The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - November 4, 1996 - 3B
M' spikers lose Pride, gain confidence
Wolverines fall to No. 5 Michigan State for second time, beat Northwestern
y Kevin Kasiborski
Daily Sports Writer
Saturday night, the Michigan
women's volleyball team failed to
ain the State Pride banner that annu-
'Mly goes to the winner of the Michigan-
Michigan State series.
: But the Wolverines did regain some-
thing that may prove to be more valu-
able: their confidence.
Michigan (4-8 Big Ten, 9-14 overall)
split its matches this weekend, losing
Saturday to No. 5 Michigan State (12-0,
18-4) in three straight, 15-12, 15-6, 15-
9, after beating Northwestern (0-12, 9-
on Friday, 15-2, 15-3, 13-15, 15-4.
laying in front of a season-best
crowd of 1,534 at Cliff Keen Arena on
Saturday, Michigan battled the Spartans
tough all night, and forced them to earn
"I think that we played a very good
match tonight," Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "Our side-out offense
was very good. Linnea (Mendoza) ran
an excellent attack and kept their block
Michigan almost managed to sur-
prise the Spartans and steal the first
garie. But two questionable calls late in
the game took the momentum away
from the Wolverines.
After falling behind, 9-4, Michigan
maanaged to cut the Spartan lead to 9-6,
and appeared to have a sideout on a
spike by senior Kristen Ruschiensky.
But after a conference of the referees,
Michigan was called for a net violation
Ding the Spartans a point.
A few minutes later, with the score
12-8 and Michigan's Sarah Jackson
serving, the Wolverines seemed to have
scored their ninth point when Michigan
State was called for four hits. But one
official ruled that a Michigan blocker
had touched the ball, and after another
conference they decided to replay the
point. This time the Spartans got a side-
t on a kill by Jenna Wrobel.
The score of the second game looks
lopsided, but it was a struggle for both
teams to score points. The Wolverines
strong side-out game prevented
Michigan State from making any runs,
as the Spartans didn't score more than
two consecutive points. Most of the
points by both teams were scored one at
"When you have got a match like
this, where both teams are playing real-
ly hard, you maybe take more risks,"
Michigan State coach Chuck Erbe said.
"That can create more errors, which
limits the amount of runs you'll make
on each other."
Michigan State had 17 service errors,
many of those. on jump serves. The
jump serve didn't result in any aces, and
Michigan didn't have too many prob-
lems receiving it.
"Their jump serve might be the most
overrated part of their game,"
Giovanazzi said. "They made some big
errors that let us stay in the game. It
came down to the fact that they could
score points and we couldn't."
The third game. was a perfect exam-
ple. Michigan stayed with the Spartans
early, and even held leads of 4-1, 6-5
and 8-7. Although the Wolverines' con-
tinued to side-out well, they only man-
aged to score one more point the rest of
"We didn't make adjustments in
point-scoring opportunities, which is
why we couldn't get 15," Giovanazzi
said. "I think we sided out enough to get
15, but unfortunately you don't get
points for siding out."
Even though they struggled at times
to score points, the Wolverines steady
overall play and high intensity level are
good signs for things to come in the last
month of the season.
"This is the first step," Mendoza said.
"Hopefully next weekend when we're
away on our road trilp we can play the
exact same way. It's a good boost for
our confidence, but we have got to fol-
Wrobel and senior Val Sterk led the
Spartans with 21 kills apiece.
Michigan got 14 kills from senior
Shareen Luze, and 12 from sophomore
Luze also led the Wolverines on
Friday night when she had 18 digs and
a career-high 27 kills against
Michigan controlled the match from
Sollenberger in Paradise
often unbeatable enemy
ree years ago, Tyronee "Tiger" Bussey was one of the nation's top college
football prospects. Bussey, who was nicknamed Tiger by his parents
because he enjoyed tearing the spokes out of his crib as an infant, was a top
recruit for one primary reason.
He was good at meeting challenges - challenges that came in the form of
opposing quarterbacks and running backs.
In fact, it really didn't matter to Bussey how big these challenges were,
because as a defensive end, he almost always overcame them. As a senior at St.
Martin DePorres High School in Detroit, Bussey had 143 tackles with 17 quar-
terback sacks, six fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. For his efforts, he was a
first-team all-state selection and also received national recognition from several
When it came time to go to college, Bussey chose Colorado. And Colorado
assistant (now head) football coach Rick Neuheisel loved Bussey's work ethic
and enthusiasm from the start. Neuheisel still loves Bussey today, but for a differ-
You see, Bussey is now up against, an opponent tougher than any running back
or quarterback he's ever faced. In fact, if he wins this current battle, he'll never
again face another opponent he can't conquer.
Because Tyronee "Tiger" Bussey is suffering from cancer.
"Certainly, we were devastated by the loss to Michigan," Neuheisel said. "But
it's hard for us to wallow in self-pity when someone like Tiger is fighting what
Difficult, indeed, because cancer puts everything into perspective.
As a freshman at Colorado in March of 1994, Bussey was diagnosed with
acute nonlymphocytic leukemia, a disease that severely weakens the immune sys.
tem. The illness led to such medical emergencies as the rupturing of his appendix
and the deterioration of his colon before finally, on Nov. 3, 1994, Bussey had a
The transplant was successful, but it weakened his immune system and led to a
case of double pneumonia. As a result, Bussey lapsed into a coma for two weeks
in June 1995.
Then afterwards, he miraculously began to recover.
