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March 14, 2005 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 14, 2005 - 5B

.................. .s

Michigan Junior Gerry Signoreill could not lead the tumblers to a victory over No. I Ohio State on Saturday.

Slow start plagues male tumblers

By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - As Michigan men's
gymnastics coach Kurt Golder always
says, the key to success is to build momen-
tum early and carry it through until the
very last event. But, this was not the case
when No. 4 Michigan lost to No. 1 Ohio
State, 226.9-218.3, on Sunday.
"Well, it's always hard to build off of
nothing in the beginning," junior Gerry
Signorelli said. "It's like a kick in the balls,
and it's just hard to get going after that."
The mix of injured senior captain
Geoff Corrigan - due to a foot injury
- and questionable officiating proved
to be a deadly combination. The team
lacked its usual energy and spirit and was
sulking on the bench midway through the
meet.
Golder has never enjoyed his trips
down I-75, and, over the years, he has
lost desire to fight the inevitable. He
has come to terms with the idea that,
despite the Wolverines best efforts
and All-American strong lineups, the

Buckeyes will always come away with
the win, due to what Golder considers
shady judging.
"That's part of the reason I have never
brought a full lineup here, and I will
probably never," Golder said. "What's
the point of taking your good guys on the
road and having them get robbed from a
competition when they are better off just
resting for the championships."
The loud crowd and unfamiliar envi-
ronment got the better of the Wolverines,
and they were noticeably rattled while
waiting to begin their routines. The meet
was Ohio State's final home meet and was
senior night for three of the Buckeyes.
"I think we came out a little bit hesi-
tant," Signorelli said. "We were away
from home. We should have just come
out here and tried to own the place and
be confident."
The Wolverines were unable to
escape their shortcomings on the pom-
mel horse, which has haunted them all
season. They failed to stick a routine
until freshmen Paul Woodward - the
fourth gymnast in the rotation - stuck

his pommel horse routine, and scored
a 9.35. Juniors Drew DiGiore and Jus-
tin Laury followed suit, staying on the
apparatus, but it wasn't enough to keep
the meager momentum flowing.
"Throughout the year, we have
always had a hard time starting on pom-
mel horse," senior Dave Flannery said.
"It's also hard for us without the crowd.
And, everyone didn't do their top set,
saving themselves for Big Tens."
One of the few positives that Michigan
was able to take back to Ann Arbor was
senior Brian Berends's high bar routine.
Berends - who has recently been out
due to injury and returned last weekend
against Stanford - "rocked" his routine,
in the words of Golder, scoring a 9.5 and
giving the team a late spark.
"It's a great feeling to get back in
the lineup," Berends said. "After a few
guys missed, I knew I had to come up
and hit big. I missed a couple things
I could have done better, but, overall,
I'm pretty happy how it turned out."
Signorelli, sophomore Aaron Rakes
and junior Andre Hernandez all hit

their routines after Berends's, scoring
9.2, 9.15 and 9.35, respectively.
The Wolverines are looking forward
to show Ohio State how good they truly
are in two weeks when Michigan hosts
the Big Ten Championships. The team
also feels that having the Champion-
ships in Ann Arbor will give them the
extra edge they always seem to be miss-
ing on the road.
"I think we are really fortunate that
Big Tens are at home," Flannery said.
"We always perform well at home, and
the crowd behind us will help. We just
need to get in the zone and do what we
know we can do."
While the Wolverines have a lot of
work to do before the championships
come to town, they are certain it's all
mental and will be refocused come
March 25.
"I think we, mentally, need to pre-
pare for Big Tens and put our game face
on," Berends said. " I think we need
to show them when they come to our
house that we're the ones that they need
to be watching out for."

Lackluster performances sink 'M'

