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April 08, 2002 - Image 14

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - April 8, 2002

0

Gymnasts'
vaulting
assures
NCAA bid
By Josh Homan
Daily Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE - The odds
were stacked against the Michigan
women's gymnastics team entering the
final rotation. Nebraska had finished
its rotations with a 195.925, 49.425
ahead of Michigan, while Iowa was
grasping onto a .2 lead over Michigan
with one rotation left.
But thanks to some pressure-packed
performances on the vault and a little
bit of luck, the Wolverines were able to
stamp their ticket to nationals in
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - barely.
"It's a shame three teams aren't
moving on today because three teams
had a great meet," Nebraska coach
Dan Kendig said.
Fortunately for Michigan, the vault,
its last event of the meet, had been one
of its strongest at the end of the sea-
son. During a day of consistently low
scores for every team at the meet, the
Wolverines reversed the trend by post-
ing scores no lower than 9.775 on the
vault. They also benefited from the
9.925 posted by sophomore Elise Ray,
whose score tied her for first place in
the event.
"We tried to avoid letting (the
vaulters) know how close it really
was," senior co-captain Jodie Rosen-.
berg said. "We didn't want them to be
extra nervous because they knew we
weren't having the best meet as it
was."1
The team ended up tallying a 49.1 in
the vault, good enough for a final
score of 195.6. The only thing Michi-
gan could do was stand and watch
Iowa's floor exercise. For a team that is
notoriously relaxed, it was one of the
most nerve-wracking episodes of the
season.
"After we had finished at vault and
t A
7"W
Cali Ryals (left) and Cami Singer (right)
compete Saturday at the NCAA Northea

-I

'M'. netters smacked
by surgng Buckeyes

By Brian Steers
Daily Sports Writer
Mother nature was not very kind
to the Michigan men's tennis team
yesterday against No.14 Ohio State.
After playing indoors and beating
Penn State (0-5 Big Ten, 7-10 over-
all) 5-2 on Saturday, the Wolverines
(3-4, 12-6) dropped a 6-1 decision
to the Buckeyes (6-0, 17-2) in their
first outdoor match of the season in
Columbus.
"It's a whole different ballgame
when you're playing outside," coach
Mark Mees said. "We've practiced
outside only three days this year.
Ohio State has a very good team,
and you can't use the weather as the
excuse for the loss, but we need to
get out there and practice more."
After taking two of the three dou-
bles matches to secure the point,
Ohio State slammed the door in sin-
gles to preserve its undefeated
record in the Big Ten.
For the second year in a row,
Henry Beam fell to the Buckeyes'
Phil Metz in straight sets at the No.
1 spot. Metz, a singles state champi-
on in Ohio, dispatched the Michigan
senior, 6-4, 7-6.
Having just recovered from
mononucleosis, Michigan senior
Ben Cox had to retire in the first set
(trailing 4-1) due to arm trouble.
A similar fate struck Ohio State's.
Adrian Bohane, who was unable to con-
tinue after splitting the first two sets
with Matt Lockin, giving the Wolver-
ines their only point of the afternoon.
NATIONALS
Continued from Page 1B
the individual finals. The top eight
finishes during the NCAA finals
move onto the individual finals.
Diaz-Luong won the NCAA High
Bar title, finishing first in the indi-
vidual finals with a 9.612. He also
placed third in the parallel bars.
Freshmen Kevin George had the
team best and personal best on the
pommel horse and won All-Ameri-
can honors for his efforts. George
had caught Golder's attention during
the year with his great routines dur-
ing practice, but he didn't perform
the same way in meets until Friday
and Saturday.
Junior Conan Parzuchowski was a
still rings All-American for the sec-
ond year in a row. Seniors Justin
Toman and Brad Kenna, along with
Freshmen Edward Umphrey, com-

