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November 30, 2000 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-11-30

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Big Ten fights back
Tie li Ten battled hick from sub-
par, first-day showing in the Big
Ten/ACC Challenge. Go online for the
recaps.
mnchigandaily.com/sports

ORT

-4

THURSDAY
NOVEMBER 30, 2000

8A

a r rir ra rr i i i r r ir rwr

STEPHANIE

Desert storm

OFFEN

lennessee rivalry revisited

esides the greatest season in half
a century, the year 1997 brought
something else to the Michigan
football program - a rival named
Tennessee. A rival Michigan has never
faced. A rival that attempted to deprive
the Wolverines of both the national
li anpionship and the Heisman Trophy.
-°1ichigzan hates the Volunteers without
ever playing them - a mutual feeling.
That may all change on New Year's
Day. The Citrus Bowl Committee made
a very wise decision Monday. It exclud-
ed Florida from contention in its bowl
because the Gators have played in
Q9tando two of the past three years.
Instead, the committee gave Tennessee
the second provisional invitation; if
Auburn defeats Florida Saturday in the
SEC championship game, the Volunteers
will get the nod instead of Auburn.
The need for variety is only a partial
answer to why the Volunteers were
selected. The Citrus Bowl Committee
wants to milk the rivalry for monetary
aain. It will be the first and probably
only time (at least for a while) these two
squads will be able to take their to-this-
point spoken rivahy to the gridiron.
The intensity of the rivalry has been
made public, especially from the mouth
of Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer. In 1997,
Fulmer publicly denounced Michigan
-leisman Trophy winner Charles
Woodson. Woodson beat out Tennessee
quarterback Peyton Manning for the
award - Fulmer disagreed. "Everybody
in Tennessee knows Peyton Manning is
the best player in America," Fulmer told
the Chattanooga Times.
.T o bad Manning didn't prove
Fulmer's statement during the 42-17
thrashingo at the hands of Nebraska in his
final game in a Tennessee uniform.
The state government also insulted
rather than respected Woodson. Not
believing a primarily defensive player
could be more talented than a star quar-

terback, Governor Don Sundquist of
Tennessee told the Associated Press "I
think it stinks. I think the Heisman award
has been diminished"
In a not-so-close race, Woodson took
the 272-point victory. But Sundquist still
asked (unsuccessfully) for a revote by
the Heisman constituency.
It is believed Fulmer's hatred for
Woodson and the Wolverines caused
him to drop Michigan on his coaches-
poll ballot. Some say Fulmer voted for
Michigan as No. 3 in the coaches poll,
below a team with one loss (Florida
State), mathematically giving Nebraska
a share of the championship. Fulmer
denied this accusation.
But if Fulmer's team just showed up
for the game against the Cornhuskers,
Michigan would have both trophies dis-
played in Schembechler Hall.
After Manning got the shocking news
of what he believed was an upset in the
Heisman race, he apologized to his entire
state for not winning. He refused to admit
Woodson was a better candidate and
intensified the rivalry by joining his state
in the attacks on the Wolverine.
Three years later the Heisman battle
and their obscenely poor showing against
Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl is what the
Michigan faithful think of at the mention
of the Volunteers. The hatred is still iis
the forefront of every fan's mind.
That and the fact that no matter how
hard they try, Tennessee's stadium will
probably never again be bigger than
Michigan's. A year before the Heisman
fiasco, Tennessee expanded Neyland
Stadium to be larger than Michigan
Stadium. It lasted just one season.
Januarv 1 could bring a new excite-
ment to this rivalry. Finally, Tennessee
and Michigan may have a chance to
meet. The Citrus Bowl Committee
couldn't ask for a better game.
-- Stepaunie e1/en can he reached at
so ffEn~aumich.edi.

Volleyball starts
tournament run
in Tucson tonight
By Richard Haddad
Daily Sports Writer
After a roller-coaster season that began in the top 25
and concluded with a
seventh-place finish in TONIGHT
the Big Ten, the
Michigan volleyball TucsoN, ARIZONA
team is exactly where it Who: Michigan (18-12) vs.
wants to be. Louisvile (2&7)
In Tucson, Ariz., . When:6 p.m.
Michigan (18-13) begin Latest: Michigan looks to
Michgan 1 K-3} bgins nullify the Cardinals' three
NCAA Tournament play foreign outside hitters and
tonight against Louisville take advantage of its speed
(26-7). against Louisville.
But the path to sunny
Tucson was not free of detours. The 8-1 start that pro-
pelled the Wolverines to a five-week stay in the nation-
al polls dissipated with the onset of a brutal Big Ten
schedule, and the teams prospects were diminished to
hopes of earning a berth in the tourney.
A torrid final stretch in which Michigan won five of
its last eight matches nurtured dreams of playing in
December. The NCAA selection committee did not
deflate those dreams.
That will be Louisville's mission.
Coming into tonight's match, the Cardinals are rid-
ing a hot streak that makes Michigan's pale in com-
parison. Louisville has won 19 of its last 20 matches
and has lost just one game in its last six matches.
Rosen noted that the lineup's strong points are
manned by their three foreign players.
"Foreign players are always extremely experi-
enced," he said. 6-2 freshman Anastasia Zaitseva from
Moscow leads the team in kills while 6-1 Croatian
sophomore Sonja Percan is an equally imposing pres-
ence at the other outside hitter position. Bringing size
to the back row. 5-1 I Jing Ding of Beijing sets the
balls for these monsters.
"We've put in bigger players in practice against our
team to prepare,' Rosen said.
Sophomore middle hitter Katrina Lehman is ques-
tionable for tonight's match. Knee problems have ren-

