SportsMonday - December 6, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 98
9p ikers leave hearts on the court
ontinued from Page 18
me in the program's history the team
nded in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wolverines did as well as they
all season against the other con-
ce's champions, as they swept
irfield - a team with a 30-3
cord. Michigan proved once again
at, even though it was a maturing
ig Ten team, it had grown stronger
an most other teams in the nation.
"There's definitely a difference in
ie level of athlete, the level of play
airfield is used to," Michigan coach
lark Rosen said.
"I thought they did a nice job, but
could just tell as the match devel-
that, physically, we outmatched
tem a lot. No matter how hard they
layed, they couldn't compete against
But the real test for the Wolverines
as Pacific the next night: the match
tat would show how much they had
eveloped as a team during their bru-
1 Big Ten schedule. Rosen had said
1 year that his team was becoming a
r volleyball team with every
h, but it was hard to see improve-
ent in the best volleyball conference
in the nation.
Pacific had done very well at the
beginning of the year, spending most
of its time at No. 1 and finishing No.
5 by season's end. Pacific was the
top-seeded team in its bracket.
But the Tigers looked ahead of
"What played into our favor was
that we were in the training room
before, and the players from Pacific
were already talking to us about play-
ing next weekend," Junior outside hit-
ter Nicole Kacor said. "They were
totally overlooking us."
Michigan was peaking. The
Wolverines were playing the best vol-
leyball they had ever played going
into the game, and it showed, as they
came out firing in game one and won
"Early in game one I though they
were flat," Rosen said. "They kind of
got behind a little bit and it was an
eye-opener for them, a little wake-up
Michigan let the second game slip
away, serving five game points but
never capitalizing on any of them, as
Pacific came back to win, 16-14.
After a quick 15-3 win in the third
game, Pacific had all the momentum.
But then Michigan's resilience
which had showed all year, came
through yet again in the fourth game.
as the Wolverines came back from an
11-1 deficit to win, 15-12. And, again
in the fifth game, Michigan staved
with Pacific every step of the way.
The Wolverines had three tries at
game point again for the upset, but
they never seemed to get past.
Pacific's front line of seniors.
"We played great," Rosen said.
"Even at the end we had three swings
at the match point and made great
aggressive swings, made great choic-
es and didn't come up with it. At one
point Fielder made a great attack for
which one of their seniors made an
all-out, diving, out of control effort to
keep it alive. They just kept doing
things like that."
It was little things like those that
allowed Pacific's senior-led team to
beat Michigan's young and heart-dri-
ven team. Pacific served the 19th and
deciding game point, ending
Michigan's season for good.
"The Pacific girls came right up to
our coach after the game and said,
'You guys took eighth in your confer-
ence."' Kacor said. "'I am so glad we
don't play in the Big Ten."'
'M' improves to 7-0
with road victories
Continued from Page 1
not good enough to fill that position. It may mean that there
are too many good players to choose from.
One bench player, freshman Lee Ann Bies, showed that
she could be a future starter by winning the tournament's
most valuable player award.
"Bies does things in her own little, quiet way," Guevara
said. "She's strong, she puts it in the basket ... she has a big
presence in there."
Bies recorded. a double-double on Saturday, scoring a
career-high 18 points and grabbing 10 boards.
The MVP also scored 13 points on Friday and recorded a
team-high six blocks in the 84-55 win over New Mexico
Bies' six blocks led the way for Michigan, which broke a
20 year-old team record with 16 blocks.
Sophomore Alayne Ingram joined Bies on the all-
Ingram led the Wolverines in scoring, sinking 19 of the
starters' 31 points against Rice. It was a season-high for
Ingram, who also chipped in 15 against New Mexico State.
The all-tournament players were joined in double-digits
Friday night by, back-up guard Infini Robinson and senior
forward Stacey Thomas.
Robinson scored a season-high 10 points in her 18 min-
utes on the floor and Thomas recorded a season-high 18
points and eight steals Friday night.
But Thomas wasn't nearly as successful on Saturday
night, scoring a meager four points in only 25 minutes of
playing time - less than her usual 30 minutes.
It may have been an off night for some as far as scoring,
but the bench's presence on the court made up for that.
"There was a lot of contribution from a lot of people,'
Guevara said. "It was definitely a team effort and that's
what's so pleasing."
Guevara believes that this team has the skill to continue
this success during the conference schedule.
"I always thought this team had the ability," Guevara
said. "This team can make history - we can do some
Bowden eats words awaiting bowl
NF-W ORLEANS (AP) -- Way
ick in October, Florida State coach
obby 'Bowden said that just one
am had stepped forward and
d like a No. I program -
Now he's hoping he can prove
mself wrong in the Sugar Bowl.
Top-ranked Florida State (11-0)
id No. 2 Virginia Tech (11-0) play
n. 4 to determine the national
ampionship and Bowden said he
w the matchup coming a long time
In mid-October, Florida State had
a messy game and somebody
ked Bowden if the Seminoles were
aying like the top team in the
"And I said, 'Well, we're not play-
g like it, but neither is Penn State,
:ither is Nebraska, neither is so-
id-so, or so-and-so,"' Bowden said.
End I made the statement that the
ily team that I'd seen so far that
oks like they're playing like No. I
ginia Tech. And it was."
Bowden isn't surprised to see
irginia Tech in the national title
ie, there are people who are.
Even Virginia Tech boosters are
having a hard time believing they
have a chance to truly proclaim
they're No. 1.
"I don't know that very many peo-
ple that supported Virginia Tech in
the greatest fashion would have ever
told you that they thought we'd have
a chance to play for the national
championship," coach Frank Beamer
"We're well aware of the challenge
that is ahead of us in Florida State,
but I would think this has got to be
one of the great, great days in Tech
When Beamer was introduced as
the new Tech coach two days before
Christmas 1986, there were snickers
when he predicted he'd lead the
Hokies to a national title.
"I might have been telling a story
back in '86," he said.
Maybe, but Beamer and Bowden
both believe either team could walk
away with the championship.
'There's no question in this ball-
game, they're ranked No. I and we're
ranked No. 2," Beamer said.
"They've been there many times and
we haven't. But I don't think it
makes all that much difference. I
think it's two teams that have played
well, played hard all year long."
Virginia Tech is in line for the title
for the first time ever and Beamer
said he believes his team is moving
away from its upstart status.
"We've been underdogs around
here for so long that was kind of our
rallying cry," Beamer said. "Then
more times than not this year we
became the favorite and to be quite
honest with you, I like that role."
Florida State, which won the
national championship in 1993, is
playing for the title for the second
consecutive season and the third
time in four years.
But Bowden is still hoping for a
first. If he beats Virginia Tech in the
Sugar Bowl it will let him join sons
Terry and Tommy with an undefeated
"I've been very jealous of them,
naturally," Bowden said. "When
Terry goes undefeated at Auburn and
then Tommy goes undefeated at
Tulane and I've been coaching 46
years and have never had a perfect
season. So we've got a lot riding on
this thing too, you know."
Alison Miller and the Michigan women's basketball team has
bolted to a 7-0 start, the program's best ever.
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