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December 07, 1999 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-07

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Tuesday, December 7, 1999 - The Michigan Daily - 11

All's well that ends
well for 'M' volleyball

Warrick not invited to
Downtown Athletic Club

By Jon Zemke
Daily Sports Writer
After being soundly defeated by
Ohio State the Michigan volleyball
*am was forced to make a decision
- roll over or rally.
The Wolverines were a young team
suffering some growing pains. It
would have been easy to give up on
their season and just get through the
last four matches, especially after
losing five straight.
It might have even made sense,
with the core of the team returning
next season, to slow down the pace
and regroup for next year.
"I think that after we lost to Ohio
tate that everyone knew we had to
turn it around right then," senior
Maggie Cooper said. "We had to fin-
ish on a high note. So everybody
picked up their game and we held one
another accountable. We did every-
thing we had to do."
That decision characterized the
1999 Michigan volleyball team. The
Wolverines would never quit, rollover
* die. They decided they enjoyed to
play the game, and to play the game
well rather than give up.
Michigan needed to go 3-1 in their
remaining four matches to have a
winning season. It didn't seem very
promising since the Wolverines had
only won four Big Ten matches. Then
the Wolverines started to win, and the
team started to play cohesively.
Michigan won the three matches
ey needed sweeping the last two.
e strong finish gave the
Wolverines their first winning season
Alexander
By Matt Tidmore
The Crimson White
TUSCALOOSA, Ala - Alabama
running back Shaun Alexander isn't
ing to win the Heisman Trophy for
e 1999 season. He did not even make
the list of five finalists for the award.
But if you ask Alabama coach Mike
DuBose, he sure deserves it.
"There is not a better player in col-
lege football than Shaun Alexander,"
DuBose said. "He can change the game
in one touch of the ball. He leads this
team both on and off the field."
This year, Alexander has rushed for
j 480 yards, caught 25 passes for 324
scored 24 touchdowns including a
76-yard kickoff return for a touchdown
in his only special teams play of the sea-
son. Alexander's 24 touchdowns, the
most in Seatheastern Conference histo-
ry, put him atop the national scoring list.

since '97 and eighth place in the Big
Ten. The players and coaches seemed
pleased with their finish and were
looking forward to the next season.
Everyone, from the players who flew
home after their last regular season
match to the head coach, thought that
Michigan's season was over.
Everyone except the NCAA
Tournament selection committee,
who, for the first time in conference
history, invited eight Big Ten schools
to the postseason.
Michigan coach Mark Rosen heard
a rumor around 11 p.m. that his team
had made the tournament. He had to
gather his team back to Ann Arbor to
hold practice the next day.
A week later the Wolverines swept
a 30-3 Fairfield team in order to get
to the second round, where they faced
top-seeded Pacific.
Michigan took the Tigers, who
were ranked No. I at midseason, to
the 19th point of the fifth game. The
Wolverines showed effort, hard work
and resiliency. But they were over-
come by a senior-led Pacific team.
"When the last ball was down we
didn't feel like the match was over at
all," Cooper said. "We were playing
so hard and we couldn't believe it."
And then Michigan's season ended.
But all of the hard work at the end of
the season came through and this
still-developing Wolverines team
matured earlier than expected.
"It's kind of hard to live in the
future when we want to live in the
present right now," Rosen said.
"From that standpoint it's something

:.
..
F

NEW YORK (AP) - Petcr Warrick.
the one-ime Heisman favorite, wasn't
amonge vt e finalists invited to
Saturday night's trophy presentation.
The Florida State wide receiver prob-
ably lost his chance to win college foot-
ball's top in dividual prize when he
missed two games because of his arrest
in a shopping mall clothing scam.
The five finalists announced today
by the Downtown Athletic Club were:
Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne,
Georgia Tech quarterback Joe
Hamilton, Purdue quarterback Drew
Brees, Marshall quarterback Chad
Pennington and Virginia Tech freshman
quarterback Michael Vick.
The finalists were invited based on
the returns from the 921 Heisman
voters.
Warrick, who caught 71 passes for

934 yards in nine games for the top-
ranked Seminoles (11-0), was suspend-
ed for two games in midseason follow-
ing his arrest on felony grand theft
charges. He and former teammate
Laveranues Coles bought more than
$400 worth of designer clothes Sept. 29
at a Dillard's department store for
$21.40. The charge was later reduced to
a misdemeanor, and Warrick was
allowed to rejoin the team.
Last week, Warrick admitted he
probably had no chance to win the
Heisman, but hoped to be invited to.
New York.
"When I got in that trouble, it hurt
me a lot,'Warrick said. He also said the
Heisman winner should be "the person
that can help their team win no matter
what they have to do. Keep the team
first and remain unselfish."

