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November 06, 1997 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-06

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SOCCER
t tinued from Page 11A
Bi 'Ien record, took the field by storm, upsetting Penn State
and top-seeded Wisconsin en route to the championship.
T his year, the Wolverines are taking steps to make sure they
are prepared, because they know they will be a marked team.
Tiheir first-round opponent is seventh-seeded Ohio State, which
the Wolverines beat, 4-1, early in the season.
The Buckeyes come into the tournament with some momen-
um. recently defeating third-seeded Penn State and taking
innesota to two overtimes before losing, 2-1.
Michigan actually owes its arch-rivals a favor, since the
keyes' victory over Penn State allowed Michigan to sneak
io second place in the Big Ten - a spot they never relin-
squished.
But for now, the Wolverines don't plan on returning the hos-
fpitality.
"We're going to look at the film (of the Ohio State game) and
eto xploit what we did well," Belkin said.
ith the success the Wolverines have had this season, Belkin
doesn't plan on making any major changes in pre-tournament
'strategy.
"Wc're going to prepare the same way we have all season,"
said. "We think we know what to expect from Ohio State,
S e won't practice much differently."
One thing Michigan can expect from Ohio State (3-5, 9-8-1)
zis the presence of leading scorer Tiffany Tisdale. Totaling 21
ints on the season, Tisdale blasted the game-winning goal
!gainst Penn State, and shoulders much of the scoring load for
F1ELD HOCKEY Wg ha
'V ^ginst Ohio Si
Continued from Page 11A ble. Michigan spl
kratz said. "She is a smart, clutch with the Buckeye
orimer and puts the team on her going into overtim
shoulders." tory at home on Oc
Because it is a co-conference cham- troversial goal by t
,pion, Michigan gained a bye in the first no doubt the Buck
round of the tournament. The for revenge shop
Wolverines' first game will be Wolverines.
,Saturday, against the winner of the Ohio But Pankratz do
State-Northwestern match. "We don't know
The Wolverines beat Northwestern be playing yet" sh
twice this season, blanking the chance to watch be
Wildcats, 2-0, in their second meeting. and hopefully that
Netters get nei
By Ryan DePietro
For the Daily
It's always hard when things don't go your way.
last season was one of great success for the Michigan
w>men's tennis team. The Wolverines' season included a
match unbeaten streak, a perfect 10-0 in the Big Ten,
a 7-0 record at Michigan's new Varsity Tennis center and
a 21-5 overall record.
The Wolverines also earned the title of Big Ten cham-
piois for the first time, and went on to make an NCAA
tournament appearance. At season's end, the Wolverines
were ranked 16th in the nation.
This year's team hoped to pick up right where last
year's left off.
Unfortunately, things haven't gone according to the
plan so far.
#1 ediocre performances at both the Eck Classic and the
Women's All-American Tennis championship can be
;attributed to untimely injuries and rusty play. The team
tries to rebound today in the ITA Midwest Regional
Championships in Madison.
> This tournament presents an opportunity not only to
bpost team morale but to garner individual achievements
as well. The Wolverines are excited about the upcoming
tounament, because they know that success this week-
end bodes well for the future.
.,The girls see this tournament as a great opportunity,"
*stant coach Terry Ann Zawacki said. "The two final-
Michig men's
break before Ic

By I~ark Francescutti three rounds of r
Dly Sports Writer any other team.
Wuesday was a day of celebration, '"1 couxldn't be t1
elaxation and question marks for the said.
Michigan men's tennis team. "A few matches
Michigan coach Brian Eisner gave but it is somethit
'the, Wolverines sonic much-needed these tournament
rest. Michigan will make the long were the best tean
trip to Minnesota for the Ice Volleys The only team

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 6, 1997 - 13A

the Buckeyes' otherwise unimpressive offense.
Goaltender Amber Barnes, who registered 13 saves in the
teams' first meeting, is allowing 1.92 goals per game and has
three shutouts on the year.
A first-round victory over Ohio State presents enticing pos-
sibilities for the Wolverines. Assuming No. 3 Penn State defeats
No. 6 Wisconsin, Michigan will meet the Nittany Lions for the
first time following Oct. 5s double-overtime, scoreless tie.
Again, Belkin does not plan to change her game plan to
adjust to the Lions.
"It was a very strange game" Belkin said, referring to the
first meeting. "We didn't generate any offense in that game, but
that will change. We're still going to play the same formation."
Penn State is led by senior Rachel Hoffman, who is third in
the conference in scoring. Surrounding Hoffman in the Big Ten
standings are Michigan forwards Amber Berendowsky, Kacy
Beitel and Ruth Poulin, at first, second and fourth, respectively.
While a solid performance in the conference tournament
would be a morale booster for the Wolverines, it will also great-
ly influence their postseason future. Aside from the automatic
NCAA berth given to the champion, there are also at-large bids
given to a select number of teams.
According to Belkin, if one of the top three seeds wins the
tournament, it is likely that bids will be extended to all three. In
the event of an upset, however, one of the top teams may find
itself home early for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Belkin sees one way around this dilemma.
"I really don't know who's going to get the bids," she said.
"That's why we want to win theconference tournament and get
in for sure."

