Page 10-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, October 23, 1991
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by Adam Miller
Daily Sports Writer
Spiker fever explodes
throughout Big Ten
by Ryan Herrington
Daily Sports Writer
If it seems as if more people are attending Big Ten volleyball matches
this season, you are correct. Attendance this season has been at near record
levels, as evidenced by last Friday's turnouts around the Big Ten.
In Wisconsin Fieldhouse, 5,522 spectators were present to witness the
Badgers defeat Michigan, 15-3, 15-13, 15-12. This marked the second largest
crowd in Big Ten history, behind the 6,089 who attended Wisconsin's home
match this season against Minnesota on October 4.
Illinois drew its first sellout ever (4,050 capacity) as the Fighting
Illini fell to No. 11-ranked Ohio State in a battle of Big Ten unbeatens. In
addition, Purdue recorded its fifth-largest crowd ever when 1,721 fans
watched the Boilermakers defeat Indiana in four games.
Wisconsin is known for large volleyball crowds. The Badgers set the
current NCAA record last season when 10,935 attended their NCAA home
playoff match against Illinois. Friday's volleyball match only started the
evening's festivities, as the Wisconsin men's basketball team followed the
match by hosting a "Midnight Madness" practice. The night was deemed a
success by Wisconsin assistant SID Diane Nordstrom.
"The volleyball team helped the basketball team and the basketball
team helped the volleyball team," Nordstrom said. "It was an exciting
While some might be frightened by such a large crowd, the Michigan
volleyball team tried to keep focused on the match.
"I don't think our team was intimidated by the crowd," first-year
setter Julie Scherer said. "I think it kind of got us pumped up to play."
MICHIGAN AMONG BIG TEN LEADERS: The Wolverines, sixth in
the Big Ten with a 4-4 record, have a number of players atop the Big Ten
statistical charts. Sophomores Fiona Davidson (.348) and Michelle
Horrigan (.318) are first and third, respectively, in hitting efficiency.
Horrigan is also second in theBig Ten in kills per game with a 4.39 average:
Tarnisha Thompson is seventh in the Big Ten with 9.12 assist per game.
When you first hear the story of
Aimee Smith's life, you'll think it's
straight out of Hollywood. And
you'll be close.
Smith, the 6-0 frosh middle-
blocker/outside hitter for the
Michigan volleyball team, does
come from southern California. But
not Los Angeles. Smith's home-
town is Escondido, a city about an
hour's drive from San Diego.
In the first grade, Ron Smith,
Aimee's father, noticed that some-
thing seemed to be "slowing her
down." That something was an
atreal defect, which was preventing
oxygenated blood from properly
circulating in her bloodstream. The
only fix? Open heart surgery.
"After she survived the surgery,
she was able to start much more
(activity)," Ron Smith said.
Andstart she did. In a way, it
was part of the family tradition.
The Smiths are a competitive bunch
- Aimee's two sisters, Melanie and
Carrie, are both top high school vol-
leyball players and her brother,
Ryan, is a local Little League base-
ball star - and Aimee credits that
as a catalyst for her success.
"Maybe (the heart surgery) was
a challenge I had to overcome," she
said. "But I come from an athletic
family, and that was definitely mo-
First it was softball. Then ten-
nis, especially with her mother,
Mollie. Smith said she wanted to be
a competitive tennis player, but
with a growth spurt that had her 5-
11 by the end of middle school, vol-
leyball came calling.
"The volleyball coach saw (my
height), and she goes, 'You're not
going to play tennis, you're going to
play volleyball.' So I went and tried
out, and I made the team," Smith
Smith spent a year on the junior
varsity to gain experience, but made
varsity easily in her sophomore year.
In her three years in the Avocado
League, she garnered three all-league
selections, two MVP awards, two
first-team California I ntersc ho-
lastic Federation Division II place-
ments, and led her team to two
"Aimee Smith was our best
player in her senior year," said Lori
Becker, coach of Escondido's varsity
Rookie Aimee Smith has starred early as the Wolverines' middle blocker.
team. "Every game was a high-
As a junior, Smith joined the
elite San Diego Volleyball Club
(SDVC), though the club is nearly
an hour drive from Escondido.
