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January 26, 2009 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-26

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b The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

January 26, 2009 - 3B

Comeback effort falls short for Blue

Daily Sports Writer
routine from the end of Saturday
night's meet, the Michigan men's
gymnastics team brimmed with
confidence. The second-ranked
Wolverines seemed on the verge
of pulling off an improbable win
against No. 3 Penn State in the
famed Rec Hall.
One set and a few calculations
later, the Wolverines' smiles van-
Despite its comeback efforts in
the final two rotations, Michigan
came up just short, losing 348.90-
348.35 to the Nittany Lions.
The Wolverines were stunned,
and they weren't alone.
"I did have several Penn State
fans tell me the wrong team won
tonight," Michigan coach Kurt
Golder said. "When you get the
home crowd coming up and telling
you that in private, that's an indica-
tionthatmaybethings weren't quite
the way they should have been."
In the final two events, Michigan
grabbed for the victory with both
hands and outscored Penn State by
nearly two points. With intense and
unfaltering energy, the Wolverines
turned in a solid showing on high

bar and then appeared to put the
meet away on parallel bars.
After a missed opening routine
on the final event, Michigan got
right back on track. Senior Ryan
McCarthy whooped with glee as he
finished his set. Sophomore Chris
Cameron, who last week was named
Big Ten and NCAA Gymnast of the
Week, reacted with confidence as
he finished Michigan's last routine,
smiling and pointing happily to his
teammates on the sideline.
Meanwhile, the pressure seemed
to get to Penn State, especially on
the high bar, where its first four
competitors fell. Each fall means a
full point deduction from the total
score. Michigan had all the momen-
tum and, after Cameron's set,
thought it had the win.
But there was one routine left:
Penn State senior Casey Sandy on
the high bar. From the running
totals on the scoreboard, everyone
in the arena knew precisely what
Sandy would need to give his team
the win.
.And the judges gave it to him.
The 15.45 score bumped Penn State
into the lead.
The Wolverines refused to lay
blame on anyone but themselves for
the loss.
"There's no way we should have

lost to them," Cameron said. "We're
good enough to beat them and we
didn't perform tonight the way we
should've. ... We put it in (the judg-
es') hands. We let them win."
Golder chose sophomore Adam
Hamers as his unofficial Newt
Loken award winner for the best
performance of the night. The
meet's second competitor on pom-
mel horse, Hamers might have got-
ten overlooked in the fight to the
wire. But after being out of compe-
tition for a year and a half, Hamers
not only hit his set in his college
debut, he won the event (14.60).
Neither pommel horse, Michi-
gan's traditional nemesis, nor low-
scoring vault was the major factor
in the loss. The real shock came in
Michigan's second event, floor.
Historically one of the team's
biggest strengths, floor was where
the Wolverines lost the meet. Only
freshman Syque Caesar and Camer-
on, who won the event with a 15.10,
managed scores above 14. Where
the Wolverines should have had a
team total around 60 points, they
scored just 57.10.
"If we had hit some solid sets on
floor, which we had been hitting
all week, it wouldn't have been an
issue," senior Jamie Thompson said.
"So it comes down to, it's our fault."

Senior Ryan McCarthy, seen here practicing at the Coliseum last week, couldn't push Michigan to a win over Penn State.
Michigan is determined that when it hosts the Big Ten Champi- are," McCarthy said. "We'll give it
nothing similar will happen for onships in April. to them tonight, but we're not going
the rest of the year - especially not "We're a better team than they to give it to them at Big Tens."

'M' sweeps competition!TimhlvrQ Qh ikP off

No.16 Michigan
dominates Western
Michigan and Ball
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis team
sat down for breakfast at 7:40 a.m.
It sat down for dinner at 10:00
And in the 14 hours between
those meals, the 16th-ranked Wol-
verines feasted on two foes.
Michigan (2-0) bested both
Western Michigan (3-1) and Ball
State (1-2) 6-1 in a strenuous and
lengthy doubleheader at the Var-
sity Tennis Center. The Wolver-
ines outworked their opponents in
both contests and played their most
inspired tennis in a sweep of the
doubles matches against Ball State.
"We saw it fit to come out
focused and take care of business
so you don't find yourself playing a
long match late into the night when
you've already been here for four
hours," senior co-captain Peter
Aarts said.
Aarts' singles match was any-
thing but long as Ball State's Kevin
Hayward never broke serve. The
Michigan captain's long arms
delivered numerous aces, and his
tall frame seemingly glided across
the court to return difficult shots.
He claimed a decisive 6-0, 6-1 vie-
tory at No. 3 singles.
Sophomores Chris Madden and
Jason Jung competed in doubles