tate, however, the
ad a little more trou-
it the season series
s, with both games
e. The Michigan vic-
ct. 26 came on a con-
Gannon, and there is
eyes will be looking
uld they face the
wnplayed the rivalry.
who we're going to
c said. "We will get a
oth teams on Friday,
will help us."

A win on Saturday would place the
Wolverines in the finals against Iowa,
Michigan State or Penn State - all
teams that Michigan has beaten previ-
ously this season.
The Big Ten individual awards, for
which Michigan has many candidates,
will also be announced this weekend.
Flachs has a good chance of wining
Player of the Year, as does Pankratz for
Coach of the Year. Cabrera is up for the
conference's top defensive player hon-
ors, and Gannon is vying for Freshman
of the Year. The winners of the awards
will be announced Thursday night.

Volleyball
digs in for
statement
By Josh Kleinbaum
Iaily Sports Wrter
The race is getting tighter.
As the Michigan volleyball team
enters the stretch run of the season, with
home matches against Illinois on Friday
and No. 5 Wisconsin on Saturday, the
Wolverines (8-4 Big Ten, 15-8 overall)
find themselves in a precarious position
- on the cusp of the NCAA tournament.
Michigan is in a three-way tie for third
place - and only one game ahead of
sixth-place Minnesota -in a conference
expected to send five teams to the Big
Dance. The Badgers and No. 2 Penn
State have all but locked up spots in the
tournament, courtesy of their first-place
tie in the conference and top-five rank-
ings in the country. No. 24 Michigan
State should also go, with a little help
from the exposure the Spartans' national
ranking gives them.
That leaves two spots for three schools
- Michigan, Ohio State and Minnesota.
And Michigan's overall record of 15-8 -
the worst of the six teams battling for a
tournament berth - could leave
Michigan out when the selection com-
mittee makes decisions on Nov. 30.
Unless, of course, the Wolverines
make a statement. And thanks to the Big
Ten schedule-makers, they have an
opportunity to do just that this weekend.
In come the fifth-ranked Badgers (11-
1, 22-2), walking with a little more swag-
ger in their steps just one week after
upsetting then-No. I and undefeated
Penn. State.
A victory over Wisconsin could be
enough to put the Wolverines into the
tournament.
It would keep them from falling anoth-
er spot in the standings and Michigan
would likely gain a game on the compe-
tition - both Minnesota and Ohio State
have one match left against Wisconsin
and will be major underdogs.
Beating the Badgers would also pro-
vide a huge upset, raising some eyebrows
on the NCAA tournament selection com-
mittee. The only major upset by the
Wolverines this season was over then-
No. 15 Michigan State on Oct. 3.
"I think upsetting Wisconsin would
definitely open some eyes on the setec-
tion committee," Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi said.

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Michigan outside hitter Jeanine Szczesniak and the rest of the volleyball team will
have to buckle down if they want to get a bid to nationals.

ists in both singles and doubles get to go to the national
championships held in Dallas in February."
Despite the preseason shortcomings, Michigan is still
optimistic.
"The girls haven't been down," Zawacki said.
"Preseason jitters are gone, and the girls are playing well
now."
Players on the team reinforced Zawacki's sentiments.
"Everyone is pumped," freshman Alison Sinclair said.
"We've been working really hard the past week."
Sinclair supported the idea that this tournament is
more important than the previous two.
"It's a regional tournament, so it's really big," Sinclair
said.
Last week only a portion of the team made the trip to
Pacific Palisades. But for the ITA championships, the
whole team will travel together.
Originally, the team was also scheduled to travel to the
Midwest championships this weekend, but decided they
would all travel together to the ITA instead.
All players will get a chance to see both singles and
doubles action, except for sophomore Jennifer Boylan,
who will play only doubles, and Sinclair, who will play
only singles.
Zawacki stressed that slow starts in the preseason are
common and can be attributed to the summer layoff. She
said that now Michigan is ready to go, and this weekend
at the ITA will mark a new beginning.
tennis takes
e Volley tourney

