6B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - November 29, 2004
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Staff Writer
This weekend marked the last homestand
for the Michigan volleyball team against
No. 8 Ohio State and No. 4 Penn State.
For the four Michigan
seniors - Sarah Allen,
Alicia Boswell, Lisa
Gamalski and Jennifer
Gandolph - Saturday's'
game against the Nitta-
ny Lions would be the last time they would
suit up for the hometown crowd.
The Wolverines could not pull off an upset
this weekend, falling in three games to both
the Buckeyes (30-28, 30-24, 30-17) and the
Nittany Lions (30-26, 31-29, 30-23).
After Saturday's game, the evening
turned emotional as the Michigan vol-
leyball family said a tearful good-bye to
the four seniors. As each member of the
quartet was introduced with her parents,
she stood and listened to what coach Mark
Rosen had to say about about her.
"I'm just proud of how well everyone
did," Gamalski said. "I'm going to miss
On Saturday, the Wolverines came out
of the gate sprinting in game one against
the Nittany Lions. Led by sophomore Erin
Cobler, who scored three kills and a ser-
vice ace in the first game, Michigan built
a 10-4 lead over Penn State. The Nittany
Lions fought back to cut the lead down to
three at 10-7. But Michigan soon led 13-9
- its second largest lead of the day.
Both teams began to play sloppily from
that point on, committing multiple errors.
But Penn State's experience exposed what
has become Michigan's biggest weakness
since Allen was injured against Purdue on
Nov. 6 - passing.
"Our best passer is out," Rosen said
in reference to Allen. "We're still kind
of getting used to that. At the same time
we need to be able to step up to that chal-
There were six lead changes the rest of
the way as errors prevented either team
from running away. Cobler scored a point
pulling Michigan within one, 27-26. The
Nittany Lions then answered back with
kills from senior Syndie Nadeau and fresh-
man Kate Price and a block from sopho-
more Cassy Salyer to win the game 30-26.
Game two was more of the same. Both
teams committing 11 errors, preventing
anyone from taking a large lead. Michigan
Gandolph's role shifts
as 'M' program excels
By Daniel Bromwich
For the Daily
It's hard to imagine that any volleyball team
in America would have the all-time school
leader in both kills and digs relegated to a role
of coming off the bench. But that's exactly the
situation Michigan senior Jennifer Gandolph
finds herself in.
And the fact that Gandolph has put the
betterment of the team before her individual
goals is just one example of the unique pro-
gram that Michigan coach Mark Rosen has
quickly put together. '
Before Rosen came from Boise State to
take over the team in 1999, it had made just
one NCAA tournament appearance in its his-
tory. But under Rosen, Michigan has missed
the tournament just once.
"When I came here, the players obviously
believed they could win, but getting to the
NCAA tournament was really only a distant
possibility," Rosen said. "It was really much
more of a goal to reach for. Now we are at the
point where making the NCAA tournament
is much more of an expectation."
Fifth-year senior libero Sarah Allen takes
"We really consider a season almost a
disappointment if we don't make the tour-
nament, and that just shows how much this
program has changed," Allen said.
Michigan avoided that disappointment yes-
terday, when the Wolverines were awarded a
berth in the NCAA tournament.
When Rosen and his wife, assistant coach
Leisa Rosen, were brought in to run the vol-
leyball program in 1999, -they looked to recruit
players "that had the mentality that they want-
ed to get to the top," said Rosen.
"The first class we recruited really raised
the level of the program because they were
really driven to succeed and to help the pro-
gram become respected around the country,"
That class included Allen and fellow fifth-
year senior Lisa Gamalski, both of whom are
proud of the visible progress the program has
made. The easiest way to see the progress is
to take a quick look at the crowd that invades
Cliff Keen Arena for the team's matches.
"My first year the average crowd was
around 500 people, and now we get 1,400 out
to every match," Allen said.
Fellow senior Alicia Bosworth has also
noticed the difference in the atmosphere
when Michigan plays at home.
