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March 26, 2001 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PRT 2L y.g

Sports desk: 763-2459


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1 8/ a C "'1 Y<' C




Jubilation rules
W regional win
RAND RAPIDS - They just couldn't contain
hemselves any longer. As the final seconds ticked
away, and as Michigan clinched its first trip to the
Frozen Four since 1998, the Wolverines leaped over the
bench and rushed the ice. By the looks on their faces, and
the emotions shown by their interactions, one would think
they had won the national title.
Not yet, but almost.
*)n the bench, the usually stoic Red
Berenson embraced associate head
coach Mel Pearson. On the ice,
sophomore J.J. Swistak leaped into
the air like a kid who just got out of
his last day at school. At the same
time, 22 other Wolverines swarmed
goalie Josh Blackburn -knockings
the net off its posts and raising the JOE
crowd to its feet. SMH H
"It's the best feeling right now,"
senior Mark Kosick said. "We held The one
in the end, which was awesome. and only
"This is the best weekend this team
has had so far. No question."
It wasn't just that Michigan won, but how it won.
An exhausted bunch of Wolverines unexpectedly had
trouble with Mercyhurst the night before, squeezing out
much needed energy for their most important game of the
year - when everything was on the line.
Staring Michigan right in the eye, fresh off a first-round
bye, was No. 2 seed St. Cloud. Not only were the Huskies
ed, but they were also loaded.
inning 12 of its last 13 games coming into the Regional
final against Michigan, St. Cloud boasted the nation's best
offense and powerplay. Berenson considered the Huskies
the hottest team in the tournament, a dangerous team that
Michigan had never played in its history.
Meanwhile, Michigan ended its regular season on a
See SMITH, Page 4B

show their
true colors
By Ryan C. Moloney
Daily Sports Writer
GRAND RAPIDS - In the years
following its magical, but improbable,
run to the 1998 national champi-
onship, the Michigan hockey team's
class of 2001 has been labeled many
If you believe everything you hear,
you are probably confused. This year's
seniors have been called overachievers
and underachievers, grinders and
finesse players, leaders and followers
- call them what you will.
But today, there's only one moniker
that truly sticks - Frozen Four-bound.
"Our senior class has had their
moments this season, but they stepped
forward tonight; Michigan coach Red
Berenson said. "You look at who
scored the goals tonight and the
seniors were the key."
On the ice, the play of Michigan's
senior class was reminiscent of a
Supremes' song lyric - "Reflections
of the way life used to be."
Here was Mark Kosick, the fab
freshman of the '98 team, bobbmig and
weaving through traffic to net goals on
both nights, kick-starting the Wolver-
ines yesterday with the deflection and
key first goal of the game.
Kosick's confidence and game were
See SENIORS, Page 5B

An elated Mark Kosick celebrates after tallying the ever-important first goal in Michigan's 43 victory over St. Cloud. The win clinched a Frozen Four berth.

Daily 3
Dance uuur

hy the Terpi
oro everyone who isn't doing well
in your pool: Listen to us more often.
Our pre-season picks in Tipoff
were so money that you don't even
know it.
We told you that Arizona would be
in the Final Four. We told you that
Duke would be there. And we told
you that Maryland would be there.
All three are.
Sure, we also said Michigan State
the other team in the Final Four -
s the most overrated team in the
country, but three out of four is pretty
good, especially before the season
even starts.
Now, for all of you thinking luck
had a lot do with our picks, we also
pegged Player of the Year (Shane Bat-
tier) and Freshman of the Year (Eddie
Griffin), so we clearly know a lot
re about basketball than all you
ubs with ruined brackets.
So what does Swami say will hap-
pen this weekend?
Duke should beat Maryland by 13.
Think about it. Duke beat Michi-
gan by 43, and Maryland beat the Big
Blue by 31. Even Brian Ellerbe could
tell you that means Duke is 13 points
better. Or so the transitive property
would have you believe.
In actuality, the Terps will find a





