vs. Notre Dame for all the marbles
Sept. 16, 3:30 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
-Monday, September 11, 1989--
Spikers avenge defeat to CMU
by Steven Cohen
Daily Sports Writer
Friday night, the women's
volleyball team inaugurated a new
playing complex with a stirring 15-
5, 15-13, 9-15, 15-5 victory over
Mid-American Conference member
The match, which followed the
official opening of Varsity Arena, a
$750,000 facility at the site of the
old Matt Mann Pool, marked fourth-
In addition, Michigan featured a
consistent nucleus of six players, a
contrast to last year when several
different lineups were used.
Marshall, Collins, Julia Sturm,
Carla Hunter, Kristen Lang, and
Kim Clover started and played most
of the match together. The group
played together last year, and
practiced together all winter and this
fall in pre-season practice.
"We've gotten to know each other
a lot better as players and as people,"
Collins said. "We trust each other as
The addition of the new facility,
which Davis calls the "best we'll
play in this season," as well as the
arrival of seven new players, has
apparently made a big difference in
the attitude of the team.
"Because of the arena we can just
focus on volleyball, instead of what
we're going to bring to practice and
other things," Collins said. "Now
we have our laundry done regularly.
We get ready for practice together
instead of getting dressed at home
We're more of a team. "
"I think the freshmen help,
they're good individuals, positive, "
Collins continued. "We actually had
a bench who was screaming the
whole match instead of saying, 'I
wonder if we're going to win this
Paulson has a response to those
who point out that last year, things
looked good for Michigan when they
jumped out to a 10-3 start.
"Last year three people quit, our
starting setter sprained her ankle, and
Autumn was sick with mono. There
were a lot of injuries and a lot of
people missing That's not going to
happen this year."
Collins summed up the
importance of the victory: "After the
match Carla (Hunter) came up to me
and said, 'That was my first victory
over Central Michigan and it feels
great.' They're not a top 20 team but
they're a strong team, a strong
program. It was a real confidence
builder. I know we're going to turn a
lot of heads in the Big Ten this
year Michigan coach Joyce Davis'
first victory over Central Michigan.
Last year the Chippewas defeated
Michigan 15-1, 15-7, and 15-5.
Central Michigan had an imposing
23-2-2 overall record against the
Wolverines entering the contest.
Davis had expected her team to
come out inspired, as last year she
felt that Michigan had been
"humiliated" by their poor play at
Mt. Pleasant. The Wolverines'
spirited play was apparent from the
"I thought Michigan played real
well," Central Michigan first year
coach Kerrie Robbie said. "Our team
had opening game jitters. I think
that was pretty obvious from the
start. We weren't real smooth and
Michigan took advantage."
"We got off to a good.start and
then we slowed down," Davis said.
"The kids were really hyped. It took
us a while to get settled down. It
was a great match set by Autumn
Collins, she put good balls up there.
She went to hitters that were hot. "
Davis also singled out teary
captain, Karen Marshall, last
season's leader in nearly all offensive
categories. "She played steady and
kept serving the ball in the court
when we needed it."
The match also marked the first
match appearance for sophomore
Jennifer Paulson. In the preseason
last year, Paulson blew out her knee,
tearing two tendons and some
cartilage. In the year that followed,
Paulson spent three hours a da'
rehabilitating the knee..
Davis expressed confidence in the
middle hitter by inserting her into
the match when the score was 13-12
Michigan, in the second game. w
"Paulson served tough and she
dug real well," Davis said. "You'r
talking about a kid who hasn't been
in a competitive match in over 1
year. She has a real measure of
dedication and intensity.
The win gives hope to better
things to come for Michigan, which
last season suffered through a 1-17
conference record and 11-23 overall
New home...new results
- for 'M' volleyball team
Senior captain Karen Marshall is one of six returning players, forming
the nucleus for the '89 Wolverines in their quest to improve on lastr
year's 1-17 Big Ten record.
CLASSIFIED ADS1 Call 764-0557
"We have a home."
Volleyball coach Joyce Davis beamed as she swung her head around and
admired the new Varsity Arena, Friday, after her Wolverines beat Central
Michigan in four games. A home.
It is this home that should turn the beleaguered volleyball program into a
winner. Or so they say.
A winner because of the new facilities.
A winner due to the enhanced recruiting opportunities it will bring.
A winner because of the new attitude it has brought to the team.
But right now, although the mortar and bricks are in place over the old
Matt Mann Pool, these goals are just far away beacons.
They still lack proof.
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Last year the Wolverines played eighteen Big Ten games - and only
once did they walk off the court a winner. With the Big Ten opener fast
approaching - and the tougher competition which comes with it - the
possibility of another miserable season is still very feasible.
Right now, Davis pleads for time for the new arena, which she says is by
far the best volleyball facility in the conference, to bring about the change.
"Kids have never had their own locker rooms before. Now they do."
Davis said. "That is a tremendous change and brings such a better attitude.. .
"Our goal is to finish as far out of last place as possible."
Davis went on to say that right now that is first place - and when that
becomes mathematically unfeasible, then the goal will be lowered.
Davis is looking from the bottom up, instead of top down, 'a
questionable way to set goals. Don't expect a Big Ten title this season, but
there should be significant improvement.
The volleyball program, as well as all women's athletics programs have
always been patronizingly placed on the bottom of the higher head's agenda
in the athletic department. They were patted on the back, wished good luck,
and then forgotten about.
But that attitude has changed. Not only is there the new Varsity Arena,
which is a coup for the athletic teams that will utilize it, but finally, undgr
Athletic Director Bo Schembechler and his right-hand man Jack Weidenbach,
the women's program's are starting to see the support they deserve.
This year for the first time, Davis has the maximum number of
scholarships allowed by the NCAA - 12. Last year she had ten. This
obviously was a disadvantage.
And that is a fine excuse for losing. But now, every player on her team is
a player she has recruited. She has the maximum number of scholarships.
And she has an intimate arena to showcase her team.
Davis has served as an assistant volleyball coach before but her only hea'd
coaching experience before coming to Michigan was at Carleton College in
Minnesota for the women's track team. That's the track team. Yet she
landed the Michigan job, and has produced only seven Big Ten wins in thre
This year, her fourth year, is a watershed year - a year which
improvement must be seen in the program's direction or maybe a new
"I don't feel any pressure having to win any games right away," Davis
said. "Our goal is to make progress. I have a lot of support behind me."
The team is scrappier than last season and the "new attitude" was
apparent. They did win the fourth game decisively, after being hammered in
the previous game.
Rome wasn't built in a day. That's true.
Neither was the Varsity Arena. It stands there today - as everyone will
tell you, as the hope of a promising future for the volleyball program. 3
"We have a home," Davis said, on possibly her proudest and happiest
moment as Wolverine coach.
That home is here. It's the hope. But along with the locker rooms,
laundry facilities, and volleyball nets, it needs to first be filled with
nroi~rss. and then, many victories.
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