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September 27, 2004 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-27

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68 - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - September 27, 2004

Spikers no
match for
opher 'D
By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer
It wasn't that the Michigan volleyball team played= ry
badly in its 3-0 loss at No. I Minnesota SaturdayA
night. The Wolverines committed three fewer attack
errors than Minnesota and held the Golden Gophers
to a .173 hitting percentage, well below their .251
season average.
The problem was that Minnesota played thatr
,much better.
"Minnesota is the best defensive team I've ever
seen in college volleyball," Michigan coach Mark
Rosen said.'
After hitting .278 to start the season, Michi-
,gan (10-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) was held to .062
in the match and limited to 34 kills, the team's
lowest total of the season. But the most telling
evidence of Minnesota's defensive dominance
was the school-record 39 digs notched by junior TAMMASOGOMEZ/Daily
Paula Gentil. The old record of 37 digs was set Freshman Lyndsay Miller (14), senior Jennifer Gandolph (3) and the rest of the Michigan defense
in five games, but Gentil took just three games couldn't compete on the same level as a dominating No. 1 Minnesota sqaud.
to break it. Gentil also recorded just one less dig

McNabb, Eagles
hand Lions a loss

DETROIT (AP) - Atier falling a
game short of the Super Bowl the past
three years, the Philadelphia Eagles seem
to have the swagger and talent they',ve
been missing.
Donov an McNabb threw for 356 yards
and two touchdow ns and ran for a score,
Terrell Ow ens caug ht six passes for 107
yards and a touchdown and Jevon Kearse
had three sacks to lead Philadelphia to a
30-13 win over the Detroit Lions.
In a game between unbeatens, the
Eagles made a resounding statement.
And with a championship-or-bust
mentality, Philadelphia is not satisfied
with its first 3-0 start since 1993.
"We haven't played our best - and
that's exciting," McNabb said.
Rookie receiver Roy Williams had
nine receptions for 135 yards and two
touchdowns - for the second straight
week - for the Lions, who had a chance
to go 3-0 for the first time since 1980.
McNabb frustrated Detroit early and
often.
Midway through the first quarter, he
slipped a sack and moved around the
pocket long enough to find a wide-open
L.J. Smith to convert a third down. The
electric play, which McNabb made look
routine, was merely a preview.
"When you make a play like that, it
throws a defense off," McNabb said.
McNabb's jaw-dropping play kept an
88-yard drive going. It ended with his
1-yard sneak, giving Philadelphia a 7-0
lead. His 29-yard pass to Owens and 1-
yard pass to Mike Bartrum put the Eagles
ahead 21-0 midway through the second
quarter.

"They got out on us early, which was
our worst-case scenario." Mariucci said.
Detroit crossed the 50 for the first time
with 52 seconds left in the first half on
Williams' 18-yard catch.
Then Jocy Harrington went to Wil-
liams on three straight plays, including a
12-yard touchdown. Williams caught four
passes for 63 yards on the 64-yard drive
that gave Detroit a glimmer of hope.
David Akers put the Lions away
with field goals on the Eagles' first two
possessions in the second half, and
added another field goal early in the
fourth quarter.
Williams added to his highlight reel
with a spinning, tackle-breaking 29-yard
touchdown midway through the fourth
period, but Detroit trailed 30-13 after a
missed 2-point conversion.
"Roy was a bright spot," Mariucci said.
"He was terrific after the catch on several
occasions, but we didn't get any big plays
other than Roy's."
McNabb's sixth NFL season is looking
like it might be his best.
He fell just 34 yards short of his career
high, a 390-yard game in 2000 against
Cleveland. and surpassed his 330-yard
performance in this year's opening win
over the Giants.
McNabb has completed 69.8 percent
of his passes for 931 yards with eight
touchdowns and run for two scores
without throwing an interception
through three games.
"He's taken that next step to become
a great quarterback," Detroit cornerback
Fernando Bryant said. "He's one of the
two or three best in the game right now."

6

ihan Michigan's top-three defenders combined.
The Wolverines finished the match with 70 digs
to the Golden Gophers' 90.
"That's how they affect teams is through their
defense," senior Jennifer Gandolph said. "And they're
very good at it. They wear teams down."
Michigan started the match by taking a 3-0 lead
in game one, but Minnesota quickly came back
with a 7-0 run and led the rest of the game, win-
ning 30-26. Carrying this momentum into game
two, Minnesota took an early 10-2 lead and held
Michigan to a .033 hitting percentage for the game.

