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September 27, 1999 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-27

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 27, 1999 - 3B

New angle on season has Blue 'focused'
Team uses new Costner film as 'inspiration' "' 4
for Big Ten opener, season's philosophyx

T. J.
BERKA

f

By Dena Krischer
Daily Sports Writer
Some theatergoers may have had a
hard time watching the romantic come-
dy, "For Love of the Game" last
*Thursday night. Who are those tall
women in front?
That would be the Michigan volley-
ball team.
The team used this little excursion as
4 pep rally for the tough matches it had
in store for the weekend against No. 2
Penn State and No. 18 Ohio State.
Since the start of the preseason, the
Wolverines have taken on an entirely
new philosophy - focusing solely on
improving the the team as a whole and
Son the moment - instead of worrying
about what's going to happen in the
future and what's happening on the
other side of the court.
"The movie was very inspirational,"
senior co-captain and defensive special-
ist Maggie Cooper said. "It was defi-
nitely applicable to our volleyball game.
It's how we want to be as a whole, how
we want to play hard, how we want to
focPs, and how we all come out and
compete for the love of the game"
This new philosophy that Michigan
has adopted has led it through an 8-1
non-conference record and a solid,
albeit disappointing 1-1 start in the Big
Ten.
After leaving Cliff Kean Arena with a
long, exhausting five-set victory over
Ohio State on Friday night, the
Wolverine's high level of confidence
was put on a brief hiatus after losing a
*grueling, three-set match to Penn State
onSaturday (15-2, 15-5, 15-3).
"Penn State played well," said
Michigan coach Mark Rosen. "You
have to give them credit, they're a good
team, and they're as good as adver-
tised."

Michigan went into the match with
smiles on their faces, but left holding
back tears of disbelief. It was over
quickly, in just under an hour, compared
to the two hour and twenty minute rally
the night before.
"I'm not going to say we were tired,"
said a frustrated outside hitter, Nicole
Kacor. "That's not our excuse. A lot of
our excuse tonight was all mental. We
had nothing to lose, we had everything
to gain. They could only come in and
lose to us. We have to come out, have
fun, and play hard. They're a great team,
and coming off a great win last night,
and a great preseason, I know we can
compete with them. I think we all
thought that, too. I don't know what
happened."
But losing to Penn State is kind of
like taking off a band-aid. It happened
so fast - and it hurt so much - but
only for a second.
"It sucks to feel like this," Kacor said.
"And hopefully we can remember what
it feels like to lose- I mean not only lose,
but to not even put it out there. We did-
n't give it our all, work as hard as we
could. We didn't put everything on the
line."
Rosen said the Wolverines can use
the loss as a learning experience, anoth-
er way to improve the team as a unit,
rather than allowing it to affect the out-
come of the rest of the season.
"There are always things we can learn
from," Rosen said. "Only if we're will-
ing to grow and learn from it. That's the
thing as a team, if you want to look at a
long season. It's not how you start, it's
how you finish. So if we can take the
good and the bad experiences and learn
from them, we're a better team for it."
Michigan hopes to finish in the top
three of the Big Ten by the end of the
first half of the season.

Teeing Off

4

SARA SCHENCK/Daily
The Michigan volleyball team took a team field trip last Thursday to see "For Love
of the Game." The movie served as inspiration for last weekend's games.

"This team and this program have
high goals to develop into being one of
the best in the country, and that's very
realistic" said Rosen. "We know that it's
going to take time. It doesn't happen in
a month or a vea; it's something that
develops over time. That's where this
program is going."
But that is where the program is
going. Ask Rosen about the team, and
he'll talk about the present - not the
future.

"The team has always had identity.
They work hard, they play hard, they
work well together. I'm not concerned
with our identity. We just have to keep
getting better and stronger and build on
each experience," Rosen said. "We have
to keep our focus on the now rather than
the future. There's no advantage to look-
ing down the road. There are no bad
teams in the Big Ten, so we have to let
(the loss) go and get ready for the next
game."

