Michigan State's Kri
the IM Building.
This one hurts.
The Michigan State
Arbor last night and 1
.,thankful after downing
victory. They led 11-?
ready to waltz on to
when the roof fell in.
The Spartans took
match, and it was all b
Michigan was look
the Spartans coasted
meeting in East Lansi
the strategy worked, e
Wolverines were play
"WE WERE V
coach Ginger Mayson
sync. Joyce did a nice
The Wolverines ca
first game with strong
State started stron
13-6, but Michigan s
points before losing.
at one game each, the
BETWEEN 9 P.M. &
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The Michigan Daily, Thursday, October 30, 1986 - Page 11
ILLINI WIDEOUT SPARKS OFFENSE
Pierce deftes opponents
Doily rnoto by S "O'"LI^ Uf-r
s Durst (13) goes up in an attempt to block Wendy Raber's return in action last night at
sets down spikers
By DAN GARVEY
The Daily Illini
Special to the Daily
CHAMPAIGN - When he steps
on the football field, Illinois wide
receiver Stephen Pierce knows
exactly what his job is.
"The number one priority for a
receiver is catching the ball," Pierce
said. "You don't have to get open,
just catch the ball. If the
quarterback puts the ball in the air I
don't care if I'm around nine
defenders. My first priority is to
catch the ball."
COMING FROM Pierce this is
no idle chatter. He seems to attract
large crowds of defenders who know
that Pierce is head coach Mike
White's main receiver.
"I would throw to Pierce on every
play and he would find some way to
do it," White said after Pierce had
caught 12 passes for 177 yards in
his first two games. "He's our big
Pierce's ability to hang on to the
ball after taking hard hits makes
"YOU MIGHT as well catch the
ball," Pierce said. "You're going to
get hit anyway if you don't catch it.
So you might as well catch it."
Last year Pierce ran his patterns
in the shadows of All-American
David Williams. And although
Pierce caught 49 passes for 614
yards in 1985, it was Williams who
received the glory.
540 E. LIBERTY
Across From The Michigan Theater
"Last year it was Dave, and this
year it's me," Pierce said. "Now it's
up to me to step into Dave's shoes
and get the job done."
GETTING THE job done is
something Pierce has done all his
life, whether it was on the football
or baseball field. As a junior at
San Diego's Lincoln high school,
the same school Marcus Allen
attended, Pierce was drafted by the
Chicago White Sox as a third
baseman. His senior year he was
drafted again, this time by the
Pierce enrolled in Southwestern
Junior College in California to sort
out his priorities.
"The decision between football
and baseball was difficult," Pierce
said. "It took me two years in
junior college to decide. I really
didn't know what I wanted to do."
AFTER SOME impressive
junior college games like the South
Bay Kiwanas Bowl - 13 catches
for 263 yards - Pierce chose
"That was a good game for me,"
Pierce said. "But I didn't feel that
was my best game. My best game
even if I don't catch a pass is when
I feel I've done well. I don't have
to catch a pass in a game to feel
good about myself."
Some people will remember
Pierce as one of the players
suspended by White in the
offseason. Pierce didn't spend that
time feeling sorry for himself. He
worked out on his own and waited.
"I WAS VERY determined," he
said. "The suspension made me
strong mentally and it really helped
me out physically too. I learned
that you really can't trust anybody.
You've always got to lean on
yourself. You can't lean on
"My family was the most
influential part of my football
career," Pierce said. "They live out
in San Deigo, but they are here for
It's not easy being the number
one receiver in a passing offense.
Pierce's 36 receptions for 477
yards, an average of 13.3 yards, has
forced him to face double-coverages.
But Pierce has found ways around
it, and has provided leadership while
"Basically I'm a team player.
Whatever the coaches call for I try
to execute it and make things
e volleyball team came to Ann
eft one victory richer and very
g Michigan, 7-15, 15-11, 15-12,
NES HAD appeared close to
3 in the third game and looked
win the game and the match
21 of the next 22 points of the
ing to catch MSU napping after
to victory in the teams' first
ing earlier this month. At first
ven though coach Joyce Davis'
ing without two of their regular
ERY surprised," said MSU
. "We thought they'd be out of
job of preparing them."
ame out on fire, dominating the
serving and a total team effort,
g in the second game, leading
tormed back with five straight
Though the match was knotted
Blue seemed to be in command.
IN THE PIVOTAL third game, Michigan raced
out ahead, 7-0. With the home team leadingi1-3,
State called a time out, and brought in freshman
Maureen McLaughlin. Mayson credited her with
making the difference.
"Sometimes you need somebody to come off the
bench and spark you," said Mayson. The Spartans
then outscored Michigan 12-1ito take the game.
The fourth game started as a continuation of the
third as State went up, 9-0. The Wolverines mounted
a comeback, getting as close as 13-11, but it was too
"We let it slip by. We began playing scared," said
Michigan assistant coach Jennifer Hickman. "It was
THE WOLVERINES were disadvantaged from
the outset without starters Carla Hunter and Lisa
Vahi. Hunter is injured indefinitely. Junior setter
and co-captain Vahi was benched for the match after
missing a practice.
Also hurting the Wolverine offense was the
absence at key times of outside hitter Heather Olsen.
Hickman said she was pulled in certain situations
because she is in a "little slump." Olsen had an extra
workout after the match was over.
Davis obviously wasn't pleased with the rest of
the team, either, holding a team meeting on the court
long after play had ended.
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