2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 17, 2003
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
wi liams adds new
attitude to rugby
You might call it "getting even."
Those were precisely the words used by Texas men's
swimming and diving coach Eddie Reese (albeit half-
jokingly) after the second-ranked
Longhorns narrowly defeated No.
8 Michigan, 227-221, in a two- MICHIGAN 221
day meet that came down to the
final event Saturday at Canham Natatorium.
The outcome proved to be a revenge of sorts dating
back to last year's dual meet in Austin, Texas, when
the then-ninth-ranked Wolverines upset then-No. 1
Texas in (you guessed it) the last relay.
"It was about as exciting as a college dual meet can
be," Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said after the loss.
"The fact is that Texas has three of the world's best ath-
letes on their team, and it came down to the wire"
The three athletes Urbanchek referred to were soph-
omore Aaron Peirsol and seniors Ian Crocker and
Brendan Hansen. The group owns a total of five world
records in addition to 2000 Olympic gold (Crocker)
and silver (Peirsol) medals.
Crocker and Peirsol swam the latter two legs of the
meet-clinching final event, the 400-yard freestyle
relay, in which the Texas "A" team eked out a victory
over the Michigan "A" team of Andrew Hurd, Davis
Tarwater, Chris DeJong and Dan Ketchum. Texas'
winning time of 2:58.72 was just .64 seconds ahead of
the second-place finishers.
After leading 111-94 after Friday's events (held in
50-meter long-course distances), Texas kept it close
through Saturday's races (held in the 25-yard short-
course format) to set up the thrilling finish.
"We knew they were going to come back today and
Michigan sophomore Peter Vanderkaay swims the 1,500-meter freestyle against Texas on Friday. The
Longhorns pulled out a victory by winning the final event on Saturday, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
be tough," said Michigan standout sophomore Peter
Vanderkaay, who was named co-Big Ten Swimmer of
the Week last Wednesday. "We have to give them cred-
it because they have some really talented guys who
swam hard. We swam great too, it just happened not to
work out in our favor."
Losing could not overshadow some positive signs
for Michigan. Perhaps the most impressive showing
was Vanderkaay's win (and NCAA consideration time)
in the 400-yard individual medley, an event he has not
competed in since his first-ever Michigan meet.
"I haven't done that race in a while," said Van-
derkaay, who earned first-place finishes in all three of
his events on Saturday. "I just wanted to try my best for
the team, and I went out there and swam hard. It's kind
of like bringing (the race) back from the dead."
Urbanchek has taken to calling Vanderkaay "the
workhorse of this team."
Reese, who will coach the U.S. Olympic team in
Athens in 2004, found a lot to like in Michigan's effort.
"Michigan is always one of the toughest teams we
face," he said. "When the gun goes off, they'll fight
you to the last rung, and they'll finish a race better
than anybody in the country."
Specifically, Reese pointed to the Wolverines'
impressive showing in the distance events.
"They just kept beating us with that rubber mallet on
top of the head in all those events," he said. "It was
very frustrating. We'd get up close, and they'd knock us
back down. Diving came through for us. Had (our
divers) not, we'd have been on the other end."
Urbanchek was proud of his team despite the loss.
"We performed extremely well as far as the team
goes," he said. "When you settle back down into Big
Ten level competition, these guys are going to have all
Michigan has two weeks off before the swimmers
travel to Federal Way, Wash., for the U.S. Open,
while the divers will head to Austin, Texas, for the
By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
For the last two years, a new mental-
ity has been growing inside the Michi-
gan Rugby club. This season, with the
help of just three seniors, the team
cashed in on the new mindset with an
undefeated Division II season and a
drive to the Elite Eight.
"We've had a lot of talent for a few
seasons now," senior captain Craig
Williams said. "I told the boys it was
time to stop talking, keep your mouth
shut and play hard."
The new-look program has been
cast from the same mold as the two-
time captain - a put up or shut up
mentality. Williams adopted the team
motto 'soiled meat and sand,' ripped
from a late- 19th-century Michigan
Daily article on the original Michigan
rugby club and the hard work and
determination it would take to beat
"It embodies what Craig has really
molded the team into," senior Wes Far-
row said. "Which is some of the tough-
est 15 people around."
Williams joined the team four years
ago, coming up to Ann Arbor two
weeks before his freshman year to
learn the sport he had never played
before. He picked up the game quickly,
practicing with the Ann Arbor Rugby
Club before going out for the club
"They were a bunch of angry old
men yelling at me a lot because I
had no idea what I was doing,"
Williams quickly settled in with the
team, and in the middle of his junior
year, was named captain. His leader-
ship style was quiet, but effective, cap-
turing the hearts of his teammates.
