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September 03, 2002 - Image 62

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-03

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4

8E - The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Michigan's tough season ends
with Harrison being released

By Jim Weber
Daily Sports Writer
The interim label was finally
removed from Chris Harrison's name.
But instead of being named the per-
manent Michigan baseball coach, he
was fired May 21, 2002.
Harrison spent seven years with the
program and was named interim
coach after former coach Geoff Zahn
resigned last October. Michigan (14-
17 Big Ten, 21-32 overall) finished a
disappointing eighth in the confer-
ence in Harrison's only season.
Harrison and the Wolverines were
at a disadvantage all season because
he was given the job so close to the
start of the season. He also missed
the first month of fall practice
while he tended to his sick mother
in California.
"I didn't have a feel for the fresh-
men, and we had some changes in
the middle," Harrison said. The
change was moving Brock Koman
from third base to shortstop and
finding a new third baseman.
Because Harrison did not have
enough time to find one in practice,
Brandon Jominy did not establish
himself as the best third baseman
until the Big Ten season.
Harrison refused to talk about his
job status with his players all season
but felt the insecurity wore on the
whole team.
"What happened in the fall and the
interim status affected me," Harrison
said. "When you have uncertainty,
and with college players, it does
affect them. I think this group will

play a lot better next year."
Senior Associate Athletic Direc-
tor Megan McCallister acknowl-
edged how difficult the situation
was and appreciated the way Harri-
son handled it.
"I never will experience someone in
my career that works as well and as
hard through a difficult situation,"
McCallister said. "(Harrison) held that
title with as much class as anyone in
the country."
The season was especially frustrat-
ing because of the way Michigan shot
itself in the foot all season. In a sign
of things to come, Michigan allowed
13 unearned runs in the first inning of
a 21-2 loss to San Diego at the begin-
ning of March.
The problems continued in con-
ference play. In its third conference
series, Michigan blew a five run
lead over Illinois in the eighth
inning, allowing the game-winning
run to score after a wild pitch from
Chad Garson. In April, Michigan
led Michigan State by three in the
ninth inning before Matt Collins
threw five wild pitches with the
bases loaded in a 5-3 loss. The next
week against Penn State, Michigan
lost again in the final inning. With
one out and a man on second,
starter Jeff Trzos fielded a grounder
and, instead of going for the easy
out at first base, threw the ball over
the head of Jominy, allowing Penn
State to win the game.
In the second to last series of the
season, Michigan faced Northwestern
with both teams desperately needing
victories for a berth in the six-team

Big Ten Tournament. After winning
the first game, Michigan dropped the
last two games of the three-game
series on the last at-bat. In the first
game, Michigan led in the final
inning when Rich Hill allowed two
runs, the last of which came on a
bases-loaded walk.
Michigan's problems weren't
restricted to the last inning. Michi-
gan led the conference in ERA, but
the pitchers received little help.
Michigan often had trouble with
simple fielding plays; it had the
most errors (99) and the worst
fielding percentage (.948) in the
conference in total games played.
Michigan never solved these
problems as the season went along.
In the home series against Ohio
State three weeks ago, Michigan
struggled with the basics, such as
ground balls, bunting to advance a
base runner, running down a player
stuck between bases and relay
throws. According to Harrison,
these are the mistakes that ruined
Michigan's season.
"Hitting is off and on - even
pitching," Harrison said. "The little
things you have to do, your fielding,
your base running, your execution of
a bunt defense. More than losing the
close games late, we didn't execute
things early in games that hurt us
sometimes."
Senior Bobby Korecky, whose
last season was cut short after
Michigan failed to qualify for the
Big Ten Tournament, put it this
way: "After a while, you think it is
a curse on you."

'M' two and out
again at WCWS
By Kyle O'Neill
Daily Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY --After a disappointing finish at last
season's Women's College World Series - back-to-back one-
run losses to Arizona State and Nebraska - Michigan had to
say goodbye to three of its own in departing seniors Mary
Conner, Kelsey Kollen and Stefanie Volpe.
But the rest of the softball community, as well as the nation
watching ESPN, was introduced to the future of Michigan
softball - sophomore pitcher Nicole Motycka.
In the Wolverines' 1-0 loss to Nebraska, Michigan coach
Carol Hutchins went with Motycka, the 2002 Big Ten Fresh-
man of the Year riding a 17-game winning streak, instead of
Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Marissa Young.
Motycka didn't disappoint, allowing just one run and five
hits in six innings. Having her start did catch some off guard
because most WCWS teams used just one starting pitcher.
Young started in the 2-1 loss to the Sun Devils.
"You know what, I had no idea what (Motycka) looked like
(entering Saturday's game)," Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle
said. "I didn't have any tape on her. Everything I had seen was
Marissa Young and I thought (Motycka) came out with
tremendous poise. I wouldn't have guessed she was a fresh-
man if I hadn't known she was a freshman. She was freshman
of the year in the Big Ten and I understand why."
This was the first time this season that Motycka admitted
having butterflies in her stomach. "I was really nervous, I'm
not going to lie," she said. "I just did what I always do, which
was keep the ball down and let my defense do the rest."

