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November 12, 2004 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-12

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 12, 2004 - 11

Cobler does it all
without flash

Florida State rallies
past N.C. State, 17-10

By Dan Ketchel
Daily Sports Writer
It's pretty natural that on every team,
some superstars will be the glorified
heroes. But their abilities and feats
wouldn't shine so brightly without the
roleplayers in the background carry-
ing the team to victory. The Michigan
volleyball team is no exception; senior
powerhouses Lisa Gamal-
ski and Jennifer Gandolph
are both enjoying record- N
setting seasons to cap two
sensational careers. But M
they overshadow another No. 5
integral presence on the T <
court.
Sophomore Erin Cobler
has quietly racked up
impressive statistics this
season sitting in the top three on the
team in kills (240), serving aces (18),
attacks (588), and total points (290).
Cobler, a right-side player, isn't exactly
in a position to produce such numbers,
as the power usually comes from the
left side of an offense. Recruited as
a blocking specialist, Cobler set the
national high school record for career
blocks. Since arriving in Ann Arbor,
Cobler has expanded her game tre-
mendously. Michigan volleyball coach
Mark Rosen, who recruited Cobler,
doesn't downplay how big of a role she
has on the team.

i :
e;

"She's a great volleyball player,"
Rosen said. "Instead of being a spe-
cialty player, she can do it all. She
can hit, she can play defense, she can
block and it's made her a very valuable
player."
Cobler seems to be concentrating
on her attacking abilities. Since com-
ing out of high school, she has spent
countless hours working on her physi-
cal abilities, including
her overall fitness and
GHTstrength.
"I try to work hard to
n 5. bring more heat on the
ball and to become a
p >r thinking hitter," Cobler
n Aen said. "I try not to just put
the ball in play when I hit
but to make smart shots.
I focus on not making
errors and getting kills."
Rosen likes to use Cobler by match-
ing her up against the opponent's most
dominant hitter. Cobler seems to love
the one-on-one competition with the
opposing team's top athlete. She treats
it as a mind game that is imperative for
her to control.
"When I'm confident in myself, I
can make things happen," Cobler said.
"I like getting into opponents' heads
and making them do what I want them
to do."
Cobler has become one of the
steadiest, most consistent players for

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Wyatt Sexton
got knocked down time and time again.
When he did stay on his feet, his passes
rarely found their target.
Still, his team won, thanks to a defense
every bit as stingy as the one on the other
side of the field.
"I love 'em, that's all I can say," Sexton
said of his defensive teammates.
Lorenzo Booker and James Coleman
each ran for third-quarter touchdowns,
helping No. II Florida State rally past
N.C. State 17-10 last night in a game that
featured 22 punts, four turnovers and less
than 250 yards of combined offense.
Last season, these two teams went to
double overtime before the Seminoles pre-
vailed 50-44. It seems a lot longer than a
year ago in a lot of ways.
"It was a defensive war from the very
beginning," Seminoles coach Bobby
Bowden said. "I hadn't seen a defensive
battle like that in a long time. Totally dom-
inating.'"
Florida State (6-2 ACC, 8-2 overall)
went deep into the second quarter before
its yardage total exceeded the number of
plays. Sexton finished 5-for-18 for only
73 yards, and leading rusher Leon Wash-
ington was held to 56 yards on 18 carries
after missing the previous two games with
a shoulder injury.
The only thing that kept Sexton on the
field was an iniury to backup Chris Rix,

who had a sore ankle and likely wQi~td
have had a tough time evading the pressure
from N.C. State.
"If Chris had his wheels, I probabty
definitely would have changed quar-
terbacks," Bowden said. "Because we
were getting sacked so much, I feel
like we've got to have a quarterback
that move around."
Still, it was enough. The lone touch-
down for the Wolfpack (3-5,4-6) came on
Darrell Blackman's 87-yard punt return in
the second quarter that gave them a 10-0
lead. But even though they rotated quarter-
backs, they couldn't generate much offense
after halftime.
They had only one first down - fitting-
ly, on a pass interference penalty -and
26 yards in the final two periods. Jay Davis
and Marcus Stone were a combined 9-foE-
25 for 100 yards as former N.C. State star
quarterback Philip Rivers watched from
the sidelines.
Boston Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon,
whose wife attended N.C. State, joined
Rivers, but even he couldn't provide the
necessary karma to help the Wolfpack.
They won't be going to a bowl for the firat
time in five seasons under coach Chuck
Amato.
"Things happen for a reason, and Well
learn from this and improve," he said. "I'n
proud of our kids for being in that game
and being in a position to win at the end.

