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November 14, 1994 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-14

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10- The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 14, 1994

Blue volleyball continues losing ways
{: By RODERICK BEARD
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan volleyball team did
almost nothing to defy its predictability
this weekend, as it lost two more road
matches. The Wolverines (1-14 Big
Ten, 5-22 overall) extended their losing
streak to 13 matches after falling to
Iowa Friday and Minnesota Saturday.
Rallying from a two-game deficit,
the Wolverines managed to win the
next two games and force a decisive
game with the Hawkeyes. Iowa (9-6,
19-8) jumped out to early leads and
easily won the first two games, 15-3
and 15-6. Then Michigan roared back
with a 15-4 victory in game three and a
15-13 win in the fourth game. Game
Five, which featured rally scoring, went
quickly in the Hawkeyes' favor,15-10.
The Wolverines were unable to stop
the Hawkeyes' offense all night. Jill
Oelschlager tallied 25 kills and 13 digs
and setter Lisa Dockray boomed two
serviceaces,l11 kills andasizzling.714
hitting percentage to help the attack.
Saturday's match at Minnesota
promised to end along losing streak for
one team. The Golden Gophers (8-8,
16-12), who had lost five or their last
six matches, prevailed over Michigan
in three games, 15-8, 15-8, 15-9.
The Wolverines struggled offen-
sively, with a.016 hitting efficiency for
the match. Luze and Jackson, playing
in their home state, led the team in two
categories: Luze pounded nine kills
and Jackson stuffed three blocks.
Action SportsWear
Our Racket Is
Your Racket

MOLLY STEVENS/Daily
Shannon Brownlee's play wasn't enough to stop Michigan's losing streak.

RAWLS
Continued from page 1
was needed to motivate Rawls, who
comes from a family used to stepping
up to challenges.
Rawls comes from alineof Wolver-
ine wrestlers, starting with his father
Jesse Sr., an All-American and Big Ten
Champion in 1969.
His oldest son James came in 1989;
Jesse Jr. followed in 1991. Growing up
in the shadow of his father's legend in
the wrestling heartland of Harrisburg,
Penn., Rawls had a natural affinity for
the sport.
While the Rawls boys never wrestled
for their father, who was a coach and
teacher at a nearby high school, they
were influenced just by his being near.
"The first time he hit the wrestling
mat was in the fourth grade, and I knew
he was going to be a champ," Jesse Sr.
says of his son, who also wants to
become ahigh school teacher and coach.
"I could see that aggressiveness and
intensity already.
"Jesse always had that fire in him.
When he woke up in the morning you
better have his breakfast ready for him
because he was going to scream at the
top of his voice until he got what he
wanted."
Being a wrestling champion, how-
ever, was not the first thing Rawls
wanted to be. He started out playing
soccer before moving on to football,
basketball and finally wrestling.
It was choosing between the latter
two, however, that proved to be across-
roads in Rawls's life. After starring on
the basketball courts in grammar school
and excelling in wrestling, he faced the
tough choice of playing one or the other
once he got to high school.
He could either forge his own path
in a different sport or follow in the
footsteps of his father. Rawls found
help in making his decision from anon-
wrestler.
"I said 'Jesse, you're a very good
wrestler,"' his mother Donna recalls.
"'You can build yourself up and do it
yourself in wrestling and not have to
depend on other (teammates).'So that's
when we decided that wrestling was the
best for him.
"My husband wasn't pushing wres-
tling on him either. I just said 'You
know your dad was a state wrestling
champ so you can learn from the best
and move forward. You certainly have
the ability."'
No one can argue with Rawls's
choice. He compiled a 62-3 mark in his
final two years in high school including
a state title in his senior year.
And it was his senior year that re-
moved any doubts of what sort of wres-
tler Rawls would become.

