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January 14, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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January 14, 1998

Wolverines get no respect
and no spot in the top 25


By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's basketball team is
putting together one of its best seasons ever.
The problem is, no one outside of Ann Arbor
has been noticing.
The Wolverines are playing their best ball in

recent memory. Led by
a vastly improved
defense and strong play
from senior center
Pollyanna Johns,
Michigan has quietly
put together an 11-5
record. They beat one
top 25 team and almost
beat three others.
But that's not enough
for the nation's coaches
and sports writers. In the

latest polls, Michigan

deceiving one. That statistic is 1-3, Michigan's
record versus ranked opponents.
But what most voters don't see is that those
three losses were by a total of five points, all on
the road. No. 8 Illinois -- ranked I I1th at the time
- beat the Wolverines by three in Champaign.
No. 20 Duke beat Michigan by one when an Ann
Lemire jumper fell short at the buzzer. No. 22
Florida International also squeaked out a one-
point victory.
"W're so close," Guevara said. "We need to
refine and do the little things down the stretch.
"Against Illinois, a rebound went through
somebody's hand. Someone missed a layup. We
miscommunicated defensively. Any one of those
things could have made the game go the other
Several Wolverines are having career years.
Johns has been dominant in the key, averaging
a double-double with 20.7 points and 10.0
rebounds and shooting 63.8 percent from the
Shooting guard Stacey Thomas had a slow
start offensively, but has come on strong of late.
But her defense has been great throughout.
Given the task of guarding Illinois' Ashley
Berggren. the defending Big iTen Player of the
Year, Thonias held her to just nine points. The
sophomore leads the Big Ten in steals with 57.
The emergence of Molly Murray has been
instruniental to the Wolverines' success. Murray.
the Wolverines' career 3-point record holder,
poses a threat from both the perimeter and the

key. The senior forward w as mov ed to the start-
ing lineup a few weeks ago and has capitalized,
picking up her game a notchI. 1er 42.0 percent6
age from beyond the are leads the team.
Put all that together. and you get a teani capa-
ble of playing with anyone in the country.
But a few holes in Michigan's game -free.
throw shooting and turiiovers - -makes it diffi-
cult to win the close games.
Surprisingly, Michigan hit 90 percent of its
free throws against Illinois. but that was the
exception rather than the rule.
Michigan has struggled from the charity stripe
all season. The W\'olverines are shootiinjust 64.*
percent from the line. A free throw here or there
could have put them oxer the top in one of those
tight games.
Add to that a whopping 31 titurnovers. includ-
ing 70 by freshman point guard Anne Thorius,
and those close games are even tougher to win.
Thorius' court vision has been spectacular at
times, but just as often she passes the ball to the
other team.
But Michigan's biggest weakness may be its
inability to stay focused for an entire game. It
the Wolverines loss to Penn State. they blew t
13-point lead in the second half. In their victorv
oxer No. 25 Purdue. ani 8-point lead midway
through the second half became a five point lead
With just more than two minutes left.
"We're playing some good basketball,"
iuevara said. "We just need to do it for 40 min-

received just five points from the coaches and
seven from the media, more than one hundred
votes shy of cracking the top 25 for the first time
in school history.
"That's more than we got last week;'
Michigan coach Sue Guevara said jokinly.
"We're not going to get the votes until wve beat a
No. 1I III inois. a Wisconsin and an Iowa. Then
the respect comes."
The one statistic that jumps out to the voters.
the one that is keeping the Wolverines at the bot-
tom of the "Others receiving votes" section of
the poll week in and' week out, is the most

Despite an 11-5 record, Ann Lemire and the Wolverines are still unranked. Michigan has a 1-3 record
against top 25 teams but lost those three games by a combined five points.