The loss leaves Michigan at sev-
enth place in the conference with
just three matches remaining before
the Big Ten Tournament.
With the Wolverines having
already faced the majority of the
upper-echelon teams in the confer-
ence, Mees was quick to give his
impression of the conference-lead-
ing Buckeyes.
"I think Ohio State is the top team
in the conference along with Illinois
and Minnesota," he said.
Against Big Ten cellar-dwellar
Penn State, Michigan claimed five
of the six singles matches, after los-
ing the doubles point to win its 1lth
straight over the Nittany Lions.
Despite dropping their middle
sets, both Cox and sophomore
Anthony Jackson remained focused
down the stretch to garner critical
victorie's at the No. 2 and 4 spots,
respectively.
The Wolverines' only singles
defeat came at the No. 1 position,
where Jaimie Gresh ended Beam's
three-match winning streak with a
7-6, 6-3 triumph.
"Jamie is a very tough player; he
is one of the better players in the
Big Ten," Mees said. "He has very
good ground strokes, a great first
serve, and he can also volley well.
Any time you play at the No. 1 spot
in the Big Ten, you will be in for a
battle."
Beam will play his final home
match of his career next Saturday
against Iowa along with fellow sen-
iors, Cox and Greg Novak.
peted in the individual finals. But
their scores went too low to be All-
Americans.
"Kevin George was the shock of
the meet and the most present sur-
prise," Golder said.
"There's only eight people that
make it, and then for him to come
out as an All-American on the sec-
ond day was pretty exciting."
Even though the season is over,
the Wolverines still haven't had
enough time to reflect. They still
don't know what the Wolverines
could have done to make the season
more successful.
"Nothing. I think we had a lot of
bad luck," Golder said. "I can't
think back to any mistakes or any
bad things that I did.
"Maybe a month down the road (I
will think of something), (but I
believe) we got the results as we
should have."

S

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
Freshman Kara Rosella, subbing in for the injured Missy Peterson, received a score of 9.775 this weekend on the balance
beam for Michigan. The Wolverines' overall score of 49.125 on the beam was the best score put up by any team Saturday.

were waiting for Iowa to finish (on
floor), we all just stood there and
watched them, trying to.intimidate
them hopefully," sophomore Calli
Ryals said.
As it turned out, the Wolverines'
vault score was enough to topple Iowa.
When Iowa's second gymnast,
Corynne Cooper, fell at the end of her
routine, the rest of its scores seemed to
come down also. Maday did not get
the perfect 10 that the Hawkeye's
needed and her team was done for the
season.
Although she ended up sharing the
all-around title with Ray, her final task
proved just too lofty, and the Wolver-

ines were able to celebrate.
Despite having no one finish in the
top five individually, scores of 9.8 by
Janessa Grieco, Kallie Steffes and
Shannon MacKenzie were just what
Michigan needed.
Michigan coach Bev Plocki needed
the best performances possible from
her gymnasts in the vault to have any
chance of advancing to the NCAAs.
She wasn't sure how close her team
was to finishing second, but she knew
he team needed a good score.
"I didn't know exactly, but I had a
pretty good idea it was close," Plocki
said. "I just knew we had to have great
vaults."

Headed to nationals
Here is a list of the 12 teams that
qualified for the NCAA Champi-
onships, which will be held April 18-
20 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

West
1) Utah
2) Oregon State
South Central
1) UCLA
2) Arizona
Central
1) Louisiana State
2) Florida

North Central
1) Stanford
2) Georgia
Southeast
1) Alabama
2) Minnesota
Northeast
1) Nebraska
2) Michigan

I

Final rotations key victory

: E

REGIONALS
Continued from Page 11B
for Michigan, senior co-captain Jodi
Rosenberg boosted some life back into the
Wolverines by scoring a 9.825.
"I just told myselfathat I had to go out
there and do what I had to do. At that time
it was all about trying to stay positive,"
Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg was followed by nearly flaw-
less performances from freshman Chelsea
Kroll, Ray, Grieco, and Ryals, whose 9.9
pushed Michigan to only two tenths of a
point behind then-second-place Iowa head-
ing into the final rotations.
With Nebraska finished and already con-
siderably ahead of both the Wolverines and
the Hawkeyes, the remaining two schools
were left fighting for the final spot. Michi-
gan headed to the vault as Iowa began its
floor exercise.

"We were up two-tenths of a point on
Michigan and we were going to the floor,"
Iowa coach Mike Lorenzen said. "You
can't really ask for anything more than
that. It looked like destiny."
Maybe it was just Michigan's unwilling-
nesstorwatch its season die Saturday
night, or maybe it just wasn't Iowa's time,
because the Wolverines hit every vault they
needed. The Wolverines scored a 49.1,and
then watched intently as Iowa could only
muster a 48.775 on the floor, giving the
Wolverines second place by .125, solidify-
ing their spot at the NCAA Champi-
onships.
"This meet was really stressful but we
get to go to Nationals and that means we
get a second chance," Grieco said. "Hope-
fully, this meet will light a fire in us and
something special will come out of this
before we head to Alabama. This is a spe-
cial team."

