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October 28, 2002 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-28

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6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - October 28, 2002

Nowhere to
Spartans picked No. 1 in conference

be seen

By Seth Klempner
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - Despite the loss of sophomore
point guard Marcus Taylor to the NBA this past
summer, Michigan State and coach Tom Izzo are
right back where they want to be. After its seem-
ingly annual title of Big Ten preseason favorite
was usurped by Illinois last year, the Spartans
have reasserted themselves by reclaiming their
place atop the Big Ten preseason voting in both
the coaches and media polls.
This fall outof the top spot was a brief respite for a
team that had made the previous three Final Fours
and had to replace four starters. But this season, Izzo
returns four starters, two of which are seniors Aloy-
sius Anagonye and Adam Ballinger, along with a trio
of standout sophomores.
"Last year, we weren't (favored) and I felt that
we played to those expectations that myself and
others put on us," Izzo said. "I think to get to that
next level you have to realize that (recognition) is
not just something people are going to give you,
but rather a privilege."
Following Michigan State in both polls was one of
last year's NCAA finalists, Indiana. Although coach
Mike Davis has refused to name any of his starting
five, the Hoosiers will be led by senior Tom
Coverdale, who was named to the Preseason All-
Conference Team.
After Michigan State and Indiana, it is as good as
anybody's guess which teams will compete amongst
the top of the Big Ten. As usual, coaches are praising
the parity and balance of the Big Ten.
"The thing that is different from the Big Ten and
other leagues is that while it doesn't have the appear-
ance as being as top heavy as the ACC or Big 12, our
league is not bottom heavy at all," Illinois coach Bill
Self said.

The media and coaches were split between the Big
Ten Preseason Player of the Year with the coaches
picking sophomore Rick Rickert of Minnesota and
the media choosing Illinois senior Brian Cook. Cook,
a 6-foot-10 forward, follows former teammate Frank
Williams in receiving the honor. Both Cook and
Rickert were also named to the Preseason All-Con-
ference Team.
Despite breaking his nose in practice last week,
Cook (13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last
year) refuses to wear a protective facemask, saying
that it disturbs his vision. Does Cook feel that it in
any way foreshadows or serves as an omen to his
final season in Champaign?
"I don't really read into it to much," Cook said. "My
main objective is to get this team as ready as I can.
"I played without it during our scrimmage yester-
day and I could see better. If it gets hit, it gets hit.
There is nothing I can really do about it."
Preseason favorites
Big Ten coaches and media met in Chicago yester-
day for the annual media day. Michigan State was
selected by the coaches and media to finish first.
Minnesota and Indiana tied for second in both
polls. Here is the preseason first team All-Big Ten
squad as voted by the media and coaches.



Team Year Pos. 2001-02 PPG

Brian Cook** Illinois Sr. F
Tom Coverdale Indiana Sr. G

Brent Darby
Kirk Penney
Rick Rickert*

Ohio St. Sr. G

13.5 ppg.
11.9 ppg.
12.8 ppg.
15.1 ppg.
14.2 ppg.



Sr. F
So. F

*denotes preseason player of the year by coaches selection
**denotes preseason player of the year by media selection

Sophomore Dommanic Ington was one of the more experienced players on the Maize team in Saturday night's scrimmage. The Maize
squad lost to the Blue 53-4 Freshman Lester Abram led the Maize with 12 points.

