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October 05, 2001 - Image 11

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-05

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 5, 2001- 11
Down 2-0 'M' spikers rally past Spartans

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
oming out of the intermission on
Wednesday night, the Michigan volley-
ball team (3-2 Big Ten, 6-5 overall)
found itself backed against a wall as it
faced a Michigan State squad (2-3, 9-3)
up two games to none in the first match
of the State Pride Series.
Failing to execute with any sem-
blance of consistency or focus in the
first game, the Wolverines were
destroyed by the Spartans 30-19. Michi-
gan was unable to pass the ball effec-
tively and was dominated by the taller
Michigan State team.
"The first game we didn't play very
good defense and our passing was hor-
rendous," Michigan coach Mark Rosen
said.
The second game of Wednesday's
match was completely different from
the first. Michigan committed half as
many errors as it had in the first game

and served harder. This allowed the
Wolverines to rattle the Spartans, since
harder serves made the initial passes by
Michigan State more difficult.
"We served tougher, got them off bal-
ance," Rosen said about the second
game.
But the Wolverines were not alone in
their adjustments. The Spartans also
improved dramatically over their play in
game one. Michigan come out in the
second game and hit an astonishing .464
attack percentage, but Michigan State
was able to counter with three players
having attack percentages over .500.
"I thought we played game two really
well, until the last five or six points,"
Rosen said.
After leading 25-23, Michigan lost
the second game 30-28. The Wolverines
went into the intermission having
shown a lot of effort and good play, but
didn't have a win to show for it.
Their high level of play was the
Wolverines' only hope as they came

back onto the court after intermission,
looking to get back into the match
against their intrastate rival. The stage
was set for the greatest comeback of this
young team's season.
Down two games to one, Michigan
would power back and win the next
three games to steal the victory from
visiting Michigan State.
In game three the Wolverines looked
to their star Erin Moore to lead them in
their comeback, and she responded with
four key kills.Outside hitter Chantel
Reedus and right side Nicole Poquette
combined for seven kills in game three,
including Reedus' game-winning kill.
Michigan was now down two games
to one and still faced a must-win situa-
tion in game four. This time it was
freshman Jennifer Gandolph who led
the Wolverines.
Gandolph, who recorded her fourth
consecutive double-double last night,
slammed home seven kills in the fourth
game against the Spartans.

But, Gandolph was not the only cause
for Michigan State's 30-23 loss. The
game three loss rattled the previously-
composed Michigan State squad as the
players began to question the officials'
calls and lose their cool.
The momentum was now with the
Wolverines. Believing that they had the
match won, the Spartans had grown lax
against a dangerous Michigan team and
were unprepared for the fifth game.
Those fans that stayed for the fifth
game witnessed domination by a team
determined to let nothing stand in its
way. The Wolverines handed the Spar-
tans a devastating 15-9 loss to cap off an
amazing comeback.
Moore was once again at the fore-
front of the Michigan attack. Her four
kills in game five and her .800 attack
percentage led all scorers for the game.
But it was Gandolph's 13th and final
kill of the night that caused the Michi-
gan bench to explode in cheers and the
fans of Cliff Keen Arena to jump to

BRANDON SEDLOFF/Daily
Sophomore Erin Moore was a big part of Michigan's win over Michigan State.

Softball eyeing second fall tourney tide

By Matt Kramer
For the Daily

Michigan won all three of its games over the Sept.
22-23 weekend at the Elk Rapids Collegiate Softball
Tournament before the championship game was,
rained out.
Because the Fall Softball Tournament doesn't count

Although this weekend's Fall Softball Tournament
will never be counted in the official standings, don't

think for one minute that Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins isn't keeping a close eye
on the action. ,
"I think this tournament is really
important for us or we wouldn't have
scheduled it," Hutchins said. "It gives us
a chance for our team to practice being
competitive at a high level and gives our
team a chance to see what our needs are."
Michigan will host Eastern Michigan
tomorrow morning, directly followed by

