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November 08, 1991 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-11-08

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Page 14-The Michigan Daily- Friday, November 8, 1991

*FU LL CO

URT.

IPRIESS
Early schedule will
test young alent
by Albert Lin
Daily Basketball Writer
Expectations are high for this year's Wolverine basketball squad. Fans
- and the coaches - want to know whether or not the five highly-touted
Michigan frosh can make an immediate impact at the collegiate level.
Most experts expect the Wolverines to be back in the college basket-
ball limelight. Michigan has'been ranked in the top 25 in most preseason
polls, and in the top 20 in several others. Wolverine coach Steve Fisher
does not yet know whether his precocious rookies will be able to take the
team to that level immediately. In fact, he's not even sure how many will
be starters.
"I'll be honest with you," Fisher said during the team's annual Press
Day. "We are in our 18th or 19th practice, and we have not even come close
to putting together a group that you could say, 'Yeah, he's looking to see
if they can start.' We've done none of that; we've mixed everything up
throughout each practice with the 16 kids."
The Wolverines face a challenging pre-Big Ten schedule. Unlike the
Bill Frieder cupcake days, this year's slate includes a game against the de-
fending NCAA champions, as well as several tough matchups away from
home. Fisher admitted, "We've got a schedule that I think is pretty good,
maybe better than we need to have this early. ... We're going to do things
against many of those teams that we're going to have to do against Big Ten
competition to be successful."
During these games, Fisher will experiment with different combina-
tions of players, trying to find that perfect rotation.
The regular season opens with consecutive road games, Dec. 2 at De-
troit and Dec. 7 at Cleveland State, which is coached by former Michigan
assistant Mike Boyd. Fisher knows these two games will provide tests
for his young squad.
"Everybody thinks we're automatically going to win," he said, "but
when you go on the road, lots of things can happen."
The Duke Blue Devils bring a national championship squad that lost
only Billy McCaffrey and Greg Koubek - and added premier high school
big men Cherokee Parks and Eric Meek - to Ann Arbor Dec. 14. The
Wolverines hung tough in last year's contest at Durham, N.C., so with all
the new talent, it would seem this season's game would be much closer.
Not necessarily, Fisher said.
"We're hopeful we can keep you (the media) all there until the end of
the game," he said. Avoiding a blowout, maybe even winning the game,
would be a big boost to the team's confidence.
The pre-conference schedule concludes at the Red Lobster Classic in
Orlando, Fla. In the first round, Michigan faces a Brigham Young squad
depleted by Mormon missions. Fisher hopes to meet Florida in the finals.
By that time, Fisher wants to have a rotation set. He said that he would
like to have a definite starting five, but acknowledged that that will
probably not happen because of the team's inexperience.
"We probably will have a multitude of starting lineups," he said.
"We'll try to base it on merit. Practice will dictate the first game or so,
and then go from there with practice and game performance."
When conference play begins Jan. 9, everyone should have a clearer pic-
ture of how far this edition of the Wolverines can go.
.1-

Stickers close 1991
campaign at MSU
by Andy Stabile

Daily Sports Writer
These games are for pride.
Going into the last weekend of
the season, Michigan field hockey
coach Patti Smith knows pride
might be the only motivating factor
left in her team. The Wolverines (2-
6 in the Midwest Collegiate Field
Hockey Conference, 7-10 overall)
travel to East Lansing where they
face Michigan State (0-7-1, 5-12-1)
today and Northern Illinois (1-6-1,
5-10-1) tomorrow.
Michigan finishes its season
against the only conference teams it
has been able to notch victories. Al-
though no chance of post-season
play exists for the Wolverines,
Smith sees the last two games as
important.
"It's how you want to end your
season," Smith said. "It's big for us
to end our season on a positive note
and to put us up around the .500
mark where we should be.

"It's also important to beat ;a
team twice. Northern Illinois has
been a tough team, and if we beat
Michigan State twice, that would
really mean something for this p6-
gram."
Michigan is trying to end a three-
game losing streak, including an
overtime loss to Ohio State Sunday.
"It was a great game," Smith
said. "The team took the loss ha.L
The game might have been in our
hands, but we couldn't finish it. But
that's the nature of sports."
Although this weekend marks
the end of the season, Smith wll
keep the Wolverines busy.
"The ball keeps rolling arouid
here," she said. "We will work on
things over the winter. We have a
good group of recruits to draw
from. We should be tougher next
year. I think we should have a real
exciting season next fall."

Kalli Hose and the Michigan field hockey team will try and stop their
three-game losing streak this weekend in East Lansing. The Wolverines
will play Michigan State today and Northern Illinois tomorrow to close
out their season.

Blue can learn from,

by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer
"Challenging' is a mild way to describe the
season ahead for the 1991 University of Michi-
gan field hockey team."
As the opening statement of this year's media
guide predicted, the Wolverines fought an uphill
battle all year long en route to what has been a
disappointing season. .
The Wolverines opened the season ranked in
the nation's top 20 teams. However, September
losses to powerhouses such as New Hampshire,
Duke, Virginia, and Northwestern - all on the
road - dropped Michigan from the nation's
elite.
While the Wolverines came out of the first
month with a .500 record, their victories came
against schools that they were expected to beat,
such as Springfield College and Central Michi-
gan. They were never able to pull off the upset
necessary to give them a boost of confidence go-
ing into the conference season.
Perhaps Michigan coach Patti Smith and the
schedulemakers felt the team was strong enough
to compete with some of the best teams in the
country, but one must question whether playing
all of the big games away from Oosterbaan Field
House was the soundest of strategies.
However, Michigan did not have an excep-
tionally poor year in the Midwest Collegiate
Field Hockey Conference (2-6 going into this