No preseason hype this year for Michigan


By Josh Holman
Daily Sports Writer

CHICAGO - At this time last year, the rest of the Big Ten vas buaing about
Michigan's chances in the conference at its annual Media Da, for wnen's bas-
ketball. The Wolverines were coming off a second round apparance i the 2001
NCAA tournament and were boasting an incoming recruiting lass the included
in-state stars Tabitha Pool and BreAnne McPhilamy. The rst of th Big Ten
coaches placed them atop of the preseason conference coache' polls )ith 2001
national runner-up Purdue. It appeared that Michigan had arried.
Fast-forward one year. The Wolverines are coming off a seaon in wlich they
started 10-1, but ended 7-13, including their first-round exit om the VNIT at
the hands of Valparaiso. Purdue is still selected in the preseon mediapoll to
capture yet another Big Ten title, with Penn State favored in ti Big Tencoach-
es' poll. But the buzz has left the Wolverines' corner, as I-higan filed to
break into the top three.
Minnesota was selected to finish third, bringing about a gieral corsensus
that the Boilermakers, Nittany Lions and Golden Gophers aret the top of the
pack this year.
"Being the underdog is something we've done before," sior co-captain
LeeAnne Bies said. "Some people may not like that role, but itmn be used as a
motivating factor."
The Wolverines are returning four starters from last year's sqd. Bies is one
of their returning seniors and was selected to the preseason AllInference team
at center. Fifth-year senior and co-captain Raina Goodlow also urns this sea-

son after missing all but five games due to a staph infection last year. Goodlow
and Bies, measuring 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 respectively, bring a significant
amount of size to the lineup. But more importantly, they bring experience.
The Wolverines are welcoming six freshmen onto this year's roster. One of
them is expected to emerge as a point guard, but such a set of inexperienced
hands may be the reason why the Wolverines aren't receiving the same amount
of respect they did last year.
"We have a lot of experience coming back, but we also have a lot of inexperi-
ence where the ball is going to be handled," coach Sue Guevera said. "It's a mat-
ter of how quickly we can get that blend in."
Those freshmen will be battle-tested early. The Wolverines have scheduled
five teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year in their nonconference
schedule. Then they'll be faced with the rigors of Big Ten play.
"Every game is a challenge," Goodlow said. "We need to focus not so much
on who our opponents are but what we're doing."
But Michigan's conference opponents will be hard to ignore. Players like Pur-
due's Shereka Wright, a 2002 Naismith Award Finalist, and Penn State's Kelly
Mazzante, last year's national scoring leader, will be venerable challenges for
both the veterans and the rookies. But even these big dogs on campus know the
Big Ten has a tendency to surprise.
"It's still a dogfight," Mazzante said. "Every team needs to be up for every
game. There's a lot of good teams."
Besides Bies, the other preseason All-Big Ten members are Jennie Lillis from
Iowa, Mazzante - who is the preseason conference player of the year - Wright
and Lindsay Whalen from Minnesota.

LeeAnne Bies is one of two seniors returning to this year's team
that will rely on its six freshmen to emerge.

Field hockey can't beat No. 1,
but brings home a Big Ten title

Tough weekend for
Blue excused by coach


By Brian Schick
Daily Sports Writer

This weekend was bittersweet for
the Michigan filed hockey team. Sat-
urday saw the second-ranked Wolver-
ines (6-0 Big Ten, 15-2 overall) end
their 14-game winning streak with a
heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to
No. 1 Old Dominion Saturday, but
they won the Big Ten title against
Penn State on Friday.
If Michigan could take anything
away from the loss to Old Dominion
(6-0 Colonial Athletic Association,
15-2), it is possible that the Wolver-
ines could face them again in the
NCAA Tournament.

Michigan dug itself an early 3-0
hole, but began to claw its way back
as forward April Fronzoni opened
the scoring midway through the first
half. Defender Kristi Gannon
notched the second Michigan goal
off a penalty corner, and Fronzoni
pulled the score even with six min-
utes to go in regulation. But Old
Dominion's Lotte Bant scored the
game winner three minutes into the
extra session.
Coming into this weekend, the
Wolverines had already wrapped up a
share of the Big Ten title. But beating
Penn State would wrap up the confer-
ence schedule with a perfect 6-0
record and an outright title.

