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September 24, 2004 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-24

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Friday
September 24, 2004
sports.michigandaily. com
sports@michigandaily.com

PORTS

8

. . . ...... ......

0

Iowa defense
ready to face
'M'wide outs
By Gennaro F!lice
Daily Sports Editor
Iowa's defense under Kirk Ferentz has never
played overly aggressive. Although the Hawkeyes
have fielded one of the Big Ten's most dominant
defenses in the past few years, they hardly ever
tried to force the issue by bringing an extra man
to apply pressure.
"I wouldn't hold your breath if you're waiting
on us to blitz," senior First Team All-Big Ten
defensive end Matt Roth said.
Against the Wolverines - who feature true
freshmen quarterback Chad Henne - the conven-
tional thinking would be to apply extra pressure
and try to rattle the young signal caller.
But Ferentz thinks differently.
"We realize they do have a young quarterback,
but I also realize they have the best receivers in
the country - that might include NFL teams,"
Ferentz said.
Ferentz is not alone in giving the Wolverine
ball-catchers his utmost respect.
"I think, by far, it's going to be one of our
biggest challenges of the year as a secondary
because, out of all three of their receivers, prob-
ably all three of them will be drafted to the
NFL," junior cornerback Jovon Johnson said.
"It's not only a challenge for my team, it's a
challenge for me individually to get recognized
by playing well."
So far this season, Michigan's vaunted trio of
Braylon Edwards, Jason Avant and Steve Breaston
has been pretty Edwards-heavy. The senior, who
set Michigan's career-receptions record - he
now has 181 grabs - against San Diego State,
has 26 catches for 350 yards and four touchdowns
in 2004. Breaston has been moderately effective
with 12 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown,
but Avant has hauled in just five passes for 57
yards.
"Obviously, the more people that you can
involve, the better you are," Carr said.
The Michigan receiving corps could have a
field day against Iowa, as the Hawkeyes struggled
mightily against Arizona State's passing attack in a
44-7 loss last weekend. Heisman Trophy candidate
Andrew Walter torched the Iowa secondary, going
31-for-43 for 428 yards and five touchdowns.

Tonight begins tough
weekend for spikers

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan volleyball senior Lisa
Gamalski has gotten off to a fast start
this season, earning MVP awards in
all three Michigan tournaments. After
recording her first triple-double in the
win against No. 22 Tennessee last week-
end, Gamalski is just one kill shy of 400
career kills.
Gamalski is proud of her individual
success, but is ready to do whatever it
takes to help her team.
"For me, in my position, I have to be
focused on the team," Gamalski said.
"Personal success will come with team
success. I just want to win."
Like Gamalski, Michigan has been
on a roll throughout its nonconference
schedule. In addition to defeating seven
of its first eight opponents in straight
games on its way to a 9-1 record, Michi-
gan has out-hit its opponents in every
match and leads the Big Ten in oppo-
nent-hitting percentage.
But as the Wolverines open their con-
ference season on the road against Iowa
and Minnesota this weekend, they real-
ize their competition is about to get a lot
tougher.
"The stakes go up," Michigan coach
Mark Rosen said. "The Big Ten is
known as one of the best conferences
for volleyball in the nation. There are no
more kind of easy, warm-up matches.
Any team could beat any other team."
Michigan plans to keep this attitude
in mind as it takes on Iowa tonight. The
Hawkeyes are coming off a disappoint-
ing 2003 season in which they struggled
to a 6-24 record, and the Wolverines
have won their last two matches in Iowa
City. But energized by new coach Cindy
Fredrick, Iowa has gotten off to an 8-3
start this season.
"Every match is important," Gamal-
ski said. "More or less, they're a team
we know we need to beat. We can't look
past them and focus too much on Min-
nesota. We've got to respect everyone in
the Big Ten."
One team that has definitely earned

Michigan's respect is Minnesota. With a
1-9 record against the Golden Gophers in
the last five seasons, the Wolverines under-
stand how difficult it will be to win on the
road. But Rosen remains confident that his
team's tournament victories - especially
its 3-1 win over Tennessee - have pre-
pared them to take on Minnesota.
"Minnesota is very steady and consis-
tent, but we can compete," Rosen said.
"They play a different, more physical
style than Iowa, and we have to be ready
for it. There will be no charity points in
this match."
While Minnesota is playing to main-
tain its No. I ranking, Michigan sits
just outside the top-25. The Wolverines
believe they can only help themselves
by turning in, their best performance
Saturday night.
"It's exciting because it's rare that we
have a no-lose situation," Rosen said.
"We have nothing to lose and a whole
lot to gain."
Gamalski echoes the attitude of her
coach, enjoying her team's unusual sta-
tus as underdog.
"We've known all along that Min-
nesota is a good team," Gamalski said.
"We just need to play hard and have a
good time. But no game do we walk into
thinking we can't win."

0

Iowa running back Jermelle Lewis filled in for Fred Russell when Iowa beat Michigan 34-9 and rushed for over
100 yards. He is currently a senior on the Hawkeyes.