"Club volleyball is probably
where I grew the most," Smith said.
"High school was competitive, but
not really competitive."
Smith played backup middle
blocker for the SDVC through her
junior year. But as a senior, she was a
starter, and she capitalized on the
opportunity, helping the SDVC to a
junior national championship.
Dick Templeman, director of the
SDVC, remembers Smith as being
very dedicated to the team.
"Aimee Smith always did what
she was told, and always came
through for us," he said.
But dedication is a given in
California club volleyball. Accord-
ing to Templeman, "every player
from our top team goes on to play at
the collegiate level."
Which brings up the most im-
portant part of Smith's involve-
ment with the SDVC, at least as far
as Michigan is concerned. Michigan
coach Peggy Bradley-Doppes first
became acquainted with Smith
watching her play in the prestigious
Davis Cup club tournament.
"Aimee Smith caught my eye at
that tournament, and we started re-
cruiting her heavily right there,"
Smith had caught the eyes of
many schools. Even her "narrowed
down" list was impressive: Notre
Dame, West Virginia, Florida State,
Oregon, and Michigan.
But the Wolverines looked like
an early scratch. Upon meeting
Smith, Bradley-Doppes informed
her that Michigan was still scout-
ing 15 players.
"The number may sound big,"
Bradley-Doppes said, "but when you
consider it was for players at all our
positions, it really isn't."
It sounded big enough to Smith.
"I thought I was going to go to
Oregon and play in the Pac-10. I was
going to take a trip to Notre Dame
or Michigan, but I thought I would
never go that far," she said.
Bradley-Doppes must have done a
good selling job, though. Because
when she called Smith and asked her
to be a Michigan Wolverine, th
reaction was ecstatic.
"She was so excited," Ron Smith
recalled. "She started yelling and
jumping up and down."
The excitement continued when
Smith arrived in Ann Arbor. In the
early days of practice, she made a
quick impression on the Michigan
"When I first saw her in prac*
tice, I saw quality skills," Michigan
assistant Jennifer Dhanens said.
"She's a very smooth player."
In didn't take long for Smith to
turn impressions in practice into
performance on the court. She
played every point in the Wolv-
erines' first four matches. Her
consistent play quickly took her
into the top five in the Big Ten hit
ting efficiency rankings.'
And just two weeks ago, her nine
kills, three service aces, and six
block-assists helped spark Michigan
past a pesky Michigan State squad.
But her crowning moment was
being named to the All-Tournament
team after the Wolverines swept
the Michigan Volleyball Classic.
"Michigan State was my fa-
vorite match," she said. "But at the
Michigan Classic, I knew I playe"'
well, but I didn't think compared to
all the sophomores, juniors and se-
niors I'd make it. That was really
"What makes Aimee Smith spe-
cial," Bradley-Doppes explained,
"is that on the court, she's not
flashy, but she does everything
well. She's got great consistency
And while she's intense, she neve
loses her cool.
"And now we have a lot of
schools saying, 'Look at that No. 4
(Smith's number).' We like that."
Smith is also praised by
teammates as a great individual.
"She's just a nice person," agreed
sophomore middle blocker Mich-
elle Horrigan. "On the court, she's
pretty intense. But off the court
she's really nice and really har
So does this movie have a happy
ending? Since Smith has three years
of eligibility remaining, we're still
in the first reel. But the finale
should be well worth the wait.
or Big Tens
its team play with each outing,
readying itself for a higher level of
play at the Big Ten Championships
at Purdue in two weeks.
"We are excited about it (Big
Tens), psyched up. We don't play
collegiate sides often," Howard
said, in reference to the fact that the
schedule has been full of veteran
This weekend, Central MichiganW
will provide the Wolverines with
their final home competition before
the tournament, and the squad is be-
ginning to focus on the most impor-
tant aspects of play.
"We can do real well at Big
Tens," Williamson said. "We are
holding extra practices to give us a
"We seem to have all the per
sonal skills, we just need to remain
as a single cohesive unit," Howard
added. "Each of these games helps
out with our team play."
