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February 17, 2000 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-17

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Men's Soccer signees
ichigan men's soccer squad kicks off its
nrst season next fall. To find out more on
the foundations of that program and read
8bout the recruits signed so far, check the
Michigan Daily Sports Website.
michigandaily. com /sports

SPOeihian &dI
PORTS

THURSDAY
FEBRUARY 17, 2000

'M' loses
seventh
straight
By Jacob Wheeler
Daily Sports Editor-

'M' races into Indy, Big Ten meet

By David Horn
Daily Sports Writer
Memorial Day at the Brickyard is the
city of Indianapolis' annual spectacle of
speed. But this spring the action moves
from the racetrack to the swimming
pool, as the seat of the Hoosier state
plays host to both the Big Ten
Championships and NCAA
Championships. The former will take
place today, tomorrow and Saturday.
For No. 9 Michigan, this weekend is
the culmination of a season's worth of
practice. Michigan coach Jim
Richardson stresses preparation to his
team all season, but today the prepara-
tion ends.
"We're just thinking of Big Tens,'
junior Jennifer Crisman said after a dual
meet last month. "It's a matter of staying
in the water until the big races."
The first of two big races is here.

The team has felt comfortable with
their progress, but this is their first
opportunity to apply months of prepara-
tion towards a meet that even Richardson
admits "counts for something."
"There's always a little nervousness
and excitement the day before the first
race," Richardson said. "We can go out
and swim our best times of the season,
and that's all you can do as a team. You
either get it done in the next three days,
or you don't. It's do or die."
Richardson's sentiments are slightly
different from the way he felt about the
tournament in January.
"Our season is not won or lost on
three days in February or three days in
March (the NCAA Championships),"
Richardson said before a dual meet with
Oakland Jan. 14.
Despite Richardson's newfound inten-
sity, his team will not be without experi-
ence. Last year, Michigan became the

first Big Ten team to sweep the relap
events. There are four past Big Ten
champions on the team, including
Crisman and four-time champion senior=
Shannon.Shakespeare.
Michigan has prepared for this week-,
end, but Illinois coach and NCAA Top
25 elector Jim Lutz believes that a team
regular season performance, and subse-
quently its national ranking, is slightly,
skewed.
"Coach Richardson has his horse
waiting in the stable," Lutz said. "Othe
teams, like (1999 champion) Minnesota,,
come to win this race. (Michigan) may;,:
not win Big Tens, but they will probably,
score higher than any other Big Ten team
at nationals.:
Months of preparation, two weekends
of competition. Richardson's patient
plan will begin to prove itself either a
success or failure starting today in
Indianapolis.

MADISON - Try as it might, the 4
Michigan basketball team can't win that'
elusive 13th game. Like an ascending
elevator; the Wolverines had no prob-
lem reaching
wins 1-12, 2 MICHIGAN 59
but win F
numbert 13 WiSCONSJN 75
seems like
the floor that doesn't exist.
Michigan (3-8 Big Ten, 12-10 over- .A
all) lost its seventh consecutive gam e atWs n i , 9 a
Wisconsin last night, 75-59, to a team
which many hoped would be a breath of
fresh air after the Wolverines played a;
murderous, six-game stretch against the
Big Ten's best teams.APH0
Coming off a career-high 12 points against Indiana on Sunday, Chris Young only
See BADGERS, Page 10A managed four points in Michigan's embarrassing 75-59 loss to Wisconsin.
Postseason slipping away for Blue

By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Editor
MADISON - There was a great deal
of talk this season about Michigan
going .500.
It began at Mackey Arena in West
Lafayette after the Wolverines' double-
overtime victory over Purdue. It contin-
ued after Illinois and even more follow-
ing Northwestern.
Yesterday, in the Kohl Center, there
was more talk. The difference is,
nobody is talking about Michigan
going .500 in the Big Ten anymore -
they're wondering if the Wolverines
will even have a winning season.
"The frustration I'm feeling right
now is indescribable," said Brian
Ellerbe, though his blank, down-
ward stare certainly helped convey it.

"There were two teams (tonight) that
could have really helped themselves
later on for the NIT or even sneaking
into the Big Dance," Ellerbe said.
Until last night, an NCAA bid might
not have been all that sneaky for the
Wolverines. Six teams from the Big
Ten went dancing last year, and as of
yesterday, it appeared only four had
shored up bids - Michigan State,
Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue.
But although the line between
NCAA and NIT may be a thin one, the
difference between NIT and offseason
is even more fragile - and vital.
Michigan (3-8 Big Ten, 12-10 over-
all) still needs at least three more wins
to finish over .500, and this Sunday's
match with Penn State should be con-
sidered a must. Barring an upstart Big
Ten Tournament run, the Wolverines

are on brass tacks.
Which may explain the dire concern
in Ellerbe's eves as he listed off the
teams problems against the Badgers.
"We could never put together multi-
ple scoring chances" he said as he fid-
dled, exasperated, with a microphone
in front of him.
Neither has Michigan been able to
put together multiple wins. Or even
one. for that matter, in the past seven
games. And Ellerbe knows the impact
a postseason can have - his Big Ten
Tournament title and NCAA second
round season two years prior all but
assured him the head coaching job.
Now, things arc different.
"Our team and our program are
under a lot of duress, everybodv
knows that." Ellerbe said. "I just want
to play better."

Women go for
5th-straight win
By Arun Gopal
Daily Sports Writer
Wisconsin -- home of cheese, beer and frostbite.
Wisconsin is also the home of the Michigan women's bas-
ketball team's next opponent - the Badgers. Wisconsin (7-6
Big Ten, 14-9 overall) - riding a three-game winning streak
- invades Crisler Arena tonight at 7 p.m. for a game with
major implications in the Big Ten race.
Michigan (9-3, 17-6) is currently alone in second place in
the Big Ten, a half game ahead of Purdue and two games
behind Penn State. While the Wolverines' chances of catching
the Lady Lions are slim, Michigan has a very realistic chance
- given its remaining schedule - to grab the second seed in
the Big Ten tournament.
In order to do that the Wolverines have to keep winning.
"I don't think there's any added pressure on us: Michigan
coach Sue Guevara said. "We're in control of our own destiny,
and I think, really, that it relaxes us a little. I would rather be in
the situation we're in now than worrying about what everyone
else is going to do:
As was the case in the Wolverines' victorv over Indiana on
Sunday, Michigan has a revenge factor working in its favor On
Jan. 20, Wisconsin upset Michigan in Madison, 72-69, in a
game that saw Michigan blow a double-digit lead.
While the Wolverines have rebounded nicely since that loss,
the memorv is still bitter, giving Michigan added motivation
when it takes the floor tonight.
"I don't think there's any doubt that, again, it's a revenge
thing" Guevara said. "I think it's something that we've talked
about. We had an opportunity on the road, we didn't execute,
and Wisconsin won. Hopefully, it's going to be payback time."

,

ALEX WOLK/Daily
As the men lose their seventh straight game to the Badgers,
Alison Miller and the women's basketball team look to win
their fifth-straight to their northern foes tonight at Crisler.
Despite the absence of freshman sensation Nina Smith only,
the second Parade All-American recruit in Badger history.
Wisconsin was able to dominate the Wolverines on the io
blocks. In a storyline that sounds like a broken record fo,
Michigan, Wisconsin forwards Jessie Stomski, LaTonya Sims,
and Tamara Moore combined for 37 points and 24 rebounds:
"It was team defense that shut down Indiana's JiU,
Chapman," Guevara said. "That's kind of the same thing that
we're going to have to do against Wisconsin. We're playing bet
ter team defense now, and I think that's going to be key:

+ re

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