The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 14, 2005 - 3B
Deiley is key to
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
Many teams have a reason for why
The Michigan women's gymnastics
team has a reason for why they don't
win by more.
"This time ofthe season, I think every-
body's body is really sore," coach Bev
Plocki said of the Michigan gymnastics
team's out-of-character performance on
the beam. "We have some kids with sore
shoulders and sore Achilles tendons and
sore knees. I just think, that right now,
we are kind of fighting through the mid-
season aches and pains."
Despite a slightly underachieving
performance on the beam, the No. 2
Wolverines rumbled through the Fox
Run Invitational in New Hampshire.
Michigan finished first out of four
teams, compiling a team score of
196.225 and outscoring the next clos-
est opponent - No. 23 Michigan State
- by 3.125 points. The win improved
Michigan's record to 13-1.
Junior Jenny Deiley continued her
successful individual season with two
individual first-place finishes - floor
exercise and vault - and a first-place
finish in the all-around with a score of
"I'm finally getting in my groove,"
Deiley said. "At the beginning of the
year, I had a few falls. Now, it's starting
to become more of a routine."
Michigan has benefited from the big-
time performances all season by Deiley
- who has notched five straight scores
of 39.000 or better in the all-around.
"Jenny did a great job," Plocki said.
"Jenny and (sophomore) Lindsey
(Bruck) have gone back and forth to be
the foundation of what we've been doing
this year. Jenny had a particularly good
meet (Saturday) night on all four events.
She's just been doing a great job."
Deiley's teammate, Bruck, also had a
great meet, finishing second in the all-
around with a score of 39.225. Bruck
also has her own impressive streak,
scoring 39.000 or better in the all-
around in each of the last six meets.
Led by the combo, Michigan cruised
through the first three rotations of the
meet, building a 2.375 lead going into
their final event, the balance beam.
The Wolverines started the event,
usually the team's strongest, with four
straight sub-9.800 scores. But Bruck
and senior Elise Ray stepped up and
nailed their routines, notching a 9.850
and 9.875, respectively. Their scores
were good enough to receive first and
second place and the team surprisingly
walked away with a comfortable win-
Plocki was quick to point out that
the team's unusually rough perfor-
mance was not an issue of over con-
fidence - heading into the final event
with such a big lead was not a factor.
never intentionally assume the
bitter persona of a 30-something
single woman - it just kind of
happens. And this uncontrollable
on this Hall-
You see, we
live a relatively
Simply put, it's
like we're per-
in the fifth
Junior Jenny Deiley anchored Michigan's win at Saturday's Fox Run Invitational.
"When we go to the (different) events,
we start over," Deiley said. "We don't usu-
ally listen to where we're at or what our
lead is - usually we have no idea."
Right before the beam, Michigan
shined on the uneven bars. After ending
her streak of 16 bar routines of 9.900 or
higher last week, Ray returned to true
form. She recorded a score of 9.900 to
win the individual bars title and lead the
Wolverines to a team score of 49.050.
The team was also impressive on the
vault. The event was anchored by Dei-
ley - who led all vaulters with a score
of 9.850. Ray and Bruck also posted
solid scores (9.825 for both) and fresh-
man Katie Lieberman continued to
shine, scoring a 9.800
Michigan started the meet on the
floor, where Deiley set the tone with her
season-high 9.900 routine. Junior Becca
Clausen posted a 9.825 after returning
from a bout of the flu last week.
One of the highlights of the evening
was an exhibition floor routine. Sopho-
more Sarrie Rubin, who hadn't per-
formed a floor routine in over a year,
stepped out on the mat Saturday and,
according to Plocki, "made" her rou-
"I was just so happy she made her
routine and did a great job," Plocki
said. "That was probably the most
uplifting thing for my whole team
last night was to be able to see her do
According to Bruck, Michigan has
a few minor adjustments to make
before they are in prime form for the
Big Ten and NCAA Championships.
But the team is encouraged by the
fact that, even with all the improve-
ment that still need to be made, it's
still able to compete at an elite level.
By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
When a team comes out on the winning end, the minor
mistakes made by an individual competitor often come
out in the wash. But when the same team loses a close
contest, those mistakes come back to haunt the athletes.
After the No. 3 Michigan men's gymnastics team lost by
just .125 points, 216.050-215.925, to No. 9 Minnesota in
Minneapolis Saturday, the Wolverines were caught look-
ing back at the simple mistakes that cost them the meet.
"When they lined us up and were tallying the scores, in
our heads, we were thinking 'If I didn't do that, wouldn't
my total be more,' "junior Justin Laury said. "I can think1
of things in my routine and other guys on the team, it's just
the little things, with such little deductions."
Laury's performance on the pommel horse was one
of the few bright spots for Michigan. He finished second,
.100 points behind Minnesota's Guillermo Alvarez, but
notched an impressive 9.550.
"It was the best routine that I've done all year,"
Laury said. "But there's a lot of places I can improve.
