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October 21, 1998 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-21

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 21, 1998 - 13

Ambitious expectations
hamper 'M' volleyball

By Jon Ze nko
Daily Sports Writer
Nobody expects more from the Michigan vol-
leyball team this season than the women who play
on it.
Michigan coach Greg Giovanazzi said the team
tries so hard that the Wolverines' extreme effort
turns against them.
"I think it is the biggest issue that we face,"
Giovanazzi said. "The team's own expectations
are higher than everybody else's."
This has been the main problem plaguing the
Wolverines all season. Basically, the toughest
team Michigan's spikers have to overcome is their
own.
"Going into this weekend, we're going to play
Wisconsin, No. 6 in the nation.
If we keep going in there-------------
thinking the pressure is on us volleyball
to get another win, we are con-
stantly going to be battling
ourselves." -----------
A majority of Michigan's problems can be
attributed to this mental block.
One of these problems is the inability of the
Wolverines to win a game in which they have
controlled the tempo. Instead, they allow the
opposing team to make a comeback.
Another problem that has perplexed Michigan's
spikers all season is that they just can't put away
tight games in the early stages of the match.
In seven of their eight Big Ten matches, at least
one of the first two games has been decided by
three points or less. Of these matches, the
Wolverines have won just two. Three of the Big
Ten matches thus far have seen the winning team
win either 17-15 or 16-14 in the first game.
Giovanazzi has played with different answers to
this question all season. These have ranged from
short team meetings to allow the players to reflect

on the match they just played, to shuffling around
different lineups in the hopes that his key players
will rise to the occasion.
All has been in vain, as the Wolverines have
struggled to a 10-8 record and 2-6 mark in the Big
Ten, two games shy of the midway point of the
conference season. Among these losses is a recent
shutout in game one, against No. 2 Penn State this
past Friday, and an embarrassing sweep by
Michigan State at Cliff Keen Arena.
Giovanazzi said his team needs "to take a deepi
breath and relax and enjoy the competitiveness of
being out there," and "enjoy the chance to play
some great teams."
Fast-paced, ultra-competitive practices have:
also been installed as a way to relax the team. The
hope is that the players will have more fun with
scrimmage-like drills than by practicing the same-
techniques over and over again in the same.
monotonous drills.
Giovanazzi's strategy seemed to be working-
during Monday's practice, as the team took to the
highly competitive atmosphere, which produced a
more relaxed setting.
"Usually we're pretty feisty, but it depends on
the drill," senior outside hitter Jane Stevens said.-
"If it's a fast drill, we'll keep up with it basically,;
but if it's a slow drill, we sometimes lag and take'
breaks. Instead of staying low on defense all the
time, we'll come up and veer into the ball."
With a formidable upcoming schedule,
Giovanazzi said he hopes this new strategy will
work. In addition to Wisconsin, the Wolverines
will host Iowa this weekend. Indiana and
Northwestern will travel to Cliff Keen Arena next
weekend before Michigan hits the road again.
"It's going to click," Giovanazzi said. "Whether
it clicks this weekend or not I don't know, but I
sure hope it does. Because its been too long for
this team."

The pressure
Karen Chase and
the rest of the
Wolverines put on
themselves may
have contributed
to their struggles
this season.
NATHAN RUFFER/Dady

i
...

Brosius blasts Yanks
to 3-0 Series lead

i

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A change of
scenery didn't change a thing for the San
Diego Padres.
Scott Brosius made sure of it.
Brosius hit his second homer of the
game, a stunning three-run shot off relief
ace Trevor Hoffman in the eighth inning,
and the New York Yankees moved with-
in one win of a World Series sweep with
a 5-4 victory in Game 3 last night.
Out of the Bronx and inside a ballpark
that serves up fish tacos, palm trees and
beach balls, the Yankees are looking for
their first sweep since 1950.
No team in baseball history has over-
come an 0-3 deficit in the postseason,
and now the Padres must try to do it
'against a club trying to cement its place
as the best ever. Andy Pettitte will start
for the Yankees in Game 4 tonight, most
likely against Kevin Brown.
On a night when everything seemed
to be going right for San Diego - great
plays, clutch pitching by Sterling
Hitchcock and key hits from Tony
Gwynn - Brosius and the Yankees
ruined it.
Hitless five innings against David
Cone, the Padres took a 3-0 lead in the
sixth on a burst started by Hitchcock's
'unlikely single.
Yet with 64,667 crazed fans roaring
and the cranked-up rock music blaring,
these Yankees would not break.
Brosius led off the seventh with a
home run against Hitchcock, MVP of
the National League Championship
Series and a member of the Yankees'
rotation with Cone in 1995. New York

closed to 3-2, but shortstop Chris
Gomez made an eye-popping catch to
start an inning-ending double play.
But in the eighth, there was no one left
to save the Padres.
Slumping Paul O'Neill drew a leadoff
walk from Randy Myers - once again,
the Yankees' patience at the plate paid off
- and then manager Bruce Bochy made
an early call to the bullpen.
It was Trevor Time, and Hoffman
walked in as AC/DC's "Hell's Bells"
sent the crowd into a frenzy. Hoffman
had been successful on 53 of 54 save
chances during the regular season,
though a blown chance in the NLCS
against Atlanta perhaps was a bad omen.
Hoffman wound up with the loss
while Ramiro Mendoza won in relief.
Mariano Rivera held on for a save, work-
ing around a pair of two-out singles by
Carlos Hernandez and pinch-hitter Mark
Sweeney by striking out Andy Sheets
with runners at the corners for the last
out.
After O'Neill's walk in the eighth,
Bernie Williams came close to putting
thi Yankees ahead, hitting a fly ball that
Gwynn caught on the warning track in
right. Tino Martinez followed with a
walk and then Brosius, moved up to
sixth in the batting order because the
Yankees played without a DH, homered
to center for a 5-3 lead.
Hoffman had not worked in five days,
his longest idle period of the season, and
clearly was not effective. He gave up
another hit in the eighth before ending
the inning.

Scott Brosius cel-
ebrates after hit-
ting one of his
two home runs In
last night's 54
victory over San
Diego nGame 3
of the World
Series.
AP PHOTO

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li

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