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April 19, 1996 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-19

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 19, 1996- 13

Spikers take altered
lineup to nationals
Blue activates Lee for championship run

Indiana ace Ugo
to test Blue hitters

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
Volleyball is all about timing, and
lis is Michigan's time.
The men's volleyball team is com-
peting at the national championships
this weekend with one thought in mind
- to make some waves.
After defeating Michigan State in an
exhibition match last weekend, the Wol-
verines believe they are good enough to
compete with the nation's best.
The Spartans had given Michigan
National volleyball
championships
Today through Saturday,
Toledo, Ohio
trouble all year until the Wolverines
woke up.
Now, after beating Michigan State
twice in the last four weeks, the Wol-
verines are brimming with confidence.
"If you ask a lot of people around our
*rea, they don't want to play us right
now,"Michigan captain Jamie Reynolds
said.
The Wolverines have not played
against atop-ranked foe since the Michi-
gan Intercollegiate Volleyball Associa-
tion regionals three weeks ago. They
took a three-set victory from Eastern
Michigan on April 6.
Michigan dominated the game against
the Eagles, almost toying with Eastern
at times. All of the Wolverines dressed
*nd played in their final home match of
theyear, which Michigan won in straight
sets.
Toledo is hosting the national cham-
pionships Thursday through Saturday.
As with most club championships, the
team's that can afford the trip are the

ones that will compete.
The tournament will begin as most
volleyball tourneys do with pool play.
Although the Wolverines are seeded
25th, they are expecting to begin as a
No. 3 seed within their group. Four
teams from each pool advance to the
tournament round.
Reynolds sees this weekend as a
chance to show the rest of the nation
how talented this Wolverine squad is.
"We're looking to surprise a bunch
of teams," he said.
The Wolverines have not had the
same lineup all season and this week-
end should be no different.
Ernesto Rodriguez, who joined the
team in the middle of the season, has a
torn rotator cuff and may not play in the
tournament.
"(Rodriguez) is definitely a loss, but
we have enough people to fill in,"
Reynolds said.
Justin Biebel also has missed the last
couple weeks of practice and, conse-
quently, a newcomer will share playing
time with him.
Stan Lee, a Medical student who has
not played for the Wolverines all sea-
son, will set along with Biebel.
As a club team, Michigan is able to
insert anyone into its lineup who is taking
classes currently at the University.
"Stan's been our setter for the last
four years," Reynolds said. "He's prac-
ticed with us a lot but just hasn't played
(this season.)"
The team has been refining its game
to peak this weekend and Reynolds
thinks all of the problems have been
solved.
"We've worked out a lot of the in-
consistency problems," Reynolds said.
"We're looking to advance."

By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
This season, the Michigan softball
team's batting has kept it in games. This
weekend, the Wolverines' bats must con-
tinue their hot hitting against Indiana's
pitching to stay in the race for the Big Ten
title.
The Hoosierstaffis anchoredby senior
Gina Ugo, the Big Ten Pitcher of the
Week for April 8-15. Ugo pitched every
inning for Indiana last week, recording
four victories while walking only five.
Her 34 innings pitched gave her five
complete games for the week, vaulting
her into first place in the conference in
both categories.
Ugo's dominance extends to other cat-
egories as well. As the Big Ten leader in
strikeouts and earned run average, she
has established herself as a threat to any
team that faces her.
This weekend, the Wolverines will take
on that task, led by Ugo's opposite num-
ber, Sara Griffin.
While Griffin is a star pitcher in her
own right, her wizardry with the bat is
what could make the difference against
Ugo.
Michigan (13-2 Big Ten, 36-10 over-
all) is led by Griffin, who tops the Wol-
verines with 34 RBI. She is among the
league's top 10in batting average as well
as ERA - the only player able to claim
that distinction.
Theabilitytoseethingsfrom apitcher's
perspective should help her against Ugo.

Her.386 average is only good enough
for second best in Michigan's lineup,
however. Centerfielder Kellyn Tate, com-
ing off a 3-for-8 performance against
Purdue, is hitting .396 to lead the team.
The Wolverines are the second-ranked
hitting squad in the conference, which
gives them confidence when facing Ugo.
Indiana (9-3, 29-15) is well ahead of
last season's .500 Big Ten finish and
currently resides in third place in the
conference.
After a Wednesday sweep of Ohio
State, the Hoosiers are looking to con-
tinue their rise in the league. Indiana beat
the Buckeyes 4-1 in the first game and
closed them out with a 2-0 victory in the
second.
Michigan had a successful Wednesday
of its own. The Wolverines knocked off
Purdue in two games to remain 1 1/2
games behind conference-leading Min-
nesota.
In the most recent national poll, Michi-
gan climbed to its highest ranking this
season.
As the No. 8 team in the USA Today/
NCSA Coaches poll, the Wolverines are
ranked above all other Big Ten teams,
with Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana among
the top 25.
With wins over No. 6 Southwestern
Louisiana and No. 15 Iowa, the Hoosiers
are not a team to be taken lightly. Conse-
quently, the Wolverines must continue
their heavy hitting to overcome Ugo and
the Hoosiers.