MIKE IUL
Michigan sophomore Erin Cobler had 13 kills Saturday against Purdue.

the Wolverines. In her past two years
of play, she has steadily slipped under
the radar as a key force on the Michi-
gan side of the net. Cobler has proved
to be dependable - she provides a
high number of kills and a low number
of errors on a nightly basis. However,
she may not be the standout player that
catches everyone's eye, nor will she
single-handedly take over a game.

"I try tojust be a steady player," Cobler
said. "I try not to play outside myself,
but to just be that stabilizing person on
the court. I don't get the big kills like the
outsides do, so it's not much of a flashy
role. But I try to be consistent."
The Michigan volleyball team will
have an opportunity to show just how
deep it is when it faces No. 5 Minne-
sota tonight at Cliff Keen Arena.

Santana a unanimous pick for AL Cy Young

NEW YORK (AP) - As joyous fans celebrated
by honking car horns in Caracas, Johan Santana
sounded overwhelmed. He became the first Ven-
ezuelan to win a Cy Young Award, and not only
that, he was a unanimous choice.
"This is like a dream come true," he said after
earning the American League honor yesterday.
"I'm a little surprised that I ended up the season
where I ended up the season."
The Minnesota Twins' left-hander received all
28 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball
Writers' Association of America.
Santana, who went 20-6 and led the AL with
a 2.61 ERA and 265 strikeouts, became the first
unanimous Cy Young winner since Arizona's
Randy Johnson two years ago and the first in the
AL since Boston's Pedro Martinez in 2000. He is
the 18th unanimous winner overall, the seventh in
the AL.
Curt Schilling, 21-6 with a 3.26 ERA in his first
season with the Red Sox, received 27 second-place
votes and one third for 82 points. Mariano Rive-
ra of the New York Yankees, who led the major
leagues with a career-high 53 saves, received

the other second-place vote and 24 thirds for 27
points.
"I'm surprised this has been a unanimous deci-
sion," Santana said. "I thought this was going to be
a real tough race."
Santana traveled yesterday morning from his
hometown of Tovar Merida to Caracas. President
Hugo Chavez planned to congratulate him today.
"It's on national TV," Santana said. "Hopefully,
in a couple of hours I'll be addressing the country
and letting them know how I feel."
Santana was 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 15 starts
after the All-Star break, mastering his changeup.
"I expected it - with the numbers he had he
couldn't fail," said Luis Aparicio, a Venezuelan
voted to the Hall of Fame in 1984. "He's going to
continue winning."
Voting was conducted before the start of the
postseason, when Schilling beat the Yankees in
Game 6 of the AL championship series and St.
Louis in Game 2 of the World Series despite pitch-
ing with a dislocated ankle tendon held together
by sutures. Boston went on to sweep St. Louis to
win the World Series for the first time since 1918.

"It was amazing," Santana said. "To me, he was
just a hero. He did great things for Boston and for
baseball. That's a role model for a young baseball
player to follow."
Schilling, who led the major leagues in wins,
has never won a Cy Young Award. He was runner-
up for the third time, tying Johnson, a five-time
winner, and 1957 winner Warren Spahn for the
most second-place finishes.
Santana had a breakout season after going 12-
3 for the Twins in 2003. Coming off surgery to
remove bone chips from his elbow, he was 2-4 in
12 starts before beating the New York Mets on
June 9.
After helping lead Minnesota to his third straight
AL Central title, he beat the Yankees in the opener
of their first-round playoff series and, pitching on
three days' rest, left Game 4 with a 5-1 lead before
New York rallied against the Twins' bullpen.
Santana, eligible for free agency after the 2006
season, lost in salary arbitration last February
and earned a $1.6 million salary with no bonuses.
Schilling, who had a $12 million salary. earned a
$400,000 bonus for finishing second.

Florida State's Wyatt Sexton completed 5-of-18 passes for 73 yards last night.

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