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September 23, 2002 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-23

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 23, 2002 - 3B

Inexpenence
and youth
plague spikers
By Waldemar Centeno
For the Daily
Michigan's volleyball team was plagued by its
youth and inexperience while in South Bend, Ind.
Young and fragile, the team failed to display its
potential or showcase its true abilities.
Losing 3-1 to a tall, defensive-minded Notre
Dame squad, the Wolverines came to grips with
how much more they must prepare for the Big
Ten season that begins next Saturday against
Iowa.
"Notre Dame was big," Michigan coach Mark
Rosen said. "Their girls in the middle that were
6-foot-3 played great defense and their whole
team did a good job hitting their targets."
The Wolverines were on the run throughout the
entire game, playing the tedious role of catch up.
Even though Michigan could never take control
of the game, there were a few individual bright
spots on the team.
Jennifer Gandolph carried her magical play
over from last week's spectacular performance to
Notre Dame, capturing her sixth double-double
of the season with 20 kills and 17 digs. Katrina
Lehman also contributed to her teammates'
efforts by inching her way closer and closer to
tying Julia Strun's (1987-90) career record of 375
total blocks. Lehman is just 10 shy of the mark.
Regardless of the leadership from Lehman and
Gandolph, many errors in the first, second and
fourth games forced the team to fall behind.
"We took ourselves out of key moments in the
game. Our team effort could have been better,"
Rosen said.
Michigan (6-4) faced a Notre Dame (9-3) team
that was ranked nationally earlier in the year.
Even though Michigan took many small leads in
the games, it continued to make too many errors,
allowing Notre Dame to either stay in the game
or pull away.
The Irish took a two game lead over the
Wolverines before finishing off Michigan 30-22,
30-24, 23-30, 30-20.
Despite the team's loss to Notre Dame, Michi-
gan is concentrating on the experience it will
gain in the future.
What the team learned from this matchup with

STEVE
JACKSON

Willingham qualiied to

DANNY MOLOSHOK/Daily
Michigan's Katrina Lehman elevates over her opponent. Lehman and the Wolverines fell hard on the road at
Notre Dame Saturday night.

Notre Dame will show in the coming weeks; the
Irish are Michigan's last nonconference opponent
before it begins the Big Ten grind. The Wolver-
ines will have a lot of work in front of them if
they wish take home the Big Ten Championship
as it is one of the most competitive conferences
in the nation.
During the next few weeks, attention will be
focused on Gandolph, Lehman and Erin Moore

to play well if the team is going to be a pivotal
player in the Big Ten conference. Because of the
youth on the team (six freshman, five sopho-
mores, three juniors and just one senior), the
team desperately needs leadership in the locker-
room.
"This is a very important part of the season
because we are facing the high caliber Big Ten
teams," Rosen said.

change facec
The only two major football
programs in this country with
black head coaches faced off
this weekend in East Lansing,
where one of those black coaches is
already hearing the masses calling
for his job.
The matchup of Notre Dame's
Tyrone Willingham and Michigan
State's Bobby Williams was origi-
nally reported to be the first battle
of black coaches in history. Actual-
ly it was the third, but that is still a
horribly low number.
The question of why so few black
head coaches exist in Division I-A
football is not a simple one to
answer. Most of the
time black coaches No black foo
are told that they has ever b
simply lack the cre-
dentials for the pres- (Willingham's
tigious head stage, his ch
coaching position. vince adminis
Gone are the days
of athletic directors black men ca
saying "black coach- effecti
es aren't smart headsets a
enough" or "black
coaches can't work the alumni cir-
cuit well." Those thoughts may notI
all be gone, but at least the public1
expression is politically correct.
I think most reasonable people
believe that there are a number of1
very qualified black football coach-1
es that are being denied opportuni-
ty. How many is up for debate, but
four Divison I-A coaches
(Williams, Willingham, Toney
Samuel at New Mexico State and 1
Fitz Hill at San Jose State) is wide-
ly accepted as too low.
A year ago, the Black Coaches
Association sent the names of 50
qualified black coaches to all 117
Division I-A schools. This, presum-
ably, would at least cut ignorance 1
out of the hiring process. Instead,
the BCA was rewarded by seeing 1
its numbers cut from five to four.
So now that athletic directors all
over the nation have all the infor-
mation, what can be done to make I
them change their views of black I
coaches?
NFL Hallof Famer Kellen
Winslow thought he had an idea in
January of 2001. His son, Kellen
Winslow II, one of the top tight end
prospects in the country, was con-1
sidering attending Michigan State
solely because of its black head
coach. He refused to sign a letter of1
intent for his son to go to Washing-
ton, where a white coach, Rick
Neuheisel, runs the show.
"What type of father would I be,
to know what I know, to go through
what I've gone through and not dis-
cuss these things with my child?"
the elder Winslow told ESPN at the
time. "I'd be the worst father in the
world. Race is an important issue
in this country and you're almost
burying your head in the sand if