KIMITSU YOG aCH'I'l'Iy
After a tough Big Ten season, setter Alija Pittenger and the 1999 Michigan
volleyball team finished the year with a loss to Pacific in the NCAA Tournament.

we are encouraged by and at the same
time we have to look down the road
and see that we can't rest on our lau-
rels."
The Wolverines graduate just two
seniors and return all of their starting
lineup next season. It will be Rosen's
second year coaching with his first
recruiting class coming in, so there
will be pressure to succeed.
The team's resiliency, which had
been its trademark all season, was the
key to making it a winner.
But if Michigan's resilience is

tough enough to make it through the
off season, there are a lot of places
the Wolverines could go, including
beyond the second round of the tour-
nament.
"I am so positive about this team,"
junior outside hitter Nicole Kacor
said. "In regards to the fact that we
have so much talent and we're going
to have three seniors next year. I
think it shows a lot about our charac-
ter that we can take eighth in our con-
ference come into the NCAA
Tournament and win."

Heisman Hopefuls
The Downtown Athletic Club extended invitations to the top five Heisman vote
getters.yesterday. The winner will be announced this Saturday at 8 p.m.
THE FINAuSTs:
Ron Dayne Wisconsin Senior RB
The bruising back set an NCAA career rushing record with 6,397 yards.
Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech Senior QB
A dual threat, Hamilton threw 29 TD passes and ran for six. w
Drew Brees Purdue' Junior QB
His strong arm, which threw for 3,531 yards and 21 TD passes, brought aWest Coast offen
to the Big Ten.
Chad Pennington Marshall' Senior QB-
Despite playing in the MAC, Pennington led the nation with 37 TD passes'
Michael Vick Virginia Tech Freshman . QB
An elusive, electrifying southpaw, the freshman led Virginia Tech to an undefeated season.

powers way through record book

He scored in every game that he
played in this season. He joins Herschel
Walker as the only SEC players to post
back-to-back 100 point seasons. Walker
won the Heisman trophy, but Herschel
stayed healthy.
Alexander's Heisman campaign
ended with an injury against Tennessee,
which hobbled him for three games. He
couldn't recover from the ankle sprain
quickly enough to stay in the race.
"I was never as concerned about the
award as much as the media and the
fans were," Alexander said. "I mea-
sure myself by team success not indi-
vidual success. We are SEC Champs
and that was the only season-long goal
I had this year. It was a lot of fun but
there are more important things to
worry about."
Alexander and the Crimson Tide's
success are most sweet because of the

caliber of talent it faced this year.
According to the Bowl Championship
Series, the Tide's schedule is the tough-
est in Division I football. The only
teams it played that are not in bowl
games are Vanderbilt (which had one of
its best seasons in years), Louisiana
State and arch-rival Auburn. Alabama's
opponents have won 65 percent of their
games.
Alexander's success is no surprise to
teams that went up against the Tide.
In his career, he's rushed for 3,468
yards on 697 carriers with 40 rushing
touchdowns and 49 total touchdowns
- all school records.
His 15 career 100-yard games tie a
school record. He holds school records
for most yards in a game (291) and
most touchdown's in a game (five).
Earlier this week, Alexander was
honored with the SEC player of the year

award after being named the conference
player of the week seven times. He is a
finalist for the Doak Walker award and
a Football News second-team all-
American.
"I came back for my senior season
because I wanted to win the SEC
Championship and play in a BCS
bowl;' Alexander said. "Chris Samuels
and I are close friends and he told me
that he was coming back and that I did-
n't have a choice. Chris is big - I don't
suggest telling him no."
Alexander has achieved all of the
goals that he set for himself this year
except for a bowl victory.
"The highlight of my freshman year
was a touchdown run against Michigan
in the Outback Bowl," Alexander said.
"I think I would like to finish my career
at Alabama with another touchdown
run and victory against them."

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