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October 30, 2000 - Image 14

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I

6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 30, 2000

Big Ten finds itself in transition

By Michael Kern
Daily Sports Wiiter
CHICAGO - Unlike last year, when experienced
lineups at Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue
dominated the Big Ten, this year will be a season of
transition.
None of last season's All-Big Ten first-team play-
ers return to their respective schools. Only one play-
er who finished in the top'five in scoring - senior
guard Joe Crispin of Penn State --- will play in
2000-0 1
Every team, from last year s co-Big Ten champi-
ons Michigan State and Ohio State to last-place fin-
isher Northwestern, has hew faces and personnel to
adjust to.
Iowa coach Steve Alford has eight new players on
his roster -- including junior transfer Luke Recker,
who played his first two years at Indiana.
Meanwhile, the Big Ten has three new coaches
this season -- Bill Self at Illinois, Mike Davis at
Indiana and 131i1 Carmodv at Northwestern.
"New coaches mean new surprises," Michigan
coach Brian Ellerbe said. "I don'i know a lot about
their coaching styles, so Fll be watching a lot of tape
in the preseason.''
One of the few things that has remained consis-
tent from last season is Michigan State's place atop

the conference. At Big Ten media day in Chicago,
the coaches named Michigan State as their favorite
to win the Big Ten this year and voted Illinois sec-
ond. The two teams reversed roles in the media poll,
with the Fighting Illini taking top honors.
"Until somebody beats Michigan State, they
should be the favorite every year," Self said.
While most coaches often try to downplay presea-
son rankings, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo wel-
comed the accolades.
"I'm not going to complain about someone think-
ing we're pretty good," Izzo said. "Are we worthy of
some of the rankings I've seen? I don't think so, but
instead of worrying about it like I have in past years,
I'm going to embrace it and see it as a challenge for
us - to be as good as you guys think we are."
Wisconsin was voted third in both preseason
polls. The Badgers return eight players from last
year's Final Four team, including seniors Mike
Kelley and Mark Vershaw.
"You never look forward to going to Wisconsin,"
Ellerbe said. "They are the darkhorse of this
league."
Last season's co-Big Ten freshman of the year,
LaVell Blanchard, garnered preseason all-confer-
ence honors for the Wolverines, making both the
coaches and media all-conference teams.
The sophomore was joined on the coaches team

Let it ride
At Big Ten media day in Chicago, the writers and
coaches released their preseason predictions for
the top three finishers in the conference, as well
as their picks for the all-conference team.
Media poll Coaches poll
1. Illinois 1. Michigan State
2. Michigan State 2. Illinois
3. Wisconsin 3. Wisconsin
All-Conference team (media)
Cory Bradford, G, Illinois
Charlie Bell, G, Michigan State
Joe Crispin, G, Penn State*.
LaVell Blanchard, F, Michigan
Ken Johnson, C, Ohio State
*lndiana forward Kirk Haston replaced Crispin on
the coaches' all-conference team.
by senior center Ken Johnson from Ohio State,
senior guard Charlie Bell of Michigan State, junior
guard Cory Bradford from Illinois and junior for-
ward Kirk Haston from Indiana. Crispin replaced
Haston as the only difference on the media team.
"Naturally, there is going to be a lot more atten-
tion paid to" Blanchard, Ellerbe said. "If you are an
opponent, you are going to feel like he has the abil-
ity to take over a game in certain situations and real-
ly hurt you.
"Hopefully, he'll understand that he is going to
have to do a lot more to get the same statistics he
had last year."

By Sam Duwe
DaIly Sports Writer
Kacy Beitel is an integral part of the
Michigan women's soccer team. She sets
up plays, makes assists and is constantly
on the ball - she does everything,
except score.
Until yesterday.
The Michigan senior captain scored
three goals and added two assists, pro-
pelling the Wolverines to a 7-1 victory
against Butler.
"As a captain, we expect her to score
goals," Michigan coach Debbie Belkin-
Rademacher said. "And today, she did
her job. We'll be able to use her in Big
Tens."
But if Beitel was good, the team was
great. Michigan (6-3-1 Big Ten, 10-7-1
overall) scored six of their goals in the
second half, destroying any hope of a
Butler victory.
Sophomore Abby Crumpton added
two goals and an assist, and Amber
Wilson had one of each as well.
"We played all right the first half, but
in the second half there was an explo-
sion," Rademacher said. "And there were

'M' blasts Butler, 7-1 .

nice-looking goals - a couple headers
and good corner kicks.
"And some of the goals were scod
because Abbv beat everyone to the ball."
This win didn't do anything for the
Wolverines' ranking, but it meant everv-
thing for morale going into the Big ten
Tournament, which starts Thursday.
"We needed a high-scoring game, on
where we could work on our offense,
Rademacher said. "We need power going
into the tournament."
Butler is no Notre Dame. The Idsh
pummeled Michigan just five days ago in
a 5-1 romp. The No. I team took advan-
tage of a poor-playing Michigan teani, a
team that needed to regroup.
Yesterday's victory does not inflate
egos, but rather reassures the Wolverines
that they can win, and win big.
Big wins are nothing new
Michigan, though. Last year,w h
Wolverines beat Butler 6-0. And also in
1999, Michigan took first place at-the
Big Ten Tournament.
"We've had a lot of success in the
past three years," Rademacher said. "I
don't believe that this year will be any
different."

