Women’s hoops moves up to No. 15 nationally

Minnesota’s women’s basketball team is ranked No. 15 in Monday’s AP Top 25 Women’s College Basketball Poll, equaling the No. 15 position the Gophers held for four weeks during the 1980-81 season. The Gophers (19-4, 9-3 Bgi Ten) are among the nation’s top 25 for the fourth consecutive week.

Minnesota is currently in sole possession of second place in the conference standings. The Gophers host conference leader, No. 7 Purdue, on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Williams Arena.

Women’s gymnastics

Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics team took first place in the annual Best of Minnesota Meet in front of 2,778 fans in Williams Arena with a 195.550 score.

The night was full of career and season-highs for the Gophers. Sophomore Annie Laatsch tied her career-high mark on uneven bars with a 9.925, to lead Minnesota to a season-high 49.2 on bars.

Senior MaryAnne Kelley recorded a career-high 9.90 on balance beam. The Gophers finished with a 48.325 in the event.

Senior Courtney Norman earned a season-high 9.875 on vault and tied her career-high 9.90 score on floor exercise.

Kelley took top honors in the all around competition with a season-high 39.400 score.

Minnesota travels to Ames, Iowa, to go against Iowa State on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.

Men’s gymnastics

Minnesota men’s gymnasts Clay Strother and Guillermo Alvarez competed this weekend at the 2002 Winter Cup in Las Vegas, Nev. Stother, a junior, and Alvarez, a freshman, posted top 10 finishes in the all-around and floor exercise.

Strother, the 2001 NCAA Champion on the pommel horse and floor exercise, finished seventh in the all-around, posting a score of 51.850. He did not place in the event finals. Strother , is currently ranked third in the nation in the all- around with an average score of 52.437. In addition, he is ranked second in the country on the pommel horse, with an average of 9.500.

Alvarez finished eighth in the all-around with a score of 51.250. He advanced to the event finals in the floor exercise and finished fifth, posting a score of 8.050.

Men’s tennis

Wrapping up its annual Ice Volley Tournament Sunday morning, the Gophers men’s tennis team beat Boise State 6-1. In the final match of the tournament the Gophers (4-0) handed the Broncos their second straight loss of the weekend. Minnesota breezed through the weekend blanking Clemson Friday night 7-0.

In doubles competition, the Golden Gophers swept Boise State in all three matches. Minnesota’s Avery Ticer and Aleksey Zharinov won the No. 3 spot 8-4, while the No. 1 and No. 2 teams each earned victories by a tie-breaking point.

In singles, the Maroon and Gold were able to pull off five straight set victories. Minnesota’s Zharinov finished a lengthy match lasting over two hours with a loss to Boise State’s Marcus Berntson 3- 6, 6-1, 6-7(7). In the No. 2 match, Junior Thomas Haug downed Guillaume Bouvier 6-2, 6-4.

Women’s tennis

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team fell to Oklahoma, 5-2 last Sunday, dropping the Gophers record to 3-4 on the season. Minnesota defeated Oral Roberts last Saturday, 4-0.

The Gophers started the competition strong when Michaela Havelkova and Valerie Vladea won the No. 1 doubles, 9-6. However, Minnesota would drop the next two doubles, as the Sooners gained the doubles point.

Havelkova won at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-0, while senior co-captain Andrea Rose won the No. 3 singles. Rose won the first set, 6-3, dropped the second, 4-6, but came back to win the third, 6-4.

Kelly Perry and Brandi Watts took both of their singles competition to three sets, but were defeated by Oklahoma’s Bethany Griffin and Jessica Braver at the No. 5 and No. 6 singles.

Soccer names recruits

Minnesota soccer coach Barbara Wickstrand announced the new recruits for the fall 2002 season.

Karli Kopeitz, a Champlin Park, Minn., native is an all state perfomer who will compete for a starting position in goal. Katlin Ruff of Enfield, Conn., will play the forward position. Annie Carr, a Greenbush, N.Y., native will be used at the midfield position. Amanda Edwards, a Getzville, N.Y., native will be looked to for depth and strength as a forward for the Gophers. Kayla Lightfoot, a Grand Rapids, Minn., native will compete for playing time as forward and midfielder during the 2002 fall campaign Becky Dellaria, a Stillwater, Minn., native is a natural finisher both right and left and will make an immediate impact as a forward.

Softball wins tourney

For the second consecutive season, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have won the IronKids Softball Classic. Tournament Most Valuable Player Piper Marten threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits, as Minnesota downed the UMKC 2-0 Sunday afternoon.

Gophers Erin Wallace, Jordanne Nygren, Tammi Hays, Stephanie Sward and Anne Thul joined Marten on the all-tournament team.

Minnesota upped its record to 6-1 on the season, while Marten moved to 5-0 with her second complete game shutout of the year.

In the semifinal, the Gophers downed Northern Illinois 7-1, while Nygren drove in five runs and hit her first home run of the season.