The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - November 3, 1997 - 78
State takes Pride in beating Michigan
in four games to wrap up season series
By TJ. Bea
Daily Sports Witer
EAST LANSING - The good news
from the Michigan volleyball team's
match yesterday against Michigan State
was that the Wolverines wrapped up the
State Pride Battle over the Spartans for
the first time since 1993, winning the
state flag as a result.
The bad news from yesterday's game
as far as the Wolverines are concerned
was its result - losing to the Spartans in
four games, 15-13, 15-3, 8-15, 15-12.
Due to a resounding victory a month
ago, the Wolverines got to carry the state
flag back to Ann Arbor after a three-year
stay in East Lansing.
'It's definitely a positive,' said
Michigan middle blocker Sarah Jackson,
who had never been on the winning side
of the rivalry with Michigan State.
The loss dropped the Wolverines (8-4
Big Ten, 15-8 overall) into a three-way
tie for third place in the conference, tied
with the Spartans (8-4, 18-7) and Ohio
"The primary focus for this game was
to get into a third-place tie with
Michigan and Ohio State," Michigan
State coach Chuck Erbe said. "There are
six teams playing for five spots (in the
NCAA tournament), and we need to stay
in range of the other teams."
To do that, the Spartans relied on out-
side hitter Jenna Wrobel, the game
leader with 32 kills. Wrobel almost sin-
gle-handedly won the final game. After
the Wolverines went on an 8-1 run to
forge ahead 12-9, Wrobel delivered four
consecutive kills to put the Spartans
Wrobel "without question is in a
league of its own. She has a great vari-
ety of shots and uses her passes well,"
Michigan coach Greg Giovanazzi
As the Wolverines keyed on Wrobel,
fellow outside hitter Christine Landry
took advantage by delivering the last two
kills to put Michigan away.
"When Landry was hitting, it was one
on one instead of having two players
defending her like we did for Wrobel and
(Veronica) Morales," Michigan outside
hitter Jane Stevens said. "That made it
hard for us to defend her attacks."
The Wolverines also had a hard time
mustering an attack of their own during
the match. After losing a hard-fought
first game, the Wolverines fell apart in
the second game, committing1l errors
and only mustering 11 kills, totalling a
woeful .000 hitting percentage.
The Spartans "scouted us very well,"
Giovanazzi said. "In the first two games
they did well in blocking and defending
against our sets."
All was not bleak for the Wolverines
yesterday, though. Michigan got good
contributions from middle blockers
Sarah Jackson and Linsey Ebert, as they
took advantage of the Spartans' doubling
up on the outside hitters and combined
for 28 kills.
"Linnea (Mendoza) was setting a lot,
and there was only one blocker on me
most of the time, which helped me out a
lot," Jackson said.
After trying to get the outside hitters
involved in the first two games, the
Wolverines relied on Jackson's hot hand
to take the third game and push the
Spartans in the fourth.
"We started the match with the inten-
tion to distribute the ball evenly,"
Giovanazzi said. "There was a mix-up in
communication between (Mendoza) and
I in the first game, as we were passing
almost exclusively to the outside.'
The Wolverines finished the match
with a less-than-stellar .222 hitting per-
centage. Jackson led the way with 16
kills and a .355 hitting percentage.
Outside hitters Jeanine Szczesniak (14)
and Sarah Behnke (13), along with Ebert
(12), were part of the double-figure kill
club as well.
Wrobel wasn't the only Spartan who
showed up yesterday. Outside hitter
Veronica Morales nailed 24 kills and
middle blocker Lindsey Clayton added
18. The Spartans hit .332 on the gane.
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Michigan's Jeanine Szczesniak and the Wolverines weren't able to provide enough
punch yesterday in East Lansing. Michigan lost to Michigan State in four sets,
dropping the Wolverines Into a three-way tie for third place in the Big Ten.
Notre Dame boots 'M' soccer into
Big Ten tourney with 5-0 beating
To become the best, you've got to
slay the best. And sometimes in the
process, you've got to endure serious
beatings at the hands of the best.
The Michigan soccer team experi-
enced such a defeat Friday, falling 5-0
to No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend.
The season-finale proved that the
Wolverines (7-1-1 Big Ten, 15-3-1
overall); who suffered their first loss
in almost a month, have not yet fully
ascended the ladder to join the nation's
"Notre Dame is the best team we've
faced, by far," Michigan coach Debbie
Belkin said. "They're going to be
either the national champions or the
Notre Dame dominated in almost
every facet of the game, peppering
Michigan goalie Carissa Stewart with
Meanwhile, the Irish's stifling
efense kept the ball away from the
Wolverines, holding Michigan's usual-
ly potent offense to just one shot on
"They did a great job of not allow-
ing us to have the ball," Belkin said.
"When you don't have possession, it's
hard to muster an offense."
Things started off relatively well for
the 12th-ranked Wolverines, who
allowed just one first-half goal despite
} shots from the offensive-minded
The second half was a different
story, as the Irish proved that their
national ranking and 17-0-1 record is
They blitzed the Wolverines with 11
No, it can't
But it is.
acrobatic saves by Stewart.
Notre Dame's first goal of the sec-
ond half came on a penalty kick by
Irish forward Anne Makinen, a
momentum-killer for Michigan.
"The penalty kick really took the
wind out of our sails," Belkin said. "It
was the turning point in the game."
Notre Dame scored two more goals
in the next five minutes, and when for-
ward Jenny Heft headed in a deflected
corner kick for her second goal of the
game, Michigan found itself on the
short end of a 4-0 deficit.
"They were knocking on the door in
the first half, and they continued to put
the pressure on in the second,"
Michigan captain Debbie Flaherty
"Good teams will score on you if
you make an error, and we let up for
two minutes and they scored two
goals," Flaherty said, referring to
Notre Dame's third and fourth goals.
Stewart, who managed 17 saves on
the day, withstood the barrage of
Notre Dame shots remarkably.
"Carissa was unbelievable," Belkin
said. "All of their goals were quality
scores, and she saved many more that
could have gone in."
Michigan's offense, which features
three of the top scorers in the Big Ten,
is accustomed to being on the other
side of the coin, having outshot their
opponents 397-133 this season.
On Friday, however, the Wolverines
were unable to penetrate the stubborn
Irish defense to mount any attacks.
Odds are, however, even if
"Notre Dame is
the best team
we've faced, by
- Debbie Belkin
Michigan soccer coach
Michigan had been able to squeeze off
more than one shot, Notre Dame
goalie LaKeysia Beene would have
been there to stop any opportunity.
Beene, who owns the nation's best
goals against average with 0.28, set a
school record against Michigan by
recording her 14th shutout of the sea-
With the Big Ten tournament begin-
ning this weekend, the second-seeded
Wolverines are looking to translate
Friday's loss into a learning experi-
"The players took the game as a
great challenge, Belkin said. "We're
pretty realistic and know that they're
the better team, but this was a great
Flaherty agreed, noting that while
Michigan may not be one of the
nation's few top teams, they are cer-
tainly among the Big Ten's best.
"We won't meet another team as
good as Notre Dame unless we get to
the final four of the NCAA tourna-
ment," she said.
"We can beat every team in the Big
Ten, so there's no reason why we
should be intimidated."
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