By Katie Niemeyer
Daily Sports Writer

Friday night was anything but typical for the Michigan women's gymnas-
tic team. The No. 7 Wolverines (15-2 overall, 6-0 Big Ten) posted their low-
est score of the season in a 197.000-194.875 loss to No. 8 Georgia (13-4) at
Stegeman Coliseum. So far this season, Michigan has seen almost nothing but
success - losing only once before in a very close match (196.875-196.525) to
then No. 2 Utah.
"It was very disappointing to have a meet like that where it just doesn't seem,
like anything was going our way," Michigan coach Bev Plocki said.
For only the second time all season, Michigan finished the third rotation trail-
ing its opponent, but it fell apart on the floor exercise. With falls on their first two
routines, the Wolverines posted a 48.550 - their first sub-49 score since Jan. 28
against Penn State at Crisler Arena.
"We went to floor and the first person up fell on her last pass, and then
I think everybody kind of started to panic a little bit," Plocki said. "And,
instead of going out there and competing with confidence and doing what
we know we need to do, people started competing not to make a mistake.
And, when you go out there with the mindset that you don't want to make
a mistake, you go out there and that's exactly what happens - you end up
making a lot of mistakes. And it just snowballed through floor and into
beam."
Beam also seemed to be a disaster for the Wolverines relative to their usual per-
formance. Not one Michigan gymnast managed to post a score higher than a 9.775
- nothing compared to the slew of 9.800's they are used to seeing.
Before the beam, Michigan managed to stay in the meet through the first two
rotations. But it faced some tight judging, and small deductions started to add up
early on.
"We were not sticking dismounts," Plocki said. "The judges were being tight.
And we went over to vaulting, and we started to lose a little confidence, and ...
we're taking steps on the landings - just things we know we can't do. Then it just
starts to snowball."
Sophomore Lindsey Bruck and junior Jenny Deiley tied for third in the
all-around, but Plocki was hesitant to point to any individual performances
in this meet.
"We win as a team, and we lose as a team," Plocki said.
Overall, though disappointed with the loss, Plocki felt that it would serve as a
reminder to her team that its usual level of competition doesn't come easy.
"I think the positive we take out of this weekend is that they realize that per-
forming at the level that we've been performing at doesn't just happen on it's
own, that they have to be focused, that they have to be on top of their game and
be committed to bringing the level of enthusiasm and energy that they need for
competition," Plocki said. "And I don't think that we had that (Friday) night. And

FOREST CASEY/Daily
Sophomore Lindsey Bruck placed third in the all-around against No. 8 Georgia.
we, hopefully, learned a good lesson."
Senior Elise Ray - who won the only event title for Michigan with a 9.900 on
bars - agreed that this loss could be good for the Wolverines.
"I think everybody was a little disappointed in how things went," Ray said.
"But, on the flipside, I think we kind of needed a meet like this to kind of keep
ourselves in check. So, in a way, I think we kind of needed something like this to
kind of open our eyes."
The Wolverines have just one more meet, Friday at Michigan State to regain
their confidence, before the Big Ten Tournament and employ any lessons they may
have learned from Friday's loss.

MEINSTENNIS

Netters get two wins o

By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
The men's tennis team faced the daunting task
of back-to-back matches on Saturday at the Varsity
Tennis Center, and it answered that challenge in
resounding fashion. The Wolverines improved their
record to 9-4 overall after winning 16 of the 18 con-
tested matches.
"Any time you have to play two matches in one
day, it's tough," Michigan coach Bruce Berque said.
"It takes a toll on the players, both physically and
mentally.
"Our guys did a great job being resilient and
played good tennis all day."
In the nightcap against Indiana State, No. 43
Michigan jumped out to a 4-0 lead, clinching
their second win of the day. But the real fire-
works were just getting started, and freshman
Matko Maravic stole the show. Maravic - who

James Low, bumped his career record to 2-0 at No. 1
singles and earned praise from Berque.
"Matko loves to play and loves to compete," he
said. "He's moved up from (No. 4 singles) to (No. 1
singles) over the year, and he hasn't missed a step. He
just loves to compete and isn't afraid of anything."
The rest of the Wolverines didn't show much fear
either.
Michigan won all nine matches in the morning,
sweeping Butler (7-11) by a 7-0 margin. It only
dropped one set en route to the victory, conserv-
ing energy for the conclusion of the doubleheader
against Indiana State.
Senior Josef Fischer stepped into the lineup at
No. 6 singles and dominated Mike Weaver, mak-
ing quick work of him with a 6-2, 6-1 trouncing.
Senior Brian Hung, sophomore Steve Peretz and
senior David Anving also won in straight sets at
Nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively. Hung won against
Parker Ross, 6-4, 6-2; Anving defeated Eric Bre-

n Saturday
Michigan jumped out quickly against the Syca-
mores (4-5), proving the Wolverines were indeed
fresh. After grabbing the doubles point, rested
sophomore Ryan Heller - who sat out singles in
the morning because of a sore shoulder - and
Heller dominated ISU's No. 4 singles player Chris-
topher Eldon, 6-1, 6-3. Rubin followed Heller's lead
and he hardly broke a sweat in a 6-2, 6-3 defeat of
Rishi Behl at No. 2. Peretz beat Aaron Phillips, 6-
4, 6-2, at No. 5 singles to give Michigan its fourth
and decisive point, clinching a sweep of the dual-
match festivities.
Maravic's match gave Michigan its fifth win,
and although a clean sweep of the day couldn't
be achieved by Hung and Anving - Hung lost at
No. 3 singles to Simon Thornewill, 7-6(5), 3-6,
1-0(7), and Anving lost at No. 6 to Kevin Doh, 7-
6(7), 7-6(6) - it was a day filled with positives
for Michigan.
The Wolverines won all six of their doubles

-?"- mhwvm

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