"He leads by example better than
any leader I've ever been under," sen-
ior Kevin Barlow said.
This season, Williams led Michigan
to an undefeated regular season. The
grind of the season definately took its
toll on Williams, but he always got
back to his feet to lead his team to the
"It's impossible to understand how
much drive he has to keep getting up
every time," Farrow said.
His injuries during the season
ranged from a concussion in the open-
er to a slurry of ailments in the Elite
Eight, but never once did Williams don
a helmet or shoulder pads.
The ultimate test for Williams and
his new-look team came in the play-
offs. The roster was decimated by
injuries, cut short with eligibility
issues and the captain was being taped
together before every game. Despite
the injuries, the team was eyeing a trip
to the Final Four.
With a slew of backups and walk-
ing injured manning the lineup, the
team took its first match from
"The character that our team showed
is directly related to the character of
Craig as our leader," Barlow said.
The Elite Eight match with Miami
(Ohio) would prove too much for the
lineup that was riddled with as many
holes as Williams' shoes.
The team fought hard, but came up
short in a 33-7 loss.
"I'm truly happy and proud of the
way we played," Williams said.
Even after the season was over,
Williams still denied reports that he
was fighting a collarbone injury and a
"I know some of (the injuries), and
he's kept that hidden and keeps the
pain hidden," Barlow said.
Like their captain has done for the
last four seasons, the team will get up
from its defeat and jump right back in
the pile for a run at next year's playoffs.
While the sun has set on William's
final season, his impact will sustain the
rugby club for years to come.
Final relay secures victory against Buckeyes
By Anne Uble
Daily Sports Writer
Ohio State and Michigan had
exchanged the team lead several times
during their swim meet Friday night, but
going into the last
race, the Buckeyes MICHIGAN,pld3.5"
pulled ahead by a H TAE4.5
few points, and the
fate of the Wolverines was in the hands
of the closing 400-yard freestyle relay.
When the relay team consisting of
Sara Johnson, Tracy Egnatuk, Erica
Watts and Amy McCullough stepped
onto the block, it knew it had to swim a
fast race. Since Michigan's "A" relay
was likely to take first place, the "B"
relay needed to finish in either second or
third place to capture the team title.
"Before the race I told the girls that
they needed to come in third to win the
meet," coach Jim Richardson said. "But
Amy McCullough told me that they
were planning on finishing second.
They were determined to win the meet."
Ohio State coach Jeanne Fleck obvi-
ously knew that the point spread was
close, and strategically changed the
lineup of her relays in hopes of defeat-
ing Michigan's two tough relays. But it
was to no avail. The Wolverines ulti-
mately clinched both first and second
in the race and claimed the team win
with a score of 153.5-146.5.
"I have never been more impressed
with the team," Richardson said. "Dur-
ing the whole meet, the points were
extremely tight, but they really proved
that they can deal with pressure well."
Michigan swam its way to victory in
Columbus by winning nine of the 16
"Ohio State really wanted to win the
meet," freshman Susan Gilliam said.
"They had been resting up for it most
of last week so they came into the meet
with a huge advantage over us. Unlike
Ohio State, we did some tough training
last week. We even had practice the
day of the meet."
The 400-yard medley relay started the
meet off with a record-breaking race,
overpowering the second-place Buck-
eyes by nearly six seconds.
Freshmen Gilliam and Lindsey
Smith led the team in individual races
with two wins apiece.
In the second event of the night,
Gilliam swam herself to a first-place
finish in the 1,000-yard freestyle while
breaking the pool record along the
way. Later in the meet, Gilliam won
the 500-yard free.
"I was pretty happy with how I
swam," Gilliam said. "I haven't been
too concerned with my times right now
in the season, I've just been concen-
trating on how I swim. I think most of
the team is looking ahead to the Big
Ten Championships and the NCAA
Following the lead of her team-
mates' performance in the first two
events, Smith swam herself to a win in
the 200-yard freestyle by out-touching
Ohio State's Nicole Maglich by a little
more than a second. Later, Smith
came back and out swam the competi-
tion to win the 100-yard freestyle.
Senior diver Tealin Kelemen also pro-
vided the Wolverines with solid points
by placing second in both the one-meter
and three-meter board competition.
Now at 5-1, the Wolverines' next
scheduled event is the Nike Cup from
Thursday (Nov. 20) through Saturday
(Nov. 22) in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Intras quad solidifies
By Eric Chan
Daily Sports Writer
Volleyball snaps skid, stays alive
By Eric Ambinder
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan volleyball team has salvaged its
season and increased its chances of an NCAA
The Wolverines snapped a three-match losing
streak with a 3-1 victory at Ohio State yesterday,
after losing to Big Ten leader Penn State Friday.
