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October 05, 1999 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-05

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T a October 5. 1999 - The Michigan Daily -11

Volleyball continues tough schedule with trp to South Bend

By Jon Zemke
Luly Sponts Wnter
Continuing it's brutal schedule, the
Michigan volleyball team will play
Notre Dame today. The Irish are the sec-
ond of the last three Wolverine oppo-
nents to make last year's NCAA
Tournament. But Michigan coach Mark
Rosen isn't as worried about his oppo-
nents as he is his own team.
"It's not good to be an average team,"
Rosen said. "We've found that out
already. We have to be a better than aver-
age team."
One of Rosen's worries was the loss
of outside hitter Alija Pittenger to an

W "
SARA SCHENCK/Daly
After spraining her ankle, Alija Pittenger
will only play in the back court today.

Leiter pitches Mets into
playoffs with two-bitter

ankle sprain earlier last week. The injury
forced Pittenger to miss the Wolverines'
Friday loss to Wisconsin and prevented
her from playing full time in the loss to
Purdue on Saturday.
Pittenger was limited to playing
defense in the back row for half the
match against Purdue. Her ankle had not
healed enough to allow her to handle all
the jumping of play at the net.
"Pittenger is only going to play in the
back court against Notre Dame," Rosen
said. "She's not ready vet"
Stepping up for the injured Pittenger
over the weekend was Sarah Behnke.
Behnke, who has only seen limited
Diamond §hdm
T-DAY'
Texas at New York, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Houston at Atlanta, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
New York at Arizona, 11 p.m. (ESPN)
ToMofROW:
Boston at Cleveland, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Houston at Atlanta, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
New York at Arizona, 11 p.m. (ESPN)
THURSDAY, Ocr. 7:
Boston at Cleveland, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Texas at New York, 8 p.m. (Fox)
FRIDAY, Ocr. 8:
Atlanta at Houston, TBA
Arizona at New York, TBA
SATURDAY, OCT. 9:
New York at Texas, TBA
Cleveland at Boston, TBA
Atlanta at Houston, TBA *
Arizona at New York, TBA *
SUN., Ocr. 10:
New York at Texas, TBA *
Cleveland at Boston, TBA *
Houston at Atlanta, TBA *
New York at Arizona, TBA *
(MONDAY, Ocr. 11:
Texas at New York, TBA *
Boston at Cleveland, TBA *
*if necessary

action this season because of illness,
filled the role well against Purdue,
recording 22 kills.
But the improved kill production
came at a cost. The team lost its best
defender when Pittenger went down.
Her injury made a big difference in the
team's performance Rosen said.
The addition of a power attacker like
Behnke should help against Notre
Dame. The Irish's strength is its block-
ing Notre Dame coach Debbie Brown
said.
Led by senior Mary Leffers and
junior Jo Jameyson, the Irish bring a tall
front line to the court. Notre Dame is

ranked I8th in hloc ki.
ILeIffers was a fi rst teami al-ig Last
and all-district selection last season
averaging 1.33 blocks per g ame. She
also led the Irish to their tfourth consee-
utive Big East tidle, despite suffering a.
knee injury the prev ious spring.
"Letfers is hav ing a very good year
for us," Brown said.
But .Jameyson can do it all. Last sea-
son she reg istered l( blNock s in one
game against (icorgia and hit .433
attack percentage wit h l kils aeainst
Colorado. She een managed to get 2)
d igs aga inst Sy racuse last \ear
"She is our most versatile player

Welcome Back Students
Wendy's is seeking people to work
in our friendly team environment.

Brown said. "Whether it's blocking in
the middle or swinging on the side it's
nice to have that combination."
The combination of teams Notre
Dame has played so far has been inter-
cstin . Even though they've beaten
teams like Miami, Ohio and Valparaiso
quite handily, they've lost to the three
ranked teams they've come across,
including Pacific ranked first all season
until this week. The Wolverines have
beaten three of the six ranked teams
they've played.
"I think we've prepared ourselves
very well by playing some very good
teams," Brown said.

CINCINNATI (AP) - Just days
after a late-season collapse put New
York two games behind the Reds enter-
ing the final weekend of the season, the
Mets put themselves in the postseason
for the first time since 1988.
Al Leiter pitched a two-hitter and
Ogardo Alfonzo homered on the sixth
pitch as the Mets held firm last night,
beating Cincinnati 5-0 in a one-game
playoff for the NL wild-card spot.
The Mets now travel to Arizona to
open the best-of-5 first round tonight
against Diamondbacks ace Randy
Johnson. The win meant New York
manager Bobby Valentine's first trip to
the playoffs, and put the Mets and
Yankees in the postseason together for
e first time - the Yankees take on
exas in the AL.
"This is just a start,"Valentine said.
"We'll get over to Arizona and see
what's going on."
In his most important start since
Game 7 of the 1997 World Series for
Florida, the left-handed Leiter pitched
his first complete game of the year. He
did not allow a runner past first base
until Pokey Reese doubled to start the
*nth. Jeffrey Hammonds singled in the
second for the Reds' other hit.
Leiter struck out seven, walked four
and retired 13 consecutive batters dur-
ing one stretch, giving the Reds no
opening for another magical comeback.
"Any game like this, you feel the
emotion," Leiter said. "We get up 3-0
and in a game like this, I could tell
some of their guys were pressing,
swinging at bad pitches."
Cincinnati's attempt to nickel-and-
me its way into the playoffs with the
big-budget teams fell flat in front of the
Reds' second-biggest crowd of the sea-
son. The Reds were shut out for only
the third time this season and the first

time since April 30.
The $35 million Reds won 96 games
- their best total since the Big Red
Machine was rolling in the mid-'70s -
but couldn't get that one final win.
Instead of Ohio fans dreaming about
an 1-71 series with Cleveland, the New
Yorkers can go back to speculating about
that Subway Series with the Yankees.
Given a second chance to make the
playoffs, the Mets showed up loose and
relaxed and quickly muted the capacity
crowd of 54,621. The cheers turned
into gasps when Rickey Henderson led
off the game with a sharp single to left
and Alfonzo followed with a long drive
to center on Steve Parris' sixth pitch.
Jeffrey Hammonds turned, headed
towards the warning track and
appeared to have a chance for the
catch, but the ball sliced through the
damp, raw air and slammed off the soft
gray background beyond the wall for
Alfonzo's 27th homer.
The Mets jumped and pumped their
fists as they headed for the dugout rail-
ing as Alfonzo rounded the bases, sens-
ing that the franchise's first playoff berth
since 1988 was back in their control.
The crowd was buzzing again in the
third when manager Jack McKeon
made an uncharacteristically hasty
pitching change. The Mets loaded the
bases with two outs on Alfonzo's walk,
John Olerud's soft double to right and
an intentional walk to Mike Piazza.
Parris (11-4) flinched in disappoint-
ment and dropped his head when pitch-
ing coach Don Gullett came out to
make a change, calling on left-hander
Denny Neagle to make only his second
relief appearance since 1993.
Neagle, who threw 100 pitches
Friday in a loss at Milwaukee, walked
Robin Ventura on a full-count pitch to
make the move backfire.

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