"People used to leave after the second
game, and now almost everybody stays for
the entire match," Bosworth said.
The team's success is the main reason for
the larger crowd, but that success has also
brought an influx of talent to the school.
While this talent has helped the program win
more matches, it has come at a price for Gan-
dolph, who has seen her starting spot taken
by the younger players.
"It's a little frustrating because, my first
three years, there was really no competition,
and I was very clearly the best outside hitter
on the team," Gandolph said. "But this year,
I have to take a little bit of a back seat to the
younger players, who are playing better."
But Gandolph understands that it is for the
good of the team,.and that has always been
her main priority - her individual accom-
plishments have been icing on the cake.
"When I came to this school, I obviously
had individual goals for myself, as does every
athlete," Gandolph said. "But that wasn't why
I came here.
"I was here to help develop and build a
program and to leave my impression on it.
Even though I haven't been playing as much
this year, it is still definitely one of my favor-
ite years here."
Rosen loves to talk about Gandolph, and
he calls her the "consummate team player."
"She is unbelievably hard-working, and
her dedication to the success of the team is
like that of nobody else," Rosen said.
Gandolph's attitude has rubbed off on the
rest of the team - an attitude Allen describes
as "dependent upon winning."
"When I first got here, and the team would
lose a match, it would kind of be like oh well,
whatever," said Allen. "Now, we expect to
win every time we step onto the court."
Senior Usa Gamalski was one of four members of the Michigan volleyball team who played In their last
home game on Saturday when the Wolverines hosted Penn State.
was able to tie the game at 15 when Gamal-
ski made a block, but Penn State outscored
the Wolverines 10-5 from that point to
take the biggest lead of the game for either
Michigan trailed 29-25 after a Salyer
kill, but dug deep and made a huge rally,
- led by Gandolph - to tie the game at
29. The senior notched a kill and two huge
blocks, including the game-tying block
that sent the record-setting crowd of 2,223
- the second-largest crowd in Michigan
history - into a frenzy.
After a Penn State timeout, the Nittany
Lions recorded back-to-back kills to win
game two, 31-29.
The Wolverines dropped an ugly game
three, 30-23. Penn State adjusted and com-
mitted just three errors to Michigan's eight.
"In game three, I felt the errors came
more out of emotion," Rosen said. "(The
seniors) put in a lot of hard work in the last
four or five years, and to see it slip away at
the end is tough."
The weekend's action started Friday
when the eighth-ranked Buckeyes visited
Cliff Keen Arena. Games one and two
were very close as Michigan gave Ohio
State all that it could handle.
But in game three, the Buckeyes were
too much to handle for a Wolverine team
that looked dazed and confused and com-
mitted 10 errors in dropping the final
game and the match.
"Ohio State is a good team, and they
are very experienced," freshman Stesha
Selsky said. "(Ohio State senior) Stacey
Gordon is a great player, and we tried to
contain her tonight."
Gordon led all players with 18 kills. The
Wolverines were led by freshman Katie
Bruzdzinski, who had 14 kills.
MIKE HULSEBUS/ Daily
Senior Jennifer Gandolph will leave Michigan as one
of the greatest players in the program's history.
BCS BOUND?: With a 43-17
upset over Boston College,
Syracuse (6-5 Overall) has
secured a share of the Big East
title and a chance of going to
a BCS game. The Big East's
automatic BCS bid hinges on
next week's Pittsburgh-South
Florida (nonconference) game.
If Pitt wins, then it likely heads
to the BCS game based on
which team is ranked highest
in the BCS rankings. But a loss
by Pitt would open the door for
the Orange. Diamond Ferri, a
Syracuse safety, ran for 141
yards and two touchdowns while
filling in for starting tailback
Damien Rhodes, who was injured
during the game.
LOPSIDED RIVALRY: For the third
straight year, Southern Cal. beat
Notre Dame by 31 points, this time
coming away with a 41-10 victory.
