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November 11, 1997 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-11

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Tuesday Q
November 11, 1997

No. 1 team's next mission: Forget polls, focus on Wisconsin

By Aan, Goldenbach
Daly-ports Editor
,About 24 hours had passed since new
Associated Press top 25 poll came out and the
feeing of being No. I was starting to set in on
this Michigan team.
But not deep enough.
"Itssomething we're very happy to have,"
*fensiveend Juaquin. Feazell said. "But we
have-t ake it with a grain of salt."
Because this week, and perhaps from here
on in, the tables are turned on Michigan.
Instead of being the lower-ranked team aiming
up at the top guns like Penn State, the
Wolverines are now the target of every oppo-
nent.

Up next
Who: No. 24 Wisconsin
Where: Madison
When: 3:30 p.m. EST
TV: ABC, Channel 7

Vicious hit leaves safety, Taylor, out for season

"The polls are tremendous in terms of creat-
ing enthusiasm and debate in college football,"
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "None of us
can ignore the excitement they create in the
players and in all of us.
"As a football team we have to understand
that the higher you get the bigger a target you
become."
Michigan is atop the AP poll for the first
time since the week of Oct. 13, 1990, when the

Wolverines destroyed Wisconsin 41-3.
The cautious observer, however, is quick to
point out that the top ranking did nothing but
overrate Michigan that year, or at least that
week.
The Wolverines went out and lost the fol-
lowing week to an unranked Michigan State
team, 28-27, and again the week after to Iowa.
That is exactly why everyone around
Schembechler Hall is proud of their achieve-
ment, but at the same time, knows that a loss
could render the hoopla of this past weekend
meaningless.

"Being No. 1 can help you and hurt you,"
tight end Jerame Tuman said. "This team
knows where we want to be and we're defi-
nitely not where we want to be.
"If we lose, being No. 1 doesn't mean any-
thing."
And even though there is no loss this season
for Michigan to draw on, there is last year's 9-
3 defeat at Purdue, which will remain on the
minds of everyone on this team until the
Wolverines win a Big Ten championship.
If - and this is a strong if- Michigan had
beaten Purdue and won out the remainder of its

games, the team would be talking about the
possibility of a return trip to Pasadena this year.
"Last year we had a terrible lesson," Carr
said, "which may not be a terrible lesson if the
guy's learned from it."
And Michigan surely doesn't need another
lesson. The Wolverines who are old enough
(i.e. Carr) know of a top-ranked Michigan
team that went into Madison and came out
lower on the totem pole.
To open the 1981 season, the Wolverines
rode their laurels into Wisconsin and were
promptly spanked by an unranked herd of
Badgers, 21-14, dropping Michigan clear out
of the top 10.
See WISCONSIN, Page 10

Blue weathers
Russian attack
in second half
By Mark Snyder
Daily Sports Writer
In a show of good faith prior to last night's game at Cnsler
Arena, the Michigan basketball team exchanged gifts with
the Ural-Great team of Perm, Russia.
Then, in what was supposed to be a basketball game, the
Wolverines showed their appreciation by dominating their
Russian guests, 93-68.
What began as a close game and remained so through
halftime -at the midway point Michigan led 32-26 - was
blown open in the second stanza as Michigan exploded for
61 points.
That dominance was just what Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe was hoping for when he began preaching his aggres-
sive style.
"We were prepared to come in and play well enough to
,win," Ellerbe said.
From the first practice of the season, Ellerbe has preached
aggressive play - especially on the defensive end.
But Michigan deserves only some of the credit. The
Russians, long known for their long-range missiles and mid-
range bombs, clanked shots from every angle imaginable as
they shot just 41 percent from the floor.
Simple layups off the fast break slammed off the back-
board like rebounds in a tip drill and Michigan capitalized
repeatedly.
The fast-break intensity of the first half was ideal prepara-
tion for Ellerbe's transition game. In typical Michigan style,
the Wolverines ran when necessary, with Maceo Baston and
Jerod Ward catching the lobs and converting them into
layups.
While seeing Michigan actually make its shots after the
break may have appeared out of the ordinary from the flow
of the first half, it was nothing new for the Russians. On
Sunday, they were thrashed by Purdue, 117-72 - adequate
preparation for the whipping they endured.
Baston, sporting a mid-range jumper rarely seen from the
6-foot-9 forward, displayed an increased aggressiveness
while pacing the Wolverines with a 23 point-performance.
"I took a role to be more of a garbage player in the past,
Baston said. "Now it's my time to shine"
His rebound dunks and loose-ball effort kept Michigan
barely in the lead throughout the first 12 minutes of the sec-
ond half.
x See RUSSIANS, Page 10

