2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesda - Januar 20, 2004
Dance Team shows off 'energy' and moves
By Chastity Rolling
For the Daily
As 18 women, dressed in unique
black mini-dresses finished with
shiny stripes and a matching tie out-
lined in silver glitter, huddled for a
pre-show pep talk, "energy" was
what they called for. They wanted a
to give an exhilarating performance
for their family and friends last
The ladies put in everything they
had, dancing to a mix of artists rang-
ing from Dolly Parton to Missy
Elliot. Their dances were definitely
full of "energy" and diversity. The
girls integrated a wide range of
moves, blending a little hip-hop with
a little bit of ballet and even some
The Michigan dance team dances
for a range of events. It performs on
the sidelines of all home football
games and men's basketball games.
Occasionally, the squad performs at
soccer games or other university
events, including pep rallies, Greek
events and specialty performances.
"School spirit and crowd interaction
during the performances are my
favorite things about this dance team,"
junior Justina D'Agostini said.
Other members cherish the bond
"The togetherness is what I like the
most about this dance team - we're
like a tight-knit family," said senior
Lorin O'Toole, who has been part of
the team since her freshman year.
"My favorite experiences are not
during performances, but during the
practices," coach Valerie Potsos said.
"As a team, we work together all year.
The camaraderie that is formed lasts a
lifetime. Together, we go through
peaks of challenges and rewards.
Dance team is a lot of fun, but most of
it is hard work, determination and ded-
ication. Most importantly, we do it
The dance team practices on Tues-
days, Thursdays, Fridays and Satur-
days for a duration of about three
hours per practice. But the ladies do
not think this demanding schedule is a
D'Agostini said the performances
make the practices "all worthwhile."
The team's activities do not end with
university functions. The dance team is
involved in many events outside of the
University as well.
The ladies attended a Universal
Dance Association camp in Bowling
Green this summer and took first place
in that competition.
"It's a four-day dance-intensive pro-
gram that involves technique classes,
learning and being evaluated on multi-
ple routines and two competitions,"
D'Agostini said. "We proudly repre-
sented the University of Michigan in
both the fight song competition and
the home routine competition, taking
first place in both."
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Who: Tealin Kelemen Spot: Diving
Hometown: Riverton, N.J. Year: Senior
Why: Kelemen was named the Big Ten Diver of the Week for the third
time this season. She took first place on the one-meter board at the
Michigan Invitational this past weekend, her fifth individual title of
the season. She also finished second on the three-meter board. Kelemen
Wednesday, Jan. 21
M Basketball vs. Wisconsin
Thursday, Jan. 22
W Basketball V
Friday, Jan. 23
Ice Hockey E
vs. Penn State
at Western Michigan
Plocki sees need to improve
despite win over Minnesota
By Jeremy Antar
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's gymnastics team
squeaked out an important road victory over
Minnesota on Saturday by a score of 194.650 to
193.975. Senior Calli Ryals and junior Elise Ray
led the way, finishing second and third, respec-
tively, in the all-around competition. The win was
the first for Michigan in the young season. But
for such an accomplished program, a win does
not necessarily mean that coach Bev Plocki is
happy with the team's performance.
"I'm not unhappy, and I would be happy if I felt that
we were hitting with a higher percentage of the rou-
tine," Plocki said.
"Overall I am pleased that we won, but we still have
some areas that we need to work on and improve in."
The Wolverines have had their work cut out for
them in these first few weeks, traveling to Nebraska
Plocki noted that when preparing for an away
meet, she tries to create a more pressure-filled
atmosphere at practice. She also said the team talks
about what it will take to perform well on the road.
"We talk a lot about where we want to be mentally,"
Plocki said. "It's the mental aspect of the sport that
makes it difficult. Someone else's crowd, someone
else's judges - it all makes a difference in your men-
But Plocki admitted that while practicing for these
conditions may help, you can not truly simulate what
it is like to compete in another team's arena. At away
meets, the team tends to be more nervous and tenta-
tive, which can lead to mistakes.
As if starting a season with three meets on the road
isn't enough, Michigan has also had to fight off
injuries. Ray, one of Michigan's most consistent per-
formers, did not train this week due to strep throat,
and junior Lauren Mirkovich did not compete on Sat-
urday due to a wrist injury suffered during the first
meet at Nebraska.
The Wolverines' best performance on Saturday
came on the floor exercise. Freshman Lindsey
Bruck performed brilliantly, scoring a 9.50, and
captured a fourth-place finish. Ryals and Ray
each responded to their teammate's feat by land-
ing a 9.75, tying for first place. Junior Chelsea
Kroll and sophomore Becca Clauson also con-
tributed solid performances and Michigan com-
bined for a team score of 49.125 on the floor
exercise - nearly a full point higher than the
Wolverines scored one week earlier at Nebraska.
"We improved significantly on floor exercise,"
Plocki said. "We still need to work on our consistency
in our bar routine."
Michigan also put forth a strong performance on
the vault. Senior Christine Mantilia, Bruck and Clau-
son earned scores of 9.550, 9.575, and 9.650, respec-
tively. Freshman Carol McNamara, Ryals and Ray
Cham GRshki Gme
Fox ero, ass.
1. Detroit 29-13
. Yesterday's win over San Anto-
nio was the most impressive victory
of the Pistons' 13-game streak.
3. Indiana 32-11
- Think coach Rick Carlisle wantsto
tinoer Detit tnight against his former
team? Maybelusta little.