A
e
s;
ia
si
31
:h
IE

9 coaching
you don't talk to your children
about it. It's denial."
But in the end, Winslow II ended
up with white coach Larry Coker
and last year's national champions,
Miami (Fla.).
If Winslow, the self-proclaimed
starter of the "send the best black
athletes to the black head coaches"
bandwagon couldn't stick to the
cause, it's fair to say that approach
will never work. The best black
players want to succeed, they want
to play on television and they want
to go to the NFL. White coaches,
like Michigan's Lloyd Carr, can
offer all those things.
Consequently, the
tball coach coup of the black
een given high school athletes
crumbled before it
) power, his ever began, which
ance to con- leaves one real
trators that chance for black
.e t coaches to find
n be just as opportunities.
ve in The current coaches
s in pads. need to succeed, par-
- ticularly Willingham.
Willingham can change the face of
the game. No black football coach
has ever been given his power, his
stage, his chance to convince
administrators that black men can
be just as effective in headsets as in
pads.
Willingham has done well so far,
leading Stanford to four straight
top-four finishes in the Pac-10,
then taking a Notre Dame squad
left for dead by many experts to a
No. 10 ranking and a 4-0 record so
far this year.
It really doesn't matter what hap-
pens to Williams. He earned his
opportunity, but the Spartans have
lost enough games that they should
have won to put his job in jeopardy.
Willingham is the one that peo-
ple will be watching.
If he takes Notre Dame back to
the top of the college football
world, people will re-evaluate their
thoughts on black coaches all over
the country. And everyone, regard-
less of race, will be better off
because all the best coaches will be
teaching and leading all the best
athletes in America.
A good coach can't break down,
the barrier. It takes greatness to
change the minds of bigots. If Jack-
ie Robinson wasn't an excellent
player, I have a hard time believing
that he would have been able to
successfully integrate baseball.
As a Michigan fan, I have always
disliked Notre Dame, but I wish
Willingham the best. He's a great
man, a great coach and I believe
he, and only he, can make the dif-
ference.
Steve Jackson can be reached at
sjjackso@urmich.edu.

Field hockey overcomes 'adversity'
Northeastern scores only goal of game against shorthanded Wolverines

By Brian Steere
Daily Sports Writer

In a dramatic swing yesterday,
the No. 3 Michigan field hockey
turtneda seemingly certain defeat
into a
thrilling vic- FIELD HOCKEY
tory. Michi-
gan's 2-1 Notebook
overtime tri-
umph over No. 12 Northeastern
firmly reinforced why the Wolver-
ines are the defending national
champions.
Despite playing from behind
most of the game, receiving ques-
tionable penalties and dealing
with unseasonably chilly weather,
Michigan still managed to prevail
for its sixth consecutive victory.
"The mark of a true champion is
to be able to overcome adversity,
stay focused in what you're trying
to do and always believe that you
have a chance to win," Michigan
coach Marcia Pankratz said. "And
that was evident today. I think it
shows the character of this team."
Along with goalkeeper Emily
Roy, Northeastern's defense sti-

fled Michigan's potent scoring
attack for most of the game, refus-
ing to surrender a goal despite
being bombarded with 15 shots. It
took a lighting strike by Jessica
Blake with 20 seconds remaining
in regulation for the Wolverines to
finally get on the board.
"They were a very good defen-
sive team," Blake said. "They
were really low and really strong.
It took a lot of effort by us to get
past them. We really showed that
we were a good team by the end."
QUICK TURNAROUND: Blake's
game-tying goal at the end of reg-
ulation not only saved the day for
Michigan, but it also provided
some solace for the Australian
native.
On Saturday against Temple,
with the Wolverines rolling 7-0,
Blake launched a penalty-corner
shot that hit Owls' goalkeeper
Emily Conroy square in the face.
The game was delayed for nearly
40 minutes, and Conroy had to
leave the field on a stretcher.
"I missed the goalie (against Tem-
ple), which was nice," a relieved
Blake said. "Fortunately she was

OK, so it turned out all right."
TOUGH CALLS: Michigan's victo-
ry was even more impressive con-
sidering that two of its top players
were hit with yellow cards and
forced to sit for five minutes,
leaving the Wolverines short-
handed.
April Fronzoni, the team's lead-
ing scorer, got carded at the
beginning of the second half after
being tied up with a Huskies' for-
ward, and Northeastern quickly
took advantage by scoring its lone
goal of the game. Adrienne Hor-
tillosa was hit with her card in
overtime, but Michigan was able
to hold off several Husky charges
before returning to full strength.
"(Northeastern) had a lot of
breaks today," Pankratz said. "But
it was good practice for us to play
seven on six full field."
DAUNTING DEFENSE: Northeast-
ern had a fabulous defensive
gameplan for Michigan's offensive
juggernaut. With the Wolerines
coming off their largest scoring
output of the season against Tem-
ple, the Huskies stymied Michigan
inside their circle and didn't allow

a goal until the final minute of
regulation.
"They're a good team," Pankratz
said. "We knew that they were
going to be very strong and we
were ready for that. I think they
clogged the middle a lot and made
it difficult for us to move the ball
quickly. They had a lot of people
back because I think they were
concerned about our speed. And
they did neutralize it for most of
the game, so they played a nice
game. They're going to do well."
Night and day
Northeastern's smothering def-
nese kept Michigan's potent
scorers at bay yesterday. The
Huskies came within 20 seconds
of shutting out the Wolverines.
Temple
Goals: 8
Shots: 37
Penalty Corners: 14
Northeastern
Goals: 2
Shots: 15
Penatly Corners: 10

.Blake comes
up big at bleak
. time for Blue
HUSKIES
Continued from Page 11
a rebound score off a crucial Northeastern penal-
ty corner.
Trailing 1-0 for nearly the rest of the way,
Michigan was on the verge of losing its first
home game of the season until Blake came to
the rescue. With 20 seconds remaining and both
sides crowding Northeastern's circle, Blake cor-
ralled the ball on the left side and fired a blaz-
ing shot that deflected off a defender's stick and
found the top of the net.
"I was right on the edge and the ball just hap-
> s'* pened to come out my way," Blake said. "It was a
really great feeling. I'm glad that I could put one
3T; 3>%r:A h s . in for the team and put us into overtime."
The win reinforced Michigan's incredible depth
and its ability to prevail during the bleakest of
. s. L.situations.
:::: 3{ t < "The thing that I think really says a lot about
thisteam is that anybody can come up on any
f_ _ given day," Johnson said. "Our team is so multi-

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