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September 23, 1994 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-23

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The Mich

higan Daily -- Friday, September 23, 1994 - 13

'M' looks to tally two wins

By NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
For the Daily
The Michigan women's soccer
team plays two games this weekend,
but their biggest opponent won't be
Minnesota or Valparaiso.
It will be fatigue.
"We're playing three games in
five days, so we're going to be tired,"
Michigan coach Debbie Belkin said.
"Wejust have to play our game. We've
got a big weekend."
Despite the grind, the Wolverines
(0-2 Big Ten, 3-2-1 overall) are learn-
ing every day. They are coming off
their best offensive performance of
the season, a 4-0 thrashing of Tiffin
University. Michigan now knows
exactly what it needs to do to win -
play more aggressively in front of the
net.
"Our main point is finishing," de-
fender Carrie Povilaitis said. "We
haven't done that well this season, but
we did last game. Kim Phillips and
Betsy Axley worked great together
and put the ball in the net. If we do

that, we should do well."
The Wolverines will look to work
on their finishing when they face
Minnesota today at Elbel Field. But it
will be a challenge, because Minne-
sota is an established program.
"This will be our hardest game
yet," Michigan midfielder Debbie
Flaherty said. "They're a Big Ten
team, and we have to be ready and
have to play our game if we want to
win."
Povilaitis defined "Michigan's
game" as one in which the Wolver-
ines take charge.
"They have some speed, so we
have to play aggressive," Povilaitis
said. "We have to win the 50-50 balls,
and we have to control the balls in the
air. Offense is important, but we have
to stop them and play well defen-
sively."
The Golden Gophers (2-1-2) boast
a prolific scoring attack. Team scor-
ing leaderJenniferMcElmury anchors
Minnesota in the midfield, and for-
wards Gretchen Brandt and Jennifer

Walek swarm the net.
Although this is the first meeting
between the clubs, Minnesota coach
Sue Montagne is sure that the Wol-
verines will be tough.
"I have no idea what to expect out
of them, other than a good game,"
Montagne said. "I know Debbie
(Belkin) is going to put a good team
on the field. We've got to be ready to
play."
Valparaiso will have to be ready
to play as well when it meets Michi-
gan on Sunday, also at Elbel Field.
Valparaiso hasn't won any of their
first seven games, but has played a
difficult schedule.
"They haven't done well, but
they've been playing some of the best
teams in the country," Belkin said.
"They won't be as tough as Minne-
sota, but they'll be ready to play. Like
I said, they will be our third game in
five days, so we'll be tired."
If the Wolverines win two this
weekend, they can rest easy. They
don't play again until Sept. 30.

The Michigan women's soccer team hopes to avoid fatigue this weekend against Minnesota and

DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily
Valparaiso.

F- - - .

Spikers begin conference season at Northwestern

...

By RODERICK BEARD
Daily Sports Writer
Recovering from injuries and an
impressive 2-1 record last weekend,
the women's volleyball team prepares
to open the grueling Big Ten season
this weekend.
Michigan, coming off victories
over Kansas and host Virginia Tech,
and a loss to William & Mary at the
Comfort Inn HokieClassic, improved
its record to 4-6 for the season. The
conference season begins at North-
western tonight at 8:30 p.m. EDT and
continues Saturday at Wisconsin at 8
p.m. EDT.
"We want to be steady," coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "We'll try to be better
than we were in the VirginiaTechmatch
and improve after every match."

This weekend will mark the return
of injured veterans Aimee Smith, Suzy
O'Donnell, and Shareen Luze, who
didn't make the trip to Virginia for
last week's tournament. All three will
play tonight, but the extent of their
play is still in question. Giovanazzi
said that the three practiced yesterday
and looked good, but Kristin
Ruschiensky is still hurt and will not
make the trip.
Northwestern (9-3) should be
ready for the Wolverines. The Wild-
cats, in their first year under head
coach Margie Fitzpatrick, are riding
an eight-match winning streak, their
longest since 1987, when they won
nine in a row. During the streak,
Northwestern has won two tourna-
ment championships, including the