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BRANDON SEDLOFF/Daily
The Wolverines may head into the tournament without the services of sophomore middle hitter Katrina
Lehman, who is nursing an injured knee. Lehman's status will be a game-time decision.

dered her status a game-time decision. Senior Joanna
Fielder will replace Lehman if necessary.
"We just need to be very balanced, especially
through our high outsides," Rosen said. "We need to
include everyone and take advantage of our speed. If
we do that, I like our chances."
If the Wolverines reach the tournament's second
round for the third time in four years, host Arizona
(25-4) will likely be waiting.
"As long as we play the game that we're capable of,
we have a great opportunity to advance," Rosen said.
"The field in our region is similar to the upper level of
the Big Ten," and encouragingly. on its better nights,
Michigan has swept the conference's best teams.
The Wolverines are 6-9 against. in matches against
10 touriament teams this season, and such experience
gives Michigan vet another advantage.
"It's been and up-and-down year, and we're excited
to be here," Rosen said. "but we're not ready for our
season to end vet."
Michigan's dreams can still come true. It just needs
two of those better nights to fall in Tucson.

The Michigan volleyball team will be hard-pressed to
make it out of the first weekend of the NCAA tourna-
ment. If the Wolverines beat Louisville. they'll face
Arizona on its home floor.

NCAA CENTRAL REGIONAL

Brigham Young (24-6)
Hofstra (23-4)
Utah State (21-9)
Missouri (24-6)
Michigan (18-12)
Louisville (26.7)
Alabama A&M (31-2)
Arizona (25-4)

VOLLEYRAL
CHAMPIONSHIP

Bad day for Michigan's top grappler
Wrestler Olson wrecks truck; hit by car; won't compete this weeker(

By Nathan Linsley
Daily Sports W'rit c

When Otto Olson blew out his knee last
season in a match against Randy Pugh of
Northern lowa, he thought that he was the
victim of a "cheap shot"- Pugh twisted his
knee after Olson had scored a takedown,
which led to a stalemate.
Frustration had barely set in by the
time Olson began to rehabilitate the
knee, determined to wrestle again.
Ten months later, Olsbn returned to
the mat to post a 9-0 record in the team's
two preseason unattached meets.
In the process. he reached 100 career
victories, and defeated the fourth-ranked
I 74-pounder in the nation. He was
-olling into the first team meet.
But sometimes, lightning strikes twice.
This past weekend, Olson was in a car
accident that wrecked his truck, but he
emilerged unscathed.
For a while.
Olson, who works as a high school
student-teacher, was forced to bike to
school because of his immobilized vehi-
cle.
As if enough hadn't gone wrong for
the Michigan wrestling team's captain,
he was struck by a car while cycling.,

rupturing ligaments in his shoulder.
After waiting almost a year to com-
pete for Michigan in the sport he loves,
Olson will have to wait a little longer. I I
will not wrestle this weekend when the
team travels to Stateline, Nev., for the
Cliff Keen Invitational.
While estimates of a return date vary,
Olson wants to be back for the
Wolverines' first dual meet on Dec. 8.
"Hopefully I'll be back by Michigan
State," Olson said. "I've been looking
forward to that for a long time."
Olson will be missed this weekend, as
the Wolverines will not have an entry in
the 174-pound class of the tournament
- nothing too alarming, especially
early in the season.
But considering last year's turn of
events. the Wolverines are breathing a
sigh of relief that they will not have to
again trv and permanently replace their
top wi-cstler.
Last season, Olson was 19-1 when he
tore his posterior cruciate ligament and
lateral cruciate ligament, ending his sea-
son. 165-pounder Charles Martelli was
forced to compete in his captain's stead.
Martelli filled in admirably, finishing
sixth in the Big Ten and qualifying for
the NCAA tournament.

Olson, who student-teaches in ho*
of becoming a teacher or coach a rhis
career ends, was set to achieve his400th
win last season at Cliff Keen Area .But
his plans were put on hold becatse of
the injury.
If he is not able to return for Mitigan
State or Central Michigan on Dec., he
will not grace the Wolverines' hormi mat
until Feb. 2 against Iowa.
"It's kind of weird being a Wohkrine
and not getting to wrestle inyoui one
arena," Olson said.
Ever the competitor, Olson d4wn-
played any possible lasting effe. for
this season. He says that the tenil~n is
not vital to the shoulder, but he dees not
want to risk further injury. ;
"It's kind of like your appzVli"x
Olson said with a laugh:
Useful or not, everyone aff tited
with the Michigan wrestling tom- M. is
praying for Olson. especially aflgj
seemingly golden season was deer
by injury last year.:
If left to his own devices, Ols4,ill
definitely be back in a Wolverine Zbiglet
as soon as possible.
"It's just a minor setback' lie sAI'
And he will have another storydr his
future students.
taint Blae0

'Unacceptable' losses

By Jon Schwartz
Daily Sports Writer
While spirits are high following the
Michigan hockey team's sweep last
weekend at the College Hockey
Showcase, the team's mentality might
need a shift later in the season.
"For the big games, I think maybe
we're a little more prepared," Michigan
freshman defenseman Andy Burnes
said. "We go play Minnesota, we go
play Wisconsin - our team knows it's
going to be a big game. These are the
games we come to Michigan to play."
The above statement makes perfect

Like a light switch
This season the Michigan hockey
team has often turned its level of
play on and off depending on the
level of its competition, showing up
against top-ranked teams while hav-
ing trouble with teams in the lower
echelon of the CCHA.
Here's how the Wolverines have
fared this season against teams
with current winning records and
those that are struggling.

Atli
,z

f(
. ,

Opponent
Michigan State

Record
1 i _7 0

Result
1 1-

Senior
Josh t

0

I

1U-1L . L, 1-UJI- ~

i

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