Dolan best on Earth for second straight year*

Savor the Wolverines' first national
championship since 1948 for years
to come with a glossy, full-color
poster of The Michigan Daily's front
page. The poster sells for $5 and
will be available next week at The
Michigan Daily's offices in the
Student Publications Building at
420 Maynard St. and at select
retail outlets in the Ann Arbor
area. Add a poster of
Michigan's Rose Bowl-clinch-
ing win over Ohio State for
an additional $2.50. Read
the Daily to find out when
the posters will be avail-
able for


PERT I, Australia (AP) -- Seizing the
spotlight from the scandalized Chinese
swim team, fornier Michigan standout
Tom Dolan joined Georgia swimmer
Kristy Kowal as gold medalists for the
U'nited States at yesterday's world cham-
Dolan. the reigning world and
Olympic champion and world record
holder, defended his 400-meter individ-
ual medley title, becoming only the
fourth American to win consecutive
world titles.
"This was a pride race for me," said
Dolan, who renounced his final year of
eliTibility with the Wolverines after the
1996 summer Olympics but is still a stu-
dent at Michigan.
Dolan joined Tom Jager, Matt Biondi
and Evans as the only Americans to win
consecutive titles. He led the field in
4:14.95, a perforiance that left him with
such pain in his legs he wondered if he
pulled a groin muscle.
"Some people doubted me after I was
fourth in the world rankings last year," he
said. "This has set me up as the world's
best all-around swimmer, and I'm not
ready to give that title tip."
Dolan, who has severe asthma, held
off former Michigan teammate Marcel
Wouda of the Netherlands in the final lap.
"I wasn't going to let anyone pass
me:' Dolan said. "Once I'm ahead, no
one's going to beat me. I really had to dig
deep inside."
Last year he had asthma attacks at the
U.S. nationals and Pan Pacific races.

That was on his inind yesterday.
"I was definitely nervous, more than
I've ever been." he said.
Dolan also was in the 800-meter
freestyle relay. He swam the anchor leg
and hit the water second but faded as the
Americans finished fifth and Australia
w on.
Dolan's career at Michigan was one of
the most successful in the history of col-
legiate swimming. While his gold medal
and 400 IM world record are his most
impressive achievements, Dolan also led
the Wolverines to the 1995 national
He was an 18-time All-America and
has won more than a dozen NCA A titles.
Dolan was also named the Big Ten's
Athlete of the Year in 1996.
Kowal, a 19-year-old from Athens,
Ga., came from behind to become the
first American woman to win the 100-
meter breaststroke at a world champi-
"No one knew who I was when I came
here and I used that to my advantage
tonight," Kowal said. "I'm feeling sheer
and utter joy."
Kowal finished in 1:08.42, beating a
field that included defending champion
Samantha Riley of Australia, Olympic
champion Penny Hleyns of South Africa
and H hungarian star Agnes Kovacs.
Helen Denman of Australia was sec-
ond in 1:08.51 and Lauren Van Oosten of
Canada was third in 1:08.66. Kowal
failed to make the 1996 Atlanta
Olympics after finishing third at the U.S.

Former Michigan swimmer Tom Dolan has one more accolade to celebrate - his
second consecutive world championship in the 400-meter individual medley.

Winter 2 Season: Feb. 13 - Apr. 9
Registration Deadline: February 1st
Individual Registrations are welcome.
Register your Team by Jan. 11thrie^
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Call (313) 913-

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Registration Deadline: February 13th
Lear aring in this ad before
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"This is the absolute highlight of my
life," Kowal said. "It is a personal best, it
is a gold medal, it is everything."
Kowal, a second-year education stu-
dent at Georgia, first started swimming
as a youngster to join her friends.
"It was just for fun," she said. "1 start-
ed swimming in sumiierleague because
I thought the prizes the kids got at the
end of the year were pretty cool and i
wanted som too. They were gag' gifts,
fake watches, towels with teams names
on themn"


For More Information Contact:
W bsite:wwwbianchi-rossi.corn

Four-time Olympic and world cham-
pion Janet Evans was thrilled by Kowal's
"It was great to see an athlete at her
first world championships go out and
swim against people like that and not be
scared," Evans said. "Swimming is h
mental and she stood in front of those
girls and said, 1 don't care what you've
Olympic champion Claudia Poll of
Costa Rica xon the other final yesterday,
easily taking the women's 200-meter
Want to Join the
Daily? Come to the
Mass Meeting
tonight at 7:30 p.m.
on the second floor
of the Student
Publications Building
at 420 Maynard St.


Go Loco in Acapulcofl
Snu ssarek 88


Your Uncle Sam. Every fees. They even pay a flat rate

ri/ VM'LT sr U

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