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February 04, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-04

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 4, 2002

No. 3 Grapplers wear down Fighting Illini

By Rohit Bhave
Daily Sports Writer

Friday, the No. 3 Michigan wrestling team (2-1
Big Ten, 11-3 overall) used several clutch per-
formances to beat No. 13 Illinois (1-1, 8-2) 25-6
at Cliff Keen Arena.
Michigan wrestling coach Joe McFarland
wanted his team to pressure its opponents more
and wear them out with superior conditioning.
It seems like the Wolverines got the message.
Although nearly every match was tight, Michi-
gan wrestlers were always on the offensive.
"I was happy with the way we competed,"
McFarland said. "We've been talking about these
close matches."
Seventh-ranked Foley Dowd, at 133 pounds,
has had trouble recently in tight matches. This
time against Illinois' Chad Hay,
Dowd broke open a tight match in the third
period with a spectacular take-down, then held
off Hay in the final moments for a hard-fought 6-
5 win.
At 149 pounds, No. 7 Mike Kulczycki jumped
on No. 19 Ryan Berger from the start, but the
match remained close at 1-0. A strong double-leg
takedown of Berger made it 3-0 for Kulcycki in
the second period.

s
Leading 5-3 with under a minute left, Kulczyc-
ki held off Berger's late charge, including a take-
down attempt by Berger that occurred just a
second after the final buzzer.
Second-ranked Andy Hrovat continued his
three-match dual meet winning streak with a 8-5
win over No. 20 Jason Potter. Following last
Monday's upset win over Indiana's No. 1 Viktor
Sveda at the National Wrestling Coaches Associ-
ation All-Star Classic in New York, Hrovat was
able to maintain a workman-like attitude against
Potter.
"I didn't think I let up (against Potter)," Hrovat
said. "I wrestled seven hard minutes."
Perhaps the best example of mentally tough
wrestling came when No. 5 Ryan Bertin wrestled
Illinois' No. 18 Griff Powell at 157 pounds.
Aware of Bertin's obvious strength advantage,
Powell wrestled the entire match simply trying to
block Bertin's shots. With his defensive style,
Powell was successful at taking the match into
the third period tied at one.
But in the final period, Bertin's pressure began
to pay off. A critical stalling call on Powell with
a minute left gave Bertin a 2-1 advantage. With
Powell forced to score late, Bertin exploited his
opponent's vulnerable position by scoring a take-
down with 30 seconds left, finishing the match at

4-1.
"Ryan did a great job of keeping the pressure
on the entire match," McFarland said. "He wore
(Powell) down and took advantage of it."
Michigan's sole major decision came when
No.1 Otto Olson defeated Illinois' Brian Glynn
in the 174 pound match. With seven takedowns,
the senior defeated the overmatched Glynn 17-6.
This season, Olson leads the team with 12
major decisions, showing his propensity for win-
ning matches in dominating fashion.
Olson also won at the NWCA All-Star classic,
beating No. 3 Rick Springman from Pennsylva-
nia,13-8.
The Wolverines' only losses came at the hands
of Illinois' best wrestlers. Michigan heavyweight
Matt Brink fell to No. 4 John Lockhart 3-2
because he was unable to recover from Lock-
hart's first-period takedown.
At 165 pounds, Michigan's No. 9 Charles
Martelli was overpowered by No. 2 Matt Lackey,
10-3.
Having just one meet this weekend was benefi-
cial both for the Wolverines' training schedule
and for their win total.
"Coach (McFarland) had us really geared up to
come in and wrestle Illinois," said team captain
Hrovat.

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Michigan battled with Illinois all night at Cliff Keen Arena Saturday night. The third-
ranked Wolverines won their second meet in a row with a 25-6 win over the Illini.
Michigan uses floor

Ryals perfect again as team soars

a

a

to exercise victory

By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer
YPSILANTI - After sophomore
Christine Mantillia and junior Cami
Singer both fell in their floor routines at
the State of Michigan Classic yesterday,
it was clear that Michigan would not be
posting a floor exercise score near the
49.325 it earned against Florida on Fri-
day.
But that did not deter the Wolverines
from putting together their second dom-
inating performance in three days with
a score of 196.3, nearly three points bet-
ter than the 193.65 their closest com-
petitor, Michigan State, could muster.
Senior co-captain Jodie Rosenberg
was the third Wolverine in the floor
exercise and ended up tying a career
high in the event with a 9.875, prevent-
ing any type of disastrous chain reac-
tion.
"I knew that we needed a little bit
more energy out there," Rosenberg said,
"so I just went out there and tried to
have fun. It kind of got things rolling
again."
After career-best scores from fresh--
man Kallie Steffes (9.90) and junior co-
captain Janessa Grieco (9.95),
sophomore Callie Ryals put the icing on
the cake, earning her second perfect 10
in as many weeks in the event.
Ryals became just the seventh Michi-
gan gymnast to score two 10's in the
same season.
"I think I'm a lot more aggressive

