The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 16, 1997 -- 9A
By Tracy Sandler
's a big weekend for the Michigan
An its first matches since last week-
end's 1-1 road trip, the Wolverines will
face No. 1 Penn State Friday and Indiana
Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena.
The Wolverines (5-1 Big Ten, 12-5
overall) are off to the best Big Ten start
in team history, but that does not make
the task of beating the Nittany Lions (6-
17-0) and the Hoosiers (3-3, 16-3)
"They are two really completely dif-
ferent teams" Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "One is so big, strong
and dominating -- that's Penn State.
We're going to have to play an almost
flawless match in order to push them
into a situation where we can win.
"As far as the match against Indiana,
they're a smaller team, very scrappy. I
pe that our women take seriously how
d that team is."
In order to prepare for such opposite
teams, practice has been a little different
this week. According to Giovanazzi, the
Wolverines usually prepare for only one
of the two teams they are going to face
during the weekend. This week's
approach has been a little bit different.
"This week, we've prepared for both
matches," Giovanazzi said. "They're
going to be familiar with Indiana when
,go into the Penn State match.
I think we have to be. I think that's
practical. We know that beating Penn
State would be a major upset, and we
have to go out and play a good match
While preparing for their match
against Penn State, the Wolverines know
they will face a dominating team. The
Lions are undefeated, and their size may
tbe exactly what Michigan is used to.
Penn State's strengths are its entire
team," Giovanazzi said. "They're just so
solid that it's difficult to find any flaws.
I've had Anne (Poglits) and Karen
(Chase), sometimes even me, blocking
against our team, so they could get used
to that size athlete. Against Indiana,
we're going to do some work with some
of our smaller players."
The Wolverines were last at home two
weeks ago when they beat intrastate
*al Michigan State. They set an atten-
dance record with more than 2,000 fans.
Even if they do not receive the same
type of support this weekend, the
Wolverines have enough motivation to
keep them going.
"Now the season has such momen-
tum on its own, just continuing to try to
best what has been the best season in
Michigan history," Giovanazzi said.
"That in itself provides an impetus for
Continued from Page 5A
Entering this weekend the Hawkeyes
have lost four straight matches.
Michigan is coming off two big wins
against Wright State and Toledo a week
ago. The Wolverines scored 11l goals
last weekend and didn't let either oppo-
nt on the board. Michigan is used to
owing out weaker teams, so both
matchups this weekend appear ripe for
"We should definitely get two wins
out of it Belkin said. "But it's not a
weekend we can walk into and take for
Numerous games separate the con-
ference standings from top to bottom.
But Belkin is hesitant to take any Big
n team lightly. Illinois and Iowa have
already beaten tougher conference
.opponents in their inaugural seasons.
The fifth-place Hawkeyes shocked
defending Big Ten tournament champi-
on Indiana, 3-0, on Oct. 3. The Fighting
Illini also showed some ability to com-
ete with the rest of the conference,
wzsetting Northwestern, 3-2.
Neither is in the race for a conference
campionship just yet. But both teams
a~ve shown signs of successful futures.
Ill inois and Iowa are keeping pace
with Michigan, considering the
Wolverines won only one Big Ten
natch in each of their first two seasons.
This year Michigan remained in the
hunt for a conference title until last
jr o ;L)% Ho e?
The Michigan volleyball team will be facing stiffer competition than Northwestern this
weekend. The Wolverines host No.:1 Penn State on Friday and Indiana on Saturday.
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