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March 25, 1991 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-03-25

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The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday- March 25, 1991- Page 7

Women gymnasts
achieve season goal
EThird-place finish at Big Tens
brings Blue to new beginning

Seles knocks out
Sabatini, 6-3, 7-5

b Andy Stabile
Daily Sports Writer
At the onset of the season,
Michigan women's gymnastics
coach Bev Fry discused season goals
with her team. After finishing sixth
in the seven-team Big 10 champi-
inships last year, a jump to the top
bf the conference may have been op-
imrnistic, but that's exactly the goal
that was set. A top-three finish was
specified as this years target.
Friday, in Champaign, the
Wolverines achieved that goal by
finishing third at the Big 10 cham-
pionships. Michigan's 188 points
placed them behind Minnesota, 189,
Iowa, 188.25.
"A third-place Big Ten finish
was our goal this year, and we
achieved it." Michigan coach Bev
Fry said. "We have accomplished
9very one of the goals we began the
Reason with."
The Wolverines' 188-point total
set yet another school scoring
record. The performance marks the
sixth time this year the team has
Wroken its team-points record.
Michigan also set school records for
team performances on the vault, un-
even bars, and floor exercise.
Although the team had record
scores on these three events, the
event that plagued the Wolverines
all season, the balance beam, bit
them once again, keeping them out
of title contention.
ff "In comparison with how we've
dbne all season, I thought we did a
good job on all events." Fry said,
Although we took some falls on
beam, we've taken falls all year
long."
Pacing Michigan to it's highest
finish in nine years was frosh
Wendy Wilkinson. Wilkinson

shared the all-around championship
with Iowa's Lori Cole; both fin-
ished with 38.05 points.
Wilkinson's performance won her
season-best all-round scores for
both herself and the team. The all-
around victory was Michigan's first
ever, and was only the third individ-
ual event title ever won by a
Wolverine.
"I'm surprised and excited with
the all-around title." Wilkinson
said, "This caps my first year. I was
really happy with my floor routine
and with staying on the beam."
However, Wilkinson was not the
only Wolverine to grab individual
honors as junior co-captain Diane
Armento (vault) and sophomore
Debbie Geiger (floor) also joined
the all-around champ in Saturday's
individual competition.
"We beat some good teams at
this Big Ten meet - Wisconsin,
Ohio State." Fry said, "The team did
an outstanding job of maintaining
its composure in this loud gym, in
front of a boisterous crowd. I'm ex-
tremely proud of all the kids and
with the third place finish. A lot of
positive things are happening in this
program with all the scoring
records set and re-set this year; these
kids have just continued to get bet-
ter and still haven't peaked."
The team's third-place finish is
also the first step in the achieve-
ment of another goal for Fry - the
goal to build a strong tradition of
success in Michigan gymnastics.
"Our theme for 1991 was
'Building a Tradition."' Fry said.
"Football has a tradition, now
women's gymnastics is getting its
own tradition started with this
group of athletes. Michigan gym-
nastics starts right now."

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) -
Monica Seles overcame six set
points in one game, then squandered
four match points before beating
Gabriela Sabatini in the women's
final of the International Players
Championships Saturday.
The top-ranked Seles won 6-3, 7-
5, snapping Sabatini's 15-match
winning streak.
With a 5-4 lead in the second set,
Sabatini six times was within a
point of forcing a third set. But she
made three unforced errors, and
Seles hit a service winner and two
winners from the baseline.
Seles finally held serve when
Sabatini hit a return long, then
broke at 15 for a 6-5 lead.
The tense final game went to
deuce six times. Seles made errors
on two match points, and Sabatini
hit winners on two others.
Finally, at advantage-out, Sab-
atini floated a backhand long, and
the weary Seles was the tournament
champion for the second year in a
row.
While the women's tournament

came down to a battle of the No. 2'
and 3 seeds, the men's draw has
produced plenty of upsets and
unexpected finalists. Unseeded"
David Wheaton and No. 13 Jim
Courier, former high school class--
mates and products of the same
tennis academy in Bradenton, Fla.,
will meet for the title Sunday.
"We practice together quite a
bit, play golf together, go out and
eat sometimes," Courier said. "It's
going to be fun."
By beating Sabatini, Seles im-
proved her record this year to 16-1.
The Yugoslav, who replaced Steffi
Graf at No. 1 on March 11, suffered'
her only loss March 4 to Martina
Navratilova in the final of the
Virginia Slims of Palm Springs.
Seles dominated the first set, but
then the fourth-ranked Sabatini
started coming to the net. Sabatini
took a 4-0, 40-0 lead in the second
set and appeared in control of the
match.
Then Sabatini reverted to her,
first-set form, hugging the baseline
and hitting unforced errors, and
Seles suddenly had forged a 4-4 tie.
Sabatini would win only one more-
game. Seles beat Judith Wiesner in.
last year's final. This title was
Seles' second this year; she also won
the Australian Open.

Wolverine Ben Verrall performs on the parallel bars in East Lansing
during the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics meet last weekend.