Senior Peter Aarts, here against Vanderbilt in 2008, swept his opponent in singie

and singles matches in both con-
tests and were victorious in all
four showings. Jung had a painful
grimace on his face for much of his
last match against Ball State as his
exhausted legs began to cramp.
Despite the discomfort, he cruised
to a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 1 singles.
"After the first set, it kind of
affected me a little bit because I
didn't really want to be out there,"
Jung said. "It was a long day, I
wanted to get out. My mind wasn't
quite there at times."
Michigan coach Bruce Berque
sent a trainer to stretch Jungbefore
his sixth and final set of the day.
"In football or basketball, if
someone's cramping up, you take
a timeout, you substitute, and
you bring him back out when he's

ready," Berque said. "In tennis, you
can't afford to do that. You're not
allowed to do it."
Jung was not the only Wolverine
to turn in a gutsy performance Sat-
urday. In the early contest against
Western Michigan, redshirt fresh-
man Drew Daniel appeared out-
matched after losing his first set at
No. 6 singles. But he battled back
and won the next two sets behind
an uncharacteristically vocal
crowd. Daniel took the last four
games of the final set, earning him
a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.
"It's important that he gets off
to a good start because he can help
the team a lot," Aarts said of Dan-
iel. "He's been a little up and down
the past couple months, but I think
he's got his head right now."

Wolverines squeak
past Golden Gophers
despite shaky final
Daily Sports Writer
Entering the last rotation of the
No. 19 Michigan women's gym-
nastics team's meet against Min-
nesota, the Wolverines' lead was
precarious at best.
But despite a nerve-racking
beam performance, the Wolver-
ines hung on to win by 0.65 points
at the Sports Pavilion in Minne-
apolis on Saturday.
"There is never security in a
gym meet when you are ending
on beam," aMichigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "Beam is really one of
those events when you can have a
great day and be consistent, but for
no apparent reason, when you're
going into balance beam, there is
never security."
Because of the way rotation
works in an all-around dual meet,
the visiting team usually faces
beam as its last rotation.
Ahead by two-tenths of a point
going into beam, Michigan (3-0
Big Ten, 7-2 overall) had no idea if
it would be able to secure the vic-
From page 1B
on the ice, he's girt to deal with the
impending trial of Mike Milano,
the former Michigan football play-
er charged in the Oct. 12 assault.
The preliminary hearing begins
Thursday, and if the trial continues,
Kampfer will likely have to testify.
You can't help but feel bad for
Kampfer. Twice, he's been victim-
ized in a cheap, under-handed way.
Twice, he's lain in a hospital bed
wondering what exactly happened.
And this time feels worse, if that's
The reason this on-ice attack is
going to be in the news for awhile
isn't just because it's an example
of how violent hockey can be. It's
not iust because it exemplifies the

tory. A loss would have been its
first conference defeat in almost
two years.
With six athletes competing in
each event and five counted scores,
the gymnasts had a small margin
of error, one that Michigan was
thankful for after the weekend
"I think that there are improve-
ments being made every week,"
Plocki said. "It's just that we have
to put all the pieces together in the
same competition. This is just a
team that needs to gain experience
and perform, and that will happen
as we progress through the sea-
Sophomore Kylee Botterman,
competing for the first time in all-
around competition for the Wol-
verines, helped the team to victory.
Although inexperienced, she won
both the vault and floor exercises.
In an unusual finish to the dual,
Minnesota awarded Botterman a
Most Valuable Player award.
"I was a little nervous, but not
too much," Botterman said about
competing in the all-around.
"Everyone for the most part had a
great meet, and I am just excited to
go home next weekend and com-
pete all-around in our home arena
with our own fans and the crowd
cheering us on."
But not all Michigan's gymnasts
had as much success as Botterman.
It's because it was a cowardly.
attack on a player who has already
saifferead this kindalof mrisfortun~e.
"To: he hotnest, thtat was a classless
noose on thteir part," junior captaino
Chris Summers told TheWolverine.
com. "Whether it's 'an individual
thing or a team thing, to be honest,
I think it was embarrassing.
"With the game ofhockey comes a
lot of respect for one another. These
matchups are going to get intense,
but for that team to dothat, for those
players to do that, is completely
uncalled for and unnecessary."
Even Michigan State coach Rick
Comley said the hit was cheap and
uncalled for. He said he would deal
with thesituation.
A season-ending suspension for

