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September 08, 1998 - Image 66

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-08

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8E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - September 8, 1998

'97 season may
preview future
volleyball success

Harris stands out in
second year on links

By TJ. Berka and Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writers
It occurs countless times in the world
of sports -a team comes out of nowhere
to have a remarkable season and falls
back into the realm of also-rans just as
quickly.
The Michigan volleyball team had its
best season ever with a 21-12 record and
a win in its first NCAA tournament
game, a five-set victory over Temple on
Dec. 4. The Wolverines' season ended
two days later in a 15-10, 15-6, 15-6 loss
to Texas A&M.
But despite the loss, it looks like this
successful season is the start of a winning
pattern, not an aberration.
"We feel really good about how the
team stacks up the next few years,"
Giovanazzi said. "We have a lot of expe-
rience at outside hitter and Linsey Ebert
is one of the premier middle blockers in
the Big Ten."
The Wolverines return 10 of their top
12 players this fall, including four of six

starters. Michigan returns all five of its
outside hitters and four out of five middle
blockers.
The two players that the Wolverines
lost are setter Linnea Mendoza and mid-
dle blocker Sarah Jackson. While both
players are among Michigan's all-time
volleyball greats - Mendoza finished
with more than 5,000 career assists and
Jackson is leaving with the second-most
kills in school history - the Wolverines
have players that can fill their shoes.
Michigan is counting on sophomore
Joanna Fielder to take Jackson's place in
the lineup. Fielder saw limited action in
her freshman year but was a leader of the
second team in practice.
"We have somebody like Joanna to
come in, who I feel could have played all
year long," Giovanazzi said. "She is the
heir apparent to Jackson."
Replacing Mendoza is a trickier
proposition, because she had been the
main setter since she arrived in 1994. The
Wolverines, however, have a setter in this

By Rick Karpster
Daily Sports Writer
In an era where athletes' off-the-field
problems often dominate the sports
page, the Michigan men's golf team
offers a refreshing change of pace.
Michigan coach Jim Carras, who fin-
ished his 16th year as the leader of the
Wolverines, works hard to recruit
golfers who are quality students and
individuals. In fact, the first question
that he always asks recruits is how they
are doing in school.
"I look for student-athletes, not ath-
letic students,' Carras said. "I want
guys who know that school comes first
and golf comes second."
Last year's Wolverines proved
that Carras' goals have been accom-
plished as eight of the 15 team
members received all-academic
honors.
While Michigan has provided sever-
al great students and community role
models, it has also produced some very
talented golfers over the years. Over the
extended golf history at Michigan, few
have been better than current Wolverine
Mike Harris.
A redshirt sophomore, Harris had a
very memorable year in only his sec-
ond season as a college golfer. Harris
was the medalist in three of the eleven
events ,Michigan played in, and he
also contended for the Big Ten's Les
Bolstad Award, which is given annu-
ally to the person leading the confer-
ence in stroke average. In 30 compet-
itive rounds this year, Harris carded
an average score of 72.2 and had five
top five finishes.
"(Harris) has had one of the most
outstanding years as anyone in my
20 years here," Carras said. "He is
also a reat, smart kid who is very

modest through his times of suc-
cess."
Despite Harris' tremendous sea-
son, the Michigan golf team strug-
gled at times last year due to its lack9
of experience and depth. Each team
takes five golfers to every tourna-
ment, with the four lowest scores
used to calculate the overall team
score. After losing six players to
graduation the previous year, Carras
just could not get the necessary con-
sistency out of the bottom part of his
lineup.
Keith Hinton proved to be a solid No.
2 player by posting an average score of
75.1 throughout the season, whil
Kevin Vernick's average score of 75.9
filled the third spot.
Unfortunately for Michigan, no one
really stepped up to win the fourth and
fifth positions as six different golfers
occupied those spots at some point in
the year.
Although Hinton and Vernick were
lost to graduation this year, the rest Qf
the Wolverine team will be returtijg
next year. This should provide plenty
competition for the opportunity that
four of these golfers will have to join
Mike Harris and win one of the top fiv
spots in the lineup.
They will also have two new team-
mates as Carras was able to brin in'
two talented recruits this -year.'-
Andrew Chapman from the Flint irea
and Andy Matthews of Grand Rapids
will compete for playing time on next
year's Wolverine squad. In addition
to battling for playing time,
Chapman and Matthews also must
live up to the Michigan tradition of
excelling in the classroom and,
becoming outstanding citizens of the
community.

JOHN KRAFT/Daily
Sara Jackson's Importance to the Michigan volleyball team may not be felt until t
he season Is underway. Jackson left among the career kills leaders.

year's recruiting class who has the poten-
tial to be a viable replacement.
"We don't expect her to be as good as
Mendoza, that is too much to ask of any-
body," said Giovanazzi, who is not
allowed to talk about recruits by name.
"She has the potential to be a good setter
for us."
There was a lot of excitement at Cliff
Keen Arena last season, and there is a lot
for the Wolverines to be proud of. That

makes this season vital in the growth
process.
The Wolverines would rather use this
season as a spark to a new era in
Michigan volleyball as opposed to being
a flash in the pan.
"There was a funny feeling of accom-
plishment on the bus coming home" after
the tournament loss, Giovanazzi said.
"However, we are looking forward to
more successful seasons in the future."

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