Rice University Tournament and the
Wildcat Fall Invitational last week-
end. At the Rice tournament, North-
western easily defeated the same
William & Mary team that Michigan
lost to last weekend.
"There is a lot of excitement when
there is a new coach because it gives
the program a lift," Giovanazzi said.
"It will be interesting to see if they
can sustain that high level of play
against Big Ten opponents.
Northwestern is a veteran team,
even though they are picked to finish
low in the Big Ten every year."
The Wildcats will be led by Alison
Krumbein and Molly Maloney.
Krumbein, who had 17 kills and 14
digs in Northwestern's victory over
Illinois-Chicago Wednesday, raised
her average to 4.22 kills per game.
Maloney added nine kills and 14 digs,
making her average 3.83 kills per
game.
The Wolverines face tough com-
petition in Wisconsin (10-2), the 25th-
ranked team in the country. The Bad-
gers began the season with 10 con-
secutive victories and three tourna-
ment championships before losing
twice last weekend to No. 4 UCLA
and No.5Fl.r;d a;t the 'Minmn T T A

Volleyball Cup in Illinois.
The two consecutive losses will
not make Wisconsin any hungrier for
a victory, though.
"You have to be hungry against
everyone in the Big Ten," Wisconsin
coach John Cook said. "All Big Ten
matches are big."
Last year, the Badgers finished
19-11 overall and reached the sec-
ond round of the NCAA tourna-
ment. In conference play, Wiscon-
sin was fifth in the Big Ten with an
11-9 record. The teams split their
two meetings last year, with the
home team winning each match.
That could spell defeat for the Wol-
verines, as the Badgers have a 12-
match winning streak at Wisconsin
Field House, dating back to last
year's victory over Michigan.
Saturday's match will feature two
1992 Olympic volleyball coaches.
Cook was an assistant with the men's
team; Giovanazzi served as first as-
sistant with the U.S. women's team.
Cook doesn't think that the coaches
play such a crucial role in the out-
come, though.
"Coach [Giovanazzi] and I aren't
out there on the court playing," Cook
said.

YOU CAN TALK THE GAME, BUT
CAN YOU COVER THE GAME?
DAILY SPORTS.
WE COVER THE GAMES.

THE SPORTING VIEWS:
ase bal is alive and
thrvn 0. in Norway
BY WILL McCAHILL
Daily Sports Writer
BEKKESTUA, Norway - Not exactly a field of dreams, but in a fall
without baseball, it's certainly better than nothing.
Excuse me, that's a fall without baseball in America.
But on a rainy, cold, windy morning in this suburb of Oslo, there's baseball.
Baseball in its purest form, the kind played by nine- and 10-year-old kids.
Little League baseball, half a world away from the home of the brave and the
first cancelled World Series since 1904.
The kids come from a rainbow coalition of countries, from countries with
great baseball traditions, like the United States and Japan, to countries where
the only time you get wood hitting a ball is when the soccer ball hits the
goalpost, like Norway.
They come from places near, like Jar or Haslum, the next towns over, and
from places far, like Drobak, a couple hours away down the fjord.
We're not talking about a couple of teams' worth of pint-sized pitchers and
catchers here, either. On this day more than 100 would-be Little Leaguers
(that's Lille Ligamedlemmers in local parlance) gathered at the British Inter-
national School of Oslo for three cold, windy hours of throwing, catching,
running and hitting.
* Organized by the Little League Association of Norway, these Saturday
free-for-ails are more like training camps than anything else. Since daylight
dissipates awfully fast as winter sets in, there's not really time to have league
competition in the fall. Spring is the time for that. Right now, it's just the
basics, a time for the kids to get some of the fundamentals down, and to get
outside and blow off some steam before the cold and dark confines them to the
gymnasium. After a couple hours of drills - grounders and fly balls hit by the
overwhelmed, outnumbered volunteer coaches - the kids are arbitrarily
divided up into teams, and then there's baseball, after a fashion, for a couple
more hours.
I overheard this exchange between a nine-year-old boy and a 21-year-old
volunteer coach:
"Do you play in the majors leagues?"
"Yeah."
"Who do you play for?"
See NORWAY, Page 15
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