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October 27, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-27

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Inunes cnpple
ichigan season

N VOLLEYBALL
Bowman shines
in defensive role

JAMIE JOSEPHSON
ON MEN'S SOCCER
The Michigan men's soccer team's
miracle run in last year's NCAA Tourna-
ment gave life to a very young program.
In just its third year, the program toppled
the nation's top collegiate soccer schools,
including No. 3 Notre Dame. The team's
efforts became an unexpected but warm-
ly received Cinderella story.
After bowing out in the quarterfinals
of the tournament, there were high hopes
for the Wolverines in 2004. And, in Sep-
tember, it looked like Michigan had yet
to break its stride, rolling through its
schedule with a six-game win streak, an
undefeated record and the No. 3 ranking
in the nation.
But in the last month, the team dropped
four out of its last five games, managed
just a single conference win and has fall-
en off the national charts.
And now, with just four games left to
play before the Wolverines host the Big
Ten Tournament, it seems like this slump
could crush Michigan's hopes of follow-
ing in last season's footsteps and receiv-
ing an NCAA bid.
But don't judge a book by its cover.
"If you only look from the outside and
see the results, you'll think we're under-
achieving," Burns said. "But when you
look from the inside, (you'll see that)
we are achieving and maybe even over-
achieving."
Sure on the outside, this year's Michi-
gan team (1-3-0 Big Ten, 8-5-2 overall)
seems to be a long way off from repeating
last season's performance (5-1-0, 14-7-1).
But when you look past the numbers and
see that the Wolverines are playing with-
out six of their starters and had to travel
for eight out of their last nine games,
Burns' words begin to sink in.
The devastating preseason knee injury
of senior tri-captain Knox Cameron cer-

tainly left a gaping hole in Michigan's
contingent of forwards. The Wolverines
had high hopes for the College Soccer
News preseason All-American and Her-
man Trophy candidate, who was return-
ing after his best season in 2003, scoring
33 points on 12 goals and nine assists.
But Cameron is just one player on a
field where 11 play together. In the first
half of the season, Michigan looked like it
had compensated for his loss, bulldozing
over its opponents six consecutive times.
But any team can only handle so many
injuries. After Cameron's departure, Wol-
verines began to drop like flies.
Besides Cameron, five other Wolverines
have been forced to sit on the sidelines due
to injuries. Defenders Chris Glinski and
Dawson Stellberger as well as forwards
Ryan Alexander, Cam Cameron and Tolu
Olowolafe are not likely to return this sea-
son. These players had combined for four
goals and 10 points for the team.
"When you look at the injuries, it's
really staggering," Burns said. "It's a
challenge when you have new guys in that
haven't been with you for a long time and
getting those opportunities to develop. I
look at this team as achieving at a high
level in the face of adversity."
Because so many goal-scorers were
lost to injuries, newcomers have had to
fill some big shoes. Suddenly, the expe-
rienced, NCAA Tournament-bound team
of 2004 had received a makeover. The
face of 2003 Michigan men's soccer was
young and inexperienced.
Adversity has come not just with the
plague of injuries, though. Playing eight of
their last nine games on the road against
stronger opponents, the Wolverines have
had their hands full with contests against
two top-15 teams, including returning-
NCAA champion Indiana.
The six-game win streak to open
the season - while impressive - was
misleading. None of the victories came
against top-25 clubs, and half were played