I've had some problems with injuries that kept me
from competing in some events. I was pretty proud
of what I did."
Junior Gerry Signorelli finished second in the all-
around competition, with a career-high total of 53.925.
Consistency was the key to Signorelli's success, as he fin-
ished second in the floor exercise and parallel bars and
U p for Blue
placed third on the high bar.
Senior Eddie Umphrey scored a 9.45 on the rings, good
enough for second and notched fourth-place finishes on
the vault and floor exercise.
While there were many familiar faces competing for
the Wolverines, a slew of injuries in recent weeks has pre-
vented Michigan from performing at its best.
"We worked hard throughout the whole meet, but we
had a couple problems with injuries," Laury said. "We
can't blame ourselves for that. Minnesota competed better
than we did, and our intensity didn't really match theirs."
Freshman Dan Rais -- who emerged as a force in the
floor exercise in the early stages of the season - missed
his third consecutive meet since suffering a high ankle
sprain in practice almost one month ago. Rais was expect-
ed to return for the meet at Minnesota but experienced
discomfort in his ankle as the start of the meet drew near.
"(The injury situation) is looking better," Laury said.
"It's a slow process. We have a couple of guys like (Rais)
with an ankle injury, there's no exact timetable for him
Though the Wolverines struggled, Laury is confident
that they will bounce back for their meeting with Penn
State in State College on Saturday.
"There's a couple things we need to go to the gym and
focus on," Laury said. "We dropped seven points from the
last meet. We know we didn't use our strongest lineup.
It's probably the weakest lineup we'll use all season. Next
weekend, we'll be back up to 222 or 223."
To this day, I don oversized
authentic sports jerseys miles from
any sporting venue, simulate Jor-
dan-esque dunks on low-hanging
store signs and chew bubble gum
solely because it's "Lebron's Light-
ning Lemonade." I live for the back-
from D2: Mighty Ducks, beg God
to favor my squad and make fantasy
sports trades that include "a player
to be named later." I bench the
video game version of Cliff Robin-
son when he (not me) takes a bad
shot, refuse to ever wash or remove
my San Francisco Giants hat (see
above picture) and battle insomnia
by working my way through memo-
rized starting lineups of Major
League Baseball teams.
Like I said, we sports-fanat-
ics are permanently stuck in the
fifth grade. While most of us have
outgrown the "cooties" syndrome
in reference to the ladies, it seems
as though the relationship-seek-
ing ladies have developed a similar
syndrome in reference to us. Eli-
gible bachelorettes don't seem very
attracted to our obsession. Con-
trary to conventional sports fanatic
thinking, being able to recite, word
for word, the exact call of Jason
Kidd's game-winning "pretzel shot"
in the opening round of the 1993
NCAA Tournament doesn't instant-
ly gain you a girlfriend.
Three hundred and sixty four days
of the year, I don't really mind my ele-
mentary-school status. While Johnny
Girlfriend has to spend his free time
taking in the latest DVD set of "Sex
and the City" and trying to rational-
ize the viewing to his boys by claim-
ing that the show is "so ridiculous,
it's funny," I spend my leisure time
guiding the virtual Golden State War-
riors to an NBA title. While Johnny
Girlfriend shells out extra dough on
flowers, teddy bears and green apple
martinis, my spare loot goes toward
a ticket to the March 25 Pistons-Pac-
ers game (when Indiana will return
to Detroit for the first time since the
But every Valentine's Day, many
sports fanatics (including myself)
fall victim to a vicious triple play
and turn from happy-go-lucky 11-
year-old boys to sulky, single 35-
It begins with the isolation. After
Christmas break, at the outset of
the second semester, most students
at Michigan are lovin' the single
life, so the sports fanatic fits right
in. But somehow, just a month and
a half later, everyone is enamored
with the 45-minute what-did-you-
do-today phone chats ... everyone
but the sports fanatic. The sports
fanatic's seclusion culminates when
he's not included in his house's
mass exodus to Main Street on the
evening of Feb. 14.
Then comes the call from mom.
Just after the sports fanatic's last
housemate has exited the front door,
that SportsCenter ring tone kicks
into tune on the sports fanatic's cell
phone and "Home" flashes across
the caller ID. Unfortunately, mom
never asks how the sports fanatic's
video game dynasty team is fairing
or which player his favorite NFL
team will select in April. But rather,
mom inquires about the night's non-
existent "hot date."
Then, without fail, ESPN ironi-
cally delivers the final kick to the
sports fanatic's groin. Whether it
comes in the form of a message
above a game's score or a seg-
ment that features players wishing
their girlfriends/wives a Happy
Valentine's Day, the nation's leader
in sports always puts a Valentine's
Day spin on its coverage the night
of Feb. 14. The nauseating part of
ESPN's Happy Valentine's Day
message is that the only people who
are watching ESPN at the time are
the lonely sports fanatics who obvi-
ously don't have a Valentine and
wish to do anything but celebrate
By this point in the night, I'm just
about ready to break out a quart of
Ben and Jerry's and a box of Kleen-
ex; my Boyz II (wo)Men transfor-
mation is complete and senseless,
cynical whining ensues:
This holiday's a joke ... Every-
one "sold out" on bachelor status
... Nice guys always finish last ...