Through chemotherapy and energy-building exercises, Bussey gained enough
strength to join his team last December prior to its Cotton Bowl appearance.
Bussey didn't see action in the game, but it didn't matter. There was a new sea-
son - this season - to look forward to. And then it happened.
The cancer returned.
Last May, less than a week after he recorded two tackles and a sack in
Colorado's spring game, Bussey was brushing his teeth on a Friday morning.
And his gums started bleeding. Again.
To Bussey, bleeding gums had been one of leukemia's first signs over a year
before. The disease had returned.
So Bussey had to go through it all over again. All of the chemotherapy. All of
the weight loss. All of the worrying about the future.
This July, Bussey underwent his second bone-marrow transplant in under two
years, marking the beginning of another slow, painful road to recovery.
In football terminology, if a player is said to be "day-to-day" it means that he
is questionable for the next game.
For Bussey and his family, it means something completely different.
"Well, he's like a yo-yo," Bussey's mother Mildred said. "One day he's up. The
next day he's down. What helps motivate you is the day he feels better. And the
next day, you get shot down because he's worse."
Since the second bone-marrow transplant, Bussey once again has made an
exceptional recovery. He was out of intensive care less than a month after the
transplant, and has regained enough strength to leave the hospital and return to
his Detroit home.
His dream of returning to the football field to face challenges other than can-
cer still remains.
"I'm doing pretty good these days," Bussey said. "They said I'd be back on the
field by the beginning of spring ball. I'm pretty proud of that."
He should be proud. Because football or no football, Bussey has already
defeated an opponent much tougher than the strongest player in the world. And
Michigan's Shareen Luze is trying to block this ball, as junior Sarah Jackson looks
on, but this weekend Luze was offensive-minded. She recorded a career-high 27
kills against Northwestern and added 14 kills against Michigan State.
start to finish, and even though
Northwestern came back to take the third
game, the outcome was never in doubt.
"I think its really good that we came
out as strong as we did," Luze said.
"That Purdue loss was really tough to
swallow, and to come out and dominate
the three games that we did is really
what we needed to start the second half
of the season, so that we can reverse our
Both Luze and Giovanazzi credited
Mendoza for the ease of the victory.
"Linnea did a great job," Luze said.
"It's hard not to have a great game when
she sets like that. She really opened it
up for everybody. Everybody was able
to have a one-on-one most of the time."
Michigan captain happy to Luze her slump
No one likes a slump.
All great athletes fall into slumps.
Normally, it's only a matter of time
before they recover and return to their
For Shareen Luze, outside hitter and
tni-captain of the Michigan women's vol-
leyball team, the recovery time lasted for
a few weeks.
*And like other
great athletes, she
appears to be return-
ing to previous, if not
a higher form. Notebook
"I kind of hit a bad
ump,' Luze said.
"But things are get-
Luze was having difficulty getting
into the groove since the conference sea-
n started. Her hitting percentage
upped to .186, and consequently her
pliying time decreased. Early in the sea-
soat, however, it was a different story.
"'For three quarters of the first two-
thitids of the season, (Shareen Luze) was
the. person who carried the weight for the
teamn," Michigan coach Greg Giovanazzi
said. "We relied on her a lot."
Brut Luze appears to be emerging from
the depths of that rut. Luze notched a
te r-high 27 kills Friday against
Nordiwestern, not to mention a tremen-
dous .500 hitting percentage. Against
Michigan State on Saturday, she record-
ed a team-best 14 kills.
"She had a slump and its over,"
Giovanazzi said. "(Slumps) are expected
of everybody, even seniors that don't
want to have them."
ENOUGH WITH ALL THE RIVALRY
STUFF, ALREADY: Surprisingly,
Michigan and Michigan State have a
volleyball rivalry. Hard to believe, but
the two schools have played the "State
Pride" series since 1990, in which the
winning school retains a state of
Michigan flag for a year until they
square off again.
The Wolverines owned the flag from
1990-92, while the Spartans have had a
stranglehold on the series since then.
Since the Spartans and Wolverines
play each other twice during the season,
there needs to be a deciding factor in the
event of a split.
Here is the criteria: whichever school
wins the greatest number of games dur-
ing the series is the winner. If both teams
have won the same number of games,
then whichever has the greatest number
of points in the series gets the flag.
It's all a moot point, anyway, because
the Spartans won both matches this year.
CLIFF NOTES: Saturday's match
against the Spartans marked the 100th
match played by the Wolverines in Cliff
Keen Arena. After a year of renovation
on Matt Mann Pool, the site has been the
home of the volleyball team since 1989.
In 1990, the building was renamed
after long-time wrestling coach Cliff
Keen. The capacity is 1,800, but last sea-
son 2,137 people squeezed into the arena
to watch Michigan against Penn State.
That remains the largest home crowd to
ever watch Michigan volleyball.
The Wolverines have a 47-53 record
within the friendly confines of Cliff
THEY HrI THE BALL REAL HARD:
Against Northwestern, Michigan put the
ball in Hurt City, as acting mayor.
The Wolverines went on an offensive
rampage against the Wildcats, with a
team total of 75 kills, just short of the
Four Wolverines reached double-dig-
its in kills, including Luze (27), Kristen
Ruschiensky (12), Jeanine Szczesniak
(11) and Sarah Jackson (10). Linsey
Ebert was efficient in her attacking, hit-
ting a robust .583.
"When (Ebert) gets hot, it opens
things up for our outside hitters,"
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