9A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 8, 2001
Smth retires from
ikings at age 28
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Once
again, Robert Smith has eluded his
The agent for the 28-year-old run-
ning back confirmed yesterday that
Smith is retiring after eight seasons
with the Minnesota Vikings. He is
*eaving the NFL at the top of his
game - much like a 31-year-old
Barry Sanders did before the 1999
season - and at the height of his
earning power as an unrestricted free
-Smith, who announced his deci-
,.sion in a brief statement Tuesday to
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, let his
reasons for leaving remain a mys-
In the statement, Smith thanked
is family and friends, fans and the
"I also wanted to thank my team-
mates and coaches for believing in
me throughout my career," he said.
Vikings coach Dennis Green said
Smith will be missed.
"Robert has always been a guy
,that the National Football League
has been able to count on as a shin-
,ng example of quality character off
,he field and 100-percent effort on
the field," Green said in a statement.
UNLV wants another
chance at postseason
LAS VEGAS (AP) - UNLV asked
the NCAA yesterday to let the universi-
ty's basketball team play in the postsea-
son this year.
After a three-hour presentation
*efore the NCAA Infractions Appeals
Committee in Chicago, UNLV presi-
dent Carol Harter said she was hopeful
the ban would be rescinded.
"I feel we presented a compelling
case before the committee and I do
$ope they give us very serious consid-
4 ration on this matter," Harter said.
'The NCAA is expected to issue its
decision before the Mountain West
onference tournament in the first
eek in March. UNLV (13-9) is
banned by Mountain West Conference
rules from playing in the conference
tournament, too, because of the NCAA
j The postseason ban was part of a
four-year probation handed down by
the NCAA in December after UNLV
was found to have violated rules in the
recruiting of Lamar Odom in 1996 and
orida State recruiting
glass named No. 1
TALAHASSEE (AP) - Florida
State is No. 1 - in Recruiting Wars
2001, that is.
The Seminoles rebounded from their
loss to Oklahoma in the national title
dame with a recruiting haul that blew
away the competition, Sooners includ-
Quarterback Joe Mauer, considered
by some the nation's No. 1 prospect, is
one of several top-100 players who
With coach Bobby Bowden calling
signals, Florida State signed three high
school All-Americans in quarterback
Joe Mauer, running back Eric Shelton
and linebacker Chauncey Davis yester-
day, then rounded out its class of 2005
With three other stars rated among the
nation's top 25 players.
"It's a slam dunk for Florida State
Allen Wallace of Laguna Beach, Calif.-
based SuperPrep Magazine said. "They
completely dominated the state and
that means they completely dominated
the nation. Nobody else comes close."
Ranked SEC foes challenge tennis
Women hold lighthearted practices but expect no southern comfort
By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
After practice one day this week,
Michigan women's tennis coach Bitsy
Ritt gathered the players and began to
give them instructions of how to play a
favorite childhood game of "pickle" or
as Jennifer Duprez
referred to it as,
"stealing bases." LEXINGTON A
Whatever the name Who: Michigan (3-0)
of the jovial game and Tennessee
they played, they when: Tomorrow 4 p
laughed and enjoyed Latest: The Wolverin
the team atmosphere. measure themselves
Not what you teams.
would expect from a
coach whose team is about to face its
first big test and two-match weekend of
the season. Do not be confused - the
team is well-aware of the task it has at
hand this weekend.
The Wolverines are going south to
face some of the best opponents the SEC
has to offer. Kentucky has all eight varsi-
ty players back from a team that finished
No. 22 in the nation last year, while
Tennessee is presently ranked No. 17.
If Michigan is to win, it is going to
have to take advantage of the depth that
allowed it to win last weekend. The
Wolverines got key wins from No. 4
Jennifer Vaughn and No. 5 Kim
vs. Kentucky (2-2)
p.m., Sunday noon
es travel south to
against two top-25
Plaushines, both of
whom are undefeated
in singles dual play
tions where they can
dictate play are impor-
tant objectives for the
"When you play
you can't play on your
opponents, Michigan will need to adjust
to the fast pace of the southern courts.