THE TOURNAMENT OF T iE YEAR
THREE ON THREE BASKETBALL
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HEN: NOV. 8,1991
COST: $20 before OCT.25
$40 after OCT.25
Send Registration and Money To:
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" Round Trip Air Fare for Two
" 7 Day use of a Rental Car in Florida
" 3 Nights accommodations
Produced by MSA Communications
Chair: Brett White
Vice-Chair: Melissa Saari
Staff: Meghan Carey, Tom Hemr
MICHIGAN STUDENT ASSEMBLY
We are your student government, the student voice. We elected representatives from
each school and deal with issues of student concern on campus. We have direct contact
with the administration and are responsible for the allocation of over $37,000 to student
organizations. We meet every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the 3rd floor of the Union. At 7:45
any student may address the assembly. We have many committees and commissions that
are always looking for student help and input. For further information or to voice a
concern, call 763-3241.
COMMITTEES & COMMISSIONS
* Budget Priorities: Registered 135 student organizations (to allow use of University resources)
during past two weeks.
* Communications: Published MSA News, organized MSA representative tables in fishbowl,
and encouraged MSA representatives to sign on to the MSA:TALKS MTS conference.
* External Relations: Reported on Congress' re-authorization of the higher education bill, which
includes proposals to issue student loans directly through universities and to make Pell Grants
entitlements rather than discretionary awards. The Michigan Collegiate Coalition Fall General
Assembly will be held at EMU November 1-3, with nine interested UM students comprising our
* Rules and Elections: Code change defining Academic Affairs commission approved; proposal
to add Environmental Commission approved; election dates of November 19 and 20 approved;
Chair Greg Morrison resigned from MSA.
* Environmental: Delegate Nena Shaw reported on Student Environmental Action Coalition
conference in Colorado.
* Health Issues: Planned and held campus-wide Alcohol Awareness activities last week.
* Academic Affairs: Will hold advice meetings on Tuesdays at 9:30.
* Minority Affairs: Advising President Duderstadt of potential candidates for vice-president of
student services; led Minorities and Alcohol workshop.
* Student Rights: Teargassing subcommission has interviewed witnesses, constructed a tentative
timeline, interviewed bar managers, filed an FOIA and will soon meet with Ann Arbor Police
Department. Noise Ordinance subcommission is looking into the increased penalties of that new
ordinance. Reported on administration's shanty policy which argues for a dramatic change in
OCTOBER 8 OCTOBER 15 MSA MINORITY AFFAIRS
MEETING SUMMARY MEETING SUMMARY COMMISSION (MAC)
* President Green met with Mary Ann * Brian Knight and Kevin Concerned with access
Swain to discuss the Union policy Killian were elected Chair
* President Green also stated that-to educational
AATU should have a board meeting and Vice Chair of Rules and
because they are currently operating Elections Committee. opportunities for
on a deficit.
* V.P. Davies met with Student Legal * Room Allocations passed Asian American,
Services and passed their budget. She after space was made to
reported that they are concerned adteNE evc lc m rcn
about the students coming to them add the NEED service Black American,
with noisy party charges. organization. Hispanic and Native
* Assembly elected Nena Shaw Chair of * Registered 47 groups to
Environmental Commission. American students.
* Request for $1500 for the purchase of a allow their use of University
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Men's rugby prepares f
by Rich Mitvalsky
As the Big Ten Championship
draws near, the Michigan men's
rugby team is completing its final
regular season games, and beginning
preparations for the tournament.
Over the weekend, the Wolverines
defeated the Midland Rugby Club,
10-3, improving the squad's record
"Our game this weekend was an
open kind of game," senior Brian
Williamson said. "We started off
the game with a try in the first pe-
riod, then came back with a penalty
kick in the second period."
Scores by Brad Martin and Jason
Kreta, complimented by Brian
Howard's conversion kicks, high-
lighted the collegiates' third match
since their separation from the
graduate players. Lee Gray and Ben
Williams also contributed to the
The collegiate side has improved