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November 19, 1999 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


BASKETBALL
WASHINGTON 92,
Toronto 81
MILWAUKEE 99.
San Antonio 88
Sacramento 128,
HOuston 110
Los Angeles at
DENVER, Inc.

NHL
HOCKEY
BOSTON 5,
New York 3
San Jose 4,
OTTAWA 1
PHIlADELPHIA 1,
Dallas 1
TAMPA BAY 2.
Pittsburgh 1

ST. LOUIS 3,
Florida 0
Montreal at
NASHVILLE, Inc.
Phoenix at
LOS ANGELES, Inc,

SPORTS

Tracking 'M' teams
The Michigan women's gymnastics team inked four
new recruits this week during the early signing period.
The new Wolverines are Elise Ray, Calli Ryals,
Christina Mantila and Alison Rudisi.

Friday
November 19, 1999

9

a

No. 2 UConn awaits

'M' field hockey in Final Four

'r

By David Roth
Daily Sports Writer
Jocelyn LaFace is going to the Final
Four - and she's freaking out.
"I was thinking about it yesterday"
the senior forward said. "We're going to
e Final Four. It's finally hitting me.
ply crap. We're going to the Final Four
and we can win it all. It just feels like
we're on a roll. I don't know if we can
lose."
Holy crap. This is it. Faceoff is today,
at 3 p.m., when the Michigan field
hockey team enters the semifinals of the
NCAA Tournament at Northeastern
University in Boston. No. 4 Michigan
will take on undefeated No, 2
Aonnecticut to decide who will get to
ght for the national championship on
Sunday. The winner will play the victor
of the Iowa-Maryland game.
Connecticut has dropped jaws all sea-
son. Not only have the Huskies won a
record-setting 23 games, but they have
also rewritten the record books by aver-
aging a whopping 4.2 goals per game.
Michigan freshman Molly Powers
V ichigan
returnS to
host Lae
6how,
By Geoff Gagnon
Daily Sports Writer
Yost Ice Arena will continue its
redecorating theme as Michigan
squares off with conference foe Lake
Superior State tonight.
Two weeks ago the Michigan confer-
m ce home-opener saw the Wolverines
d a banner to the rafters in honor of
last season's CCHA Tournament win
This weekend, as fans make their
Way into Yost Ice Arena they'll be
greeted by bronze-colored commemo-
rative plates fashioned to the walls of
each room in the building. The plaques
hung earlier this week, will memorial-
ize donors who contributed thousands
'f'dollars to help complete renovations
the aging arena over a year ago
lut make no mistake, notwithstand-
ing the decor additions the Wolverines
have added, it's still the Lakers that
Michigan hopes to nail to the wall
tonight. Already 7-1 in CCHA action,
the Wolverines stand in the league's
second spot behind Michigan State
with a 10-1 mark overall.
But despite the efficiency with
which Michigan has been able to cruise
through parts of the early conference
ason, coach Red Berenson said this
ke Superior team is not one to be
taken lightly.
"With Lake Superior I could say
they might be the best team to play at
Yost this year at this juncture,"
Berenson.
That would be nothing new to a
Michigan team that has been pestered
by the Upper Peninsula team for years.
Lake Superior is one of only 13 schools
t own a winning record against
Michigan as they look to add to a 31-
20-6 all-time record this weekend. And
while Michigan owns a 7-2-1 advan-
tage in the last ten years, the
Wolverines are wary of a Lake State
team that took two games from them a
year ago, including a 6-3 drubbing in
their last visit to Yost in February.
"They're 3-3 in the league, but they
See HOCKEY. Page 10

Ean$$9rm
a HO New.

lashed out at the Huskies. Powers is con-
fident the Wolverines will beat the
Huskies en route to playing in the
national championship game.
"They don't look like an undefeated
team should look," Powers said after
watching them on film. "1 think that
they're going to be shocked when they
play us, because we're the real deal and
they're not."
The stars for the Huskies are senior
Nicole Casonguay, who has rattled the
cage with 23 goals this season, and
junior Laura Klein, who has notched 16
goals and 15 assists. Connecticut is
coached by Nancy Stevens, who led it to
Big East regular season and tournament
titles.
Despite the Huskies' impressive
repertoire, many Michigan players feel
that they have not been playing a very
high level of competition. While the
Wolverines have been colliding with
top-ranked Big Ten opponents, the
Huskies have been breezing by cup-
cakes like Quinnipiac, Sacred Heart,
and Fairfield.

"I don't think they're quite as tested as
were are," Michigan coach Marcia
Pankratz said. "We've played a much
tougher schedule game for game. I don't
know if they are really as hardened and
as chiseled to adversity as we are. We've
got six hard losses and they were all to
top-five teams."
After watching the Huskies in action
and seeing the tape of the Connecticut-
Northeastern games, the verdict is in.
"We think they're beatable," junior
midfielder Reagan Wulfsberg said.
"They played some tough opponents at
the beginning of the season, but since
then we feel like they haven't been test-
ed too much. We watched some game
tape and we have some strategies, and
we think we can come out on top."
Both the Wolverines and the Huskies
have clashed with Penn State,
Northeastern and Syracuse, and each
defeated all three teams, although
Michigan was ousted by the Nittany
Lions twice earlier in the season.
Michigan beat Syracuse 3-2, while
Connecticut's two victories over the

