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October 15, 1999 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-15

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Friday, October 15, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 13

tate gets second
chance at 'M'
By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Writer
hlalfway through the Big Ten season, the Michigan field
hockey team finds itself in a very familiar place, tied with
Penn State for first place in the conference.
0 With two victories last weekend over Northwestern and
prev iously undefeated Iowa, the seventh-ranked Wolverines
(4-1 Big Ten, 11-4 overall), who have won eight of their last
nine, moved into a three-way tie with the Hawkeves and
Nittany Lions for first place with five games left to play.
"It's been a goal of the team (to win the Big Ten title)'
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said. "The last three years
we have been first or second in the Big Ten. The season's only
halfway over, though. There's still a ton of hockey left."
Michigan's strength this season has been its defense, not
just in its half of the field but in the other team's as well. A
S.pcus on team defense and pressure by the Wolverines has
>rced play into the other team's half for the majoity of
games, creating chances for the offense.
But an inability to finish has left the games closer on the
scoreboard than play on the field.
"I. think our defense is solid. It is very experienced,"
Pankratz said. "We're still struggling a little bit on executing
our corners and on finishing in the goal-scoring department.
But so far we've been getting enough to win the game, and
that's what's most important."
With a 5-I victory Wednesday at Central Michigan,
1ichigan improved on some of its inconsistency around the
t tscorng its first two goals on corners,
But now the Wolverines must focus on a rematch with No.
15 Michigan State (1-4, 8-6) this Sunday at Ocker Field. Last
time the two teams met, Michigan struggled with its corners,
dominating the game but only converting on a corner once in
nine tries.
"I hope that we've worked out a couple of kinks, and we're
getting into a groove" Pankratz said. "I think that our corners

Blue goes for sweet victory
over Wildcats to stop slide

MAR~H MASHALL/i~ad
The Michigan field hockey team gets a chance to keep its
first-place ranking in the Big Ten this weekend.
look really good in practicc and then for some reason they
haven't been falling in the game."
Against the Spartans, the Wolverines must focus on two
defending sophomorc Marlen Tuip and Sanne van
Nouhuys. The two have combined for 19 goals and 49 points
in 14 games for Michigan State Last week. Tuip was named
the Bi Ten offensivc pI-tvc of the week after recording a hat
trick coupled with an assist against Northwesern.
"We just have to pay attention to %hN th y do well and try
to counter that." Pankratz said. "We try to ratch-up well with
the players who we think will play well against them, and
when you keep the ball away from them, that's important."
Although Michigan State has only one win in conference
play, the Wolverines know that everv teamn in the Big Ten has
the potential to win on a given day and won't he looking past
the Spartans to a rematch with lowa next wkeekend.

By Dena Krischer
Daly Sports Writer
The Michigan volleyball team hopes.
for more than a Hallmark holiday this
Saturday as it searches for its sweetest
victory of the season against
Northwestern (0-6 Big Ten, 2-14 over-
all).
The Wolverines (2-5, 10-6) are in
search of something new, something dif-
ferent, sorething a little more credible
than what's given them their dubious 13ig
Ten record.
Michigan's number one concern this
season has been to focus on its side of
the net - which worked during the non-
conference season as they recorded eight
wins and only one loss.
Then, as Michigan hit the Big Ten
schedule, it has proven once again that
what happens during non-conference
play is meaningless -the teams in the
other conferences are mere puppy dogs
in comparison to the "big dogs" in the
Big Ten.
And if you can't play with the big
dogs, you'd better sit in the stands.
"Every team that we've seen (in the
Big Ten) so far has been the same caliber
as the teams that we saw during (non-
conference)," Michigan assistant coach
Leisa Rosen said."That says a lot for the
Big Ten. We were expecting it to be a lit-
tle rocky the first way through the first
half of the Big Ten because we haven't
seen the teams before from a new coach-
ing standpoint. The team really hasn't
either because they're new players."
The Wolverines are doing their best to
refrain from a repeat of last season,
where they were only able to muster two
wins in the Big Ten despite their suc-
cessfutl 8-2 non-conference record.
And although the Big Ten has consis-
tently left Michigan spinning in circles,
it's not over vet.
"It's not like we're throwing our hands
up in the air and saying we're done,"
Leisa Rosen said. "We just need to get
better. The biggest thing is we need to
get more consistent."
Michigan coach Mark Rosen said
there aren't any clear-cut answers as to
where the inconsistency came about.
"It's intangible," Mark Rosen said.
"When you're trying to put something
together so it runs well - like a watch or
a machine - every piece needs to fit
together. There has to be some experi-
mentation."
Michigan has been relying on experi-
mentation since, well ... practically all
season long. It just can't seem to find its
groove, its niche - its winning lineup.
"We're trying to find stability," Mark
1. SIt

