance
thought it would be purely a formality that
Central Michigan's name would be read
t.
'With Western and Eastern Michigan
already been announced in fourth and
fifth place, respectively, what else could
they have expected?
"With a score of 193.625, tonight's sec-
ond place finish goes to ... the University

of Michigan Wolverines!" From the col-
lective groan heard throughout the arena,
it's safe to assume that disbelief reigned
supreme - to everyone accept Michigan
head coach Bev Plocki.
"I give them all the credit," Plocki said.
"They have been wanting to knock us off
for years now. Everyone deserves their day
in the sun."
And at the same time the sun shined on
the Chippewas, it quickly went down on
Michigan's hopes of being considered a
national powerhouse.
"I'm very disappointed in our perfor-
mance," Plocki said. "We can't expect to
beat anybody."
Especially when Michigan fell six times.
"There's no excuse for that. If we can't
put four events together, we won't get very
far," Plocki said. "It's just frustrating."
With two of her star gymnasts - Kristin
Duff and Lisa Simes falling in succession
off the high bar of the uneven bars, Plocki
had a frustrated Michigan team to tend to.
Regarding her mental preparation,
Simes spoke of her misfortune on the bars.
"It was a technical error," Simes said. "I
needed to focus on what I know how to
do." After Kristin Duff's fall, "I was a lit-
tle too nervous."

If there was any sunny spot on
Michigan's performance it was the consis-
tency of Sarah Cain, who won her second
all-around competition in as many weeks.
In fact, her final routine served to make
this year's State of Michigan Classic live
up to its name.
Prior to Michigan's last event, the floor
exercise, the Wolverines knew they had to
fight neck-and-neck with the Spartans
just by looking at the score - 144.275-
144.925.
What they did not know was that it was
for second place.
So while the two intra-state rivals bat-
tled for the silver, the Chippewas vaulted
their way into the lead by 9.975 points.
This occurred moments before Cain took
the floor as the final competitor of the
evening.
She needed a perfect 10 to give the
Wolverines the victory.
"I didn't know it was that close," Cain
said. "I just wanted to finish strong and do
the best I could."
With a shimmy and a shake - and a pair
of almost-flawlessly-executed tumbles -
Cain brought home a stellar 9.95 for the
Wolverines, but still only good enough for
second place.

Michigan's Sarah Cain won her second-straight all-around
but the Wolverines came in third.

DANA UNNANE/Dairy
on Friday at the State of Michigan Classic,

Men miss chance to claw No. 1 Penn State

NATHAN RUFFER/Daily
The second-ranked Wolverines missed a chance on Friday to knock off the top
team in the nation - Penn State.
id falls in firs
roun o Rolex

By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
In a scene becoming all too famil-
iar on campus, the Michigan men's
gymnastics team dropped a close
contest with No. 1 Penn State on
Friday night.
Again the Wolverines were not
able to win a close meet, and lost to
Penn State 226.5-226.175.
The matchup between Nos. 1 and 2
pitted two teams who lead the nation
in four events combined, and fea-
tured some of the top gymnasts on
every event.
In addition to being a meet with
important national implications, it
was also important in the powerful
Big Ten. Although the Wolverines
were ranked second - thanks to
their strong performance in a dual
meet against Illinois-Chicago -
they had already lost to Iowa once,
and Ohio State twice.
The loss to Penn State has to leave
the Wolverines asking questions
about their ability to win the Big Ten.
Winning the Big Ten will require
Michigan to avenge losses to all
three of the teams at once.
In addition to losing the meet,
Michigan has to face the fact that its
team score is down more than two
points from its high two weeks ago.
Coach Kurt Golder has been stress-
ing his team's performance rather
than the importance of beating the
E-MAIL
CLUB SPRT
NEWS AND
RESULTS TO
UMICI'LED U