Two athletes fell on the beam,
meaning one of those scores was
It's rare that a team can win a
meet when it must count a fallen
score, and in the last rotation of
the meet, the Wolverines had no
chance to make up for their mis-
"It was totally ap in the air when
we had to count the fall on beam,"
Plocki said. "When the second per-
son fell, we thought we had prob-
ably lost the meet, but (Minnesota)
had their second person fall."
All the Golden Gophers had to
do to secure the win was to earn a
9.4 or better in their last floor rou-
tine, an easy feat for a collegiate
But Saturday, it was not so easy.
After her first tumbling pass,
Minnesota senior Jade Beattie
landed awkwardly and injured
herself. Unable to finish, she was
forced to quit and receive a score
of 2.0, giving the Wolverines their
third Big Ten victory of the sea-
"That's the kind of experience
we need, being in close competi-
tion like this where there is only a'
tenth or so separating the teams,"
Plocki said. "We have to thrive
under that pressure and I think
we did. We gained a lot of valu-
able experience today in this situ-
the stick-wielding Tropp is the least
Comley - or the CCHA - could
adt. Nort ornly is thoe hit ptathoetic and
enoharrassing for the Spartans, it's a
iharmfnul, personal attack on some-
one who has already had a rough
couple of months. Suspending play-
ers might not even do the situation
justice. Michigan State is already
guaranteed a losing season, so pun-
ishing an already-defeated team isn't
more than just a slap on the wrist.
After the hit, the Michigan stu-
dent section went berserk, chanting
obscenities at the Spartans bench.
Those playersdeserve worse.And
Kampfer deserved better.
- Auerbach can be reached
at naauer anich.edu.

Gamecocks no match for
Sulahian s clutch victory

Freshman breaks
tie with win in No.6
singles, 'M' slips past
South Carolina
Daily Sports Writer
Leave it to a newcomer to pull
In the No. 19 Michigan women's
tennis team's match against South
Carolina yesterday, freshman
Michelle Sulahian had the game
on the line - and she stepped up.
With the match tied 3-3 at the
Varsity Tennis Center, Sulahian
won the No.6 singles match to give
Michigan the win over the Game-
"My hold at five-all was pretty
clutch because I definitely did not
want to play a tiebreaker," Sula-
hian said. "I am definitely glad I
got the set over with."
Following the back-and-forth
nature of the previous matches,
South Carolina forced a tiebreaker
in the second set.
At five-all in the tiebreaker, the
Gamecocks made a questionable
call but Sulahian refused to be
"I thought the ball caught the
line, but I definitely was not going
to dwell on it," Sulahian said.

"Normally, I would blow up, but
with everyone watching, I stayed
Sulahian's victory came after
the Wolverines opened up dual-
match play this weekend with a
dominating performance over
Michigan overpowered the
Golden Eagles on Friday after-
noon. The Wolverines didn't drop
a set in singles play and secured
the doubles point with a decisive
8-3 victory led by the No. 3 doubles
team of senior Lindsey Howard
and Sulahian.
In less than 48 hours, the Wol-
verines were back on the court.
Ultimately, the Wolverines pulled
out the victory against the talent-
ed and underrated Gamecocks.
"I'm glad Friday's match wasn't
very competitive, because we had
more time to recover," Sulahian
Sunday's three doubles matches
went down to the wire, but the
Wolverines squeezed out the point
behind a clutch performance by
the No. 1 doubles team of senior
Chisako Sugiyama and junior
Tania Mahtani. Both exploited
South Carolina's weak second
After a Gamecocks' shot was
called wide, the match was thought
to be over and the Wolverines team
ran to the net to shake hands with
their opponents. But the Game-

cocks refused to budge, claiming
the ball had clipped the back part
of the line. After the umpire reaf-
firmed that the ball was indeed
wide, South Carolina hesitantly
approached the net and the 8-6
victory was confirmed.
The No. 2 doubles team of soph-
omores Whitney Taney and Rika
Tatsuano also helped the cause by
winning their match 8-5.
Playing at No. 1 singles, Sugi-
yama was upset in straight sets
and appeared both tired and frus-
At No. 2 singles, Tatsuano
struggled to get her first serve m
with regularity and lost in straight
sets to Ana Marija Zubori. Zubori,
whoultimately won the match in
straight sets (6-3, 6-4), attacked
Tatsuano's second serve and threw
in a bevy of trick shots that frus-
trated Tatsuano and forced her to
change her gameplan.
But it was Sulahian's perfor-
mance that clinched the win event
after her disappointing doubles
Sulahian, who had lost for the
second time that weekend in her
No. 3 doubles match with How-
ard, appeared to relish all of the
pressure and the emotions of the
"After the doubles, me and Lind-
say just wanted to get the perfor-
mance out of our head." Sulahian


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