disappointing
weekend's matches against Michigan State and our team. It's going to
Northern Illinois). Four of the six losses were works hard this wintce
to Iowa and Northwestern, against whom the Apart from the
Wolverines have never won a game. Wolverines' most glar
The most stinging pair of losses were to Ohio their futility in putting
State. Both games were decided by one goal, 2-1 Wolverines have mana
in Columbus and 3-2 in overtime in Ann Arbor goal in only four of t
last weekend. the defense and goa
"The first game against Ohio State was quite well, Michigan'
(where we started to go downhill)," sophomore or go-ahead goals ha
Kalli Hose said. "That was a team that we team members all seas
should have beat, and we didn't. We were all "Not just singlin
pretty upset after that match." though they should h-
Next year, the Wolverines' matches with the more, but the (offens
Buckeyes will be equally essential to a success- just wasn't there," Ho
ful season. The Wolverines should bounce back everyone motivating e
with a strong senior class, featuring high-scor- eral needs to be more c
ing forwards Katie Thomas and Katie Vignevic, Despite the disapf
as well as a junior class that includes Hose and Michigan field hockey
her twin sister Lelli, and standout goalkeeper to grow and improve
Nicole Hoover. However, the Buckeyes will re- season. While the We
turn goalie Sue Wilson, one of the best in the from the caliber of t
conference, and Danielle Dayton, who burned the was able to come awl
Wolverines for four goals in this year's games. greater understandin
What could be the difference is the develop- grams' consistent leve
ment of the Wolverines' underclass players. and maturity separate
"Jenny (Ridgley) is one of our freshmen, and "When we went ag
she's really fast," Hose said. "I think they're go- tion, we saw that u
ing to work her into the starting lineup (to re- level," Hose said. "W
place Kristin Shaiper). We have a lot of people teams are made of.'
with a lot of potential; we have a lot of depth on played and what work

season*
be a matter of seeing who
er."
difficult schedule, the
ring shortcoming has been
g points on the board. The
ged to score more than owe
heir fifteen games. White
ilkeeping have performed
s inability to score tyi ,
as frustrated coaches and
on.
g out the forwards, hj-
ave put the ball in the ret
ive) intensity of everyone
use said. "It has to do with
ach other. The team in gen-
offensive-minded." .
pointments of the season,
y as a whole has been alle
through the course of tite
olverines' record suffernd
heir opponents, the team
ay from the games with a
g of how dominant pd-
l of play, team confidence,
them from the crowd. -
gainst such tough compet9
we're almost up to that
e got to see what the good,.
We got to see how they
ed for them."

The Mnze
"N"B63lue Deli

T HE MICHIGAN DAILY
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Water polo dives into Big Ten championships,

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by Tim Spolar
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's water polo
team travels to Northwestern for
the Big Ten championship tourna-
ment this weekend. The Wolverines
are seeded second overall, behind the
host Wildcats.
The Wolverines will play the
four other teams within their
bracket, Purdue, Iowa, MSU, and
Illinois, in a round-robin format.
The top two teams in each bracket
will play in the semifinal matches,
with the winners deciding the
championship at 7 p.m. Sunday.
In bracketing the Wolverines and
Wildcats opposite one another, the
schedulemakers have set up a con-
frontation to decide the season se-
ries between the schools. While
Northwestern has taken two of
three from Michigan, none of the
games has been decided by more than
one goal.
Although the match will be held
at Northwestern, Michigan coach
Scott Russell feels that the Wild-
cats' home-pool advantage over the

Wolverines will be minimal.
"Any time you play in your
home town, you get a certain advan-
tage," Russell said. "However, the
big thing is that Northwestern's
pool is very similar to ours. We
train in a pool that is about the same
size as Northwestern's, so we won't
have any of the adjustment prob-

lems you sometimes have when
playing away from home."
While the Wolverines are fa-
vored to waltz into the final match,
Russell remains tentative about
Michigan's chances.
"The big thing that concerns us
is that two of the teams in our
bracket are teams we have never seen

Crew expects high finish at Head of the Elk

this season, and that's Illinois and
Iowa," Russell said. "Based on them
records against other teams, we -
ticipate that we will (win). Any-
time you're playing a team for the
first time, it's somewhat scary,;bow
cause there's a little bit of an un-
known there."

by Chad Safran
After a respectable finish two weeks ago on the
East Coast, the men's and women's crew teams are
looking for a championship this Sunday at the Third
Annual Head of the Elk regatta in Elkhart, Ind.
The Head of the Elk is one of the largest and longest
fall Midwest meets at 3.8 miles. In addition to
Michigan, the race will feature 40 teams, including
Notre Dame, Michigan State, Tennessee, and the
defending champion Detroit Boat Club.
Men's varsity head coach Will Brewster feels
positive heading into this race.
"We are usually very strong in the Midwest. The
heavyweight eight is really coming together,"
Brewster said. "We are going to do real, real well."
Charley Sullivan, women's varsity head coach,
shared Brewster's outlook.

"Racing back east really helped. We pushed up the
(stroke) rating," Sullivan said. "It is what we have
been pointing at this fall and we are going after it."
Men's varsity captain.Daryl Laninga is looking for
the team to capture the overall point title as well.
"Our hopes are pretty high," Laninga said. "The
team looks pretty strong and the competition is on our
level. We are looking to place a lot of medals, but one
of the main things this weekend will be staying warm.
The emphasis is on winning, and everyone is excited
this year."
The entire crew team is traveling to Indiana this
weekend. The men's team will consist of two open
eights, one lightweight eights, two heavyweight fours
and one lightweight four. The women's team will be
racing one lightweight eights, two open fours and three
open eights.

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