Michigan pitcher Kelly Holmes will throw in one the Wolverines' three games at
Indiana this weekend. The Hoosiers will counter with their own star on the mound,
Gina Ugo, who was named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week last week.
Senior Days Giveaways
As part of the third annual Senior Days, the
University Athletic Department and Nike will co-
sponsor free giveaways at Sunday's baseball
doubleheader against Penn State. Senior Days
continues through May 4, ending in a
commencement brunch at the Michigan Union.

Berringer killed in plane crash

EAGLES
Continued from Page 12
teammates with his results.
"(Steketee) has really proved that
he could throw well after having been
off for two months," Michigan short-
stop Kelly Dransfeldt said. "He is
really going to help us in the Big Ten
(season)."
In order for the pitchers to produce,
the Wolverine sluggers must provide
runs for the hurlers. In the past two
games, Michigan's run support has
tailed away like Eastern Michigan's
win-blown double in the fifth inning.
Half of the Wolverines' eight hits
against Eastern Michigan came with
two outs. And their lone run came in
the first inning on Dransfeldt's RBI
single. Thereafter, Michigan reached
second base only twice for the rest of
the game.
The Wolverines account this lack
of runs to their passive hitting style at
the plate.
"We're not hitting the ball sharp
because we aren't aggressively going
after the pitchers," Zahn said.
"Dransfeldt hit a couple of a balls
today and Derek Besco had a good
one but other than that, it's like we're
waiting back and we're not being ag-
gressive with the bats like we have
been."
Dransfeldt and Derek Besco went a

combined I-for-8 at the plate. The
Eagles' pitchers threw breaking balIs
to the duo all day. Besco and
Dransfeldt were fooled and either
popped the ball up or grounded weakly
to the infield.
All the Wolverines had trouble get-
ting wood on the ball. And then some
just sat back in their batting stance
and didn't attack.
"We've lost a lot of aggressiveness
at the plate," Wolverine second-
baseman Mike Cervenak said."We're
taking a lot of strikes and we're not
going after guys. That's something
we have to work on heading into this
weekend's games against Penn State."
For the Wolverines to succeed
against the Nittany Lions (17-19-1
overall, 10-5 Big Ten) this weekend,
they must regain their hitting stroke
that contributed to their first-place
conference record. They must also
contain third baseman Carl Albrecht.
He leads the team with seven homers
and 24 RBI and is batting .307.
Penn State is coming off a two-
game sweep of Cornell Wednesday
that gives it I1 wins in its last 13
games. The Nittany Lions trail the
Wolverines by two games and are in
third place in the conference.
Michigan will start J.J. Putz (3-3)
and Mark Temple (6-3) tomorrow,
while Brian Steinbach (3-2) and Bryan
Besco (1-0) will take the hill on Sun-
day.

The Associated Press
RAYMOND, Neb. - Brook
Berringer, the backup quarterback who
helped Nebraska win the 1994 national
titles was killed yesterday when the small
plane he was piloting crashed in a farm
field.
Plane owner Harry Barr said the other
person in the two-seat plane was killed.
Barr identified the other victim as Toby
Lake, the brother of Berringer's girlfriend.
Barr said he has owned the plane for
about 15 years. He said Berringer, 22,
often flew the aircraft and had flown it
earlier this week.
The small plane struggledto aheight of
250 feet before crashing in a field near
this east-central Nebraska village min-
utes after takeoff from a grass airstrip.
"We could tell it was going slow," said
Jim Jeffers, who lives about a mile from
the crash site 11 miles northwest of Lin-

coin. "After takeoff, when the wing
dropped, I knew it was going to hit the
ground."
Lancaster County SheriffTerry Wagner
said the bodies were removed from the
crash site about 6:25 p.m. and were taken
to a Lincoln hospital for official identifi-
cation. The sheriff said dental records
would be used
The plane crashed about one-eighth of
a mile from the airstrip. Wagner said he
was told the two-seat aircraft took off,
then began to shake. He said the left wing
dropped as the plane attempted to turn
around and strong winds slammed the
plane into the ground, where it burst into
flames.
Berringer was 7-0 as a starter during
the 1994 season when Tommie Frazier
was sidelined with blood clots in his leg.
Berringer was expected to be selected
in this weekend's NFL draft.

STEKETEE
Continued from Page 12
Barrett to score and tie the game.
Steketee got the next batter to pop
up to short, and the fifth inning was
over - but so was Steketee's day.
TherWolverines' bullpen allowed
three runs - two courtesy of Mike
Hribernik and one with Matt Herr on
the mound - in the next three in-
nings.

Even though the game ended in a
loss, Steketee's performance was not
lost on his teammates.
"I thought (Steketee) pitched very
well," Michigan second baseman
Mike Cervenak said. "For his first
(starting) outing of the year - he
pitched very well."
Had Steketee received a little more
support from the Wolverines' offense,
he might not be receiving praise for
making his first start - but for lead-
ing the Wolverines to another win.

J

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Adult Lifestyle Program

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MARK FRIEDMAN/Daily
Eastern Michigan first baseman Greg Ryan is congratulated by teammates after
snagging the winning out in yesterday's 4-1 victory over Michigan.

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