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January 29, 2001 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-29

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - January 29, 2001

Top-ranked Blue rolls
to another easy victory
'Confident' Vetere shines against No. 4 Illinois

Women use balance .
to trounce Kentucky
By Naweed Sikora helped many of her teammates excel.
Dally Sports Writer "I always try to go out with a great
attitude and keep the energy level up,"

By Swapnil Patel
Daily Sports Writer
Living up to the media hype, the
No. 1-ranked Michigan men's gym-
nastics team turned in yet another
dominating performance, easily
beating No. 4 Illinois this past Friday
at Cliff Keen Arena.
Led by their "Odd couple," junior
Scott Vetere and senior tri-captain
Kevin Roulston, the Wolverines
compiled a team total of 214 points
en route to crushing the Fighting
Illini, who only managed to score
208.35.
"This Illinois team is much better
than they showed tonight - they had
a couple freak things occur on high
bar that really hurt their team score,"
Michigan head coach Kurt Golder
said. "To be honest with you, I
thought it'd be much much closer
than this. I was really quite worried
about it and we've got to take this
team very seriously because at the
end of the year, they're going to be
there."
The gymnasts seemed to have no
worries though.
Having steam-rolled through the
first third of the season, Michigan
boasts a relaxed, more confident atti-
tude.
Combining an element of fun with
a dedicated work ethic has not only
resulted in its early-season domina-
tion, but has also allowed the gym-
nasts to bond as a team.
"It's amazing all the confidence
we have now," Vetere said. "Not only
do we see it when we compete, but

we now see it in the gym. The main
thing that is motivating our team now
is the feeling of closeness that we
didn't have last year - we are more
together as a team and it feels good.
"When you are having a good
time, things take care of themselves
- like beating the top teams in the
country."
Sporting a new gelled-up hairstyle
on Friday evening, Vetere seized
three first-place finishes with scores
of 9.400, 9.150 and 9.400 on the
pommel horse, parallel bars and high
bar, respectively.
"This time last year, I wasn't even
close to where I am now," Vetere
said. "I truly believe that the team
and I are doing so well because of
the confidence in ourselves and each
other.."
At the conclusion of the meet,
Vetere was awarded the Newt Loken
Award for his excellence on the high
bar. The award is presented in honor
of Newt Loken - a legendary gym-
nastics coach at Michigan for 36
years.
The award further accentuates
Vetere's efforts in the absence of
injured senior tri-captain Justin
Toman.
Supplementing Vetere's strong
performance, Roulston had a com-
bined total of 52.15 that included
first-place honors in the vault.
Roulston's solid routines in all six
events helped earn him the all-
around title.
"The all-around title doesn't affect
our team score," Golder said. "But
it's the most prestigious honor an

For the past seven years, the
Michigan -women's gymnastics team
has demonstrated complete dominance
over Kentucky. The Wolverines had
defeated the Wildcats in seven-consec-
utive meets. This weekend was no dif-
ferent.
With a 196.325-193.8 win,
Michigan not only increased its
unbeaten streak over Kentucky to
eight, but also recorded its highest
team score of the season.
Michigan improved its record to 6-
3, while Kentucky fell to 0-3 on the
season. All three of Michigan's losses
came in its season opener, the Super
Six Challenge.
Since that point, the Wolverines
have rattled off four consecutive victo-
ries, improving their team score in
each meet.
Karina Senior and sophomore
Janessa Grieco led the way for the
Wolverines on Friday, finishing first
and second in the all-around competi-
tion, respectively. For Senior, it was
her second all-around title in the past
three meets.
Senior tri-captain Bridget Knaeble
added several strong scores across the
board to help the team achieve its
highest total of the season.
"Our goal for every meet is to try
and get a higher score than the previ-
ous meet," Knaeble said. "We just go
out with the mindset that we have to do
better in every outing, and this time we
got it done"
With many young gymnasts on the
team, Knacble's leadership has been a
major component of the team's success
thus far. Her consistent scoring ability
and high level of experience have

