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December 01, 1998 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-01

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


1'SQ!rboard..
EN'S NCAA WOMEN'S Ni
BASKETBALL BASKETBALl.
(24) CLEMSON 70, (24) Clemson 65,
Radford 37 WINTHROP 54

IGAA

(1) CONNETICUT 107,
Holy Cross 56
NATIONAL
HOCKEY LEAGUE
MONTREAL 3,
Los Angeles 1

Ufte kEIi9tT 1tIag

(25) ST. JOHNS 97,
St. Francis 63
(3) North Carolina 75,
Middle Tenn St. 54

(3) Tennessee 92,
(2) Louisiana Tech 73
VIRGINIA TECH 81,
(18) Virginia 65

NTracking M' Rankings
The Michigan hockey team held on to its'No. 4 raretg
in the US College Hockey Online poll. Surprise CCHN.M
team Ferris State entered the top 10 poll at No. 9.
Michigan travels to Miami (Ohio) on Friday.
Tuesday
December 1, 1998

ft
119p", I . W M

Taming

the

T gersk
'M' pounds
Towson in
easy victory
By Josh Klelnbaum
Daily Sports Editor
The Towson basketball team learned a simple lesson last
night at Crisler Arena: If you don't put the ball into the
basket, you won't win.
In a slow, sloppy game that was about as exciting as 9
a.m. chemistry lecture, the Tigers shot a paltry .370 from
the field, falling to Michigan, 60-45.
Michigan's defense was good - Robbie Reid and the
rest of Michigan's guards blanked Towson sharpshooter
Raul dePablo, who shoots over 38 percent from long
range. But as good the defense was, Towson's shooting was
10 times worse. For the most part, it didn't matter how
tight Michigan's defense was - Towson missed its shots.

NATHAN RUFFER/Duaiy
The Michigan volleyball team fnished In 10th place in the
Big Ten, but has made progress over the past decade.
ove for game
has not left
'M' volleyball
aon Zemke
ly Sports Writer a
Expecting to post a lot of victories at the beginning of
the 1998 season - the Michigan volleyball players were
handed a lot of losses reminding them why they play the
game.
Because they love it.
Coming off the best season the program's history, the
Wolverines entered 1998 with several goals including a
Big Ten Championship and an NCAA sweet 16 appear-
ance.
Still, Michigan didn't achieve all of its goals. The
olverines didn't even repeat the feats of their break-
through 1997 season. Moreover, this team finished with
its worst record in years and defeated just one ranked
opponent.
Filled with heartbreak and frustration, Michigan could-
n't figure out exactly what was going wrong as the season
went on. Match after match the team did not play to the
level it was capable of playing at.
"Our team in practice is completely different than our
team that plays during a game," outside hitter Jane
evens said.
6 ne of the greatest matches that typified Michigan's
----------------- season featured the Wolverines
Volleyball coming back from a two game
deficit against host Michigan State,
Commentay only to narrowly lose in the fifth
----------------- game in front of a packed and
unfriendly Jennison Field House.
This was a commonality for Michigan as it would be
plagued by a different problem each game. Only once in a
while did the team come together and exhibit what it was
really capable of
q,) espite this year's lackluster season, these Wolverines
eaccomplished more in their careers to build their
sport than a majority of athletes in Michigan's athletic his-
tory can claim.
They reached their first postseason appearance at the
National Invitational Volleyball Championship tourna-
ment in 1995. Two years later, they received their first
NCAA tournament bid, coming within one match of
reaching the sweet 16. They finished the 1997 season tied
for third in the Big Ten with a 13-7 record, 21-12 overall.
"When (the seniors) came in their first year, it was a 8-
* year and immediately won 19 wins the next year,"
Michigan coach Greg Giovanazzi.
"How the class that (fifth-year senior Chereena Tennis
and Stevens) are in and the class that (seniors Jeanine
Szczesniak, Linsey Ebert and Karen Chase) are in ...
moved this whole program up so much. Now this season is
a complete disaster, whereas this was the standard up until
three years ago. This was where Michigan volleyball was
all the time. I think there is such intense disappointment in
this year because the standard has been raised so much."
But despite all this season's underachieving, letdowns
d disappointments, these athletes have achieved their
Wary goal.
They had fun.
That's the reason Wolverines believe sports are played
for- the pure enjoyment of them. Nothing else mattered.
"I think its just a natural standard that we have and a
natural love for the game that we just play and don't think
about building up the program or making the stats or get-
ting in the record books" Stevens said. "We just play
because we love it."
These athletes endured because they loved their strug-
.But the ultimate test of this team's character was per-
s ering through the hardship of this season and the abil-
ity to still play with an enthusiasm rarely seen when other
See SPIKERS, Page 0

