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November 15, 2004 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-15

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 15, 2004 - 7B

Michigan fal
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
Before Friday night's match, there was a marked dif-
ference between the two teams on the court. Minnesota
was very businesslike, perform-
ing its pre-game warm-ups with
military precision. Each spike was
reminiscent of an old Batman epi-
sode - Bang! ... Pow! ... Slam!
On the other side of the court,
Michigan seemed unfazed. Players were smiling,
laughing and even dancing along to the disco hit
"Kung Fu Fighting."
Although drastically different, each team's warm-
up style seemed to work for the players. The match
ahead turned out to be a nail-biter.
Friday night's match against Minnesota was the big-
gest of the weekend, overshadowing Saturday night's
game against Iowa.
The Wolverines easily handled the Hawkeyes Satur-
day, winning in three games, 30-22,30-19,30-22. Michi-
gan played as well as it has played all season and made
the Hawkeye players look like a lost team on the court.
But it was Friday night's game that was the true
thriller. Minnesota was No. 5 in the country and in the
middle of a heated race for the Big Ten Championship
with No. 8 Ohio State and No. 4 Penn State.
"Everyone was fired up, but we weren't over the top,"
senior Jennifer Gandolph said.
Michigan went toe-to-toe in five games (30-28, 33-
35, 30-19, 20-30, 12-15) against No. 5 Minnesota in a
tough home loss. The scores reflect the ever-changing
swing of momentum that took place in the match.
The match sometimes looked like a ballet as both


,s just short
teams rallied back and forth gracefully and efficiently
- the digs, sets and spikes looking, at times, like a cho-
reographed piece of dance.
At other times the game more resembled the musical
"Stomp." Players were improvising - doing anything
possible to keep the ball in play - and sacrificing their
bodies for the good of the team.
Nothing exemplified this more than sophomore Erin
Cobler's unbelievable dig to help the Wolverines set
themselves up for match point in game three.
With both teams knotted up at 1-1, Michigan was
on cruise control for game three. With the score 28-19,
the Wolverines were trying hard to reach game point,
while the Golden Gophers were desperately trying to
stay alive. After a ricochet play on the Wolverine end,
Cobler did her best "Matrix" impression, diving on the
ground into a tuck and roll and hitting the ball back over
the net. This allowed Gandolph to make a kill moments
later to send the crowd of more than 2,000 into a frenzy
and give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead.
"That's when you know things are going right,"
coach Mark Rosen said. "That's when you're on fire
and in the zone."
Michigan looked to be in control going into game four.
The team had a 2-1 lead, game three was a blow out and it
appeared the Golden Gophers were playing timid.
But Minnesota, led by seniors Erin Martin and Tri-
sha Bratford, was not about to be outdone. The game
was close, going back and forth, until freshman Lynd-
say Miller hit a roaring spike to get the big kill and pull
Michigan within one, 15-14. The Golden Gophers then
bore down and answered back with four straight points:
a tipping kill by Bratford, a Michigan error, another kill
by Martin and a blocking error off a Bratford spike. In
all, Minnesota outscored the Wolverines 15-6 from that

in upset bid
point on to take game four 30-20.
Martin and Bratford dropped a barrage of kills on the
Wolverines, notching 27 and 24 kills, respectively, for
the game to help Minnesota.
"We pretty much just stayed with our game,"Gandolph
said. "They made a minor adjustment and took it to us.'>
Game five looked bleak for Michigan, as it went
down 8-3 early. But the team rallied, bringing the score
within one at 8-7. The Wolverines would then tie the
game at 10 on senior Lisa Gamalski's service ace.
Gamalski was a big reason Michigan played so well.
Recording her second straight triple-double (11 kills,
48 assists, 27 digs), Gamalski took the spotlight ard
performed at the highest level of competition. From
momentum-changing kills and crowd-dazzling digs to
the mundane, but important, sets and assists, Gamalski
was a true leader on the court.
"I thought she was a warrior tonight," Rosen said.
"Late in the game, she was going to do anything we had
to do to try and win that game."
After a Minnesota attack error brought Michigan to
within one at 13-12, the Golden Gophers became the
benefactors of a questionable line call on a Martin kill
that gave Minnesota game point. Then Bratford's kill
ended the grueling match.
"All around, it was well-played on both ends;"
Gamalski said.
The Wolverines are now in sixth place in the Big Ten
standings with an 8-8 record in conference play. Overall
the team is 18-7.
"We're going to be a top contender (in the confer-
ence)," Gamalski said. "I hope that a lot of teams start
respecting us."
If they gain that respect, don't expect the Wolverines
to stop dancing.

Led by senior captain Jennifer Gandolph, Michigan nearly pulled off a win Friday
night against No. 5 Minnesota. The Wolverines went on to defeat Iowa on Saturday.

Lions rally
late, but
fall in OT
. to Jaguars
Garrard's most memorable victory had
been in college, when his East Carolina
team upset the mighty Miami Hurricanes
in 1999.
This one easily topped that.
Garrard threw two touchdown passes
in his second career start, including a 36-
yarder to Jimmy Smith in overtime, to
lead the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 23-17
victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Making his first start in nearly two
years, Garrard proved he's more than
just a career backup or a scrambling
"It feels like a dream right now," he
said. "I'm still living in the moment.
I can't put my thoughts together right
now, but it feels good. I hope it's just one
more step for me on my quarterbacking
Garrard finished 19-of-36 for 198 yards
and added 42 yards rushing.
He was at his best in overtime, hook-
ing up with Smith three times and going
4-of-7 for 75 yards. They connected for
gains of 17 and 16 yards before the game-
"I knew if I could just get the ball to
Jimmy, he could take care of the rest,"
Garrard said. "I knew we needed some
big plays and I knew he was the man to
get them."
Fred Taylor did his part, too.
Taylor had a season-high 144 yards
rushing as the Lions (4-5) were pounded
on the ground for a second consecutive
week and lost their third straight game.
Detroit had gone 13 straight games with-
out allowing a 100-yard rusher before
Washington's Clinton Portis ran for 147
yards last week.
The Lions were even worse against
Jacksonville (6-3), giving up 239 yards
on the ground. But they managed to send
it to overtime after Eddie Drummond
returned two punts for touchdowns in the
fourth quarter.
"It was a spectacular day for him,"
Lions coach Steve Mariucci said.
Drummond's first was a 55-yarder that
gave the Lions their first points. It came
after two Jacksonville players touched the
ball but failed to down it.
His second - an 83-yarder with 46
seconds remaining that tied the game
- came after the Jags failed to pick up a
first down and run out the clock.
"They were just about ready to quit,
but we let them back into it and made it
more exciting than it should have been,"
said Taylor, who missed most of the third
quarter with leg cramps. "But we are the
Jaguars and that's what we've been doing
all year."
The Jags' previous five wins all came
in the waning minutes, so going into
overtime was no big deal.
They won the coin toss, and Garrard
and Smith did the rest. Smith finished
with seven catches for 109 yards and
passed James Lofton for 12th on the
NFL's career receptions list with 767
"I've had to make plays my whole
life, my entire career," said Garrard, who
holds just about every career passing
record at East Carolina. "That wasn't any
different today."

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