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November 01, 1996 - Image 11

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-01

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 1, 1996 - 11

Blue spikers face Wildcats, MSU

By Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
Normally, you want to have a strong
game plan prepared for a match again.t
a top-five team.
And when that top-five team is your
archrival, and the battle is for State-
Pride, what else matters?
Well, before the Michigan women's
volleyball team faces No. 5 Michigan
State at home Saturday, it must play
Northwestern at home today.
And that's no small matter.
The Wolverines (3-7 Big Ten, 8-13
overall) have spent the majority of this
week preparing for their match against
the Wildcats (0-11, 9-15).
"Our feeling is that we have got to
take care of our turf," Michigan coach
Greg Giovanazzi said. "And our turf
right now is from the middle to the bot-
tom of the Big Ten. We have got to take
care of those teams. So we are not doing
a lot of preparation for Michigan State
right now."
The match against Northwestern
could not have come at a better time for

Michigan. The Wolverines finished up
the first half of the Big Ten season with
a disappointing loss to Purdue.
"We need to re-focus and just forget
about the first-half, because there is
nothing we can do about it now,"
Michigan senior Kristen Ruschiensky
said. "We need to come together as a
team and have a better second half"
The Wolverines were 0-3 in the con-
ference the first time they played
Northwestern, but after defeating the
Wildcats, 3-0, Michigan went on to
upset No. 9 Wisconsin the next week.
After that, however, came a streak in
which Michigan lost four of five.
"(Northwestern) is an absolute must
win," Giovanazzi said. "They are win-
less, and they are playing against a team
that is struggling, so we better expect
them to come out and come after us.
"I really believe that even though it's a
team that's 0-11 in the league, if we have
a good match against them, we'll devel-
op some momentum, and hopefully we
can carry that into Saturday's match."
Michigan will need momentum

before it faces the Spartans (1 1-0, 17-4).
The Spartans have won their past 16
Big Ten matches and 30 of their past 31.
"We just have to realize that it's all in
our hands now," Ruschiensky said.
"There's nothing the coaching staff can
do. It's all what happens when the six
people chosen go out on the court."
In their first meeting with Michigan
State on Oct. 4, the Wolverines jumped
out to 1-0 lead, taking the first game 15-
10. They dropped the next three, howev-
er, 15-3, 15-6, 15-11.
"The fourth game was very close;"
Giovanazzi said. "When you have a
fourth game that is very close, you can
easily go to five. There is nothing we
would like more than to get into a fifth
game with Michigan State."
Jenna Wrobel had 20 kills for the
Spartans in their first meeting with
Michigan and is the reigning Big Ten
Player of the Week.
Saturday will be Michigan's 100th
match played in Cliff Keen Arena.
Anyone with a football ticket stub will
be admitted free.

JOE WESTRATE/Daily
Johnfladden and the rest of the Wolverines square off at Notre Dame tonight and at Michigan State tomorrow night. If
Michigan comes away with two victories this weekend, the Wolverines will break the school record of 15 consecutive wins
set during the 1990-91 season.
jrish, Spartans in the way of 'M'
icers consecutive win record

a-

MANAGEMENT TRAINEES/SALES COORDINATORS

Dty Andy Knudsen
Daily Sports Writer
; Once again, Michigan State may
"ave the chance to thwart a Michigan
milestone.
iThe Michigan hockey team has won
games in a row since its 7-3 loss at
ake Superior on Feb. 24.
A victory tonight at Notre Dame
would tie the school record of 15
-traight victories set during the 1990-
1l season. The game will be shown on
'ape-delay by PASS Sports at 10 p.m..
n The Wolverines (2-0-0 CCHA, 5-0-
0 overall) would then have a chance to
break the record at Michigan State
toniorrow night at 7 p.m.
'9But history may be stacked against
Michigan.
Ironically, the 1990-91 squad's
streak was broken by -- surprise, sur-
prise - Michigan State in a 6-2 loss at
J6e Louis Arena. Also, the last time the
intrastate rivals met in Munn Ice
Arena, the Spartans emerged victori-
"(Munn is) a tough rink to win in,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson said,
Michigan's memories of Munn
n't all bad, however. It was the site
,,of "'The Goal" by Mike Legg and the
Wolverines' 4-3 victory over
Mhnesota in last season's regional
final.
To even have a chance at setting the
new record, the Wolverines can't look
past tonight's game with the Fighting
Irish (1-1-1, 2-1-1).
"We can't take Notre Dame lightly'
*ht wing Bill Muckalt said. "They've
played us tough down there the last
two years. There should be no excuse
for us coming out flat."
Michigan leads the overall series
against Notre Dame 41-32-2, but is
hty 13-15-0 when playing at Notre
Dame.
Notre Dame is used to low-scoring
affairs. In four games this season, the
Fighting Irish have scored nine goals
Ind only given up six. None of the
ghting Irish has more than three
points.
By contrast, having played one more
-ame, seniors John Madden (five
gals, six assists) and Brendan
Morrison (two goals, nine assists) lead
l h& Wolverines with 11 points each.
Notre Dame goalie Matt Eisler has
""4 tough job of trying to stop
M higan's potentially explosive
ense. But he just might be up to the

Eisler, possibly benefiting from the
presence of volunteer-goalie coach
Darren Pang, a former NHL netminder
and current ESPN analyst,'has an
impressive .954 save percentage,
allowing only six of the 131 shots he
has faced get past him.
"We really need to get off on the
right foot against both of these teams
this weekend," Berenson said.
"They're both going to be tough at
home."
The Spartans (2-0-0, 3-2-0) will be
looking to get back at Michigan after
losing four of five meetings to the
Wolverines last season.
For anyone unfamiliar with the
intense rivalry between the two
squads, Madden gave a Cliff Notes
version.
"They hate us. We hate them," he
said. "It's more (about) bragging rights
than anything."
Berenson said the rivalry has not
changed much since he played for the
Wolvennes.
"It was a war when I played here,"
he said. "It was a war when (assistant
coach) Billy Powers played here, and
its still a war."
Michigan State lost its leading scor-
er and perennial go-to guy Anson
Carter to graduation, but so far has not
had much trouble replacing him.
Junior Sean Berens (three goals,
seven assists) leads the Spartans with

10 points, and the team has scored in
14 of 15 periods.
"I see (Michigan) State as an
improved team over last year, and
maybe a little bit because Carter is
gone," Berenson said. "They may play
more like a team this year than they
did with Carter there."
Michigan has also scored in all but
one period, averaging 5.2 goals per
game, but still is not satisfied with its
offensive output.
"We need more balance on ottense
throughout the team," Madden said.
"There are a couple guys who could
probably step it up. They know who
they are.
"We need a balanced attack from all
four lines like we had last year."
Berenson mixed up the second and
third lines in an effort to increase their
productivity.
"We need Legg to get going, and the
third line has to contribute more,;
Berenson said.
Legg was moved to left wing with
Madden and Warren Luhning on the
second line, and Greg Crozier was
moved to the third line with Matt Herr
and Sean Ritchlin.
Five games into the season, Legg
has one goal and two assists. The last
time he knocked the puck in the net
was in Michigan's opening game of the
season against Waterloo at the Ann
Arbor Ice Cube on Oct. 8.

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