After a while, I finally come
across a logical thought and just put
myself to bed. But REM sleep is
always difficult to obtain.
Usually, I have to make my way
through the entire National League.
Gennaro Filice can be reached at
Junior Justin Laury provided one of few highlights in
Michigan's loss against Big Ten rival Minnesota.
WOMErig s TENNIS
Few bright spots in 'M' loss
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis team failed to get anything
going in its match against No. 18 Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.
yesterday. Offering anything but southern hospitality, the Volun-
teers jumped on the Wolverines early and never looked back en
route to a 5-0 victory.
"Tennessee played very well, especially in singles," Michigan
coach Bitsy Ritt said. "We had some close matches, but they out-
played us at every position."
The lone bright spot of the day for Michigan came in a match
that didn't even count. Leading 7-2 in the No. 1 doubles match,
senior co-captain Michelle DaCosta and sophomore Kara Deli-
cata were forced to abandon the match because Tennessee had
taken the other two doubles matches, clinching the team doubles
"We played well at (No.) 1 doubles," Ritt said. "But we strug-
gled at (No.) 2 and (No.) 3 doubles, so they were able to take the
doubles point and use that as momentum."
The Volunteers used the momentum to their advantage as the
scene shifted to singles play. Michigan senior co-captain Leanne
Rutherford hung tough for a set against Victoria Jones before fall-
ing, 6-4, 6-0, at No. 4 singles. Tennessee's Blakeley Griffith was
solid throughout the entire match in her 6-2,6-4 win over Delicata
at No. 2 singles.
A loss away from defeat, DaCosta fought hard but failed to
keep Michigan's hopes alive in the No. I singles match. She lost,
6-4, 6-4, to Sabita Maharaj, clinching the overall victory for the
Volunteers. The No. 5 and 6 singles matches were left unfinished
with the overall match having already been decided.
Earlier in the day, Michigan's pair of sophomore Elizabeth
Exon and junior Nina Yaftali fell to Bryce Marable and Blakeley
Griffith, 8-4, at No. 3 doubles. In the No. 2 doubles match, Ruth-
erford and freshman Allie Shafiner lost to Tennessee's tandem of
Ashley Robards and Ghizela Schutte, 8-5.
"After a tough match like this, the key is to not lose sight of the
bigger picture," Ritt said. "We need to focus on our strengths in
our matches and work to get better at our weaknesses."
The loss drops Michigan to 3-4 on the season, putting the
team below .500 for the first time this year. But, the Wolver-
ines are not too down as they know they have faced a lot of
quality teams so far.
"We're not very concerned with our record at this point," Ritt
said. "It is still very early and we are playing a lot of good teams.
The tough nonconference schedule should prepare us for the Big
The schedule doesn't get any easier for Michigan. After a long
break, the Wolverines will return to the Varsity Tennis Center to
face the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats on Feb. 26.
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Opening weekend is
successful in Vegas
Michigan softball coach Carol Hutchins
and her Wolverines sure know how to
beat the odds, winning three of four at the
Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las
Vegas this weekend. Despite committing
four errors in three games, the Wolverines
outscored their opponents 29-10 over the
weekend stretch. Michigan was supposed
to play two additional games against No.
9 Tennessee and Central Florida, but both
matchups were cancelled due to heavy rain
The Wolverines were dominant for most
. of the weekend and ended the tournament
on a high note, beating Oregon 9-0 in five
seven hits, while striking out four in her
first outing of the season.
The Wolverines tried to mount a come-
back in the seventh after being down 7-2,
but they came up short, despite scoring
four in the bottom half of the inning. Senior
Jessica Merchant went 3-for-4 on the day
with three RBI, while freshmen Samantha
Findlay and Alessandra Giampaolo each
got their first career homeruns.
The Wolverines bounced back in the
nightcap, defeating California-Santa Bar-
bara 7-2. Ritter was in the zone, striking
out 13 batters and earning the win. Leutele
made up for her error in the day game by
going deep for three runs in her first at bat
off of California-Santa Barbara's Lind-
sey Sommer. Sophomore Tiffany Worthy
added a homerun of her own, going 3-for-
4, with three RBI.
Before meeting Oregon in the tourna-
ment finale, Michigan played Utah early
Sunday morning, and the Wolverines
rode their momentum from their Satur-
day night win. Michigan opened up a lead
in the first, after Motycka reached on an
error, scoring two. Motycka earned her
first win of the season going 4.2 innings
and allowing zero earned runs.
- Randy II?
VOLUNTEERS, AGES 18-45, ARE
NEEDED FOR A RESEARCH STUDY