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March 09, 1994 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-09

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it

Women's Basketball
vs. Indiana
Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.
Crisler Arena

INg
k. . t

Men's Basketball
vs. Penn State
Tonight, 8 p.m.
Crisler Arena

Michigan fights to regain top spot
Penn State's first visit to Crisler has added meaning

By RACHEL BACHMAN
DAILY BASKETBALL WRITER
There was a time when the Michi-
gan basketball team would have rel-
ished its current status like a champion-
,ship ring. But after Sunday's loss to
Purdue knocked the Wolverines (12-4
Big Ten, 20-6 overall) from the Big Ten
summit, they find themselves in a fa-
Wniliar position: looking up at No. 1.
Michigan will play Penn State (5-
I1, 12-13) for the first time this sea-
son tonight, fighting for its life in the
conference title race. The 8p.m. game
will take place at Crisler Arena, an
advantage that since Sunday has taken
on added importance.
"I'm glad we've got them at our
place," coach Steve Fisher said. "I'm
concerned about the game."
According to the Big Ten stand-
ings, his concerns are not unfounded.
If Purdue beats unranked Illinois Sat-
urday, the Boilermakers are guaran-
teed at least a piece of the conference
title. Michigan, now in second place,
must win at least one of its remaining
games to share the title.
"If you would have told me before

the season started 'Would you take
tied for the lead with two games to
go?' I'd have saidjust whatIdid at the
turn (of the season): 'Pencil me in (to
finish the second half) 7-2.' Two
games ago, I didn't want that. Now,
we're back in a position where we are
still in total control of what Michigan
does," Fisher said.
However, for the Wolverines to
gain sole possession of the Big Ten
title, Purdue must lose the Illinois
contest, its last of the regular season.
To control its conference destiny,
Michigan must win tonight.
"It's probably not a really good
time," Parkhill said. "I don't know if
there is a good time for us to play
them."
The Nittany Lions' biggest threat
is junior John Amaechi. After trans-
ferring from Vanderbilt after his fresh-
man year, Amaechi took third-team
All-Big Ten Honors.
The 6-foot-10 center is 11th in Big
Ten scoring with nearly 17 points per
game and second to Wisconsin's
Rashard Griffith in blocked shots with
2.3.

Wednesday, Amaechi will take on
Michigan center Juwan Howard in
the low post.
"Juwan and Amaechi are both very
good players," Fisher said. "I think
they will have a battle royale on the
inside come Wednesday."
After Amaechi, the Nittany Li-
ons' roster drops off considerably.
Junior Greg Bartram and freshman
Phil Williams will start at forward.
Freshman Dan Earl and senior Steve
Wydman will fill the backcourt to
round out the starting five.
Earl was a third-team USA Today
All-American in high school. Coming
off the bench will be sophomore for-
wards Rahsaan Carlton and MattGaudio
and senior guard Michael Jennings.
Parkhill will need a cohesive ef-
fort from the non-Amaechi clan if his
team is to contend for a win tonight.
The Nittany Lions must display the
attributes the Penn State coach ad-
mires in the Wolverines.
"Everybody talks about their great
talent, which is certainly valid. But
the thing that really jumps out at me is
the way they play together."

