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November 07, 2002 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-07

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 7, 2002 - 11A

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Daily2,.Sports Writer f

Kulczycki fighting
for spot in rotation

By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer
One would think that a returning
Division I All-American would be guar-
anteed a roster spot. That's like asking if

and then it finally caught up to me at
nationals," Kulczycki said.
For Kulczycki to have a starting spot
in this year's lineup, he will either have
to beat 2002 All-American Ryan Bertin

Kobe Bryant would start for
the Lakers. But what if
Kobe suddenly gained
seven inches and put on 40
pounds? Then he'd be too
big to play guard and he'd
have to beat out Shaquille
O'Neal at center.
A similar situation is
facing Michigan wrestler
Mike Kulczycki. Kulczy-
cki, a 2001 All-American,

THIS WEEKEND
EAST LANSING
Who: Michigan (0-0) at the
Michigan State Open
When: All day Saturday and
Sunday
Latest: This weekend will
mark the Wolverines' last
exhibition meet before they
open the regular season on
Friday, Nov. 22 at Lehigh.

(ranked No. 4 at 157
pounds in Amateur
Wrestling News' Presea-
son Poll), or 2001 NCAA
qualifier Pat Owen. Red-
shirt freshman Ryan
Churella is the leading
candidate to replace Kul-
czycki at the 149-pound
spot.
"It's an unfortunate
situation, but I think
work out for the best,"

The year 1999 produced many firsts
for the Michigan field hockey team.
The Wolverines earned their first
NCAA Tournament berth, advanced to
their first NCAA title game and cap-
tured their first Big Ten Tournament
championship.
Three years later, bringing home tro-
phies has become somewhat of a rou-
tine for the Wolverines.
This weekend, Michigan (6-0 Big
Ten, 17-2 overall), the defending
national champion and winner of the
2002 regular season Big Ten title, will
be gunning for its third Big Ten Tour-
nament title in the last four years.
The Wolverines received the lone bye
in the tournament as the No. 1 seed and
will face the winner of Friday's quarter-
final game between No. 14 Iowa (2-4,1
9-7) and Ohio State (2-4, 7-9) for the
right to go to the finals on Sunday.I
"I think Iowa's a little bit better team
this year," coach Marcia Pankratz said.
"But you have to prepare for both.;
We'll be able to scout both teams at the
same game, which is great. We also get
an extra day's rest, so it's certainly an
'M' must r(

TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Michigan freshman Lori Hillman and the Wolverines will be attempting to capture the team's third Big Ten Tournament
championship in four years when the defending national champions head to Columbus this weekend.

advantage for us."
Michigan rolled against Iowa and
Ohio State during the regular season,
defeating the Hawkeyes 2-0 on the road
and handling the Buckeyes 4-1 at home.
Should the Wolverines prevail in the
semifinals, they would likely face No.
2 seed' Michigan State in the title
game. The Spartans lost a tough 1-0
decision to Michigan back in early
October at Ocker Field.
With the Spartans (5-1, 18-2) right
behind the Wolverines in the national
rankings, this weekend should deter-
mine which team will grab the higher
seed in the NCAA Tournament.
One of the reasons for No. 2 Michi-
gan's high ranking has been the play of
sophomore Adrienne Hortillosa.
Despite a slow start, Hortillosa has
erupted in the second half of the sea-
group afte

son, leading the team with 12 assists,
and she's coming off a six-point week-
end that earned her the Big Ten Offen-
sive Player of the Week award.
"We knew she'd break out eventual-
ly" Pankratz said. "I think that she's
just really relaxed. I think everyone is
really keying on April (Fronzoni) and
Molly (Powers) because they've been
the big point scorers. You can't forget
about Adrienne - if you do, she's
going to really hurt you."
Michigan has a number of prolific
offensive threats, but its defense is just
as impressive. Anchored by junior
Stephanie Johnson, the defense has
helped produce nine shutouts, a Michi-
gan team record for a single season.
"We have enough confidence in our
defense that I feel we can still allow the
offense to go full-tilt," Johnson said.
r 1-0 loss t

