10- Th'e Michigan Daily -Tuesday, October 29,1996
Midway through season, 'M' still looking up
Spikers not where they want to be in Big Ten standings, say they need to re-evaluate goals
By Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
How much difference can one loss
The Michigan women's volleyball
team split its matches this weekend,
beating Indiana and losing to Purdue.
The Wolverines' 3-7 Big Ten record
leaves them in eighth place halfway
through the conference season.
"I am really concerned," Michigan
coach Greg Giovanazzi said after the
Purdue loss. "All year we have said
we are a better team than this or than
that. This match shows we. really
aren't right now."
Both the Hoosiers and the
Boilermakers are - lower-division
teams, and they are teams that the
Wolverines have to beat if they want
to be an upper-division team.
Two victories would have improved
the Wolverines' Big Ten record to 4-6
and moved them into sixth place in
the standings, leaving the Wolverines
in good position to make a run at fin-
ishing in the top five.r
Instead, with 10 Big Ten matches
left, Michigan finds itself near the
bottom of the standings looking up.
"The No. I thing is to set our goals
for the second half, and have positive
goals for the second half," Giovanazzi
"But it's difficult to do going 3-7 in
the first half. That reality check right
there is going to be a tough one."
No. 6 Michigan State is the team
that Michigan and everyone else is
chasing. The Spartans ran the table in
the first half of the conference season,
winning all 10 matches.
The Wolverines won the first game
of their match against the preseason
favorite and defending champion
Spartans, before losing, 3-1, on Oct.
As a team, the Spartans lead the
Big Ten with a .314 hitting percent-
Two big reasons for the Spartans'
success are a pair of 1995 All-
Americans. Senior Val Sterk leads the
conference with a .494 hitting per-
centage and is eighth in kills-per-
game average (4.81). Senior Dana
Cooke tops the Big Ten with 20 ser-
No. 7 Penn State's 8-2 record puts
them alone in second place. The Lady
Lions' two losses, to Michigan State
and Ohio State, both went to a fifth
Junior Terri Zemaitis is fourth in
both kills per game (5.25) and blocks
per game (1.64).
Penn State swept Michigan on Oct.
19 in front of 5,043 fans, the largest
crowd to watch a Big Ten match this
Right behind Penn State is a three-
team logjam in third place. No. 11
Wisconsin, No. 15 Ohio State and
Minnesota all have identical 7-3
The Wolverines' defeat of
Wisconsin on Oct. 11 may have been
their most well-played match of the
year. The Badgers other losses were to
Penn State and Michigan State.
The day after the Wolverines beat
Wisconsin, they were swept by
Minnesota, the start of a three-match
The Gophers are the surprise team
of the season. Picked to finish eighth
in preseason polls, Minnesota has
only lost to Michigan State,
Wisconsin and Penn State.
The Gophers lead the Big Ten with
18.9 kills per game and 17.03 assists
per game. Senior Katrien DeDecker is
first in kills (190) and ranks second
with a 6,55 kills-per-game average.
She had 19 kills in the win over
Ohio State swept Michigan on Oct.
18, handing the Wolverines their 16th
straight loss in Columbus.
Junior Venessa Wouters was named
player of the week for her efforts
against Michigan (18 kills) and Penn
State (39 kills). Wouters leads the
conference with a 6.64 kill average.
The Buckeyes' three losses were to
Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan
After the three-way tie for third,
there is a dropoff to sixth-place
Illinois and Purdue, each with 4-6
Michigan lost at Illinois on the
opening weekend of Big Ten play in a
The Wolverines' loss to Purdue was
probably their most disappointing of
the year. They were playing at home
against a beatable opponent and need-
ed some momentum heading into the
second half of the conference season.
"This was a pretty significant
match," Giovanazzi said. "We came in
tied with that team, and the winner
jumps up to sixth and the loser drops
down to eighth in the conference."
Now Michigan finds itself tied with
lowa for eighth place. The Wolverines
had a 2-1 lead in their match against
the Hawkeyes on Sept. 27 before los-
ing, 3-2, dropping another very
Rounding out the standings are
I0th-place Indiana (2-8) and winless
Northwestern in 11th.
The good news for the Wolverines
is that they begin the second half of
the Big Ten against the Wildcats at
After that match, though, Michigan
plays its next five against the top five
conference teams, starting with
Michigan State on Saturday.
"I'm as concerned about our
defense as I am about our offense,"
"I'll start very simply tomorrow
and try to break down the priorities,
and then look at the personal who can
fit those priorities."
Michigan outside hitter Jeannie Szczesniak's blocking hasn't been enough to pull
the Wolverines out of an eighth-place tie in the Big Ten.
Fans' behavior embarasses*
West Virginia president
If you are running for Michigan Student Assembly,
the candidacy deadline is October 30th!
MIORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -
West Virginia University President
David Hardesty said yesterday he will
extend a formal apology to Miami for
the way Mountaineer fans and students
acted toward Miami's players and
coaches during Saturday night's game.
Miami linebackers coach Randy
Shannon suffered a bruise after being
struck by a plastic trash can hurled
from the stands after the game at sold-
out Mountaineer Field. Miami players
also said they were pelted with objects
during pre-game warmups.
Hardesty said the university would
re-evaluate policies, including one that
enables fans to re-enter games, before
Saturday's game against Syracuse.
Alcohol is not sold in the stadium but
can be obtained nearby.
"The vast majority of our students and
fans were well-behaved," Hardesty said.
"But we obviously have a minority that
was intent on behaving in a way that hurt
us all. And I'm very disappointed."
Students reportedly tried to overt*
an ambulance carrying injured
Hurricanes' running back Danyeli
Ferguson from the stadium to a nearby
But an official from the ambulance
company said yesterday the vehicle
made it to the hospital without inci-
"We did have one problem with an
ambulance coming in that had no
patients on board," said Da
Anderson, spokesperson or
Monongalia Emergency Medical
Reminder: Please turn your information in at 3909 Michigan Union by 5:00
LG11i~ Q 1