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September 08, 1998 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - September 8, 1998 - 17A

'M' volleyball sweeps into season

By Uma Subramanian
Daily Sports Writer
Last year the Michigan women's vol-
leyball team had its most successful
season in history, earning its first
NCAA tournament bid and finishing
with a record of 21-12.
Entering the 1998 campaign, the
Wolverines think they can keep the fire
burning.
"We're a better team than we were
last year," Michigan coach Greg
Giovanazzi said. "We are in a position
,to have an even better year."
If senior Karen Chase's recent play is
any indication of the team, the winning
streak could continue.
To open the season, the Wolverines
were in Washington, D.C., where they
won the Georgetown Acumen Classic
by defeating Temple, Georgetown and
Maryland.
The Wolverines defeated Temple in
four games (15-8, 15-10, 14-16, 15-4)
to improve their record to 3-0. They
were led by Chase, who had 23 kills
(and seven errors) in 37 attempts for a
.432 attack percentage in the match.
"Chase is a pretty amazing player,"
Giovanazzi said. "She was on fire this
weekend. She is the person we had to
go to in each pivotal situation and she

really came through."
In the tournament, Chase also had a
lot of help from her teammates espe-
cially fellow senior Jeanine Szczesniak
who was named the tournament MVP.
"The match against Temple this year
was much different from last season,"
Giovanazzi said. "They lost four or five
seniors, and they were really tentative
when they came out."
While Temple was an important
match in capturing the crown, the
Wolverines were more concerned with
their previous two matches.
In an earlier game Saturday, the
Wolverines defeated host Georgetown
in four games (9-15, 15-7, 15-7, 15-6).
Szczesniak had a .409 attack percent-
age in the match.
The Wolverines out-hit the Hoyas,
45-39 and out-blocked them 12-7.5.
Recently graduated setter Linnea
Mendoza, Michigan's all-time career
assists leader, will be replaced by
freshman Shannon Melka and sopho-
more Alija Pittenger, who combined for
63 assists against Temple and 36 against
Georgetown.
"I'm not surprised by their perfor-
mance," Giovanazzi said. "Together
they formed a team which allows us to
improve over last year. They've done a

really great job. It's always difficult to
replace a senior, but they have come
together.'
Prior to this weekend, the
Wolverines' primary focus had been the
match against Maryland. The Terrapins
lost only twice last year - never during
the regular season.
Friday's lone contest saw the
Wolverines rise to the challenge. They
recorded 69 kills as well as 10 blocks in
the four games.
The weekend was a confidence.
builder for Michigan, but Giovanazzi is
more focused on keeping things in bal-
ance.
"At the end of the tournament we dis-
cussed how important it was to keep
things in balance," he said. "It's only
one of the many weekends, but we will
use it for the momentum it provides."
For the past several years the volley-
ball program has been trying to estab-
lish itself. But this year, things could be
different.
"It's going to be kind of an unusual
season because we have to get used to
being one of the top teams in the con-
ference instead of an underdog,"
Giovanazzi said. "It will be interesting
to see how the team adjusts to that posi-
tion. So far they seem to be doing well."

The Michigan
volleyball team
opened their sea-
son by sweeping
to the
Georgetown
Acumen Classic
title.
FILE PHOTO

'14"etccine

Beitel, 'M' soccer dismantle weekend foes

9-

Wecome6BackStuents!
Qet Started on the I qht 9\Note.

By Vaughn R. KMug
Daily Sports Writer
Keeping pace with the success of the
'97 season, the No. 17 Michigan soccer
team remained undefeated after open-
ing the season with a pair of road games
this weekend.
Playing in Indianapolis on Sunday,
Michigan (2-0) defeated Butler, 2-1.
In the first half, Michigan took the
lead thanks to a blast from. senior
Jessica kimauro at 37:30, her third
*point of the season.
The assist came from sophomore
standout Kacy Beitel who dismantled
the pressing Bulldogs by serving
Limauro a pass over the head of the
defenders. Beitel also made major con-
tributions in the season opener against
Dayton where she scored twice en route
to a 3-1 victory.
After the break, the Wolverines
struck again as iunior Amber
Berendowsky found the back of the net
at the 57 minute-mark.
Senior goalkeeper Jessica Jones's,
four saves, coupled with the rest of the
defense's efforts, also were key ingredi-
ents to Michigan's victorv, Belkin said.
"I can count on them to fight hard the
entire game regardless of the situation
or score." Belkin said.
As for last season, the Wolverines
finished 18-4-1 and boasted a Big Ten
tournament title which led to the young

program's first berth in the NCAA tour-
nament.
With eight starters returning from the
'97 squad, the expectations are higher
than ever before.
"We definitely feel we have the talent
for a Big Ten Championship," fifth-year
head coach Debbie Belkin said in a
written statement. "Now that we have
been to the NCAA's, we do not just
want to get there, we want to continue
to advance."
Success will be especially challeng-
ing for the Wolverines this season in
light of six matchups with fellow '97
NCAA tournament qualifiers.
Three of those teams, Minnesota,
Penn State and Wisconsin, will also be
bidding for the Big Ten crown - while
Massachusetts, Brigham Young and
national semifinalist Notre Dame rep-
resent non-conference threats.
For now, the Wolverines are prepar-
ing to host the Michigan. Challenge
Cup, which will be held at the Michigan
Soccer Field on Friday and Sunday.
Riding the confidence of two road
wins, Michigan is optimistic about the
Challenge Cup yet aware of the threat
of an opening game versus
Massachusetts.
"We will go into the game confident
and excited but certainly respecting the
strong tradition of Massachusetts soc-
cer," Belkin said.

.e

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FILE PHOTO
The Michigan soccer team took its first two contests of the season this weekend,
defeating Butler, 2-1, and Dayton, 3-1.

__.i

Venus eclipses Pierce;
Sampras also advances

U

NEW YORK (AP)-- On a day when
thunderstorms turned the U.S. Open
into Wimbledon West for 2 1/4 hours,
APete Sampras had 18 aces and never
'ost his serve in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory
yesterday over Marat Safin. Sampras
moves into the quarterfinals of the
tournament he has won four times with
the victory.
The top-seeded Sampras next will
face the winner of a match between
No. 8 Andre Agassi and No. 9 Karol
Kucera.
Safin, 18, who wowed crowds at this
ear's French Open with a string of
upsets en route to the fourth round in
his Grand Slam debut, showed off
plenty of power, including 10 aces. But
he was no match for the steady
Sampras.
Sampras lost only 20 points on his
serve in the match and closed out his
600th career win with three consecu-
tive aces - including one at 135 mph.
He won 41 of 48 points on his first
serve in the match.
Also winning was No. 5 Venus

Williams, who celebrated her 6-1, 7-6
(7-4) win over No. 12 Mary Pierce
with an on-court dance that looked like
an NFL end zone strut. Williams won
the last six points of the tiebreaker.
No. 13 Amanda Coetzer slammed a
backhand passing shot down the line
on match point, beating the weather
and No. 7 Conchita Martinez, 6-4, 4-6,
6-2.
With Coetzer and Martinez engag-
ing in long baseline rallies and occa-
sionally hitting moonballs, the match
lasted 2 hours, 39 minutes. One game
had 28 points, including 11 deuces, and
consumed more than 20 minutes.
The victory put Coetzer, into the
quarterfinals against the winner of the
match between No. 2 Lindsay
Davenport and No. 10 Nathalie
Tauziat.
There were a couple of big upsets
Sunday night, Five-time champion
Steffi Graf was ousted by Patty
Schnyder and the second-seeded man,
Marcelo Rios, lost a five-setter to
Magnus Larsson.

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