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November 04, 1988 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-11-04

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 4, 1988--Page 11

Jug
Continued from Page 1
get up more for Michigan than for
any other team. He does acknow-
ledge, however that the Wolverine
defense poses a special challenge:
"They look good. They're really
quick up front."
Thompson's' mates in the
backfield should take some of the
'pressure off him. Fullback, Octavius
'Gould, a sophomore transfer from
"Florida is more than just Thomp-
son's blocker.
"Everybody's got a good back,"
Schembechler said. "Minnesota has
"two."
And at the quarterback spot,
'first-year student Scott Schaffner, out
of Moeller High in Cincinnati, has
really come on lately.
SCHAFFNER, fifth in the
conference in passing efficiency,
rallied Minnesota from a 24-7 deficit
-last week against Illinois to 20
"straight points and the lead before the
Illini came back to tie the contest
'with 51 seconds left. Schaffner threw
-two touchdown passes, including a
'91 yarder to Jason Bruce.
But despite some solid perfor-
"mances, the team is winless in the
'Big Ten, Minnesota's worst start
since 1983.
And if a chance to partially
'redeem themselves and knock off the
14th-ranked team in the country isn't
0 enough incentive, there's also the
Little Brown Jug.
THE JUG was a forgotten
Wolverine water jug left at a
'Minnesota-Michigan game in 1903.
When the Wolverines asked to get
the jug returned, the Gophers said
Ahey'd have to win it back. So now
the jug goes to the winner of the
game. It has resided in Ann Arbor for
nine of the last ten years.
The Gophers are thirsty for a
victory - and the jug. But Michigan
doesn't want to be the one to quench
their thirst.
"We'll bring the jug out," said
Schembechler earlier in the week.
"We'll talk about it...especially to
1|M..t Yowl|

SPIKERS FAIL TO HALT LOSING STREAK

Wins

elude

Blue

KAREN HANDELMAN/Doily
Michigan defenders; Erick Anderson (37), Brent White (88),
and Tripp Welbourne (3) can't stop a Wake Forest running
back as he scores a touchdown. The Wolverines hope to do
better against Minnesota and its top running back Darrell
Thompson Saturday at Michigan Stadium at 3:30.

BY STEVEN COHEN
They say thirteen is an unlucky number, but for the
Michigan women's volleyball team, it seems that the
numbers one through twelve have been equally as
hexing, as the Wolverines have dropped every conference
game.
After opening the season 10-3, the Wolverines'
record now stands at 10-16 and their Big Ten record is 0-
12. The most recent perpetuation of this trend was
Michigan's loss to Michigan State.
The first time the two schools met was September 9
at a non-conference meet, the Ball State Invitational. The
Wolverines won in four games. The next time the,
intrastate rivals faced each other was last month's contest
in Ann Arbor, with the Spartans winning in five games.
And Wednesday night, the Wolverines lost to the
Spartans in three games, 12-15, 10-15, 14-16.
"THEY REALLY prepared to play us," said
Michigan assistant coach Youde Wang. "Before they
didn't pass very well. Last night they passed unusually
well."
"Michigan has a big block. They block well and we
respect it," said Michigan State coach Ginger Mayson.
"We passed really well (to overcome it)."
The Wolverines and Michigan State share the bottom
two spots in the conference, but MSU, at least, has
managed to compile a 4-8 conference record.
"We are in a really difficult position, we are looking
for a win," added junior Karen Marshall. "Last night was
very crucial as far as our mental aspect. We've been
doing the best we can do. Hopefully it will turn around."
Michigan has clearly had a rough season. At various
times, Marie Ann Davidson, Karla Hunter, and Kristen
Lang were injured. First-year player Jennifer Paulson,
considered a valuable addition, has been out the entire
season. And most recently the Wolverines lost Wendy
Raber and Laura Melvin for the season.
"VOLLEYBALL is a very tough sport in that your
six players all have to be synchronized," said Mayson.

"When you have changes in the lineup, whether they're
good or bad, it can be difficult."
Mayson knows from experience. "In 1987 we lost23
matches in a row. We had a very young team, our most
experienced player was our junior setter and when she
went out we did not develop like we needed to. The
majority of times we pushed teams to 4 or 5 games."
Michigan's losing streak has also been marked by
some close defeats. "We lost 12 (Big Ten) matches, but
in six it was possible for us to win," said Michigan
assistant coach Youde Wang. "I mean, we really played
well. In six of them we were ahead say, 14-13, and the
other team reversed the situation."
But it would be misleading to attribute some of
Michigan's losses solely to chance or injuries. Michigan
has strengths and weaknesses like any other team. Their
strong points include a strong blocking, hitting, and
digging team.
UNFORTUNATELY, in their defeats, the
Wolverines' weaknesses have overshadowed their
strengths. Their biggest weakness appears to be ball
handling.
"During a game a blocked ball goes in any direction.
We don't have enough experience- in games we carry the
ball or mishit it. We are working on that but it takes
time," said Wang.
On-the-job training has been trying for the players.
"It's frustrating. All the hard work we have done hasn't
paid off at all. It did in the beginning," said Autumn
Collins, Michigan's first-year setter.
"Last year in high school my team lost two matches
all year. (Losing) shapes character is all I can say. It
pushes me mentally. It's so hard to come back from
matches and have people say 'Did you win?' and have to
say 'No."'
Mayson feels that a reversal is inevitable. "I know
they will (start winning). I think Joyce (Davis,
Michigan's coach) will do a good job. She has the
athletes, it just doesn't happen overnight."

the freshmen. The jug is important."
But probably not as important as
another trophy the Wolverines would
like a chance to play for - the Rose
Bowl cup.
IF MINNESOTA can pull off
the upset, that would throw a major
kink into Michigan's Rose Bowl
plans.
Will they? Can they? 2-4-2. 30-
point underdogs?
Probably not, but Bo's still
worried.
"They're a dangerous team. They
changed their defense. It seems to us

they're starting to gel and come
together now."
Minnesota lost All Big Ten
linebacker Jon Leverenz to knee
surgery but outside linebackers Mac
Stephens and Ron Goetz have picked
up the slack, both ranking among the
top ten in tackles in the conference.
So Schembechler worries about
the upset, and Thompson, the man
Schembechler worries about most,
thinks an upset possible: "(We) can
beat any other team. Whoever goes
out an executes 3:30 on Saturday
will win."

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