In the state finals, in frontofacrowd
of nearly 7,000, Rawls found himself
behind 8-2 and on the brink of elimina-
tion. What happened next can only be
termed unbelievable.
Rawls fought with every ounce he
had left and came back to register a
remarkable 14-13 overtime victory. The
win capped off a 32-0 senior season:
Playing in the wrestling mecca of
the country against many other top na-
tional prospects made the transition to
college easy for Rawls, who went 22-
10 in his first season at Michigan.
And for Rawls, becoming a Wol-
verine was more a formality than a
tough decision.
"I bleed Maize and Blue," he says
with a look of pride on his face. "I just
love Michigan to death. This is where
I've always wanted to come. Whether it
be wrestling or any other sport I could
excel at, I knewl was going toget here."
Rawls was redshirted his second
year in order to build up strength and
better acclimate himself to Michigan's
tough academic environment.
'When (Jesse) woke up
in the morning, you
better have his
breakfast ready for him
because he was going
to scream at the top of
his voice until he got
what he wanted.'
- Jesse Rawls, Sr.
But after a year of working out and
enjoying life as acollege student, Rawls
was anything but refreshed and invigo-
rated for the 1993-94 season.
"I had great expectations for him
last year and he really started slow,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr says of
Rawls' early-season funk. "Here we
redshirted this guy thinking that we
would give him a rest and give him a
couple of years under his belt in school,
and he'd just be chomping at the bit to
get out there on the mat and really go
gung ho."
The injury provided a wake up call
forRawls, who, with the help of trainer
BrentJaco, setoutto getinshapein time
for the Big Tens.
Rawls practiced and worked to get
back into wrestling shape, and a week
before Big Tens pronounced himself
ready for action.
He went into the Big Tens amid low
expectations and he came out with a
third-place finish.
This from a guy who had not
wrestled competitively in over two
months. Not only did Rawls surpass

expectations at Big Tens, but he also
qualified for atriptonationals in Chapel
Hill, N.C.
"I was still confident ofmy abilities,
but it was my first time in the NCAA
tournament," Rawls says. "Everybody
kept saying how hard it is, and I didn't
get seeded. I ended up having to wrestle
theNo.1 seededguy inmy firstmatch."
Rawls lost 3-2 (to Les Gutches of
Oregon State) in his first match and
admitted that he was almost ready to
pack it in. He instead went out and
finished 5-2 in the tournament and sev-
enth overall to gamer All-American
honors.
"People call me an All-American,
buti don't feel like one because I only
took seventh," says Rawls. "That's good
but that's not too good. I wantto achieve
the highest goal: I want to be national
champion."
Rawls has two more seasons to reach
his goal. After his most intense and
focused summeroftraining in which he
ran, lifted weights, and taught at wres-
tling camps, he says he's ready.
Rawls is also braced for the chal-
lenges that go along with fatherhood.
After the birth of a son, Khari, in July,
he is a changed man.
"He puts things in perspective now,"
Austin says of Rawls's change since the}
birth of Khari. "Winning is important
but it's not like before where it was a
fanatical thing. He does have that atti-
tude still, but there's an added dimen-
sion.
"Part of his push to do well, to win
this year and to do well academically is
for his son. To leave something for him
and to do something that he would be
proud of.
"(The birth) definitely has changed
him."
What hasn't changed, though, is
Rawls's' intensity and refusal to lose.
And it seems only fitting that after a
summer of such hard work and new
challenges, that he has yet another hill
to climb.
In an early season practice, Rawls
injured his knee when putting up an
intense struggle with teammate Chad*
Biggert. He once again has to rehabili-
tate.
While he may miss the first match
and possibly the second, when he hits
the mats he will be armed with new
goals and heightened expectations for
this season.
He will be ready when the time
comes to win the Big Tens.
He will be ready to accept the chal-e
lenge of national title expectations.
And in the future, whether it be
taking down an opponent or changing
Khari's diapers, Rawls will be able to
handle the situation with newfound
maturity.

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