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December 05, 2002 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-05

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 5, 2002 - 7A

'Cats challenge 'M' tourney streak
VOLLEYBALL MANHATTAN, KAN.

By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer

easy. Kansas State is one of the hottest
teams in the nation, having won 14 of
their last 16 games, en route to a 20-8
regular season finish. Michigan was

This weekend, the Michigan volley-

ball team will look to do
something no other vol-
leyball team in Michi-
gan's history has done -
get past the second round
of the NCAA Tourna-
ment.
To do that, the Wolver-
ines will travel to Man-
hattan, Kan. to face No.
22 Kansas State in the
first round of the NCAA
Tournament tomorrow

MANHATTAN, KAN.
Who: Michigan (1010 Big.
Ten, 16-14) vs. No. 22
Kansas State (164 Big 12,
20-8)
When: 9 p.m.
Latest: Michigan has made
it past the first round in
every NCAA Tournament in
which it has participated.

swept last year in the only
previous meeting between
the two schools.
The Wildcats also bring a
very balanced attack to the
table, led by All-Big 12
Conference selections Lau-
ren Goehring, Gabby
Guerre and Cari Jensen.
But despite their strong
attack, Kansas State has just
a 12-28-1 overall record
against the Big Ten, and has

ment with an at-large bid, the Wolver-
ines are confident that they will be able
to make some noise. Michigan comes in
with a 16-14 overall record, having
played one of the toughest schedules in
the country in one of the most competi-
tive conferences in the nation. This
should only help the Wolverines in tour-
nament play.
"There's not a weekend in the Big
Ten where you can just kind of slack
off," Gandolph said. "It's not going to
be any surprise to come out and play a
tough team, because that's what we do
every day anyway."
The Wolverines have made it to the
tournament three times, and all three
times Michigan has walked away after
losing in the second round. The last
time Michigan was in the NCAA Tour-
nament was in 2000, when it beat Con-
ference USA champion Louisville but
got swept by No. 2 Arizona.
- With a 3-3 record in past NCAA
Tournament play, Michigan has been
nothing if not consistent. But with the
way the Wolverines have been able to
overcome obstacles in the last month of
the season, things may change this year.
"Anything can happen in the tourna-
ment," Gandolph said.

SIKORA
Continued from Page 5A
Most people would argue that trying
to motivate someone to accomplish a
goal with no tangible reward is very
difficult. This is exactly the dilemma
the Michigan basketball team is faced
with right now, and it seems lifeless.
But there are other reasons to want
to win. Things such as pride and
winning for the sake of being the
best are also important. If the
Wolverines don't realize this, it is
Amaker's responsibility to impress
the notion upon them.
Although the postseason is no longer
a reality, this season is an opportunity
for Amaker to prove that he can be an
effective coach, and that Michigan can
be winners.
He must use this season to eradi-
cate the "losing culture" and start lay-
ing a proper foundation for this
program - a foundation based on a
winning tradition.
These should be this season's pur-
poses. They may not lead to a tourna-
ment this year, but Amaker is focused
on the future anyway. At least they give
this season meaning.
And letting this year go by without
accomplishing something would be a
huge mistake.

night. If victorious, Michigan will face
either Washington State or Oral Roberts
in the next round.
"It will make my senior year if we
make it past the second round," middle
blocker Katrina Lehman said.
But the road for Michigan will not be

RYAN WINERDaily
Outside hitter Chantel Reedus and the Wolverines are returning to the NCAA
Tournament for the first time since 2000. They have never lost in the first round.

gone a meager 4-8 against tournament
bound teams this year.
In addition, Michigan has its own trio
to counter Kansas State - All-Big Ten
selection Erin Moore, setter Lisa
Gamalski and outside hitter Jennifer
Gandolph. With those three leading the
way, Michigan coach Mark Rosen likes
his team's chances.
"I like our draw," Rosen said.
"Kansas State is a team that is very
good, but I know their personnel very
well, and we match up well with them."
Despite making the NCAA Tourna-

the michigan daily

Naweed Sikora can be reached
at nsikora@umich.edu.

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