I

Nicole Motycka, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season,
allowed just one run in her first Women's College World Series start.

Volleyball finishes with a heartbreaker

Former Ball State coach will
lead Wolvennes this season

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer
The word on the lips of every
Michigan volleyball player - heart-
breaker. There was no other way to
describe the 3-2 loss to No. 21 Illinois
on Nov. 24, a defeat that all but elimi-
nated Michigan (9-11 Big Ten, 13-14
overall) from making their third
straight appearance in the NCAA
Tournament. After taking a two-
games-to-none lead on the Fighting
Illini, the Wolverines were unable to
seal the deal.
"This match defines heartbreaker,"
Katrina Lehman said.
The match started out very well for
Michigan. The Wolverines dominated
the first game, handing Illinois a 30-
23 loss. Erin Moore and Carrie
Ritchie, who had seven and six kills
respectively, led Michigan offensively.
Defensively, Moore added four digs to
lead the team, but the story was
Lehman's four block assists in the
first game.
Entering the match, Lehman needed
only five block assists to break the
Michigan single-season record of 115.
In 2000, Lehman tied the mark set by

Lindsay Ebert in 1997.
Lehman needed only two block
assists to break the.record going into
the second game. She not only got
them, but she also added four kills to
help the Wolverines down the Illini
30-28. Illinois grabbed an early 4-1
lead, but the Wolverines tied the game
at nine behind the serving of Moore.
With the game knotted at 27 the
Wolverines turned to their sophomore
outside hitter Jennifer Gandolph, who
responded, scoring the final three kills
to win game two 30-28.
This would prove to be the final
game Michigan would win last season.
"I don't know what happened, I
think that slowly by slowly we broke
down and they got stronger," Lehman
said.
After the intermission, Illinois
came out better on defense, but it was
Michigan's errors that allowed the Illi-
ni to steal game three. Illinois only
recorded 11 kills in game three, but
Michigan gave the Illini 15 points on
attack errors.
Winning the game 30-25 gave Illi-
nois momentum it desperately needed,
but it was the next game that proved
to be the backbreaker for Michigan.

Game four saw the Illini finally
find their offensive rhythm. Relying
heavily on its 6-foot-5 middle blocker,
Lisa Argabright, Illinois overpowered
the smaller Michigan squad.
Argabright led the Illini with seven
kills in game four.
The Illini took a 27-22 lead late in
the game. Michigan used all its emo-
tion to mount an incredible comeback.
After tying the game at 28, Michigan
had the momentum, but neither team
was able to score the two consecutive
points needed to win.
Finally, the Illini proved too much
for the Wolverines as Illinois won
game four 34-32.
Errors also plagued the Wolverines
in the fifth game. Eight Michigan
errors gave the Illini more than half
the points they needed to win 15-9.
The previous night's match com-
memorated last season's seniors -
Nicole Kacor, Annie Maxwell and
Shannon Melka. While this was the
end for the three, they know the team
is in good hands.
"I know this program has nothing to
do but go up and increase our winning
record," Melka said. "They are going
to do awesome next year, I know."

4

By Charles Paradis
Daily Sports Writer

The Michigan baseball team finally has an answer to
the season long question of who would be the Wolver-
ines' coach in 2003. The answer: Rich Maloney.
The Michigan athletic department announced May 31
that Maloney, the head coach at Ball State for the last
seven years, will replace interim coach Chris Harrison
for next season.
"This is a lifelong dream of mine," Maloney said. "(It's)
an absolute pleasure to be part of the Michigan family. Now
I have the privilege of coaching one of the greatest baseball
traditions programs in the United States.'
Maloney, a native of Roseville, Mich., joins the

Wolverines after a 34-23 season at Ball State. Last sea-
son, Maloney's Cardinals finished second in the MAC
West and placed second in the MAC Championship
Tournament. Maloney finished Ball State with a 256-
144-1 record as head coach.
Baseball America recognized Maloney as one of the
Top Five Rising Coaches in NCAA Division I Baseball
in 2001.
"This is an opportunity for the Michigan athletic
department to get one of the bright young coaches in
America," said Athletic Director Bill Martin. "He has
proven his knowledge of the game with his success at the
collegiate level and we believe he understands what it
takes to build a successful program on the field and in
the classroom."

I

4

a

I

Hockey Band
The tradition continues.

Rehearsals will be on Thursdays
beginning at 7:30 PM

Men's Basketball Band
Enjoy the best seats in the house
and jam for the Men's Basketball
Pep Band.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays
beginning at 7:15 PM

Auditions will be held at Revelli Hall
Sunday, September 15,2002
Wednesday, September 18,2002
Audition will include sight reading and scales.

7

\9'

To schedule a time for an audition
11 U-I 4 Armf

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