COLUMBU S
Who: Michigan (6-0 Big Ten, 17-2 overall at
the Big Ten Tournament.
When: Noon Saturday and noon Sunday
Latest: The top-seeded Wolverines are aiming
for their third title in four years.
"The more insurance goals we have, the
more confidence we take into the next
game, knowing that we dominated."
With the regular season over, only
the postseason matters now, and
Michigan knows that it must continue
to exercise strong discipline.
"This whole season we've really
worked on our tactics and being physi-
cally fit," senior Krista Meckley said.
"I think that's really going to come into
play now at the end of the season, and
we're going to do well."
Wildcats

has to work hard to find a spot in this
year's starting lineup.
Kulczycki, who struggled in the
postseason last year at 149 pounds,
has opted not to try and make 149
this year, and instead will battle for
the spot at either 157 or 165 pounds.
"I sat down with Mike and he told
me that he doesn't really think he can
make 149"' Michigan wrestling coach
Joe McFarland said. "He felt that the
cutting weight really hurt him last
year at NCAAs. Cutting really takes a
lot out of you. He's just too big for the
weight class."
Kulczycki was ranked in the top 10
in the country throughout last season
at 149 pounds.
The senior entered the 2002 NCAA
Championships with a No. 6 seed, but
was eliminated on the second day of
the three-day tournament by the No. 12
seed, Jared Frohardt from Air Force.
"Throughout the whole year, (cut-
ting weight) kept wearing on me -

things will

Kulczycki said. "Everyone always
finds a place for themselves."
Saturday, Michigan will send
wrestlers to the Michigan State Uni-
versity Open for the team's first major
preseason action. Some younger mem-
bers of the Michigan team took the
short trip to Ypsilanti this past week-
end to compete in the Eastern Michi-
gan University Open, but no former, or
even potential 2003 starters wrestled.
The Wolverines going to East Lans-
ing will be wrestling unattached,
meaning they will not be affiliated
with Michigan.
"The tournament gives us a good
gauge of where we're at. It also
gives us some matches under our
belt," McFarland said. "It's a good
starting point."
Kulczycki, 197-pounder Kyle Smith
and 133-pounder Foley Dowd are the
three Michigan wrestlers who will try
to repeat as Open champions.

WOMEN'S SOCCER *hifliEAST LANSING
CONFERENCE

By Michael Nisson
Daily Sports Writer

Losing to Kentucky 1-0 last week left a bitter
taste in the mouths of the players on the Michigan
women's soccer team.
Today, the Wolverines look to dis-
solve that bad taste with a victory in EAST
the first round of the Big Ten Tourna- who: Michi~
ment. After finishing behind No. 11 the Big TenT
Penn State in the final Big Ten regular when: 10 a.
season standings, the team earned the Latest: The
No. 2 seed and will face No. 7 seed Wolverines g
Ohio State at 10 a.m.. seventh see'
In the teams' only other meeting this in this quart
year, Michigan won a hard fought Michigan re
game, 1-0 on a goal from defender the Big Ten
Andrea Kayal. Coach Debbie Rademacher said
that she expects today's matchup to be a similar
type of game.
"It's definitely going to be a physical game,"
Rademacher said. "We need to be up to the physical

