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October 07, 2004 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-07

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 7, 2004

Starting on

the right foot

Win extends best
start in 'M' history

Freshman's passion
sparks teammates

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer

After unsteady play in the first
three games, the Michigan volley-
ball team regained its consistency to
knock off rival Michigan State,
3-1, in front of 1,721
last night at Cliff
Keen Arena.y
Freshman
Katie Bruzdzin-
ski led the Wolver-
ines with 12 kills and
17 digs, recording her fourth
double-double of the season and
leading Michigan
in kills for the
third straight
match.
But it was
sophomore Dan-
ielle Pflum's
inspired play
off the bench in
games three and
four that focused
the Wolverines (4-1~
Big Ten, 14-2 overall) >
and propelled them to a
commanding 30-12 win
in the fourth game.
"It came down to two
factors: momentum and
Danielle Pflum," Michi-
gan coach Mark Rosen
said. "(Pflum) came in
and just lit it on fire.
She really changed the
match around. She came
in with a reckless aban-
don mentality to throw
caution to the wind and
just go after it. The next
thing you know, the
whole team is feeding
off of that."
After seeing lim-
ited action in Michigan's .
matches against Purdue
and Indiana last weekend,
Pflum replaced strug-
gling senior Jennifer Gan-
MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Gandolph

dolph at the end of game three. Pflum
made her presence felt immediately,
recording two kills to even the game
M at 28 and put
HI A the Wolverines
161CHIGAN 3 aahead 30-29.
Junior Alicia
Boswell's aggressive serve forced
Michigan State (1-4, 6-7) into an attack
error, and Michigan won the game 31-
29. Pflum added four kills in the fourth
game to finish with six kills and no
errors for the match.
Michigan also picked up its
.i defense to control game four.
Leading 8-3, freshman Lynd-
l say Miller and senior Lisa
Gamalski both missed key
hits on a rally. But fresh-
man Stesha Selsky was
there to save both points.
The Wolverines held the
Spartans to a -.053 hit-
ting percentage in the
fourth game.
"We really took care
of the basics - ball con-
trol and passing - in game
four," Michigan sophomore
Erin Cobler said. "I think
we picked up our serving
to keep them off balance.
We could run our offense a
lot better and it was a lot
harder for them to keep up
their defense. I think we
did a good job of taking
care of our game."
Michigan was focused
at the start of game one,
but tough Michigan State
defense kept the game
close. The sharp deci-
sion-making of Gamalski
- who had three kills and
five assists in the first
game - led the Wolver-
ines to a 30-19 win.
The pressure and
emotion of the intense
rivalry threw off Michi-
gan in game two. The
Spartans came out sharp
after dropping the first
J game. Michigan State

Freshman Lyndsay Miller has been a
consistent source of enthusiasm for the
Michigan volleyball team all season.
And last night's 3-1 win over Michigan
State was no different.
Miller energized her teammates by
shouting and pumping her fists after each
of her nine blocks - a new career high.
Her passion helped shift the momentum
of the match in Michigan's favor.
But such emotional leadership is
nothing new for Miller.
In game three of Saturday night's
match against Indiana, Michigan need-
ed some enthusiasm. Indiana had won
game one, 30-25, and was leading game
three, 19-15. The Wolverines lacked the
spirited intensity they needed for them
to regain control of the match.
Then a burst of energy came in the
form of Miller, like it so often does.
After every big Michigan point, it's
not just The Zone - Michigan's student
cheering section - that gets excited.
Miller cheers right along with them,
jumping up and down and firing up her
teammates. As dynamic and efferves-
cent as she is in games, Miller says she
is equally enthusiastic in everyday life.
"I'm kind of all over the place," Mill-
er said. "I'm definitely the same off the
court. I'm always hyper, always going,
always jumping up and down."
Miller has energized the Wolverines,
propelling them to a program-best 14-
2 start. While her emotion continues
to motivate her team, in recent weeks
she has found yet another way to lead
- dominant play.
Miller is third in the Big Ten in
blocks, averaging 1.37 per game, and
has led the Wolverines in blocks in 10
out of 16 matches this season. Miller
is also second on the team with 196.5
points and has notched double-digit
kills in five matches.
"I had no idea I would even have
around that (many), so it was kind of
shocking," Miller said. "There's so
many good middle blockers (in the Big
Ten), and there's so many good players,
that it's cool to be up there. But it's like,
all right, now I have to come back to

By Stephanie Wright
Daily Sports Writer

earth and get some more blocks. I need
more. that's not good enough.
Although she has been productive
all season. Miller's breakout game
came against then-No. I Minnesota two
weeks ago. Miller had a match-high 10
kills. while adding five blocks. Her play
was impressive enough to make other
teams take notice.
"(Notre Dame) came out really com-
mitted on her early in game one and
two," Michigan coach Mark Rosen said.
"They committed all over her, and we
really couldn't get her the ball because
she had such a good game against Min-
nesota. They had that videotape and
they looked at the stats, and went. Oh,
this kid. We've got to make sure we stop
her.' It's quite a compliment for a first-
year player in the middle of the season
to already be the person they're focus-
ing on."
Miller genuinely appreciates the
praise and is proud of her accomplish-
ments. But what excites her most is how
her play - and the attention that comes
with it - has benefited her teammates.
"If they focus on me, that means
someone else is going to be open,"
Miller said. "It gives someone else an
opportunity to have some great looks at
kills. I want my teammates to be able
to count on me for blocks and kills and
know that I'm going to get them no mat-
ter what. It's pretty cool that they can
rely on me."

a

MIKE HULSEBUS /Daily
Michigan fifth-year senior Lisa Gamalski taps the ball against Michigan State last night.

tied the game at 19-19 and then
took a 21-19 lead on a service ace
from freshman Miken Trogdon and
a Wolverine attack error. Michigan
State went on the win the second
game 30-24.
The Wolverines' uneasy play also
kept them off balance throughout a
close game three, which they would
go on to win.

But by the middle of game four,
the Wolverines were hitting on all
cylinders. Michigan State coach
Chuck Erbe was sitting dejectedly
on his team's bench, seeming to
have almost stopped coaching his
team.
The 1,721 fans in attendance rep-
resented the fifth-largest crowd in
Cliff Keen Arena history.

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Lyndsay Miller goes up for a kill.

I U

10

You Don't Have to Get Drunk to Have Fun at the Game
"We want Michigan to continue being a place that is

6

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