Knaeble said. "If everyone is excited,
the whole team tends to perform bet*
ter."
The energy level was certainly up
Friday night, as the Wolverines
received tremendous performances
from several gymnasts, both young
and old.
It did not take long for freshman
Elise Ray to regain her form. After fin-
ishing in a tic for second in the all-
around competition last weekend at
home against Minnesota and Iowa.
Ray finished first in both the uneve
bars and the floor exercise -- the firs
two wins of her collegiate career.
Senior Christine Michaud recorded
a 9.875 on the vault, her highest score
of the season in the event.
The Wolverines finally managed to
finish strong on the balance beam,
recording their first score above 49 for
the season.
Junior Shannon Mackenzie, a con-
sistently strong beam performer thi*
season, finished in a tie for second
place with teammate Melissa Peterson.
As the season progresses, the
Wolverines have been gathering
steam, recording higher team scores in
each successive meet. Still, coach Bev
Plocki feels the team has to stay on
track in order to remain a national title
contender.
"Our biggest challenge will be
maintaining our focus on the things we
need to improve on," Plocki said
"Vaulting has been one of my concerns
this season. Vaulting has always been
one of the best events for Michigan,
and in order to compete with national
powers like UCLA and Georgia, we
must get stronger in that event."

TOM FELDCAMP/Daily
The No. 1 Michigan men's gymnastics team continued its domination of highly-
ranked foes, trouncing No. 4 Illinois by nearly six points.

individual can win."
Three second-place finishes, one
by Roulston on the floor exercise,
another by Tim Dehr on pommel
horse and the last by Brad Kenna on
the vault, aided the Wolverines in
widening their margin of victory
over the Fighting Illini. In the Windy

Wolverines survive tight matches

By Brian Druchniak
For the Daily

Opportunity knocked for the
Michigan men's tennis team this past
weekend - opportunity for the team
to measure its mettle against compet-
itive programs Tulane and Depaul.
With a pair of gritty 4-3 wins
against the Green Wave and the Blue
Demons, the Wolverines showed
considerable poise.
"These are the kind of matches
that teach you about yourselves,"
assistant coach Dan Goldberg said.
Embodying the Wolverines'
resiliency was junior Danny McCain.
The Michigan junior came up with
three key victories over the weekend.
With substantial returning talent
from last year's top-25 team, the

Wolverines feel they have the poten-
tial to make some noise in the Big
Ten and the nation this season.
"There's no reason we can't go
undefeated this season," sophomore
Chris Shaya said. "Not to put added
pressure on us or anything, but we
should be able to win four-out-of-
seven points against any team."
If this weekend's matches are any
indication, added pressure may not
be too much of a concern.
The Wolverines won two-out-of-
three doubles matches yesterday
against the Blue Demons, but disap-
pointing singles losses by co-cap-
tains Henry Beam and Greg Novak
put the team in a hole.
Shaya blazed through Depaul's
Dan Bennett in his opening singles
set, thumping the Blue Demons 6-0

in the first and third sets.
This all served to set the stage for
McCain's remarkable comeback vic-
tory against DePaul's Maciek
Joswiak.
With each team claiming three-
out-of-seven points, the spotlight
shifted to McCain and Joswiak, with
Joswiak up 5-3 and serving for
match point.
McCain didn't flinch, winning the
point with a well-placed shot -- so
well-placed that it caused quite a
controversy among Depaul coaches
and players. Once the Michigan
junior weathered the match point, his
confidence became evident.
He then doggedly brought the sec-
ond set to a tie breaker, winning it 7-
6 (2).
"I didn't have any doubt in my

City invitational on Jan. I 3, the
Wolverines defeated Illinois by only
.3 points..
"Just because we had a blowout
today, it doesn't mean we that we can
lose an ounce of respect," Golder
said. "If we do, they're going to
come back and get us."
Who's hot, who's not
This past weekend brought to light a
few streaks on the Michigan men's ten-
nis team - some good, some not:
FIRED-UP:
Anthony Jackson, freshman
No. 4 singles player won both of his
weekend matches against Tulane's
Jorge Lievano and DePaul's Andy
Michael. Jackson also won both of his
doubles matches with partner Brett
Baudinet.
Where's the fire?:
Henry Beam, junior
Michigan's No. 1 player dropped both of
his weekend singles matches and his
first doubles match before stopping his
losing streak in doubles, knocking off
DePaul's top doubles team with sopho-
more Chris Shaya.
mind at that point that I'd win at least
that set," McCain said.
Seeming to thrive off of the pres-
sure and the growing excitement of
the crowd, McCain grew stronger as
the match went .on, frustrating
Joswiak with a methodical arsenal of
well-placed serves and precise net
play.
He decided the contest for
Michigan with a 6-3 final set and a
swell of applause.
So far, Shava is right - the
Wolverines have been able to take at
least four out of seven points against
every team they have faced in this
young season.
But they had to scratch and claw
for the final points against Tulane
and Depaul.