Orangemen were by two goals.
"It's going to be a tough game,"
sophomore Catherine Foreman said.
"But we're going to be on our game and
we're confident that we can beat them."
Michigan's strategy is to attack from
the start and put the Huskies away early.
"I hope we're going to put them on
their heels early, keep them there, and
that they're not going to know what to
do," Pankratz said.
This weekend will be the end of
Michigan's season, so the Wolverines
expect to leave their hearts on the field.
"We're just looking to go out and play
our best, Ashley Thomas said. "We
know we can beat any team as long as
we play our game and play tough."
Michigan realizes that being the best
means beating the top teams and over-
taking their rank. The Wolverines, who
were the third seed going into the Big
Ten Tournament, beat the first and sec-
ond seeds to take the crown. They
expect no easy shortcuts and are pre-
pared to beat No. I and No. 2 this week-
end in the NCAA's.

JEREMY MENCHIK/oay
Courtney Reid and the Wolverines continue their improbable run today in Boston.

M' basketball opens tonight

Daily Sports Writer
Though they've practiced under its
white glare for a month now, when
Michigan's 'diaper dandies' walk onto
the Crisler Arena floor tonight for the
season-opening game against Oakland,
they might wince at the arena's bright
lights shining down upon them.
For freshmen Kevin Gaines, Jamal
Crawford, Leland Anderson, Gavin
Groninger and LaVell Blanchard, the
long wait to play college basketball is
over.
But which of Michigan's heralded
freshmen will grace the inaugural lineup
card?
"There's a possibility we'll go with a
small lineup against Oakland," said
Michigan coach Brian Ellerbe, who has
yet to win a season opener, or a home
opener, with the Wolverines. "It's inter-
esting, I don't expect Oakland to run and
get up and down the floor."
Normally, Ellerbe might be tempted
to use a small lineup in most games this
season because the team's strength is in
its guards, and many future opponents

Shall we super-size that lineup, Coach?

Even thouqh Michigan has a distinct
size advantage on Oakland - the
Golden Grizzlies have only two players
taller than 6-5 - Michigan coach
Brian Ellerbe hasn't announced if he'll
use a small or big lineup for tonight's
season opener.

BIG
G Kevin Gaines
G Jamal Crawford
C Peter Vignier
F Josh Asselin
F LaVell Blanchard

Yr.
Fr.
Fr.
Sr.
Jr.
Fr.
Yr.
Fr.
So.
Sr.

Ht.
6-4
6-6
6-11
6-11
6-7
Ht.
6-4
6-4
6-11

.t
,.,.,
,,.

SMALL

G
G
C
F
F

Kevin Gaines
Jamal Crawford
Josh Asselin
Leon Jones
LaVell Blanchard

Yr.
Fr.
Fr.
Jr.
So.
Fr.

Ht.
6-4
6-6
6-11
6.4
6-7>

OR

G'
G
C'

Kevin Gaines
Leon Jones
Peter Vignier

won't have trouble out-muscling l
Michigan's frontcourt.1
But Oakland is an exception to the
rule. Upon a glance at their roster and
their level of competition, the Golden
Grizzlies look more like playful bear
cubs at the dump.
When Oakland coach Greg Kampe
looks over his players tonight, he'll see
only two who measure more than 6-foot-
5 - center Sebastien Bellin (6-foot-9)
and forward Dan Champagne (6-foot-6).

F Josh Asselin Jr. 6-11
F LaVell Blanchard Fr. 6-7
But unless Bellin, who hails from.
Brussels, gobbles up a few more Belgian
waffles at breakfast this morning, :he
won't match up well with Jo;h Asselin,
Michigan's 6-foot-I 1 force in the post.
The Wolverines have a clear -height
advantage over the Golden Grizzlies, bu
that's not enough of a reason for Ellerbe
to sit in a post otFense and let Assein"
brutalize Oakland'slittle big men.'
"1 think you'$t go3t be careful'f 4
See HOOPS, PageĀ±10
r<, 'F

K =
SAM HOLLENSHEAD/Daily
Center Peter Vignier (55) and the rest of the Wolverines should tower over Oakland
In tonight's season opener - the Grizzlies have only two players over 6-foot-5.

I
.5. 1

i

Tp

1 lF
1

As the Wolverines prepare to take on Ohio
State in their annual gridiron tradition
tomorrow at the Big House, former U.S.
President Gerald Ford weighed in yester-
2, - day on the heated rivalry.
"The Michigan-Ohio State game is
-| alvtys exciting ... the rivalry is one of
the best rivalries around," Ford said at a
press conference following approval
from the University Board of Regents
to name the School of Public Policy
after the nation's 38th president.
Ford, who played center and line-
Check out Football Saturday in backer on Michigan's national cham-
today's Daily for a full preview of pionship teams in 1932 and 1933,
Michigan's battle with Ohio State. has been impressed with his alma
mater this season.
"The way they played last week was tremendous and they've had a great
season so far, he said.
Ford said he planned to deliver his annual pre-game pep talk to the
Wolverines. And although Ford did not make a prediction on the winner of
tomorrow's game when asked, he did say anything is possible.
"Underdogs oftentimes win," Ford said.
Reflecting on the Wolverines' unremarkable season from 1934, Ford said
"that was one of Michigan's worst seasons."
Ohio State "really walloped us that year. That is why we only talk about
1932 and '33," he said.
- Michael Givss

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