Rosen said. "We're trying different line-
ups so that we can get better continuity,
a better personality, a better dynamiec
withim the teat We need to find the
group of people that fit the best, and it's
not always gomng to be the most physical
players.'"
So the Wokerines took a chance on an
unknown kid and low and behold,
they' te found something, or someone
that fits the mold they've been so des-
peratelv trying hi create.
The 5-toot- I10 redshirt freshman mid-
dle blocker that goes by the name of
Katrina Lehman
Before the utipredictable loss to
Michigan State on Wednesday night,

Lehman led the team in attacks with a
.365 average.
Then, in East Lansing during game
two alone, she averaged .833 - better
than anybody on either team.
"We gave (Katrina) an opportunity to
play"' Mark Rosen said. "She fits well,
she's adding aggression, and she's rest
fearless when she plays. She's worked
hard to put herself in the position to piny
as well as she is playing."
Michigan cannot afford to take
Northwestern with a grain of salt. The
players and the coaches know that,
regardless of the team's record, that any-
one in the Big Ten can win on any given
night.

STAFF PICKS

All picks made against
the spread,
Home teams in CAPS.
TJ. Berka
PENN STATE (-11.5) vs. Ohio State Ohio State
Michigan State (-2) vs. PURDUE Michigan Stat(
WISCONSIN (-15) vs. Indiana Indiana
Minnesota (-2.5) vs. ILLINOIS Minnesota
NORTHWESTERN (-4.5) vs. Iowa . < Northwestern
NOTRE DAME (-7.5) vs. Southern Cal Southern Cal
RICE (-7.5) vs. San Jose State Rice
VIRGINIA TECH (-11.5) vs. Syracuse Virginia Tech
Alabama (-3.5) vs. MISSISSIPPI . ; Alabama
FLORIDA STATE (-33) vs. Wake Forest Wake Forest
Florida (-17) vs. AUBURN Florida
Georgia Tech (-17) vs DUKE Georgra Tech
TEXAS A&M (-31.5)vs. Kansas Texas A&M
ARIZONA (-22) vs. Texas-El Paso Arizona
Best Bet Georgia Tech

e

Rick Freeman
Penn State
Michigan State
Indiana
Illinois
Northwestern
Notre Dame
Rice
Virginia Tech
Mississippi
Wake Forest
Florida
Georgia Tech
Texas A&M
Arizona
Florida
9-4-1 (1-0)

Josh Kleinbaum
Penn State
Michigan State
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Iowa
Notre Dame
San Jose State
Virginia tech
Mississippi
Florida State
Auburn
Georgia Tech
Kansas
Texas-El Paso
Michigan sate
6-7-1 (0-1)

Andy Latack
Ohio State
Michigan State
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Northwestern
Notre Dame
Rice
Syracuse
Alabama
Florida State
Florida
Georgia Tech
Texas A&M
Arizona
Minnesota
94-1 (-0)

Last week 8-5-1 (0-1)
Overall (Best Bet) 37-30-3 (1-4)

36-31-3 (2-3)

30-37-3 (1-4) 37-30-3 (1-4)

m

m

m

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