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October 06, 1997 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-06

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - October 6, 1997
e icers in awe of the Yost
experience, overcome nerves

By Chris Farah
IDaily Spora t> Wh
They had been to Michigan hockey
games before. They had even experi-
enced the fanaticism o f the obnoxious
crowd at Yost Ice Arena. They had seen
the excitement, fel the emotion as spec-
tators.
But Saturday night's Blue/White
game was the )rst chance for Michigan's
10 freshmen to be an active part of the
Michigan hockey phenomenon. To not
only observe the experience but to be the
experience as players.
The Ireshmen had been on the ice at
Yost before - for practice. Needless to
say, Saturday night was a far cry from
practice.
i was overwhelming, really,"
defenseman M ike Van Ryn said. "I had
goosebumps when we walked out and
the band was there. Playing back home,
we never really had a lot of fans.
"It was a rush when I got out there.
And you walk out and, jeez, it's not even
filled."
Granted, the crowd of about 3,800 fell
well short of Yost's capacity of 6,343.
And granted, the Wol verines weren't

even playing against an opposing team
- they were playing against each other.
But that didn't detract from the inten-
sity of the situation for the freshmen.
"It was a great atmosphere," left wing
Bill Trainor said. "You stepped on the ice
with the band going, it was something
else. Chills start going through your
body, you get a little nervous out there,
your first shift."
If the freshmen were nervous, they
managed to shake off the jitters pretty
well on the offensive end. The young-
sters accounted for five of the nine total
goals scored by the Blue and White
teams.
Trainor had two of those goals for the
White team, which was outscored by the
Blue, 6-3.
"It just happened to be the right time
and the right spot," Trainor said. "I was
surprised getting those chances, but it
was great that I did."
Freshman Troy Kahler chipped in
another goal to round out the scoring for
the White team.
Forward Josh Langfeld did the rest of
the scoring for the freshmen, racking up
a pair goals for the winning side.

Senior captain Matt Herr was quick to
point out that the freshmen's success
wasn't entirely grounded in skill.
"There's 15 of them and four of us,"
Herr joked. "No, I think it's real good for
the freshmen - it's a great way to get
their feet wet."
When you're playing against your
own teammates, however, a high offen-
sive output isn't entirely positive. As tal-
ented on offense as many of the fresh-
men are, sloppy defense on the part of
both the Blue and White teams led to
many of the scoring opportunities.
Van Ryn said that a certain level of
imprecision is expected in the first real
competitive situation of the season.
"We're just really starting to get a feel
for a lot of the defensive game" he said.
As eye-opening as the Blue/White
game was, the rookie Wolverines have a
lot of developing to do. Freshman left
wing Geoff Koch said it would take time
for the new Wolverines to adjust to
Michigan's system - offensively and
defensively.
"I have to keep working on my shot,"
Koch said. "Keep working on the system,
it's on your mind all the time out there,"

The White team's Dale Rominski fights f or the puck, Saturday, during Michigan's intrasquad Blue/White game.

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Record crowd 'Rocks' spikers to victory

By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
If you build it, they will come.
Michigan volleyball coach Greg
Giovanazzi has spent the last five years
building his team into an upper-echelon
Big Ten program. And Friday, they -
the fans - came.
The Wolverines victory over No. 16
Michigan State, 13-15, 15-9, 15-3, 15-
9, drew 2,346 fans, the largest crowd
ever at Cliff Keen Arena.
"This is the most Michigan crowd
that I've seen in my five years here,"
Michigan State coach Chuck Erbe said.
"This was a great crowd tonight. They

came here wanting to see blood, and
they got it:'
The predominantly Michigan crowd
was a stark contrast to the Michigan-
Michigan State matchup at Keen a year
ago, when the Spartans out-drew the
Wolverines.
It was an even starker contrast to the
Wolverines match just two days earlier,
when Keen was so barren you could
likely hear a pin drop as Michigan
swept Northwestern.
But on Friday, whether it was for the
volleyball, the free Rock the House T-
shirt or just a night's entertainment, the
fans came. And the Wolverines

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responded.
Sarah Behnke, Sarah Jackson and
Linsey Ebert ignited the crowd with
their powerful spikes. The three com-
bined for 43 kills. Linnea Mendoza
paced the offense with extremely con-
sistent setting, recording 54 assists. The
senior's 4,160 assists make her just the
17th player in Big Ten history to eclipse
the 4,125 mark.
"The loudness, the cheering, the sup-
port - it really gets you fired up,"
Michigan outside hitter Anne Poglits
said.
The Spartans attack started out
strong, but became very predictable,
very soon. By the middle of game two,
most of the crowd knew the Spartans
were setting up outside hitters Jenna
Wrobel and Veronica Morales. The
Wolverines adjusted and saw the
Spartans attack percentage drop from
.341 in the first game to .157 in the sec-
ond.
A good number of Spartan fans made
the trip to Ann Arbor, taking up about a
quarter of the arena. But whenever cries
of "Let's go State" could be heard from
their section, "Let's go Blue" boomed
from the Keen rafters, swallowing the
yells of the Spartan faithful.
The Michigan State players, however,
claimed to be unaffected by the
Michigan fans.
"I didn't even know there was a
crowd out there," Wrobel said. "It does-
n't impact how we play or how we

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should play."
But that doesn't explain Spartan set-
ter Vicki Basil's apparent lackof con-
centration, leading to sloppy setting,
The freshman was benched late in the
match in favor of junior Kelley'Piivey,
a more experienced player.
"Professional athletes can
big crowd doesn't matter because they
play in front of them so often,"
Giovanazzi said. "I don't think that's
true at our level. We had a crvwd that
was not only extremely supportive, but
also very into the match and knowl-
edgeable.
"We've had a really loyal following,'
albeit a little small, but now there's an
educational process going on aain
people are getting into it."
Read
Daily
Sports.
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