TOMMASO GOMEZ/Daily

By Kevin Wright
For the Daily
If you are a Michigan volleyball fan
or have at least gone to a game or two at
Cliff Keen Arena, you may know sev-
eral big name players like libero Sarah
Allen, outside hitter Jennifer Gandolph
and setter Lisa Gamalski. Still, you might
miss 6-foot-1 sophomore middle blocker
Megan Bowman. She's not the flashy type
of player that many fans recognize, but
she still plays a crucial role in helping the
Wolverines win.
"She is very physical, and her good
play at the net allows everyone else to
do their job that much better," Michigan
coach Mark Rosen said.
A gifted athlete, Bowman never imag-
ined herself playing volleyball. Growing
up in St. John, Ind., she spent most of her
time playing basketball whereas a major-
ity of college volleyball players have been
playing for most of their lives. She didn't
pick up club volleyball until seventh grade.
Although it may seem like a setback, Bow-
man's time on the basketball court elevated
her play on the volleyball court.
"The defensive mindset I have to have
in volleyball was the same as in basket-
ball," Bowman said. "I go up against the
other team's best player and have to stop
her from using her strengths."
As a freshman, Bowman was just the
second Michigan player named to the
Big Ten All-Freshman team. Even more
impressive is that, while her role on the
team was limited to a defensive mindset
last year, this year her play has grown to
encompass the offensive side of the game.
After just 20 matches this season, Bow-
man already has 146 kills and is well on
her way to eclipsing her 184 kills last year.
"Last year, we had several other girls

who could give us a lift offensively, allow-
ing us to use Megan as a defensive player,"
Rosen said. "Now, she's worked hard on
her offensive skills to nicely complement
our attack."
Bowman had shoulder surgery during
the off-season, which could have ham-
pered her ability to contribute to this year's
team. Instead, she rehabbed her arm back
into playing shape and spent time in the
gym working on her technique.
"I went into surgery knowing that I
had a starting spot," Bowman said. "I
was on the floor a lot as a freshman, and
I wanted to make sure I could stay on the
court. While rehabbing, I knew I wanted
to come back and make an impact. I didn't
want to lose my starting spot."
All of Bowman's work rehabbing her
shoulder has paid off this year. Early in
the season, she received All-Tournament
honors at the Michigan/Nike Invitational
where the Wolverines defeated then-No.
22 Tennessee - a match in which Bow-
man registered 10 kills and seven blocks.
She is currently sixth in the Big Ten with
81 blocks and sixth on the team with 146
kills. Meanwhile, she is also 13th all-time
in block assists at Michigan.
Not only does Bowman bring great
physical skills to the table, but she also has
a great attitude.
"She's a great communicator," Rosen
said. "Last year, she didn't talk that much
because she was still adjusting to the col-
lege game, but this year she's doing a great
job talking. She's a hard worker. She's here
every practice working on the fundamen-
tals and also comes in to watch game tape.
She's all business."
The Wolverines travel to East Lansing
for a rematch with Michigan tonight at 7
p.m. and return to Cliff Keen Area on Fri-
day to host Illinois.

Knox Cameron has been missing all season due to injury.

in Ann Arbor.
All of these intangibles have made
Michigan's road to the NCAA Tourna-
ment a bumpy one.
But at the same time, excuses can only
go so far in explaining how a team which
made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA
Tournament in 2003 and was ranked No.
16 in pre-season polls this year could be
suddenly struggling for a tally in the win
column.
And now, with the NCAA bids loom-
ing, time is running out. The Wolverines
must find a way to get back on track
before their train to the NCAA Tourna-
ment derails.
"We need to get results," Burns said.
"In the face of not getting results, we
understand we are still on track to gain
an NCAA bid, but our margin of error is
very small."
Treading on thin ice and looking to
secure an NCAA bid, three out of the
next four games are must-wins, which

- luckily for the Wolverines - are all at
home. Hopefully, having an emotionally
charged Senior Day coming up and play-
ing host to the Big Ten Tournament will
turn things around for Michigan.
In addition, Cameron has begun prac-
ticing with the team again, and Burns
said a decision will be made this week if
he will be able to play for the remainder
of the season. Burns has similar hopes for
Glinski.
With the possible return of key start-
ers, home-field advantage for the remain-
der of the regular season and memories
of last year's unexpected post-season suc-
cess, Michigan definitely has the tools to
translate effort into results - maybe a
sequel to the Cinderella story will be in
the making.
"I think you're always disappointed
with the losses," Burns said. "But I'm not
disappointed in the overall effort or focus
of the team.
"Don't write this team off."

WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING
T_______ WERNER
Tankers open w t pIZ UI Continued from page 9

0 MEN'S GOLF
Blue struggles in
rough conditions

el

A Z

By Sara Uvingston
Daily Sports Writer
With the excitement of a rivalry meet already in the air,
Michigan women's swimming and diving team wrapped up one
of its final practices before its Big Ten season opener against
Michigan State today.
Coach Jim Richardson and his captains are looking at this
matchup as an opportunity to gauge the team's overall perfor-
mance, concentrating on the freshmen, who make up half of
the team.
"Hopefully we win the meet, and people just get good solid
swims in and the freshmen just keep getting more and more
used to the format of college swimming and it will give every-
one an opportunity just to get used to things," junior captain
Abby Seskevics said.
Although Richardson won't be looking for the freshmen to
step up and reach their potential this early in the season, so far
he likes what he sees.
"I like the progress I am seeing in training now." Richardson
said. "They seem to be adapting very well to the things that we
are asking them to do and I believe that if they will continually do
that over the next couple of months, we can see them have some
very special performances by the Big Ten (Championship)."
All of the upperclassmen on the team have been extremely
supportive of the freshmen and know how difficult the adjust-
ment to college life can be. They are always there to help them
improve their form and are constantly making sure the fresh-
men don't feel any pressure to step it up at today's meet.
"I think they have done a really good job of adapting." Ses-
kevics said. "This group of girls just seems to fit right in to the
team so that worked out really well. We have just been trying to
encourage them and let them know that first semester freshman
year is really hard and if they need any help or anything we are
always there for them."
Richardson also recognizes the difficulty freshmen tend to

have in adapting to college life and that is one of the main rea-
sons he is not putting any pressure on them.
"It's very hard to come from a club program or a high school
program into what we do, both in the water and on the dry land
deck, and that's why I expect to see a little more out of the fresh-
men by January, once they adapt to what they are doing," Rich-
ardson said.
While the prospect of back-to-back Big Ten titles is realis-
tic, Richardson refuses to think of this season as defending the
title, and prefers to look at this year's team as a completely dif-
ferent one.
"This is not the same team that won the title last year." Rich-
ardson said. "They have never swum in a Big Ten champion-
ship. So this group of athletes is not really defending a title. The
athletes that won it last year, half of them are gone, so we don't
look at it that way. This is a unique team and they are going to
create their own destiny for this year. I'm hoping it will be the
kind of team that will make things interesting at the Big Ten
championships."
As for the in-state rivalry against Michigan State, many of the
swimmers feel it is mainly in football, but it still seems to carry
a little more weight than any other Big Ten matchup. With their
showdown falling just three days before the football game at the
Big House, an extra point for the Pontiac Cup - a title awarded
to the school (Michigan or Michigan State) that accumulates
the most points through wins against the opposite school in all
sports - is lurking in the back of their minds.
"Michigan and Michigan State, I don't care if you play tid-
dlywinks, a crowd would show up and the results would be
meaningful," Richardson said. It's like playing ball in the neigh-
borhood, you didn't want to lose to them because you knew you
were going to get it the next day. It's very much that same kind
of thing, it's fun, it's with people that are in your backyard, both
teams want to win, they are going to bring their best, and that is
the great thing about college athletics. It makes it fun to be a part
of something like that."

His current total of six points puts him
in a tie for third on the team in scor-
ing, while his plus-four rating barely
trails fellow defenseman Nick Mar-
tens's team-high plus-five mark.
"Things are going much better for
him (now)," Berenson said. "I think
he's playing more physical, he's play-
ing more focused mentally and he's
making better decisions. Let's face
it - he has talent, and it's starting
to show through."
Sophomore Jason Dest - Werner's
defensive partner on the ice -
admires his mate's ability to move
on the ice.
"Werner is one of the most creative
(defensemen) I've ever played with,"
Dest said. "Some of the moves he has
out there you never see. I try to take a
couple pages out of his book to make
my game a little more creative."
For his part, Werner believes he
and Dest are very effective together.
"We both play with that little chip
on our shoulder," Werner said. "We
both play aggressive, and I think we
communicate really well off the ice
and on the ice."
Berenson realizes that the nor-
mally quiet Werner's actions speak
louder than his words.
"He's a quiet contributor off the
ice, but on (it) is when he makes his
statements," Berenson said. "He's
one of those leaders who leads by
example."
With his brief rocky start behind
him, Werner is confident that his
current play will propel him to play
like a role model for the rest of his
Michigan career.
"Now that the games are rolling, I
just think I'm going to get better and
better," he said.