LA
gan
Tou
m.
sec
go L
dec
erf
cor
Tou

challenge. The first game was a hard hitting battle."
If past history is indicative of future success,
then the Wolverines should feel pretty confi-
dent. Three years ago, the Wolverines lost to
Kentucky in the last game of the regular season
and then went on to win the Big Ten
- Tournament.
ANSiNG But to repeat that feat, Michigan
(13-5-1) at will also have to get by the likes of
urnament either Indiana or Purdue in the semi-
today final game, and then, possibly, beat
ond seeded the Nittany Lions in the final.
up against "Anybody we meet is a tough game
d Ohio State for us," Rademacher said.
inal match. Tile Big Ten Tournament is impor-
d is 12-6 at tant to the Wolverines for several rea-
---t sons. The first and most obvious is
that winning will help gain momentum going into
the NCAA Tournament. But there are other moti-
vating factors that are going through the players'
heads right now.
"We just missed winning a Big Ten regular sea-

son championship," Rademacher said. "(The Big
Ten Tournament) is kind of a second chance to
meet some of the teams that may have beat us. We
have won two Big Ten championships, never in the
regular season, but those Big Ten championships
mean a lot to us."
The Wolverines are an experienced squad, and
this experience may ultimately determine how far
they go. Rademacher stressed the importance that
the seniors, in particular, will play in helping the
team play well.
"We're going to expect big things from (our sen-
iors)," she said. "They've won a Big Ten Tourna-
ment Championship before. They know what it's
like to have to play three games in four days and
the grueling physical toll that it takes on your
body. We need to have them there mentally."
Winning the championship would give the team
an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But
even if the Wolverines do not win the Big Ten

r

Tournament,
large berth.

they are virtually assured of an at-

Blue expecting easy victory in East Lansing

FILE FPHOTO'
Michigan heads to East Lansing this week for its final exhibition before the Maize
and Blue intrasquad scrimmage on Nov. 17.
Do you H ave Acne?:
g If you have acne you may qualify for an investigational study
at the University of Michigan Department of Dermatology.
¢ You may also receive compensation for your participation.
A If you are interested in participating, call the University of
Michigan Department of Dermatology to find out more.
A The number is : (734) 764-DERM
Doctors in
the area are HMA
Conducting RESEARCH
aSTUaY
.3

By Gina Adduci
For the Daily
The Michigan men's swimming
and diving team will head to East
Lansing this weekend for a dual
meet against the Spartans.
The Wolverines have a perfect
record thus far, having won their
first two meets against Eastern
Michigan and No. 6 Florida. Confi-
dent about the upcoming meet, the
Wolverines are not at all worried
about the Spartans being the ones to
end Michigan's undefeated streak.
"Competition won't be strong,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek
said. "It will be a fun meet."
In an effort to make the races

against Michigan State more inter-
esting, Michigan is changing things
up a bit. Swimmers will swim "off
events," meaning that they will par-
ticipate in events that they do not
normally compete in. This provides
variety for each race and allows the
athletes to explore a facet of a
stroke or distance that they other-
wise would not get to experience in
competition.
Michigan State provides an arena
to experiment with event placement
and relay order.
"We didn't wanna beat up on
them, so we changed the lineup so
the score is gonna be close and
make it exciting," Urbanchek saidl.
"With the lineup we have right now,

it will keep the score competitive."
The Wolverines are so sure of vic-
tory against the Spartans that their
lineup does not include some of
their distance freestyle swimmers,
which is Michigan's strength this
year. Instead, these swimmers will
have a practice on Saturday and then
travel to East Lansing afterwards,
where they will remain on the pool-
side to offer moral support.
Although Michigan approaches
every meet on its schedule seriously,
the Spartans do not pose any realis-
tic threat.
The Wolverines will welcome this
break in competition and use it as a
time to gather their thoughts and
strategies before facing Texas, the

defending NCAA champion, in
Austin on Nov. 22. And with such a
short period between these meets, it
is good that the Wolverines do not
have to recover physically and men-
tally from going against a strong
team prior to Texas.
"The meet against Michigan State
is the calm before the storm,"
Urbanchek said.
" A
EAST LANSING
Who: Michigan (2-0) vs. Michigan State (0-0)
When: p.m.
Latest: Michigan has emerged victorious in the
last 26 meets against the Spartans, and has
an overall record of 59-5. The Wolverines will
use the meet to gear up for No. 1 Texas.

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