That was the case this on Friday, as
Michigan beat Penn State, 3-1, to win
its second outright Big Ten title and
the third title in school history.
This season, the Wolverines were
determined to win the conference title
after watching both of their biggest
rivals share the crown last season.
Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz felt
that the Big Ten is the primier confer-
ence in the nation, and going undefeat-
ed in conference play was no easy task.
"This is the toughest Big Ten con-
ference ever, with every team a
quality team," Pankratz said. "The
Big Ten is the toughest conference
in the nation, and to not lose a game
is a really important accomplish-
ment for them."
Penn State (3-2, 12-3) made things
interesting for the Wolverines in the
early going on Friday afternoon. After
Fronzoni opened the scoring six min-
utes into the game, the Nittany Lions'
Kelly Concini netted the equalizer
just two-and-a-half minutes later.
Defender Stephanie Johnson was
the difference for the Wolverines in
the game, finding the net for the
first time in nearly a month on a
penalty corner. Johnson added one
more for good measure just before

By Matt Kramer
Daily Sports Writer

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With a 3-1 victory 0 Penn State,
Kate Dillon and the it of the
Wolverines clinched t Big Ten title.
halftime, tying herason record for
goals at 11.
In the second ha Michigan was
content to play defer and keep shots
away from goalkeer Molly Mal-
oney, who faced onl, single shot in
the second half.
"Penn State's speevas real close
to ours, and they weree fastest team
we've played to dateankratz said.
"Molly Maloney playesolid today in
goal and made some portant saves
on breakaway situatio. When your
score opportunistic jls and you
have solid goalkeepinit's going to
be a good day."

Normally, Michigan men's tennis
coach Mark Mees would not be pleased
to see his players win five of 12 matches.
But considering it's only the middle of
October, Mees will let it slide.
Competing individually in the Rolex
Regional Championships in Madison,
only Michigan's Michael Rubin, Dave
Anving, Chris Shaya and Josef Fischer
won matches this past weekend, but
Mees was hardly upset.
"We talked about making improve-
ments as a team since the beginning
of September, when everyone got to
school," Mees said. "I really feel good
about the way our players competed
this weekend." I
Rubin, a sophomore transfer from
Washington, won his first match on
Saturday, taking down Minnesota's
Manuel Lievano 6-3, 6-3. But Rubin
could not keep the momentum going
later that afternoon, dropping a tough
three-set loss to Illinois' Mike Calkins
5-7, 6-3, 6-2.
"Michael played real solid for us and
I was really happy with the way he
played," Mees said. "He lost to someone
that is probably the favorite to win the
entire main draw"
While Anthony Jackson, a junior
competing back in his home state of
Wisconsin, suffered a first-round defeat
at the hands of Minnesota's Alex Zhari-
nov, Mees feels that Jackson is getting
better by the day.
I mm -m -m -m -= -

"Anthony just has to get his confi-
dence going a bit," Mees said. "He
played an excellent match against excel-
lent competition."
Sophomores Anving and Fischer both
won their first matches. Fischer defeated
Xavier's Ryan Potts 6-3, 6-2 and Anving
beat IUPUI's Luke Recker 6-2, 6-1
before both lost in the second round.
The final singles matches won't be
determined until tomorrow.
Fellow sophomore Vinneth Gossain
lost his only match of the draw, falling
to Indiana's Julian Villiez 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Shaya, competing in the qualifiers
bracket, won his first two matches
before falling in the third round to
Louisville's Matt Mayer.
In the doubles bracket, the team of
Rubin and Shaya fell to Illinois' Chris
Martin and Ryan DeHart 8-3 in the first
round and the team of Chris Rolf and
Gossain made it to the third round
before falling to Northwestern's Josh
Axler and Adam Schechterly.
While the weekend's tournament
won't be counted toward the
Wolverines overall record because it
wasn't a team event, Mees was
pleased that his players competed
with the ferocity that they did.
"Sure, there was some pressure there
for guys to keep their spots," Mees said.
"This was a very important tournament.
We take pride in the way we compete
and we came out well. I was looking for
improvement, and we improved."
Michigan next competes in the Rock-
et Invitational in Toledo next weekend.




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