Foiget the 'too cool' ia,~g
-- Mickka ned 0a
ascots come in all shapes and Michigan Stadium crowd a shot in the
sizes. From Purdue Pete the arm, especially in games against R
Boilermaker to the bird who Wally would be a prime target f,*
represents Miami (Fla.) - how a bird marshmallows thrown from the student
embodies a hurricane I have no clue -- section.
mascots bring a lot to college sports. Wally could also cruise the tailgat&.
Mascots are multi-talented. They in the parking lots before the games,.,
have been known to hold boxing bringing good cheer to party alupnj
matches with each other, do dances and and giving those who can't drink alco
cheers with cheerleading squads and hol -- namely children -- something
give plenty of little kids something to to focus on.
look at during a long Saturday after- But there are concerns that a mascot
noon football game. named Wally would contradict the
They also become celebrities of their 'too-cool' image that Michigan is trv-
own, giving their schools plenty of ing to project. Fielding Yost and or
exposure. Brutus the Buckeyes, Goldy Fritz Crisler might roll in their graves if
Gopher and the Orange man which they saw a Showtoon-like wesel
Syracuse uses have all been featured on roaming the stands of the Big House.
Sportscenter commercials, giving their A way to get around that is to go the
universities plenty of national expo- route of schools such as Colorado,
sure. Georgia, and Texas - get an actual
Mascots also make great presents for live wolverine to be the mascot.
kids, co-workers or spouses. There is no question that a live
Sometimes the best show of love isn't a wolverine would be cool. Imagine John
dozen roses, but a miniature stuffed Cooper's face if he had to jog by an
version of Bucky Badger ornery, snarling wolverine running
Due to this, most universities rampant in the tunnel.
employ mascots on their athletic pay- I think Cooper would drop a load i
roll - their salary being somewhere his drawers, which presents a problem.
between the athletic department interns No. Cooper soiling himself is not a
and the third-string towel boys. Of the problem. He does it twice a yea-
1I1 teams in the Big Ten, nine of them against Michigan and in a New Year's
have some sort of mascot representa- Day bowl game. The problem is that if
tion. From Sparty the Spartan to Herky a live wolverine got out of its cage,
the Hawkeye, the Big Ten does its part there would be serious carnage at the
to keep mascots in the national fore- stadium.
front. I can't claim to be the first person to
The only schools that deviate from come up with the live wolverine con-
this trend are Indiana and Michigan. cept though. Michigan once used live
The Hoosiers and the Wolverines just wolverines to represent the gridiron
have guys with T-shirts on the Big Ten heroes on the field. But the animal
conference T-shirt to represent their were so vicious, even when caged, that
teams instead of animals or grotesque- the concept was abandoned.
ly-dressed humans. But if you give the interns some
All this leads to the question -- tranquilizer guns for self-defense, Fin
why? Why do Michigan and Indiana sure a live wolverine could be'
refuse to open up and join their Big Ten arranged.
brethren with crowd-friendly costumed Another potential slipup is that'
cheerleaders? wolverines aren't exactly rampant in
Well, the reason why Indiana doesn't this section of the country. Although
have a mascot should be pretty clear. Michigan is the Wolverine State - I
First of all, the term Hoosier doesn't have no idea why - there are no live
have a clear-cut symbol or human rep- wolverines residing in nature in this
resentative. That may be because every state. So that could be a problem.
person in the state of Indiana has a dif- But that still leaves Michigan with
ferent definition of what a Hoosier is. out a mascot representative. I guess
Whether it be a piece of corn, a Superfan could be a mascot, but Jm
farmer, Bobby Knight or a moving car not really sure if kids would want to
-- nobody ever really stops in Indiana, buy a Jeff Holzhausen or a Reza
they just drive through - the concept Breakstone doll.
of a Hoosier is very loosely defined. While a Breakstone doll might b4,
Michigan doesn't have that excuse. pretty cool thing, its not something that
A wolverine is an actual living thing. In can be put in Happy Meals. Breakstone
fact, wolverines are very closely relat- just doesn't have the draw of a stuffed"
ed to badgers. They are small - but Wolverine.
fierce and ill-tempered - rodent-like So Michigan has a choice: a
creatures. Showtoon wolverine, a live wolverine
Since Bucky the Badger is a very or Breakstone. Its a pretty tough call
popular member of the mascot com- Perhaps the students should decide:
munity, there is really no reason not to -- TJ Berka is allfor a vote towdrds
add a Michigan Wolverine to this mix. naming a Michigan mascot. If of
Wally the Wolverine -- his name for have any ideas, email him af
now - can give the sometimes stale berkat~ajumich.edi

Tale of two evenings
for Big Ten kickoff

OPENERS
Continued from Page 1
Big Ten favorite Penn State.
"I think the thing we can take away
from this is how it feels to get your
butt kicked in your own gym," sopho-
more outside hitter Nicole Kacor said
about the 54-minute massacre.
"We weren't mentally prepared."
The Nittany Lions took advantage
of Michigan's lack of mental prepara-
tion by jumping out to an I 1-0 lead in
the first game, and the shell-shocked
Wolverines never recovered. o
"We've lost here before," Penn State
coach Russ Rose said. "Because of
that you just go out and hope to play
well from the beginning. You just want
to play well and there are going to be
times when you can play well and get
some distance between you and your
opponent; and there are going to be
times when your opponent slaps you
around."
The Wolverines will have to recover
from the loss - because Friday they
will travel to No. 15 Wisconsin.

"The thing we can
take away from this
is how it feels to
get your butt kicked
in your own ym."
- Nicole Kacor
on losing to Penn State Saturday
"There are always things you can
learn," Rosen said. "If you look at a
season, it's not how you start, but how
you finish. If you can take the good
experiences and learn from them and
the bad experiences and learn from
them... I thought we had a bad experi-
ence against Pepperdine (a 4-15, 10-
15, 11-15 loss) but we came back and
learned from it. The same thing hap-
pened tonight and now we get the
chance to come back against
Wisconsin and apply some of the
things we learned from volleyball and
ourselves individually."

SARA SCHENCK/Daily
Nicole Kacor had 25 kills against No. 18 Ohio State on Friday, but could only man-
age 10 in the loss to No. 2 Penn State Saturday.

, J,

McKinsey & Company
invites graduating undergraduates and Master's
students to attend a
Presentation and Reception
Monday, September 27, 1999
4:30 p.m.
Michigan Union - Pendleton Room

4..
;t U
.U

._ 1

presented by
Hans-Werner Kaas, Principal
McKinsey & Company Detroit Office
Casual attire

V

U. C- ~9

.;,

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