"Our entire football team - and it starts with
coaching - for whatever reason, we were not
ready to play at the level you have to play at to
be competitive," Ferentz said. "They thoroughly
outplayed us."
The performance was uncharacteristic of a
Hawkeye defense that gave up just 184 yards to the
Sun Devils last year and was thought to be lowa's
strongest unit in 2004.
"Everybody can make excuses, but there's no
excuse for the way we played last week," Johnson
said. "As a defense, we just came out flat."
The offense didn't fare much better in Tempe.
The youthful Iowa unit was held to just 100 yards
of total offense and six first downs.
"There's a lot of miscommunication up front,
we missed a lot of assignments, we missed a
lot of reads - we just weren't clicking as an
offense," senior running back Jermelle Lewis
said. "A lot of the inexperience played a role in

this because we really couldn't find a rhythm
and you need the experience to find the rhythm
during the game."
The Hawkeyes' youth starts with sophomore
quarterback Drew Tate, who has had an incon-
sistent start to the season, completing 37-of-63
passes for 400 yards, three touchdowns and three
interceptions.
Iowa enters the game as a 13-point underdog.
"We really don't pay attention to what the point
spreads are, what the rankings are," Lewis said.
"In the Big Ten, you really never know what's
going to happen in the week."
The last time Iowa visited the Big House, it
stomped the Wolverines 34-9. Hawkeye players
indicated that the Michigan game is one of their
biggest contests of the year.
"If you're going to win the (conference) title,
you've usually got to go through them," Johnson
said.

ALEXANDER DZIADOSZ/DaIIy
Usa Gamaiski and the Michigan volleyball
team face a reenergized Iowa tonight.

PROCRASTINATION
STATION

IOWA 24
MICHIGAN 35
" Before every football game
this season, two of the Daily foot-
ball writers will take the weekend's
matchup to the PlayStation 2.
" Play of the game - After
trailing 17-0, Michigan pulled to
within 24-21 at halftime thanks to
a 73-yard touchdown catch by WR
#1 as time expired.
PRESS CONFERENCE
QUOTES:
Iowa coach Gennaro Filce:
"Blowing a 17-0 lead in the first
half is embarrassing. Like playing a
college football video game for six
hours straight."

"Coach Burke's 'Throw-it-up' offense
shows his his true coaching prowess,
or lack thereof."
"Do you know if there's a coaching
vacancy at Indiana? I heard Bob
Hunt and Sharad Mattu have already
applied for the prospective job."
Michigan coach Chris Burke: "Well
QB #12 set a team record with five
touchdowns - if only I had started
him."
"We had three TD passes of 72 yards
or more, so that was pretty good."
"No, no one expected it to be snowing.:
It dropped 60 degrees in one day - I
thought the world was ending."
"CB #3 had eight pass breakups
and onebinterception - coach Filice
should be ashamed of throwing at
him that much."

,ter, _ threat? The Dally footbau writers break down each Big Ten squad. r
- TheFerent-cies-ow coach Kr eet has replaced
a legend and becomne one o the hattest commodites in all af
r .coaching. Through i all, hers sparked some gret relationships.
MEN'S SUCCER
Soccer takes progy.ram--best ranking out East

I

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer

weekend.
Currently ranked No. 3 in the
NSCAA/Adidas Top-25 poll, Michigan
has "target" written all over it heading
into a six-game away stretch, which
starts at Rutgers last Friday.

'11' I,,
. '

.111

ujkllwl
11 1

The Michigan men's soccer team
might as well trade in its maize and
blue uniforms for big, red bullseyes this

PA

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"I told the players that, when we were
playing the underdog role and trying to
break into the national powers, we would
look at the polls and see where we were
and would always want more," Michigan
coach Steve Burns said. "Now we are
playing with a target on our chest, and I
think that's one of the most difficult chal-
lenges that we have to overcome."
The Scarlet Knights are no strang-
ers to the rankings. Despite being cur-
rently excluded from the top-25, Rutgers
hasn't had a losing record in the past 20
years, according to coach Bob Reasso,
who has been coaching the Piscataway,
N.J., squad for the past 24 years. He says
his team is not that intimidated to play
the ranked Wolverines.
"We're excited to play Michigan,"
Reasso said. "It's pretty standard for us
(to play ranked teams). All of the good
teams look forward to playing good
competition."
Rutgers lost its most recent game to
No. 21 Villanova 1-0. It will look to
improve its 2-3-2 record against Michi-
gan (6-0) by relying on senior Andrew
Herman and freshman Tommy Gray,
who have tallied four and three points,
respectively. Reasso said that this year's
team is very young, being freshman
and sophomore dominated. And while
the Rutgers defense haskent the num-

"I like playing the Big East schools,"
Burns said. "We have a lot of recruiting
battles for the same athletes. They play
the same style of soccer. (Playing Rut-
gers) will help us prepare for the Big Ten
season because they are a similar team."
For Bruh. - a New York native -
there are several perks of playing Rut-
gers in New Jersey.
"It's certainly exciting," Bruh said.
"It's good for me to go home and have
family and friends at the game who
don't (often) get to see me play. But it
means even more for our program to
play out on the East Coast, or anywhere
not in the Midwest, because it helps us
gain exposure."
Burns said that this is a game a lot
of fans mark down on their calendars,
as Rutgers has a history of making
Final Four appearances and having
its players move on to higher levels of
the sport. Yurcak Field, Rutgers' home
stadium, seats more than 5,000 people,
and the game will be regionally broad-
cast by Comcast.
"We are excited to have a big game
under the lights in front of a hostile
crowd," Burns said. "We're trying to
emulate them as a program, and the
only way to do that is if you can com-
pete on the same level as them."
Rurns nredictsa tight game against

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