The Trojans were led by Heisman
candidate Matt Leinart who threw
for 400 yards and five touchdowns,
tying a school record.
With the victory, Southern Cal.
moves to 11-0, and if the Trojans
can beat UCLA next week, they will
have their first undefeated regular
season since 1972.
NO MERCY: Louisville destroyed
Cincinnati 70-7 this Saturday,
winning its third Conference
USA title in the past four years.
The Cardinals' special teams
played a big part in the victory,
scoring two touchdowns on punt
blocks and returning a punt
for a touchdown. Louisville has
accepted an automatic bid to
the Liberty Bowl, which will be
played Dec. 31 in Memphis.
LONESTAR: Texas defeated
intrastate rival Texas A&M 26-13,
assuring more controversy over
the BCS selection process. The
HOW THE AP TOP 25 FARED
highlight of the game was a rare
one-point safety that occurred
when the Aggies blocked an
extra point and then proceeded
to pick the ball up, fumble and
recover the ball in their own
endzone before being tackled.
This resulted in a one-point safety
DEVIL OF A TIME: There have been
arguments all year that Arizona
State has been overranked in the
computer standings used by the
BCS. Turns out, the Sun Devils
didn't deserve to be as high as
they were. Playing at Arizona for
the first time since Mike Stoops
took over the Wildcats' program,
Arizona State imploded - turning
the ball over five times en route
to an embarrassing 34-27 loss.
Arizona State's record-setting
quarterback Andrew Walter went
down with a shoulder injury in the
NEW AP TOP 25
(first-place votes in parentheses)
Associated Press Poll (for the week of Nov. 23-29)
Games updated through Nov. 28
1. Southern Cal.
10. Boise State
11. Virginia Tech
17. Boston College
18. Arizona State
19. Florida State
21. West Virginia
22. Texas A&M
23. Oklahoma State
beat Notre Dame 41-10
beat Texas A&M 26-13
beat Cincinnati 70-7
beat Georgia Tech 19-13
beat Nevada 58-21
beat Virginia 24-10
beat Arkansas 43-14
beat Kentucky 37-31
lost to Virginia Tech 24-10
lost to Syracuse 43-17
lost to Arizona 34-27
lost to Pittsburgh 16-13
lost to Texas 26-13
lost to Texas Tech 31-15
lost to Tulsa 37-25
at Southern Miss
1. Southern Cal. (52)
2. Oklahoma (7)
3. Auburn (6)
10. Virginia Tech
11. Boise State
16. Florida State
21. Arizona State
22. Texas A&M
23. Boston College
24. Texas Tech
25. Ohio State
Others receMng votes: W. Virginia 113, Toledo
63, Purdue 49, Colorado 43, Fresno St. 33, Mem-
phis 32, Oklahoma St. 30, Navy 23, Miami (Oh.)
16, UTEP 12, Syracuse 11, Clemson 8, Alabama
7, New Mexico 5, Bowling Green 4, N. Illinois 3
Predictions against the
spread for 11/25-11/27
West Virginia (-5) at Pittsburgh (Thurs.)
Connecticut (-3) at Rutgers (Thurs.)
Arizona State (-14) at Arizona (Fri.)
LSU (-4) at Arkansas (Fri.)
Colorado (+3) at Nebraska (Fri.)
Texas A&M (+10.5) at Texas (Fri.)
Virginia (+4) at Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State (+6) at Txas Tech
Turkey Bowling League
Turkey gets eaten as
Mattu increases lead
Sharad Mattu wanted to
eliminate staff picks this week
so no one could challenge
his lead. It turns out that he
has nothing to be worried
about, as Mattu tied Gennaro
Filice for this week's top
record at 8-7. For this week's
campus celebrity, the Daily's
football writers bought a $6
frozen turkey (which looked
a little less than edible) and
rolled it toward two pieces of
paper marked "Favorite" and
"Underdog." Whichever piece
of paper it rolled over was the
pick. Wild picks of West Virginia