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December 08, 1988 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-12-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 8, 1988 - Page 11

THE SPORTING VIEWS

Spikers bid '88
season farewell

i lTr 'Z ! f I III 17 ! f } ITTT'f!.

BY STEVEN COHEN
On Tuesday night the Michigan
women's volleyball team had its
team banquet. As one might expect
of a team which finished with a 1-17
Big Ten record, the squad had more
than food for thought. The team was
left reflective and disappointed.
Reflective about what the team
could have done and disappointed
over the frustrating season.
"We were extremely disappointed
with our record, but at the same time
we improved in every statistical
category - hitting percentage, kills,
receiving errors, and digs," Michigan
coach Joyce Davis said.
" GRADUATING senior Marie
bAnn Davidson said: "It was a
,disappointing year. I think everyone
would agree there. But in the same
sense it was also challenging -
challenging because we were in such
a bad losing streak. It was a
challenge to go to practice, to go to
games."
The turn of events that led to a
16-game losing streak was also a bit
s.prprising. The team began this
year s campaign with a 10-3 non-
conference record, and Davis hoped
tp finish somewhere in the middle of
te competitive Big Ten race.
But after that auspicious start the
bottom fell out, and the letter "W"
Wasn't to be seen in a Michigan box
, gore for seven weeks as the team
got spiked, bumped and killed. The
team lost close games, lost
blowouts, lost to non-conference
teams, and lost all but one Big Ten
contest.
First-year player Jennifer Paulson
was lost for the entire season to a
knee injury. The team also lost
Wendy Raber and Laura Melvin for
the season to personal reasons.
THE TEAM did not lose its
desire, however, and it was able to
-keep working hard despite the
increasingly inevitable losses. "I
never want to give up," said
homore Julia Sturm. "Once you
, it will only get worse. I don't
'iink any of us did."
Sturm was awarded the Maize and
Blue Award, given by the coaches in
recognition of the player who
exhibited the goals of the team.
The saving grace of the trying

It's been a frustrating
four years, but it has also
been rewarding. I would
not have left for any
reason.'
- graduating senior
Marie Ann Davidson

is one of the top three schools in the
country. Anyone in the country
would want to go there, but if you
are a woman athlete, it would be
very difficult in light of the support
the women's teams get."
But this isn't to say that the
women athletes that played
volleyball for Michigan this year
shouldn't have performed better than
they did. They had several talented
players, including Karen Marshall,
Kim Clover, Carla Hunter, Sturm,
newcomer Autumn Collins, and
graduating seniors Julie Marshall and
Davidson.
"I think we definitely should have
won at least five of the matches (we
lost)," Sturm said. "Unfortunately
someone has to lose and it was us."
THE TEAM finished as the
third best blocking team in the
conference but was unable to use its
skills in that area to win matches.
Davis attributed this to the team's
poor service return, an area that
Davis is committed to work on,
once winter practice begins on Jan.
23.
While Davis is looking toward
the future, which looks a lot brighter
(it couldn't get much worse),
particularly due to the addition of
five new recruits. Others like
Davidson will look back fondly over
their Michigan careers.
"People always asked me if I
thought about leaving," said
Davidson. "Its been a frustrating four
years but its also been very
rewarding . I wouldn't have left for
any reason.
"I am going to miss playing a
ton. Playing and the people. I would
like to see the team next year. I
think we are, I mean, they are
definitely going to do a lot better."
Davidson will also be taking
some team records along with her
memories. Davidson, who leaves
with four team records and ranks
either two, three, or four in four
other career categories, feels her
memories will last longer than her
records.
"I left with a lot of career
records," Davidson said. "I don't
think they are going to stand very
long, unfortunately."
Hopefully next year Michigan
w ili smash records as well as
opoen,

season was the Wolverines' lone Big
Ten win over Iowa. They played a
spirited match and thoroughly
outplayed the Hawkeyes, who
finished second in the conference.
MICHIGAN'S domination of
Iowa showed what the Wolverines
were capable of accomplishing.
The Wolverines lost to a few
teams that might have been expected
to provide little competition, such as
non-conference foe Central
Michigan. The fact that the
Chippewas were able to handily
defeat Michigan points to problems
other than Michigan's poor match
play.
"(The Chippewas) can compete
with us because they've had more
scholarships than we've had for the
last five, six years," said Davis,
Iowa coach Sandy Stewart agreed.
"Its difficult to build a program
where you don't have the (same level
of) support of the other programs in
the Big Ten.
"IF YOU look at Mlchiga,{"

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