Field hockey
sweats it out
Blue will learn fate tomorrow

By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Vriter
The waiting might not be the hardest
part for the Michigan field hockey team,
but it certainly isn't making things any
easier.
The Wolverines lost Sunday's Big Ten
championship game to Penn State, 2-1.
The winner of that game receives an
automatic bid to the NCAA field hock-
ey tournament, which begins Thursday.
The Michigan loss has placed the Big
Ten regular-season champions on the
bubble - unfamiliar territory for them.
In seasons past, the Wolverines never
had to worry about making the tourna-
ment, a multitude of early exits from the
conference tourney ensured that.
Waiting to find out if their break-
through performance this year will. be
good enough to earn them an at-large
bid to the 12-team field isn't making the
next few days any easier for the six
seniors, who may have played in their
final collegiate game.
"I'm not getting my hopes up," senior
midfielder and Big Ten offensive player
of the Year Julie Flachs said. "As far as
I'm concerned, I'm done. Hoping for a
bid would hurt too much."
Most conferences held conference
tournaments over the weekend, but some
conferences are not considered strong
enough by the NCAA to merit an auto-
matic bid.
Instead, the champions of those con-
ferences must play each other for spots
in the tournament not filled by teams

receiving automatic bids. Some teams
will play games today that will have a
large effect on how the field is shaped.
Once the play-ins are completed, the
NCAA can make its at-large selections
to fill the remaining spots.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines and
the other teams on the bubble, because
the games are today, the NCAA will not
officially extend its at-large bids until
tomorrow - only a day before the start
of the tournament.
Some members of the team were not
so much displeased with the length of
wait as by the entire at-large bid sys-
tem.
"I think there's just a problem with the
rankings in general," Flachs said.
Flachs said she is upset that many of
the teams that are invited or at least have
a chance to play their way into the tour-
nament are, in her opinion, just as good
as Michigan and may be getting a bid
because they came from a weaker con-
ference.
"It's very subjective" Michigan coach
Marcia Pankratz said.
Whether the Wolverines' bubble
bursts or not, they said they are satisfied
with the excellent season that they put
together, one which far surpasses the 24
that preceded it.
The Wolverines' set records in wins,
total points and goals. A bid to the
NCAAs would likely be icing on the
cake for them, after what may be a
watershed season for the program.
See TOURNAMENT, Page 10

University of Michigan
Indoor Track Building
1997-98 Jogging Memberships

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Patriotism was at Its best when Michigan point guard Robbie Reid fought off this Russian in the
Wolverines' 93-68 victory over Ural Great last night at Crisier Arena.

Pitt not pleased with progress in fall season

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
-Perhaps the fall season wasn't quite
what everyone had hoped. For the
Michigan women's tennis team, also
known as the defending Big Ten
champions, the going was pretty
rough. It didn't perform as well as
expected in this season of individual
tournaments.
"I think that we're not exactly where
vwe wanted to be after the fall season,"
women's tennis coach Bitsy Ritt said.
"But now it's the offseason and there is
time to fix the problems before the
winter season starts."
-But, it looks as though things have
already begun to change. This past
week, six Wolverines travelled to
Madison to compete in the ITA

Midwest Regional Championships.
There they met with success.
Sophomore Danielle Lund turned in
the strongest performance for the
Wolverines, claiming the consolation
singles draw while also reaching the
semifinal in the doubles main draw. 1
In the singles tournament, she lost a
very tough first match to the No. 9
seed, Notre Dame's Kelly Zalinski, 3-
6, 6-3, 6-4. After the initial defeat,
Lund stormed back with five straight
victories in the consolation draw.
"After that first loss, she played so
well in the consolation rounds," Ritt
said. "She had three really good wins,
which should improve her regional
rankings. I believe it should give her
the confidence to know she can com-
pete with anyone in the country."

En route to the consolation champi-
onship, Lund defeated four Big Ten
opponents. In her final singles match of
the fall season, she defeated
Northwestern's Colleen Chang, 6-2, 4-6,
6-3.
In the doubles main draw, Lund
teamed with Brooke Hart to make it all
the way to the semifinal. After a first-
round bye, they defeated a duo from
Notre Dame 6-2,6-3. They then went on
to win two more matches. Finally in the
semifinal, they lost to a duo from
Northwestern.
The importance of the tournament is
evident in that, had they won one more
match, they would have qualified for the

NCAA indoor tournament.
As for the other Wolverines, the going
was not so great. Both Hart and Alison
Sinclair had tough first-round matches,
and didn't get very far in the consolation
round.
The tandem of Erryn Weggenman and
Sora Moon finished with a 1-2 record.
So, for Lund the tournament was a
confidence builder, and for the others it
was just an end to the fall season.
"We are going to focus on improving
over the next two months," Ritt said.
"We should be ready to go in January.
Hopefully this season we'll be able to
repeat as Big Ten championships and
win a region in the NCAAs."

JOGGING MEMBERSHIPS
Members may use the University of Michigan Indoor Track Building
during building hours, October 1, 1997 through April 15, 1998.
MEMBERSHIP FEES

Student $30 - Faculty / Staff $48 - Public $60
BUILDING HOURS
Monday through Friday..................5am - 1pm
Monday, Wednesday and Friday............7pm - 10pm
Saturday and Sunday ...........................................7am - 1pm
Building hours will be affected by athletic and other events in the facility.
FOR INFORMATION CALL 763-5088

V IL T A 1%, ;lm 19 a v 7

TICKET INFORMATION
1998 NCAA ICE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
WEST REGIONAL
March 27 - 28, 1998 * Yost Ice Arena

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