The first 10 minutes turned
into a game of keep-away -
that is, keep that ball away
from the basket. By the
halfway point of the first stan-

-4

"YW.NTOWSONM

45

Michigan 60

za, the two teams combined for just 17 points, witl
Towson leading, 10-17.
But then Michigan's shooters - Louis Bullock in par&
ticular - woke up. And they did it with a bang. Pete
Vignier tipped in a Reid miss. Bullock stole the ball, broke
down the court and slammed it home. Bullock hit a 1 4-Wt
jumper. He made a 3-pointer. Then Reid sank one. Bullbck
hit a layup.
Bamn! Five minutes and 14 points later, Michigan had a
21-10 lead and never looked back.
Towson made the game look respectable with a late run,
but the outcome was never in doubt. With just under five
minutes left, trailing by 24, the Tigers closed out the game
with a 13-4 run.
"The last 10 minutes, maybe we didn't work as hard,"
Reid said.
But by then, it was too late. The Wolverines kept pres-
sure on the Tigers through most of the second half
something they struggled to do in losses to Syracuse and
Utah last week, when they blew second-half leads. After
jumping out to a seven-point halftime lead, the Wolveriines
started the second half with a 10-1 run, putting the gathe'
out of reach.
And all along, the Tigers missed shots, putting.:tr
enough bricks to lay the foundation of a house. Michigan
put together its best defensive effort in 12 years. On Jan.
30, 1986, the Wolverines topped Northwestern, 82-45.
They haven't let up less than 45 points since.
But Michigan's defensive effort did not change the fact
that a videotape of this game would probably be more
effective than a sleeping pill - Michigan coach Brian
Ellerbe called it "lethargic," and that was an understate-
See TIGERS, Page 10

LOUIS BROWN/Daily
The Michigan defense stifled Towson center Josh Davalli, holding him to only three points on 1-6 shooting. Davalli also went o-
3 from beyond the arc.
TaQste in opponents' haircuts
shows Crisler ans excitement

By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
Most of the fans sitting in the lower concourse of
Crisler Arena last night may have found that any attempts
at sleep were disturbed by a small band of loud, rude,
uncouth fans.
Last night's 60-45 snoozer was a college basketball
game in name only. But at Crisler, so are the fans. Except
for last night.
Michigan basketball fans usually make good weather-
vanes, too. They show up for big games, the games
against Michigan State or Duke or Indiana. But for the
lesser-known teams. The early-season blah games, such as
ones against Hampton, Tennessee-Chattanooga or
Bradley (tomorrow night) draw only the most serious of
Michigan hoopheads.
And last night's game, was against Towson. Towson!
Not a big-name team. Not a big game. A perfect night to
stay in and study. Or go to the bar. Or watch a bigger
matchup on TV.
Instead 10,916 fans came.
Far fewer than a capacity crowd, the ones filling the
first seven rows of Section 1 made up for the lack of
quantity with some quality - Yost Ice Arena-quality -
chanting. Especially whenever Towson's Danny White
touched the ball.
Derisive hoots of "Whiiite! Whiiite!" were only the tip
of the iceberg. White's night would get worse, and
although he said he's been taunted before, he hasn't
ignored
Unlike the abuse Minnesota's Miles Tarver suffered last

season at the hands of Michigan fans, White had done lit-
tle wrong except, well, have a pretty bad haircut. And fans
seemed to think he was jawing at Louis Bullock, daring
him to shoot.
As both teams were shooting around before the start of
the second half, one wag, although not in the section with
the other rowdies, felt the need to join them in spirit.
"Hey, White! I'll give you the 10 bucks for a haircut!"
White just smiled broadly.
"Nobody's ever been that creative before," White said.
But the most creative cheer of the night came upon
White's insertion into the game in the second half. As
they saw him preparing to enter, the fans began a chant.
"Who has the best hair on the court? ... White!".
While no one will mistake Michigan fans for having the
best cheers on the court, it seems as if they're learning.
Which, for the team they cheer on, only seems appro-
priate.

--- - 1 - -- * -l
LOUIS BROWN/Daily
Josh Asselin wasn't the target of Crisier fans' jeers because
one, he plays for Michigan, and two, he has an OK haircut.

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