'M' sweeps up fast
courts in New Haven

0;

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
For the second-straight week,
Michigan played without top-performer
Jen Duprez, and for the second-straight
week it swept its opponent 7-0, this time
against Yale in New Haven, Conn.
"We played really hard and intense the
entire match," freshman Kavitha
Tipirneni said.
Unlike last week, the Wolverines
started off confident in their play and
never trailed in the doubles portion.
Michigan dominated the doubles
matches, winning each, 8-3, 8-2, 8-2.'
But Yale was not going to allow
Michigan to waltz away with the singles
points, forcing four of the matches to
three sets.
In an effort to utilize the team's depth,
coach Bitsy Ritt decided to start Kim
Plaushines in the final singles spot.
"Early in the season, you want to give
a lot of your players an opportunity to
play in dual matches,"Ritt said.
That desire to test the depth of the
team paid off with Plaushines playing
well in her first match of the season,
winning 6-1, 6-0.

i

REC
SPORTS
INTRAMURALS

The University of Michigan
Department of Recreational Sports
INTRAMURAL SPORTS PROGRAM

WHAT'S
HAPPENING

SWIMMING &
DIVING MEET
ENTRIES DUE:
Tues 1/30, 4:30 PM, IMSB
ENTRY FEE:
$25 per team
dividual
MA AGER'S MEETING
MANDATORY
Tues 1/30, 6:00,PM, IMSB
MEET DATE:
Thurs 2/1, Canham Nat

FREE THROW
CONTEST

Knowing the ability of the entire team
will be very important with the status of
Duprez still up in the air. The stronger
the team is top to bottom, the more capa-
ble it will be of dealing with the adversi-
ty that comes with a long season.
Good news came from the play of*
sophomore Joanne Musgrove who suf-
fered a wrist injury this fall and was
unable to play for most of the fall season.
"It is great to see her last through a
long, hard fought match after her injury,"
Ritt said. "She made some great adjust-
ments this weekend and played well at
the end of her match."
Musgrove.won her match, improving
her singles record to 2-0.
"We are all so happy for her,"
Tipirneni said. "She is playing great now
and is determined to return her play to
the level that she expects of herself."
FAsT COURTS: This was Michigan's
first road trip of the season. More than
adjusting to being away from their beds
or the friendly confines of the Varsity
Tennis Center, the Wolverines had to
adjust to the style of play on the court.
"Home court advantage in tennis is
not determined by the crowd as much as
the speed of the court," Ritt said.
Unlike Michigan's courts, Yale's
courts play fast. Ritt said the team got to
New Haven on Friday and practiced on
the courts but added that it still took the
singles players time to further adjust to
the speed of the courts.
Saturday's results
SINGLES
No. Player W/L
No. 1 Chrissie Nolan W
3-6, 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 Kavitha Tipirneni W
5-7, 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 'Szandra Fuzesi W
7-5, 3-6, 6-1
No. 4 Jen Vaughn W
6-3, 6-3
No. 5 Joanne Musgrove W
2-6, 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 Kim Plaushines W
6-1, 6-0
DoUBLES
No. Player W/L
No. 1 Tipirneni/Vaughn W
8-3
No. 2 Nolan/Sinclair W
8-2
No. 3 Fuzesi/Plaushines W
8-2

:::::::.

I

ENTRIES DUE:
Fri 2/2, 4:30 PM, IMSB Office
Fri 2/2, 6:00 PM, IMSB Gym
ENTRY FEE:
$5 per individual
$1 per each additional try
CONTEST DATE:
Fri 2/2 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
IMSB

:
>

Pageant Candidates Wanted
The Michigan Beekeeper's Association is looking for
candidates for the 2001 Michigan Honey Queen.
The Pageant will be held at MSU on March 10, 2001.
Applicants must be 18-2, years.
Prize is a $1000.00 scholarship.
www.MI-Beekeepers.org (click on queen site)
or call 231-834-7518

..............

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3-POINT
SHOOTOUT

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ENTRIES DUE:
Fri 2/2, 4:30 PM, IMSB Office
Fri 2/2, 6:00 PM, IMSB Gym'
ENTRY FEE:
$5 per individual
$1 per each additional try
SHOOTOUT DATE:
Fri 2/2, 11:00AM to 6:00PM
IMSB

TABLE TENNIS
SGLS & DBLS
ENTRIES DUE:
Thurs 3/23, 4:30 PM, IMSB
ENTRY FEE:
$5 for Singles
$9 for Doubles
TOURNAMENT DATE:
Sat 3/25
Sports Coliseum

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