But the Wolverines will have their
hands full with a smothering Wisconsin
defense. Wisconsin has held opposing
teams to an incredibly low .120 attack
percentage.,
"They're a very balanced team defen-
sively" Giovanazzi said. "And they've'
turned into a very good side-out team. It's
a concern whether or not we can score
points against them."
Michigan will have the home court
advantage, a significant one in this series.
The home team has won the last ten
matches, and the Badgers haven't won at
Cliff Keen Arena since 1991.
While the Wolverines will be hoping
for a Badger letdown, they also need to
avoid looking past Illinois (4-8, 13-9).
An upset over the Badgers would like-
ly help Michigan get into the NCAA
tournament, but losing toa lower-tier Big
Ten team like the Illini could ruin those
NCAA hopes.
But Giovanazzi is not concerned about
overlooking the Illini. In fact, all week, he
has only been preparing for Illinois.
"All year we only prepared for the
Friday-night match," Giovanazzi said.
"We have to beat Illinois to stay with the
rest of the pack. I think,-that's the more
important game."
Michigan swept Illinois in their only

prior meeting, 15-12, 15-13, 15-13, on
Oct. 11, but that doesn't comfort
Giovanazzi.
"We beat Illinois 3-0," Giovanazzi
said. "But, boy, they were all close
games. "
The Illini are led by setter Melissa
Beitz, whose 13.96 sets per game are
good enough for eighth in the nation.
Mary Coleman and Tracey Marshall are
the Illini's main attackers, combining for
more than seven kills per game.

C-

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play - more than
nore happy," Eisner
got away from us,
ng that happens in
ts. I felt that we
m."
that could pose a

toornament this weekend.
The first-ever Ice Volleys will pit
Michigan against four teams ranked
the top 50 -- Arizona State,
innesota and Washington. The
tournament will also feature a spe-
cial round against the Bulgaria Davis
Cup team.
Why did the Wolverines indulge in
alittle bit of relaxation? Michigan
'needed a break in the rigors of prac-
tice after an impressive showing at
the Rolex Regional championships
Ltsi weekend.
The tournament affected individ-
rankings and will help determine
the midwest representatives at the
National Indoor championships next
February.
' The regionals are "bigger than the
Big Ten championships," Eisner said.
A committee from the
Intercollegiate Tennis Association
will rank the players and choose the
,team based on the results of the
ionals and preseason rankings.
e associations' final decision
should be in by the end of next
,week.
Statistically speaking, the
Wolverines were the most successful
team at Rolex. They were the only
team to go undefeated through
Saturday, at 10-0. The Wolverines

threat to Michigan's hopes of a bid at
national championships is Illinois.
The highest ranked team in the
midwest, the Fighting Illini also won
the Big Tens and last season's Rolex
Regionals. They were second behind
Michigan at the regionals last week-
end.
The ITA committee must now
decide which is niore important -
the regional results or preseason
rankings.
Eisner, however, isn't going to fret
about something he can't control.
"I feel that our results are better
than any other team, but the most
important thing is what we have
proved to ourselves," Eisner said. "I
was going into this tournament to see
where we are among the teams in our
region."

"A few matches
,got away from us,
but .. 1 felt that
we were the best
team."H
- Brian Eisner
Michigan men's tennis coach,
on the Wolverines' performance
at the Rolex Regionals
The , Rolex may have given
Michigan an initial feel for where it
stands, but this weekend's Ice
Volleys in Wisconsin will be the last
test the Wolverines will face for a
while.
After the Ice Volleys, the
Wolverines will take a one-and-a-
half-month break before beginning
the dual meet season in January.
"This tournament doesn't have as
many matches, but the quality is still
high," Eisner said. "It's a good last
tournament before the break."

Tomorrow
Volleyba vs. Illinois, Cliff Keen
Arena, 7 p.m.
id Hockey at Big Ten champi-
onships, Iowa City, (see p. 11)
Men's Golf at Stanford Invitational,
,Palo Alto, Calif., all day
Hockey at Northern Michigan,
Marquette, 7 p.m.
Soccer at Big Ten championships,
Minneapolis, (see p. 11)
Women's Swimming at Minnesota
Invitational, Minneapolis, TBA
Men's Swimming at Texas, Austin,
8 p.m.
Men's Tennis at Ice Volleys,
Minneapolis, all day

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