.,Men's volleyball coach steps down

By MELINDA ROCO
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
For the Michigan men's volley-
ball team the time had come to make
a change.
Just prior to spring break, Pam
Griffin stepped down from her posi-
t tion as head coach to concentrate on
handling the program's administra-
tive responsibilities.
In the middle of her second season
as head coach, Griffin was dissatis-
fied with her role in the program and
felt a change needed to be made in the
best interests of the team.
"There are no hard feelings,"jun-
ior Stan Lee said. "Pam felt her skills
were better suited to help the team in
ther ways other than being the head
coach."
"Pam saw the opportunity to
change her role on the team," senior
Bill Seeley said. "She has dedicated
a lot of time into the program, serv-
ing as both head coach and adminis-
trator for almost two years. She
wanted to devote her time in an area
where her strengths would be most
productive."
Duane Storti has assumed head
coaching duties for the remainder of
the season. Storti has coached various
men's clubs around the East Coast
and is currently on sabbatical leave
from the University of Washington
where he has served as the head coach
of the women's varsity team for five
years.
Storti has spent the past year as-
sisting the Michigan women's varsity
and club volleyball programs and is
enthusiastic about coaching the men's
squad.
"Though we are in the middle of
the season, the team is starting out on
a clean slate as far as I'm concerned,"
Storti said. "The players have a lot to
learn, and I expect to see a big im-
provement within the next few
weeks."
The Wolverines agree that the team
must get back to preseason basics.
"Practices have become more tech-
nical," Lee said. "Duane has spent a
lot of time with us in developing our
individual skills and raising our play
to a higher level."
In the midst of the coaching tran-
sition, the Wolverines struggled this
ast weekend in Minneapolis. Fol-
lowing a 12-hour car ride and with
only six players traveling, Michigan
battled mental and physical fatigue as
:they fell to Minnesota in three games
on Friday night.
Michigan fared slightly better in
the Minnesota Invitational on Satur-
day, advancing to the playoffs with a
5-3 record in pool play but eventually
falling to Iowa State in the
quarterfinals.
"I'm more than satisfied with

this past weekend," Storti said.
"Having only six men was both a
problem and an answer. We just had
to play straight away. Andy played
well despite being sick, Stan ad-
justed to a different position, Justin
took control as the setter, and the
senior leadership was strong as al-
ways.
"The weekend was all positive as
far as I'm concerned," he added.

As for the remainder of the sea-
son, Storti has one general focus in
mind.
"We're working to establish a
competitive level. When we get caught
in a tense situation, we want to be able
to play loose. That's our goal."
The Wolverines will host a tri-
match against Central Michigan and
Cincinnati at the Intramural Building
Saturday at 5 p.m.

EVAN r- IE i udy
Jalen Rose and his teammates will attempt to tie Purdue for the Big Ten lead tonight against Penn State.

' lacrosse to take on

By MELANIE SCHUMAN
DAILY SPORTS WRITER
One of the crucial elements to
success in sports is to scout out the
competition and devise a strategy for
victory. Imagine what it would be like
to not only meet different teams every
match, but to not know anything about
them either.
This is often the dilemmathat men's
lacrosse coach Robert DiGiovanni must
face. Tonight, he and his squad will host
the Motor City Lacrosse Club (of De-
troit) in what should be a fast-paced,
aggressive game - at least on the part
of Wolverines.
"It's a different kind of game than
if we were playing another Big Ten
club game ... mostly by definition,"
DiGiovanni said. "It's a little more
difficult not playing the same kind of
skill level. It's more of a challenge."
Five year collegiate veteran John

Paul ('91) is one ex-Wolverine in the
lineup for Motor City. Otherwise, all
that DiGiovanni has to guide him is
an assumption that his club may be
in better shape than the city club,
made up of post-collegiate players.
"One thing we can probably count
on is we are in better physical condi-
tion," DiGiovanni said as he described
his strategy for this midweekmatchup.
He will employ afast-paced, "wear-
them-down" offense and defense.
Michigan attempted a similar plan
against the Tampa Bay Lacrosse Club
over spring break and was defeated.
Right now, the Wolverines are in
better shape than many clubs be-
cause their season starts and ends
earlier than some of their opponents.
Approaching the midpoint of the sea-
son, injuries have yet to hamper their
success. They now posses a 4-1
record and are coming off a lopsided

Motor City
victory over Northwestern, 26-4.
During the victory over North-
western, DiGiovanni played many
team members who don't normally
see first-half action, which is an indi-
cation of how much the team misses
its injured veterans.. Captain Ivan
Frank (ACL shoulder injury suffered
in Tampa scrimmage), captain Tony
DiGiovanni (knee injury), and Paul
Dreyer (torn knee cartilage) have all
missed action.
"Our bench is going to be a fac-
tor," Tony DiGiovanni said, "but we'll
take our normal depth as it is. Against
a team like Motor City, we use our
youth as an advantage."
On Cloud Nine after last
Saturday's domination over a Big Ten
rival, coach DiGiovanni hopes that,
"Michigan doesn't fall into acompla-
cency trap" when it faces perhaps a
bigger challenge tonight.

I * I - I

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