Women take
another Big
Ten crown
By Naweed Sikora
D~ally S~ports Writer



way to win. Lonny Baxter and Juan
Dixon are playing like All-Americans
and Terrence Morris is playing like
LaVell Blanchard - pretty well but
getting way too much credit for it.
And, well, we picked Maryland to
win the national title.
On the other half of the draw, look
for Arizona to beat Michigan State.
For the last three years, everything
Sparty touched turned to gold, while
everything Michigan touched, turned
to, well, that's another story.
This trend will change. It has to.
Loren Woods, Richard Jefferson
and Gilbert Arenas are playing well
and Michigan State is beatable -
though Ellerbe would tell you other-
wise - especially if Charlie Bell,
Marcus Taylor and Jason Richardson
don't shoot well from the perimeter.
Plus, the Spartans beat Michigan
by an average of just 24 points this
year. The Wildcats would have cer-
tainly beaten Michigan by way more
than that.
We promised you Maryland would
win it all at the start of the year, and
the only surer thing than a promise
from us is a promise from Drew Hen-
son, so look for Gary Williams -
sweaty suit and all - to cut down the
nets in Minneapolis next Monday.

Despite suffering two setbacks on the balance
beam during the final rotation Saturday night, the
Michigan women's gymnastics held off its competi-
tion long enough to win its third consecutive Big
Ten title. With a score of 197.15, Michigan placed
first among seven teams, beating out its closest com-
petitor Penn State by .725 of a point. Although
things became scary at the end of the meet, the
Wolverines managed to capture their ninth title in
the past 10 years.
"It's really exciting," Michigan coach Bev Plocki
said. "As many as we've won, it doesn't get any less
exciting for us. The competition tonight was out-
standing. A lot of the teams were really strong, but it
was really fun to be able to pull this one off in front
of our home crowd. They were great."
By the final rotation, it seemed as if Michigan
held an insurmountable lead. With Penn State - its
closest competition - already finishing with a
196.425, Michigan needed only a 48.125 or better
on the balance beam to win the meet - a score it
was more than capable of getting.
After the initial three gymnasts hit on their rou-
tines, Karina Senior - who had suffered a fall earli-
er on the uneven bars - fell once again. Senior's
error required the final two gymnasts - Shannon
MacKenzie and Elise Ray - to hit their routines so
Michigan would not be forced to count a fall for the
event. Mackenzie responded beautifully, performing
a near perfect routine, winning the individual event
title and relieving the pressure just a bit. -
"I just kept telling myself that I knew how do it
and to just do one thing at a time," MacKenzie said.
"I really try not to think about the pressure situations
that I am in. I try to take myself back to the gym
where we do lots of practice with pressure sets over
and over."
With Mackenzie's routine out of the way, and only
Ray left to compete, Michigan seemed to be home
free. Ray, who was on her way to becoming all-
around champion for the meet, had been flawless in
all of her performances to that point. Still, with all
that on the line, Ray suffered an uncharacteristic fall
late in her routine, jeopardizing Michigan's once
comfortable lead.
"After that last fall, we were all terrified in the

Karina Senior struggled on the beam, but scored well on the floor exercise to help her team win its
third consecutive Big Ten Championship and ninth in ten years.
r woes cos men vico
Blue is second, not first, for first time in three years

By Dan Willians
Daily Sports Editor
STATE COLLEGE - "Sometimes you eat the
ba, and sometimes the bar eats you," - Sam Elliot
in "The Big Lebowski."
In the Big Ten men's gymnastics championships
this past Friday, the bars definitely ate Michigan.
The Wolverines fought resiliently after woeful
performances in their first two events, the parallel
bars and the high bar, but the two-time defending
conference champions could only retrieve second
place. Michigan finished with a 216, trailing just

place after a rough first two events - I was very
pleased with that."
The team was set back by some glaring errors on
the bar events. With only Brad Kenna scoring above
nine, Michigan began the night with a 34.9 on the
parallel bars. The Buckeyes scored a 35.8 in the
same event.
"Parallel bars have been inconsistent for us all
year, and it's potentially a very strong event for us"
Golder said. "We just made mistakes and we've got
to eliminate them."
As the team rotated to the high bar, the errors per-

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