5. Dallas 24-16
.Newsflash: An Italian newspa-
per voted Dirk Nowitzki the European
Player of the Year. No, really?
Senior Calli Ryals led the way in the Wolverines' win
with a second-place finish in the overall competition.
each landed Yurchenko-full vaults with McNamara
and Ryals earning third and fourth place finishes.
Ray's nearly perfect execution and landing earned her
a 9.850 and first-place.
Plocki said she is glad that the team has had the
experience of competing on the road during the first
few weeks of the season. She added that it is especial-
ly useful for the underclassmen, who she hopes will
learn from their mistakes and improve as the season
"All and all you just try to take baby steps and
try to stay focused on what needs to be
improved," Plocki said.
7. L.A. Lakers 25-12
* Medvedenko is averaging 17
points per game in his last five out-
ings. Where did that come from?
& 8 Mln.esta 24
* Anytig thy ca o a a
S do better. That's wht Satrdy's 95K
9. New Jersey 21-17
* The team's new owners may
move the Nets to Brooklyn.
Blue takes second in front of
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
Indiana's Gladstein Fieldhouse is not
a welcoming venue for visiting athletes.
"It's really loud there," senior
Carly Knazze said. "They have a lot
of support, just like we do. Their
fans cheer a lot."
Traveling to Bloomington, Ind., in a
packed bus, the Michigan women's
track and field team participated in its
first indoor road meet, the Indiana
Quad. Senior Melissa Bickett and red-
shirt junior Lindsey Gallo each cap-
tured two victories, headlining the
team's second-place finish. The Wolver-
ines earned 166.50 points, just shy of
Indiana's first-place mark of 173. The
meet also featured teams from Kent
State (104.50) and Indiana State (92).
Bickett dominated the meet's two
throwing events. In the.shot put,
Bickett's heave of 15.78 meters was
TRY 0 U R NEW;
FOR A SHORT TIME ONLY.
nearly two meters longer than her
nearest competitor's. In addition,
her weight throw of 17.45 meters
was a personal best. The meet's sec-
ond longest weight-throw belonged
to Bickett's teammate, Ashley
Eckel, who delivered a 16.41-meter
toss. Combined, Bickett and Eckel
earned 30 out of 32 possible points
in the two throwing events.
Gallo, fresh off a first-place perform-
ance in the 800-meter run at last week's
Jack Harvey Invitational, continued her
hot streak with victories in the grueling
one-mile (5:00.77) and 3,000-meter
"This meet, it was really important
for my team to win both of the races,"
Gallo said. "It was just a matter of car-
rying out the coach's plan."
But participating in both long-dis-
tance races wasn't easy for the New Jer-
"I had about an hour and 45 minutes
between the two races," Gallo said. "It's
hard because you can't get out of the
Redshirt junior Anna Jones
picked up right where Gallo left off
in the 800-meter run, placing first
with a time of 2:12.79. After win-
ning the 60-meter dash in her previ-
ous meet, Knazze sped through the
200-meter dash in 25.19 seconds,
beating out Indiana's Charlene Mad-
dox by a fraction of a second.
"We're training through the meets,"
Gallo said. "It's a good way to see
where we need to improve."
New England will
If Peyton Manning and Marvin
Harrison couldn't move the ball
through the air against the Patri-
ots, what chance does Jake
Delhomme have? Stephen
Davis is good, but Carolina can't
win the game on the ground
New England is well-balanced.
Antowain Smith went over the
century mark against the Colts,
and Tom Brady picked the Indi-
anapolis secondary apart with
the short passing game. The
defense is a brick wall.
Granted, they won't have
home-field advantage, but
Brady and Ty Law went to Michi-
gan. They're my pick.
New England 28, Carolina 23
Carolina will win in
Ahoy once more, matees! I'm
back after predicting Tampa Bay's
victory in last year's "Pirate Bowl."
Once again, I'm going with the
underdog because of the way
they pillaged Philadelphia.
New England was the best
team over the course of the sea-
son, but Carolina is the best
team right now. DeShaun Fos-
ter's touchdown run said it all
about this team's swagger.
Look for Ricky Manning to
become the second straight
Super Bowl MVP from the sec-
ondary (Dexter Jackson) and put
the slit-throat celebration back
en vogue. Yarggggh!
Carolina 20, New England 12
1 .Denver 2448
DaRy aNLPaa anig
1. D >r1t6 ps
* clearly the deepettgeam Jnt
x gN :
2. Ottawa 58 pts.
r The Senators are about to take
over the Eastern onference lead.
a allye vuln able Wtio Iknew
4. Colorado 59 pts.
. The Avs have an easy schedule
for the next two weeks. They need to
- Anoher bad wek to bea
6. Philadelphia 59 pts.
* Big week for Jeremy Roenick. He
lost a tooth, some blood, a water
bottle and a paycheck.
Try the new Buffalo Bleu sandwich - a creamy bleu cheese
spread and sliced chicken breast marinated in Buffalo wing
sauce. Or, the new Balsamic Bleu salad with crumbled bleu
cheese, walnuts, apples and dried cranberries.
the NEW Buffalo Bleu SANDWICH
8. San Jose 57 pts.
* The Sharks could lose out and
probably still win the Pacific Division.
Or, they could iust keep winning.
10. Boston 56 pts.
*The Bruins scored one goal last
week. Now that's just boring hockey.