By Chastity Rolling
Daily Sports Writer

Junior Christian Vozza said last
week that playing against the Oregon
winds would be difficult. As it turned
out the winds were difficult for the
entire Big Ten, which lost the Big
Ten/Pac-10 Tournament at the Ban-
don Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon,
Ore. The harsh wind and rain short-
ened the tournament's format from
54 holes to 36.
The Michigan men's golf team
concluded the tournament yesterday.
Vozza remained Michigan's top indi-
vidual for the third tournament a row,
finishing 11th overall. Vozza said the
weather conditions were the worst he
has ever played in.
"It was cold, rainy and really
windy," Vozza said. "It was hard to
keep the ball going where I wanted
it to go. I tried my best to do shorter
backswings and to do more put shots,"
Vozza said.
Despite Vozza's efforts, Michigan
coach Andrew Sapp feels that the
weather really hurt the Wolverines.
"The weather really affected our
first five out of six holes of the second
round," Michigan coach Andrew Sapp
said. "That hurt us going into (yester-
day) morning."
Vozza felt that the bad weather con-
ditions should have been an advantage
for Michigan and the all the Big Ten
MATTU
Continued from page 9
Jackson and Edwards went through
their ups and downs last year, but chose to
come back and give their Michigan careers
a happy ending. Now, they're doing that
and more. They're leading the Wolverines
to a possible undefeated Big Ten season
and turning themselves into the top draft
picks they hoped to be last year.
While they haven't been battling each

teams because they "are used to the
poor weather." But the Big Ten lost by
29 strokes.
Although the Big Ten did not do
so well, Vozza's techniques proved
effective for his personal play. Vozza
played well with 149 total strokes over
36 holes. Despite the bad weather,
though, Vozza opened with a one-over
73 in the first round. He ended with a
four-over 76 in the last round yester-
day. But Vozza cares more about the
team's success.
"My individual win doesn't feel as
good as it should," Vozza said. "I wish
everyone had played well. That way it
could have been a team win."
Two of his teammates - fifth-year
senior Rob Tigh and freshmen Brian
Ottenweller - tied for 45th while
sophomores Kevin Dore and Matt
McLaughlin finished 63rd and 66th,
respectively. As a team, the Wolver-
ines finished 13th out of 14 teams.
According to Vozza, the low rank-
ing does not accurately reflect Mich-
igan's talent.
"Everyone on the team can play
well," Vozza said. "We've just got to
get confident. We've got to know that
our team has talent. It's just hard to find
a day where everyone plays well."
The Wolverines will travel to the
Jack Nicklaus Course at the Country
Club of Landfall for the Landfall Tra-
dition in Wilmington, N.C., to wrap up
their fall season.
other lately, they both hope that - with
the season winding down - they can
rekindle their rivalry. Both Edwards and
Jackson say they understand why Carr put
a stop to it, though they believe he's "over-
protective."
What does Carr think? All he could do
was smirk and say, "Well, overprotective
in their eyes."

9

2 NOTE
Hung falls to DeHeart
at Midwest Regionals

Sophomore Brian Hung fell to
Ryler DeHeart of Illinois in the final
of the 2004 Wilson/ITA Midwest
Regional Championships at the Var-
sity Tennis Center yesterday, 6-3, 6-
4. With the runner-up finish, Hung
qualified for the 2004 ITA National

Indoor Championships, which will
also be held in Ann Arbor Nov. 4
through 7. Hung was seeded No. 12,
while DeHeart was the second seed.
Hung defeated Notre Dame's Stephen
Bass to advance.
-Daniel Levy

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