"We know the level of play is going to
jump up," Ritt said. "And that to com-
pete, our level a play will have to also
jump up, but that is what makes this
challanging and exciting for us."
It's crucial for Michigan not to under-
estimate the size of this jump. Kentucky
is coming off two consecutive loses
despite boasting the No. 10 doubles pair
in the country, Carolina Mayorga and
Sarah Witten. For its part, Tennesse
blanked Purdue 7-0 last weekend.
"I think we are ready for a challange
like this," Michigan senior Szandra
Fuzesi said. "We are close and support
each other, which is important because
everyone is going to have a tough match
and we need to fight for every point."
Fuzesi played a key role in last week's
come-from-behind win over DePaul,
winning the deciding match 7-6(3), 6-4,
in a weekend where the Wolverines' top
two players, Christine Nolan and
Kavitha Tipirneni, both lost.
heels and wait for them to make a mis-
take," Ritt said. "To be a good player you
have to step up and take control whether
that is using her forehand or going to the
net more. "
In addition to attaining preparation for
a higher level of play than its previous
Charles Martelli has compiled the second-most wins, with 27, for the third-
ranked Michigan wrestling team.
By Nathan Linsley
Daily Sports Writer
By Swapnil Patel
Daily Sports Writer
With hopes of making the United
States national gymnastics team,
four members of the Michigan men's
gymnastics team head to Las Vegas
this weekend to compete in the
Winter Cup Challenge.
Senior tri-captain Tim Dehr,
juniors Daniel Diaz-Luong and Brad
Kenna and sophomore Kris
Zimmerman will battle 100 of the
nation's top male gymnasts for the
three remaining spots on the U.S.
Unfortunately, Michigan's Scott
Vetere and Kevin Roulston will not
be able to compete as a result of
injuries suffered recently. While
Vetere will be taking the weekend off
to nurse a pulled lateral muscle,
Roulston will continue to undergo
tests to diagnose his knee injury.
Speculation thus far has not been
positive, with most believing that
Roulston suffered a torn ACL.
In contrast to the team-oriented
purpose of most meets, this week-
end's competition will provide a
forum for the male gymnasts to
showcase their individual skills in
front of their peers.
"For me, competing in Vegas has
always been an added bonus," Dehr
said. "I have always done gymnastics
in a team environment. In Vegas I
can go out and just worry about
myself. My gymnastics has come so
far over the last five years that I still
have trouble believing that I am at
the level where I am now competing
"It's always a great experience to
go out there and compete against the
best of the best."
Last year, senior tri-captain Justin
Toman and Zimmerman, who were
two of six Wolverines to take part in
Last weekend, the then-No. 5
Michigan wrestling team opened the
eyes of the country by defeating then -
No. 3 Iowa in Ann Arbor.
This weekend, it will try to keep
them open - and keep its three-match
Big Ten winning streak alive.
The Wolverines will travel to
Bloomington to take on No. 22 Indiana
on Friday night before returning to Ann
Arbor for a meeting with No. 9 Ohio
State on Sunday afternoon.
Even with the
last weekend, the BLOOMINGTON
team rmainsWho: No. 3 Michiga
focused on the possi- Friday, and vs. No.9
bility of securing the When: Friday, 8 p.m
second-most single- Latest: Last weeken
season dual wins in was a national pow
Michigan wrestling seek to maintain tha
"There has been no let-up in their
intensity," coach Joe McFarland said.
"So hopefully we can go down there
and have a good performance."
One of the catalysts for the team's
success this season has been 165-
pound junior Charles Martelli.
Last year, Martelli struggled during
the regular season, finishing 2-8 in
dual meets while filling in at 174
pounds for the injured Otto Olson.
"When I first started at 174, I lost
my first five matches," Martelli said.
"It was hard to get adjusted."