now," Ryals said. "We had an awesome
weekend, and that gets us fired up to get
back in the gym and work for that extra
improvement we need to show up next
weekend."
The 10 was just part of another out-
standing all-around day for Ryals. She
set a career high with a 9.95 on the
uneven bars along with solid scores of
9.80 and 9.875 on the vault and bdlance
beam. Her total score of 39.625, a sea-
son best, earned Ryals her fifth straight
all-around title.
The floor was actually causing
Michigan problems before the meet
even began. The gymnasts were com-
plaining about the hard surface of the
floor equipment, a condition they had
not yet seen this year.
It was for this reason that senior
Melissa Peterson was pulled from the
floor exercise, with her already injured
shin in mind.
"My concern was that she was just
giving us everything she had," Michigan
coach Bev Plocki said "and it was just
too early in the season for her to be
doing that."
Peterson's work ethic applies to the
rest of the team's seniors as well. Along
with the spark she provided in the floor
routine, Rosenberg also set a career-best
in the vault yesterday.
"I can't say enough about my whole
senior class,' Plocki said. "I've had sen-
iors step up in events they never expect-
ed to do at the beginning of the season.
They've just been kicking some serious

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer
YPSILANTI - This was exactly the
weekend Michigan women's gymnastics
coach Bev Plocki
was looking for. A GYMNASTICS
season-best 197.0 Notebook
in Friday's rout of
No. 13 Florida -
including team bests in three of the four
events - was followed in yesterday's
State of Michigan Classic by a 196.3 that
was nearly three full points ahead of sec-
ond-place Michigan State.
Amazingly enough, No. 9 Michigan
(3-0 Big Ten, 9-2 overall) has been able
to post its best scores without sophomore
Elise Ray competing in the all-around
competition. Ray, who captained the U.S.
Olympic team in 2000, returned to the
vault after three weeks off on Friday and
took first place with a 9.875 before fin-
ishing second yesterday with a 9.8.
Yet Ray's all-around scores aren't
crucial for Michigan because of the
pleasant surprise that fellow sophomore
Calli Ryals has been.
. Ryals, who yesterday scored her sec-
ond perfect 10.0 on the floor routine in
her last three meets, was able to score a
career best all-around score of 39.625
not once, but twice this weekend. The
39.625's were good enough to win her
fourth and fifth consecutive all around
titles of the year.,
"It's self-gratifying to know that I can
add something to my team," Ryals said.
"I want to put high scores on the board
especially with these injuries and I just
think it's great that we are doing so well

without Elise Ray."
The only conflict for the Wolverines
may have been how Plocki and Ryals
viewed Ryals' floor exercise yesterday.
"If there was any difference in the.
two 10's I'd say that this routine was
superior to the routine that she had at
Ohio State, A 10 is a 10 but this one
was better," Plocki said.
Ryals didn't concur. "The first 10 is
always the best 10," she said.
BETTER AND BETTER: The Wolverines
have improved their all-around score
every single week since opening the
season in Maui a month ago.
At this time last year the Wolverines
had yet to score over a 196.3 and were
sitting at 7-4. But thanks to career high

scores from gymnasts this weekend, the
9-2 Wolverines see the sky as their
limit.
"This is where we want to be," Plocki
said yesterday. "We are sitting in a real-
ly good position now even though
we've had some injuries and especially
with (No. 1) Utah, (No. 2) Georgia and
(No. 8) UCLA coming up we want to
get healthier."
Junior co-captain Janessa Grieco,
winner on the beam yesterday, has
noticed a different attitude among team
members as the year has unfolded.
"This team started slow and in some
respects I think that might be good
because we are getting better every
meet.".

0

DAVID ROCHKIND/Daily
Michigan dominated Sunday's meet,
winning by three points.
butt all the way around this season."
Sophomore Elise Ray continued to
show positive signs that her heel injury
is improving, although it is still keeping
her out of all-around competition. She
scored no lower than a 9.8 in her three
events on the day, including a 9.925 on
the uneven bars that was good enough
for second place in the event behind
Ryals.
The Wolverines now have a week to
nurse and train before they welcome
No. 2 Georgia to Crisler Arena on Sun-
day.

*1

Calli Ryals earned a perfect 10 for the second time in three meets yesterday.

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