Women split duals
against league foes

By Steve Jackson
Dally Sports Writer
Put your thumb and forefinger togeth-
er. That distance between nails - that's
how close the Michigan women's swim-
ming team came to sweeping its first Big
len double-dual meet Fridav at Canham
Natatorium. The Wolverines dropped a
close decision to Wisconsin 150-144 but
handled Iowa 202-96.
"We had a lot of close races, and usu-
ally those even out. But we lost them all.'
Michigan coach Jim Richardson said.
"Give Wisconsin credit -- they
deserved to win. They came out verv
aggr-essively and they really finished
strong. They stepped up big when they
nrieded to," Richardson said. "But we
have a young team, and I feel good about
where we are riht now."
In five separate races, a Michigan
swimmer finished behind a Badger by
less than half a second. The Wolverines
even led seteral of those races heading
into the final 25 yards, but they couldn't
match their opponents. sprints at the end.
Richardson has put the early-season
- emphasis on endurance rather than
.R speed. Michigan has been training hard
throuchout the week, including a work-

out the morning of the meet.
"There might have been some fatigue
involved in those finishes," Richardson
said. "But we're building an identity
around our tough training. It's easy to just
swim Monday to Wednesday and look
good on Friday."
Despite the training regimen, two
freshmen looked good for Michigan -
freestvler Samantha Arsenault and diver
Tealin Keleman. Each turned in two indi-
vidual first-place performances.
Arsenault, a gold medalist in Sydney,
won the 200- and 500-yard freestvles.
She posted NCAA consideration times
(1:49.64 and 4:53.63) in both events.
"What Sam is doing for us is great,"
Richardson said. "She has only been with
us for three weeks, whereas the other
girls have been training for seven. I was
especially pleased with her race in the
500. She is really swimming strong."
Keleman also made her Michigan
debut with a bang. She placed first in
both diving events, posting NCAA zone
diving qualifying scores in each. "She is
going to be something special,"
Richardson gushed.
Another impressive show ing came
from the 200-yard freestyle relay team of
Arsenault, Jennifer Crisman, Missy

Helpflprep
Since every meet in the Michigan
swimming season serves to "get
the team ready for NCAAs," The
Michigan Daily sports staff would
like to help in that objective.
This season's NCAA's will be held in
Long Island, N.Y. Here are some
ways the Wolverines can get ready:
Flood Canham Natatorium with
hospital waste.
Shout random obscenities as
encouragement during practices.
Lose all ability to swim straight and
safely.
Convince each other that they are
indeed the center of the universe.
Sugar and Laura Kaznecki. The four-
some finished in a time of 1:33.68, edg-
ing Wisconsin, which touched the wall in
1:33.96. Richardson was duly impressed.
"That was not a first-semester time,"
he said. "They were two or three seconds
faster then we were anytime during last
fall. I'm really pleased."
lowa's first-year coach, Garland
O'Keeffe, didn't have as much to be
happy about - the Hawkeyes were beat-
en convincingly by both Michigan and
Wisconsin. But Richardson forecasts a
bright future for Iowa.
"Garland is a great coach." Richardson
said. "She has worked at camps here
before, and I know she will do a good job
of rebuilding that program"

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan's
campus was not at all messy. There was
neither garbage on the grass nor cigarette
butts littering the sidewalks. Likewise,
the Michael H. Jones Natatorium
appeared reasonably tidy.
Still, the Michigan men's swimming
and diving team decided to sweep up
anyway on Friday.
For their first competitive test, the
Wolverines drew together the state's
three other Division I swimming teams
for a quadrangular meet in Ypsilanti.
Oakland. Eastern Michigan and
Michigan State strove to show up the
twelfth-ranked Wolverines, but were
blown out of the water. Michigan domi-
nated from the start by taking first place
in the first eight events, winning I11 of 13
overall. The Wolverines tallied 781
points - over 200 more than second-
place Eastern Michigan (538 points).

By Kristen Fidh
Daily Sports %Vriter

" It was nothing outstanding and noth-
ing to write home about, for me anyway,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said.
"The bar has been so high for this team,
so nothing like this excites them. But I
am very excited about some of our fresh-
men."
As predicted, freshman Dan
Ketchum performed well, claiming
first place in both the 200- and 500-
yard freestyles. Taking the first half
of the 40-lap, 500-yard race at a mod-
erate pace, Ketchum sped up during
the second half for a negative split.
"Ketchum swam a beautiful race -
probably the best swim of the day,"
Urbanchek said. "And not'only a very
good swim, it was a very smart swim.
He got an A+ on how to split the
race."
Not to be overlooked were the vet-
erans. Senior Mike O'Connor swam a
personal best, winning the 1000
freestyle in 9:19.80. Also nearing his
personal best was breaststroker G.J.