But Martelli ended the season
strong, finishing sixth in the gig Ten
championships to qualify for the
This season, back at a more natural
165 pounds, Martelli is second on the
team in wins, with a 27-9 record, and is
ranked No. 8 in the country. Along the
way, he has wrestled the top two
wrestlers in the country, giving him
valuable experience as the season goes
"The season is going better than I
expected, I think," Martelli said. "But
there are still a lot of things to work on
in the room before Big Tens and
While nine pounds may not seem
like a lot, the style of wrestling in-each
weight class is different than in other
AND ANN ARBOR
n at No. 22 Indiana,
9 Ohio State, Sunday
. Sunday, 2 p.m.
nd, Michigan proved it
er. Now, the Wolverines
noted that while the
season were"just as
strong as he was, he
now possesses 4-def-
inite strength advan-
tage at 165.
"He's a big, strong
it's every man for himself this weekend at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas.
On the line: Spots on the national team.
the Winter Cup Challenge, both
advanced to the all-around finals.
But unlike Toman, Zimmerman
failed to qualify for a spot on the
Though he is a member of the U.S.
national team, Toman is still recover-
ing from last season's knee injury
and will not compete. Zimmerman,
on the other hand, expects to use his
Winter Cup experience to his advan-
tage in his attempt to qualify for the
"I am looking forward to compet-
ing," Zimmerman said. "It has been a
goal of mine to make the national
team for a long time now.
"Every opportunity I miss only
reinforces that desire."
For Daniel Diaz-Luong, the Las
Vegas experience will be a new one.
Diaz-Luong did not partake in last
season's meet due to an ankle injury,
but is hyped for a shot at represent-
ing the U.S.
"Making the national team surely
Who: The top 100 gymnasts in the nation
When: Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, 7:45 p.m.
Latest: In spite of losing Kevin Roulston to
injury, the Wolverines still feature four gym
nasts in this prestigious, individual meet.
is a big dream for many including
myself," Diaz-Luong said. "The
main goal, for me and my team-
mates, is to get out there and hit all
said. "He- has a lot of power, and he's
wrestling well right now. He's hitting a
lot of moves and he's attacking well -
This weekend, Martelli may have the
most difficult matchups of. any
Wolverine. Against Indiana, he faces
No. 12 Kevin Stanley. Then .against
Ohio State, Martelli will try to-avenge
an early-season loss to John Clark.
Even with his personal success,
Martelli still remains focused- on the
improvement of the team.
"We're not lingering on that suc-
cess,"he said. "We're taking it to heart,
and realizing it's a great accomplish-
ment, but it's time to get back-to the
practice room and look forward to
never looked so good!
No. 3 Duke 81, CLNSON 64
No. 20 BosTON CouEGE 65, Syracuse 63
ARKANSAS 82, No. 8 Tennessee
NC. STATE 90, No. 9 Virginia 80
Ohio State 69, No. 16 IowA 68
M ISSSIPPI STATE 84, No. 17 Alabama 70
No. 18 WISCONSIN 73, Purdue 54
No. 21 0KLAHOMA 80, Texas Tech 72
No. 24 MissssPPi 50, Louisianna St. 33
No. 25 Texas 77, CowAo 72
-CAA women's basketball
No.1 NomE DAME 72, Pittsburgh 58
No. 3 Connecticut 90, VIRGINIA TEcH 38
No. 7 lowA STATE 83, Oklahorna State 54
No. 10 Texas Tech 67, BAYLOR 56
No. 11 Oklahoma 84, NEBRASKA 62
No. 13 RUTGERs 64, Syracuse 53
No.20 Texas 69, TExAs A&M 41
No. 24 Colorado 70, KANSAs 60
BosrON 94, Milwaukee
San Antonio 107, CLEVELAND 89
Houston 112, PHIIADEPHIA 87
NEw YORK 96, Dallas 93
ORLANoo 107, Washington 98
MINNESoTA 117. Sacramento 88
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