Women netters take two of three

Men's gymnastics team last,
in Big Ten championships

by Robert Siegel
Daily Sports Writer
When Penn State was trying to
decide whether or not to join the Big
[4gn last year, it evidently didn't ask
ffie Michigan men's gymnastics
tgam for advice. Because if it did,
Penn State probably would have
*stayed as far away as possible.
The Big Ten, the nation's premier
men's gymnastics conference, has
not been kind to the Michigan men's
gymnastics team recently. All too
pften this season, Michigan scored
-well, only to be beaten out by teams
that did just a little better.
Jnfortunately for the Wolverines,
Friday night's Big Ten champi-
onships at Michigan State proved to
be no different. In a microcosm of
i'eir season, Michigan finished last
out of the seven team field despite a
solid 271.8.
While Minnesota won the meet
with an impressive 281.45, what
'iWas perhaps even more telling about
'tie competitiveness of the meet was
the Illinois score. The Fighting
ilini's 277.0, a score typically good
* nough to take first, landed them in
fifth. That's competitive.
That's the Big Ten.
Michigan got off to a slow start,
rcording a disappointing 44.4 on
high bar. After a one round bye, the
team came back strong on floor ex-
,xcise with a 47.0, the highest team
floor score at the meet. Leading the
Nay was George Camacho's 9.75, the
. ,ghest individual floor score.
"At that point," coach Bob
garden said, "it looked like if we

stayed at that pace, we'd have a shot
at moving up."
But the Wolverines were unable
to create any sort of momentum go-
ing into the next event, the pommel
horse.
"That's where the bottom
dropped out," Darden said.
Michigan's 43.0 in the event ru-
ined whatever chance it had previ-
ously had of breaking into the top
half of the final standings. No
gymnast had more problems with
the event than Ruben Ceballos, who
fell off the horse three times en
route to a 7.75. Mike Mott fol-
lowed with a strong 9.4 perfor-
mance, but the damage had already
been done.
As the top five teams began to
pull away, the last three events de-
veloped into a battle between
Michigan and Wisconsin for sixth
place. The Wolverines performed
well on all three events, scoring a
46.05 on still rings, a 45.85 on vault,
and a 45.5 on parallel bars. But when
it was all over, the Badgers had
barely edged the Wolverines by
two-tenths of a point.
If another shot at their Big Ten
rivals is what the Wolverines want,
they are likely to get it. Michigan,
along with the rest of the confer-
ence, should qualify for the upcom-
ing NCAA regional competition.
The names of the ten qualifying
teams from the east are to be an-
nounced today.
"We'll be back," said Darden.

by Adam Miller
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's tennis
team went to South Bend this week-
end at a turning point in the season.
After a promising beginning, the
Wolverines had faltered into a two-
game losing streak. With the major-
ity of the Big Ten schedule upcom-
ing, a five-match skid would have
cast an ominous shadow over the
rest of the season.
Fortunately, Michigan (0-2 in
the Big Ten, 8-5 overall) showed
signs of improvement this weekend.
The Wolverines took two of their
three matches, defeating Boston
College 5-4 Friday afternoon and
trouncing Oklahoma yesterday, 7-2.
However, on Saturday the
Wolverines were simply outclassed
by the host Fighting Irish. Notre
Dame showedwhy it's the No. 2
team in the Midwest Region, as it
easily dumped Michigan 7-2.
Michigan added the Eagles to
their schedule only last week, look-
ing to get in valuable preparation
before facing the tough Irish on its
home courts. While the Wolverines
expected good competition, they
could have hardly anticipated losing
both their No. 1 and No. 2 singles
matches, but that's just what hap-
pened. Michigan's top-seeded
Christine Schmeidel fell 6-4, 6-3 to
Boston College's Pam Piorkowski,
and Stacy Berg, the Wolverine's se-
nior captain at No. 2 singles, was
almost shutout by the Eagle's
Jennifer Lane, losing 6-1, 6-0.
When Schmeidel was defeated
Saturday by Notre Dame's Tracy
Barton, 6-4, 6-3, this came as no sur-
prise. Barton is ranked 23rd in the
nation while Schmeidel is 52nd. A
surprise did come from the out-
standing play of Michigan's No. 5
player, junior Amy Malik. Not only
did Malik win her singles game in
straight sets, defeating Dick
Vitale's daughter, Terri Vitale, 6-4,

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -
Carmelo Castillo homered twice
and J.T. Bruett broke an eighth-in-
ning tie with a two-run single
Sunday as the Minnesota Twins beat
the Detroit Tigers, 8-6.
Castillo, who didn't homer in
137 at-bats last season, connected
twice off starter John Cerutti.
Scott Lusader's three-run double
gave Detroit a 6-4 lead in the sixth.
Kirby Puckett hit an RBI single in
the seventh and Nelson Liriano's
bases-loaded single off Paul Gibson
in the eighth tied the score. One out
later, Bruett hit a two-run single.
Gary Wayne (3-0) pitched one
inning for the victory and Rick
Aguilera pitched the ninth for the
save.
Castillo's two-run homer in the
second gave Minnesota the lead, but
Lloyd Moseby tied it in the fifth

with a two-run triple.
Castillo homered for a 3-2 lead
in the bottom of the inning and
Lenny Webster's RBI single made it
4-2.
Detroit came back with four runs
in the sixth off Tom Edens. Third
baseman Mike Pagliarulo booted
Dave Bergman's grounder for a run-
scoring error and Lusader's triple
put Detroit ahead.
Park Pittman of the Twins, ex-
pected to pitch at Class AAA
Portland this season, was sent home
to Ohio to rest his sore shoulder. He
will report to Portland at a later
date.

6-3, but she also teamed up with fel-
low junior Fredrika Adam to defeat
Vitale and Kristy Doran in doubles,
6-3,6-3.
In future preparations, Michigan
should spend its time trying to du-
plicate yesterday morning's effort,
when the Maize-and-Blue defeated
Oklahoma 7-2. Schmeidel led the

way for the Wolverines, breaking
out of her three-match slump with a
convincing 6-2, 6-3 victory over the
Sooners' Ellise Tsalikis.
The Wolverines return to action
in two weeks with their Big Ten
home-opener at the Huron Valley
Tennis Club, April 5th against
Purdue.

Castillo's two homers lead
Minnesota over Detroit, 8-6

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