Michigan ranks sixth in the crowded Big Ten
and trails league-leading Penn
State by four games with fourMHi
matches left to play. SE
Michigan isn't ready is
ready to give up on the idea of
securing a fourth NCAA Tour-
nament berth in five seasons.
"It's been a tough run with the three games,"
coach Mark Rosen said. "The team was getting
emotionally frustrated. I think (this weekend) was
really a great sign that they hadn't given up and
were going to work hard."
Yesterday, it appeared as if the Wolverines were
ready to succumb to Ohio State (4-12 Big Ten, 10-
14 overall), a team Michigan defeated earlier in
the year, 3-0.
After Michigan dropped the first game 30-27,
senior Erin Moore and junior Jennifer Gandolph
rallied their team and effectively saved the season.
Trailing 1-0, Moore and senior Nicole Paquette
sparked the Wolverines to a .327 hitting percent-
age in game two en route to a 30-21 win, tying the
Ohio State took a 12-6 lead in game three, but
the Wolverines won 24 of the next 36 points to
take the game 30-24.
Up 2-1, Michigan (9-7, 17-10) never trailed in
the final set and closed out the match, 30-21.
Freshman Megan Bowman recorded a career-
high 10 blocks.
Against No. 16 Penn State on Friday, with the
match tied 1-1, the Wolverines led 27-26 in the
third game and were on the verge of taking the
lead when they were called for a questionable dou-
ble-hit penalty, allowing Penn State to steal the
game 30-26 and take a 2-1 match lead.
"That was a little emotionally rattling," said
Rosen about the penalty. "But at the same time,
we have to take credit for the fact that we didn't
respond very well."
The teams traded points early in the fourth set
before Penn State (13-3, 24-4) took an 18-12 lead
on a 9-0 run and closed out the Wolverines, 30-18.
"The mood was not real light because people
were frustrated," said Rosen about team morale
after its third consecutive loss. "At the same time,
The No. 7 Michigan wrestling
team finally solidified its starting'
lineup at yesterday's Maize and Blue
Intrasquad. The meet at Cliff Keen
Arena was part of a best-two-out-of-
three series between wrestlers at
each weight class battling for a
Several freshmen - Mark Moos
(125 pounds), Nick Roy (174), Josh
Weitzel (184) and Chase Verdoorn
(197) - guaranteed themselves
spots in the lineup with victories.
"I've been really impressed with
Weitzel in the early season. He just
knows how to win. At 125, we have
Moos - and he has the ability to be
an outstanding wrestler this year. At
174, we have Nick Roy - I think he
did a nice job today. At 197, we have
Chase Verdoorn. Chase is just a big,
strong, physical kid. I like the way he
gets after people," Michigan coach
Joe McFarland said. "I'm just really
excited about the young guys we
have in the lineup right now."
Moos, who captured the Michigan
State Open title last weekend, beat
fellow freshman Jim Shutich by a
combined score of 33-6 in their two
"It feels good to secure a spot -
it's a relief," Moos said. "My condi-
tioning needs to improve a lot - the
seven-minute match was really hard
on me today."
Roy and Verdoorn had a little more
trouble securing their spots in the
lineup. Roy squared off against sen-
ior Steve Sentes, winning two close
matches, 6-4 and 10-4.
Verdoorn wrestled the 184-pound
starter from last season, Willie Brey-
er - who moved up in weight to 197
pounds this season. Verdoorn won
the first match 8-4 and then held on
for a 5-3 victory in the second.
"I like to be on the attack all the
time and wrestle a high-pace match,"
Verdoorn said. "I think that fits in
well with the Big Ten style."
Defending national champion and
top-ranked Ryan Bertin tossed an
outmatched Hassen Berri around like
a ragdoll in both their matches, win-
ning both by technical fall.
Seniors Clark Forward and Pat
Owen both won their matches as
well, guaranteeing them starting
roles in their final season as
"Before the wrestle-off, you can't
really start thinking about the next
dual against another team because
you're still concentrating on securing
a spot," Owen said. "It definitely
takes a little pressure off."
Michigan's dual-meet schedule
begins next weekend with matches
against No. 19 Central Michigan and
No. 2 Lehigh. Lehigh should fall in
the rankings this week after being
stunned by Iowa State at home.
I think we have very good leadership. I think that's
helped us a lot."
Gandolph had a career weekend, as she recorded
34 kills and 29 digs, becoming the first Wolverine
ever to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a
"She's been playing really well," said Rosen.
"She carries a lot of the load. I'm real proud of
her, and I thought she made some big digs and
certainly did some great attacking."
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