Michigan lost game two 30-17, its worst loss of the
season.
"We let up," Rosen said. "They had a huge lead at
the beginning of the game. We were playing out of our
element, which is something we don't like to do and
something we don't usually do."
Although Michigan hit .167 and committed just
five errors to keep game three close, Minnesota
hit a match-high .232 and recorded 22 kills to
defeat Michigan 30-27.
"We started from behind at the beginning of
each match, and then we struggled to catch up,"

Gandolph said. "If you take that out, once we got
past the lull in the beginning, we were right with
them. But it's hard when you have to match a team
point for point."
Rosen also felt the closer play of games one and
three were much more indicative of the match than
game two. But the Wolverines' slow starts were
enough to keep them out of the match.
"We were always playing from behind," Rosen said.
"You don't want to have to play from behind against
a team of their ability. If you're not very, very sharp
against this team, they're going to beat you."

Blue a 'toothless tiger'

on East Coast

By Jamie Josephson
Daily Sports Writer
It was one of those moments when
all you can do is shake your head and
shrug your shoulders.
In the last 20 seconds of the game in
Brooklyn between the No. 3 Michigan
men's soccer team and Long Island, the
Blackbirds got on the board through an
own-goal by Michigan. The ball came
,through traffic near the Wolverines'
net, and, although Michigan tried to
clear it, the ball snuck into the net.
This last-minute goal tied the game at
:one, which was how it ended after two
'overtime periods.
"Overall, I thought we played, across
'the board, up to our potential," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said. "In the
'attacking third of the field, we were like
a toothless tiger. We looked the part, but
:we weren't able to finish them off."
Michigan (6-1-1) took a 1-0 lead

against Long Island (1-3-2) in the 40th
minute of the game when senior for-
ward Mychal Turpin beat the Long
Island goalkeeper to the high-left of the
net with a left-footed shot. Junior Ryan
Sterba collected an assist on the play.
"I knew the ball was coming to me,"
Turpin said. "I just wanted to get a first
good touch and get my shot off."
Michigan had a few other opportu-
nities throughout the final moments
of the game. The Wolverines had two
breakaway chances during this period,
but they could not convert. Burns said
he felt the team had some good chances
to win by two or three goals, but was
unable to make it happen.
"We really had Long Island on the
ropes," Burns said. "We were control-
ling the fight, but we weren't able to
knock them out. On this day, we lacked
that killer instinct to put the team out
of the game."
The lack of that "killer instinct"

proved to be the difference between a
win and a tie for the Wolverines.
"We looked the part of the tiger, but
we didn't have the fangs," Burns said.
"We didn't have the bite."
Michigan was in control for the
majority of the game and remained
strong defensively, as has been a com-
mon theme for the Wolverines. Burns
noted that junior defender Chris Glin-
ski and senior defender Dawson Stell-
berger both had solid weekends.
But the team continues to lag behind
offensively.
"Once we get a lead, we need to
build on that lead so the other team
doesn't think they still have a chance
(to win)," Turpin said.
Lack of offensive production con-
tributed to Michigan's first loss of
the season against Rutgers on Friday.
Burns referred to the 3-0 loss against
the Scarlet Knights as an "eye-opener
game." Snapping the best start in its

program's history (6-0), Michigan
may have been suffering from an emo-
tional hangover two days later in its
struggle against Long Island. The tie
against the Blackbirds rounded out a
tough weekend on the East Coast for
the Wolverines.
These were the first meetings ever
between Michigan and both squads.
But the coach said he does not plan
on scheduling future games in New
York due to the various distractions of
the city. He explained that the young-
er players on the team have not yet
matured to realize that these road trips
are for business and not pleasure.
Even with the difficult weekend away
from home, Burns is not concerned
about the team's abilities on the road.
"I like being on the road, and I
think the team does too," Burns said.
"It's a time to be together and focus
on becoming a better team. Our focus
wasn't real good this weekend."

01

Senior Mychal Turpin scored Michigan's only goal of the weekend in a disap-
pointing weekend in New York.

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