ALUMNI FIELD
Who: Michigan hosts its
own Fall Invitational Tour-
nament.
When: Saturday - vs. East-
ern Michigan, 10 a.m., vs.
Florida State noon
Sunday: vs. Central Michi-
gan, 11 a.m.

as an official tournament, each game will
be held to only one hour and 45 minutes.
There won't be a championship game, so
the team with the best overall record in
round-robin play will be the champion.
"The teams we play don't really mat-
ter," Hutchins said. "The tournament is
all about us and how we play."
Hutchins also said she will be making
sure all of her players get as much play-
ing time as possible.

ence more than anything else.
"I think the tournament is going to give us chance
to see what we need to work on for the rest of the pre-
season," the All-Big Ten second team honoree said.
"The biggest thing is just to play as a team, use the
experience to our advantage, and go all out."
A few freshmen will get a chance to play their first
competitive games at Alumni Field. Shortstop Jessica
Merchant and pitcher Nicole Motycka are two new-
comers who Hutchins said she will be watching.
"Merchant is getting a lot'of time at shortstop and
that's a tough position to come into," Hutchins said of
the freshman, who is gunning for the spot vacated by
the graduated Rebbeca Tune. "I like what I see in
Motycka too. I haven't had the chance to see a lot of
her yet, but that's really what these kindof games are
for. This is their chance for them and all the players 'to
get their feet wet."
And that is exactly what the Michigan players want
to do.
"Everybody needs to play," Young said, "because
it's fall and it's early and we still need to feel out what
everyone has to offer."

a game against Florida State. The Wolverines will take
on Central Michigan on Sunday.
Coming off a 43-17-1 season that saw the Wolver-
ines turn a 2-5 start into a trip to the Women's College
World Series, Michigan is trying to find the new
pieces of the puzzle this year as it participates in its
second fall tournament in three weeks.

"We are going to be rotating kids in and out more
than we will in the regular season so we can give all
the players a look," she said. "We really want to make
sure that we give the pitchers an opportunity to get in
regardless of the score."
One of those pitchers, junior Marissa Young, said
the team is using the tournament as a learning experi-

FILE PHOTO
This weekend, Marie Barda will pitch her first home game of the new season.

Big games
.loom for
Mlichigan
By Allison Tope
Daily Sports Writer
More than halfway through the sea-
son, the prospects for winning the Big
Ten title look promising for the
women's soccer team.
The season started slowly with three
losses in a row, but lately the Wolver-
ines have been on a tear, winning four
out of their last five games. Michigan
leads the Big Ten with a 3-1 record, two
points ahead of second place Penn State.
Tonight the Wolverines are in
Columbus facing the Buckeyes (2-0-1
*Big Ten, 3-3-1 overall). Michigan has
won the last six meetings, but nothing
can be taken for granted.
The impact of Michigan freshman
Liz Dosa, Kate Morgan and Theresa
Dwyer has been essential to the
improvement of the team over the last
five games.
"In the beginning, the freshman had
to get acclimated to the college game,"
Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher
said. "We need to be able to use more
players during the game so we don't just
use 11 and then wear them out."
The Buckeyes' play has improved
lately thanks to another pair of fresh-
man, Lisa Grubb and Liz Mumley.
Grubb leads the team with a team-high
five goals while Liz Mumley has four
assists, also a team high.
On Sunday, the eighth-ranked Nittany
Lions will host a game to contest Michi-
gan's lead of the Big Ten. Penn State (2-
0-1, 6-2) has been the strongest team in
the Big Ten for several years.
The Nittany Lions won their third
consecutive Big Ten championship last
season and come into the game this
Sunday with a 24 game conference
unbeaten streak.
Penn State is- led by two All-Ameri-
cans, keeper Emily Oleksuik and junior
forward Christie Welsh. As the Big Ten
Player of the Year both as a freshman
and sophomore, Welsh is the favorite
for the title this year and is compared
favorably to Olympic gold medalists
Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy.
Not only is Welsh comparable to the
great players for the United States
women's national team, but she was
also given the opportunity to train with
them. After her freshman year, she spent
her summer training and touring with

U

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