Men sweep up Ypsi quad meet.

Zain.
Meanwhile, senior captain Scott
Werner claimed first in the 200 breast-
stroke and the 200 individual medley,
sophomore Garrett Mangieri dominated
the 100 freestyle and sophomore Paul
Ely triumphed in the 200 butterfly.
In the 200 backstroke Ely, sophomore
Ryan Earhart and junior Jason Mallory
all posted solid times. 4
"Probably the best thing that hap-
pened was that the whole team was
durable, which means they kept com-
ing back event after event,"
Urbanchek said. "Their endurance is
really good, so we are accomplishing
what we set forth to do. We are in real
good shape, and nobody died."
Urbanchek plans to improve' the
relays before Michigan's next mee
Although the foursome of Ketchup
Werner, Jordan Watland and Tony
Kurth took first in the in the 400 nied-
lev relay, Urbanchek said he felt'that
the starts require some tweaking.

Volleyball falls short, twice on road

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By Kristen Fidh
Daly Spolis Writer
Junior outside hitter Nicole Kacor
once said after a victory, "I hate to freak-
ing lose."
After this weekend's road losses
against Indiana on Saturday and Penn
State on Fridav, Kacor and the rest of the
Michigan volleyball team returns to Ann
Arbor frustrated.
The Hoosiers, who are tied with
Michigan for seventh in the Big Ten,
took the match in four games (11-1I5, 17-
15, 15-7, 15-10), making the loss
Michigan's fifth straight against confer-
ence opponents.
The Wolverines entered the court with
high energy and strong attacking and
bolted to a 5-0 lead in game one. This
quickly fell as Indiana returned with a
six-point scoring streak. The Ioosiers
were able to tie the score at 10 apiece,
but Michigan's fire returned, allowing
Indiana to only score one more point en
route to taking the game 15-11.

.Iunior setter Shannon Melka scored
the final kill for game point. Melka hit
.308 for the match and tied her career-
best with 16 digs.
Despite her noteworthy performance,
Michigan could not get past the
Hoosiers' strong attacking.
"We tried to come out strong, but,
unfortunately, it just didn't happen,"
senior captain Sarah Behnke said. "We
tried to hustle the defense, but we weren't
ready wvhen the ball came around."
Michigan lost the next three games,
frequently dropping its serve and giving
up long point streaks. In games two and
three, the Hoosiers racked up six-point
leads and the Wolverines fell short in the
comeback. Michigan did manage a five-
point run in game four, but could not
attack for the win.
Michigan coach Mark "Rosen tells us
to focus on our side of the court, and we
just failed to pull it off," Behnke said.
Despite the loss, freshman Erin
Moore was able to tally career highs with
10 kills and five blocks.
Friday's match against the defending
national champion Penn State was
another failed Big Ten test.
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Although senior Shawna Olson
received her first intercollegiate start
hopes of aiding to the Wolverines
defense, Michigan dropped the match in
three games 15-6, 15-10 and 15-10.
"Penn State played really well, but we
just gave up too many point streaks,"
said senior Alija Pittenger, who leads the
Big Ten in digs.
Hitting a percentage of just .029 in
game one, the Wolverines struggled with
consistency, drawing I I errors compare
to No. I I Penn State's five.
Despite losing in the end, Michigan
was able to out-kill the Nittany Lions in
game two 18-17. Behnke performed an
impressive nine kills, 12 digs and two
aces, but team consistency was lacking.
"Our team has the ability to match
Penn State, and in many runs we did,"
Behnke said. "But, in the end, it seemed
that we just gave up."
Freshman Chantel Reedus, a strong
outside hitter, posted a steady hitting
percentage of. 167 in game three, putti
pressure on Penn State. Still, Michigan's
blocking trailed 14-8 as the Nittany
Lions swept the disgruntled Wolverines
for the second time this season.
TITLE
Continued from Page lB
It was the shirts and hats that
Wolverines received at the end of the
game which read "2000 Big Ten
Champions" And they didn't have t
share the title with anybody.
Four years ago, the senior class expe-
rienced Michigan's first shared Big Ten
title with Penn State. The Wolverines
hadn't had a claim to the championship
since.
The seniors knew going into yester-
day's game that a loss and a Penn
win meant that the Wolverines w
have to share the conference champi-
onship with the Nittany Lions again. But
all they had to do was win, and they
could keep it to themselves for
Michigan's first outright Big Ten cham-
pionship.
"To end on a Big Ten championship
and to win it on your home field is spe-
cial," Pankratz said. "The seniors are a
special class. That class is really
foundation of turning this progr
around."
Michigan was so intent on not sharing
the Big Ten title that the mentality car-
ried over to the game, as the Wolverines
did not share the ball with Michigan
State. Michigan State didn't have a cor-

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