I,

ALYSSA WOOD/Daily
watch Chelsea Kroll
st Regionals.

Polo cruising into Eastern Championships

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan water polo team
took its first step towards post-sea-
son success yesterday when it
defeated Grove City 14-1 to clinch
the No. 1 seed in the Division
Championships.
The Wolverines finished the regu-
lar season 16-11 overall, including
16-1 in the Collegiate Water Polo
Association. They have won 13 of

their last 14 games.
Michigan got off to a quick start
in Bloomington on Saturday for its
final division tournament of the sea-
son. The Maize and Blue crushed
Mercyhurst 21-3 and easily took
down Gannon 15-4.
Senior Maribeth Sitkowski led the
way for the Wolverines in the first
game, netting three goals. In the
second game, senior Jen Crisman
led the team with four tallies.
The key matchup for Michigan,

WNW#,&

this weekend was its 7-5 win over
host Indiana on Saturday night.
Although they dominated their two
matches earlier in the day, the
Wolverines knew that the Hoosiers
would not be as easy.
"They realized pretty much the first
two games were warm-ups and the
main focus was Indiana," Michigan
assistant coach Bernice Orwig said.
"We were able, through the first
two games, to work on specific
offenses and defenses that we prac-
ticed t6 get ready for Indiana,"
Sitkowski said.
Michigan jumped out to an early
lead and had a 4-2 advantage over
the Hoosiers heading into the sec-
ond quarter.
"It showed that we came fired up
and ready to play," Sitkowski said.
But the improved Indiana defense
held the Wolverines scoreless in the
second frame, and they knotted the
score at 4-4 heading into halftime.
Michigan coach Amber Drury-
Pinto needed to get her team back

on track for the second half.
"I told them that we needed to
pull together as a team and continue
to play Michigan water polo,"
Drury-Pinto said. "We fell into
more of an Indiana style of water
polo, and we needed to get back to
playing our style of ball."
The team responded, coming out
quickly again in the third quarter.
Michigan took a 6-4 lead behind
goals from Crisman and sophomore
Stephanie Rupp. But Indiana
refused to go away quietly.
The Hoosiers scored a goal to
close to 6-5, but that was as close as
they would get. Freshman Casey
Kerney scored the clinching goal for
the Wolverines, who won the game
7-5.
"Its always good to beat a rival at
their home pool, so it was a great
win," Drury-Pinto said.
The coaches were especially
pleased with Michigan's team
defense and with their goalie, fresh-
man Betsey Armstrong, who the
coaches said had "an amazing
game."
The Wolverines are out of action
until April 19, when they will travel
to Villanova to compete in the Divi-
sion Championships. The top five,
teams from the Division Champi-
onship will earn a spot. in the, East-
ern Championships, the winner of
which will compete in the NCAA
Championships.

The Michigan men's gymnastics team finished ahead of expectations this
weekend when it finished fourth at the NCAA Championships.
Ttop senior n COUnry

AP PHOTO

By Evan Brown
Daily Sports Writer
Some people are just good at what
they do.
Senior gymnast Justin Toman was
honored on Wednesday as the Nis-
sen-Emery Award recipient, which
is considered the "Heisman Trophy
of gymnastics."
The Nissen-Emery Award cere-
monies took place at the University
of Oklahoma during the NCAA
Championships this weekend. It is
given out annually to the top senior
gymnast in the country.
"Its such a huge honor," Toman
said. "Its something that you would
want to get for your collegiate

Michigan Male Athlete of the Year
Award in 1999. He is a five-time
All-American, two-time parallel bar
NCAA Champion and a member of
the 1999 Michigan National Cham-
pionship team.
"It was amazing to be a part of
that, there is nothing else like (win-
ning a championship)," Toman said.
In the classroom, Toman has a 3.9
GPA while completing his master's
degree in sports management and
communications. His undergraduate
career included a Bachelor of Sci-
ence degree in movement science.
"It's a weird feeling to be done
(with my collegiate career)," Toman
said. "I have only one semester to
finish my master's degree. It's a real
mir iAin to h1, Ann-. i .IhnvP nni

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