other team. Even so, he felt that his
team could have won.
"It wasn't a typical showdown
between one and two, both teams
made a lot of mistakes," Golder said.
"We made a few more mistakes, but
we could have beaten them easily."
Despite its overall score being
down, Michigan still saw some
strong performances in the meet. The
team was led by sophomore co-cap-
tain Justin Toman and freshman
Daniel Diaz-Luong.
Toman had an exceptionally good
performance, taking first-place hon-
ors on the parallel bars with a 9.7,
the floor exercise with a 9.6 and the
horizontal bar with a 9.6. The only
event that Toman competed in with-
out taking first was the pommel
horse. Toman was ill throughout the
meet, which kept him out of the
vault.
Diaz-Luong also had a solid meet.
He again won the all-around compe-
tition, with a score of 56.475, high-
lighted by a share of first on the hor-
izontal bar, second on parallel bars
and second on the floor exercise.
Diaz-Luong also recorded personal-
best scores on the still rings, the
floor exercise and the parallel bars.
Despite his personal bests, his all-
around winning score was down,
almost five-tenths of a point under
his high score.
Michigan gave the Nittany Lions a

tough fight throughout the meet
though. The Wolverines' strongest
event was the parallel bars where
they took the top four spots. The still
rings were also a strong event for the
Wolverines; Kenny Keener led the
event with a second place finish,
scoring 9.7. The horizontal bar and
pommel horse were good events, but
in surprising ways.
Last week Michigan dominated
the pommel horse while having sev-
eral falls on the horizontal bar. This
week, its score on the horizontal bar
was higher than its score on pommel
horse. Josh Levin again led the
Wolverines on the pommel horse
with a 9.5, but his score was down
three-tenths of a point from his per-
sonal best recorded last week.
The Wolverines were able to hang
close throughout the meet until they
encountered the vault. Michigan's
highest score on the vault was a 9.2,
recorded by senior co-captain Randy

D'Amura. Their team score on the
apparatus was 36.35, only the second
time this year that they failed to
reach 37.
"We made a lot of mistakes on the
vault, and they killed us on it,"
Golder said. "Scott Vetere is doing
the most difficult vault in the
NCAA, he just hasn't gotten it yet,
Diaz-Luong made a big mistake."
New national rankings will come
out today, and Michigan may drop
from the second spot in the nation,
The Wolverines will have two weeks
to recover and try to reassert itself as
one of the top teams in the nation.
"What we need to do is improve
our consistency, our hit percentage.
We have the ability to get back to
where we were a couple of weeks
ago," Golder said. "I was impressed
that they performed just about as
well as at home versus Ohio State, it
was really our first road trip, and it
should help us later."

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By Raphael Gocdstein
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan junior Danielle Lund
became the first Michigan women's
tennis player to ever qualify for the
22tid Annual Rolex National Indoor
Championships this season.
The junior co-captain was one of
players to compete in the third leg
of the Grand Slam, in Dallas.
The first two legs of the grand
slam - the T. Rowe Price National
Clay Court Championships and the
All-American already crowned their
winners, while the NCAA I
Championships are the last leg of the
slam.
Lund, No. 28 nationally in singles,
n't stay very long, losing in the
st round of the tournament to

Duke's No. 33 Karen Goldstein 7-5,
6-1.
Lund also plays No. I doubles
with junior Brooke Hart for the
Wolverines. Hart and Lund are
ranked No. 29 in doubles nationally.
Lund had little luck in the back-
draw also, dropping her match to No.
34 Carolijn Van Roffun of William
and Mary, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
Lund returned to Michigan with a
9-8 record nationally and a 6-2
regional record.
She was the only player from the
Big Ten to qualify for the tourna-
ment.
Lund's teammates back in
Michigan are preparing for their next
meet, a trip to Tennessee to battle the
Volunteers on Sunday.

EPmO M U JWE DONT-(W INt- WYP)

3

EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITYm
Campu UkEA Poeu'amA

"~~*4~Present

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Men's Tennis misses out on Rolex
The Michigan men's tennis team might have planned to spend their week-
ends in warm locations this winter. Last weekend the Wolverines swatted
Virginia Tech 5-2 in Charlottesville, Va., but lost a 5-2 match to Virginia.
But their trip schedule fell through this weekend when they planned to
attend the Rolex Invitational Thursday through yesterday in Dallas. Not one
player earned enough points in pre-season individual meets to qualify for the
tournament, leaving the squad to prepare for next Saturday's contest with
yestern Michigan at the Varsity Tennis Center.
The team, meanwhile, is off to its best start (3-1), since 1995-96 and has
-etched a No. 59 national ranking along with 7th in the Midwest Region.

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