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November 20, 1987 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Ilhini sweep Spikers
to clinch Big 10 title

The Michigan Daily-Friday, November 20, 1987- Page 13
Grapplers look to vie for title

The odds were against the Michi-
gan woman's volleyball team from,
the start. Going against Illinois can
do that to you. Last night, at the IM,
Building, the odds proved themselves,
right as the Wolverines were swept
in three games, 15-6, 15-5, and 15-
The Illini (26-3 overall, 16-0 in,
the Big Ten) came into the match
hoping to clinch the Big Ten title;
and disposed of the Wolverines in
quick fashion to do so. They ex-
tended their two year, consecutive,
conference win streak to 40, a Big
Ten record for any sport.
"We needed blocking and we just
did not get it," said Michigan head
coach Joyce Davis. "The balls kept
coming off our hands and we could
not keep them in play.
BEFORE THE game, Davis
was willing to predict an upset and
for the beginning moments, there
was hope. Michigan found itself tied
at five before server Chris Schwarz
put the Illini in front for good with
six consecutive points.
Illinois' intelligence and finesse
controlled the first game as the
Fighting Illini confused Michigan at
the net, often dumping the ball
lightly over Michigan's front line.
The second game was a lopsided
affair. Illinois would often swarm
the ball and send five players to a
small section of the court. Every

Michigan move was countered with
extremely quick Illini reflexes which
offset the Wolverines' well placed
hits. Despite losing, 15-5, drama
occurred when the teams traded serve
eight times without a point being
"We never got beat," said Davis.
"We were in the games. We did ev-
erything well. We really passed the
ball tonight, except for our block-
ing," said Davis.
Faced with a 2-0 game deficit,'
Michigan found itself backed into a
corner. Lisa Vahi tied the game at
five with a powerful shot that
stunned the Illini defense. Marie-Ann
Davidson, a 6-2 junior from Wil-
lowdale, Ontario, gave Michigan a
7-6 lead with a beautiful inside,
cross-court slam.
Then the Illini went to business,
sending Michigan falling quicker
than the stock market. Illinois scored
nine consecutive points to win the
Despite last night's mishap and
its 3-12 conference record, Michigan
is guaranteed a .500 season (20-17
with three games remaining). The
Wolverines have posted the second
most victories for any Michigan
team in its history. The 1979 squad
finished with 23 wins."
Tonight, the team concludes their
home season against the second
place Purdue Boilermakers.

A young, but talented Michigan
wrestling team heads into the 1987-
88 campaign with great expectations
and an important year of experience
behind them.
Six of ten starters return from last
year's squad and they are expected to
lead the Wolverines to a vast
improvement from the inspiring, but
injury-plagued, seventh place finish
of a year ago.
The Wolverines begin action this
weekend when they travel to Dayton,
Ohio for the annual Ohio Open.
Head coach Dale Bahr enters his
10th season at Michigan. He led last
year's squad to a 9-6-1 overall mark,
and a 19th place finish at the the
NCAA championships.
B A H R, the second most
successful wrestling coach in
Michigan history, hopes that the
experience gained by his core of
young wrestlers last year will be a
decisive factor in his team's attempt
to once again challenge for the Big
Ten title.
"We are still a young team with
a lot of sophomores and juniors on
the squad, and we hope they improve
upon their performances from last
season," said Bahr. "I really think
we can challenge Iowa for the Big
Ten championship. We have the key

individuals to move to the top if we
can stay healthy."
Staying healthy was often a
difficult task for the Wolverines last
year, as a number of wrestlers came
down with injuries that forced them
to miss action. The Wolverines top
wrestler, All-American John Fisher,
was bothered throughout the season
by a shoulder problem which had
required surgery the previous winter.
The team was also hurt by the
loss of freshman Mike Murdoch,

who was seriously injured in an auto
THINGS ARE looking
brighter for the Wolverines this
season, however, as a solid and
healthy lineup is ready to begin
Michigan's key returnees this
year are Fisher (134 pounds), senior
Mike Amine (167), and junior Joe
Pantaleo (158). Each qualified for
the NCAA tournament last season,
with Fisher winning a conference ti-
tle at the Big Ten tournament, and
gaining All-American honors for the
second consecutive year.
Pantaleo also finished third at the
NCAAs, while Amine finished fifth.
All three are top contenders to cap-
ture conference titles this year.
Another potential bright spot for

the Wolverines is Bob Potokar, a
235 pound sophomore coming off a
fine 86-87 season. Potokar was
picked by the Amateur Wrestling
News as the best freshman heavy-
weight in the country last year, and
coach Bahr believes he could solidify
the Wolverines' inexperienced higher
weight divisions.
Dave Dameron, William Waters,
Larry Gotcher and Zac Pease will
also be counted on heavily to con-
Challenging the Wolverine veter-
ans this season will be a crop of tal-
ented newcomers, led by former two-
time Illinois state champion, John
Sehnert, and high-school All-
Americans, Fritz Lehrke and Scott
Cubberley. Bahr feels that each could
contribute this season.

... hopes to challenge Iowa

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