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October 14, 2005 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-14

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Friday
October 14, 2005
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PRTS'rgan ailg

9

Icers eager to get
revenge on Eagles

0 FOOTBALL
M' looks to slow

By James V. Dowd
Daily Sports Writer
The game has stuck out like a
sore thumb on No. 7 Michigan's
schedule since it was released in
July. Squeezed between a series
against Quinnipiac last weekend
and this Sunday's game against

at home."
Even for players that haven't been
around, there are many personal
ties between the two teams. Watch-
ing the Wolverines coming off the
ice at the end of practice as the
Eagles went on last night was like a
family reunion. Five players on the
Boston College roster have played
with at least one Wol-
verine, and seven Wol-
' "'' ' |verines have skated on
< «}>w....... r a team with one of the

Merrimack, play-
ers and fans couldn't
help but notice Friday
night's game against
No. 5 Boston College.
Whenever these two
teams have met since
Boston College coach
Jerry York arrived,
there's been a lot on
the line - the 1998
NCAA Championship,
the 2000 Great Lakes

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Eagles.
"Any time you play
against the guys that
you played with before
Michigan you want to
beat them," said alter-
nate captain Bran-
don Kaleniecki, who
Eagles' senior defen-
Harrold. "You get the

Invitation-

played
seman

with
Pater

al Championship, a 2001 NCAA
Frozen Four matchup, a 2003 GLI
semifinal and a 2004 NCAA sec-
ond-round game. But this time
around, in the Eagles' season open-
er, the implications might not be
felt until months later when NCAA
tournament selections are on the
line, or if the two teams happen to
meet in the tournament.
"This game might be more impor-
tant in March than it is now," Mich-
igan coach Red Berenson said. "We
need to understand how important
it might be then. I think it's great
for both programs that we play and
whether we will meet in the NCAA
tournament you never know. It's
great to stay in touch with those
programs."
Even without future considerations,
the game has a lot riding on it.
For Michigan's upperclassmen,
there's the revenge factor. After
suffering a heart-breaking loss that
eliminated the Wolverines from the
2004 NCAA Tournament, the play-
ers who remain from that team are
intent on giving this year's Eagles a
taste of their own medicine.
"I think it's going to be huge
for the guys that are still around,"
senior captain Andrew Ebbett said.
"That was a heart-breaking over-
time loss, and it's been sitting in the
back of our minds for the past year.
We've been waiting to get at thei.
It'll be good to get them on the ice

extra bragging rights. It's excit-
ing at the same time. I played with
him for two years, and here we are
playing four years later in such an
important game."
On the ice, the Wolverines have
been preparing for a Boston Col-
lege team that is known for shifting
between offensive and defensive
modes quickly - making Michi-
gan's ability to minimize turnovers
critical, because any single mistake
might lead to odd-man rushes.
"We think we've done pretty well
working on the transition game,"
Berenson said. "But against a team
like Boston College, it's uncharted
waters. I think this will be a good
test for a lot of parts of our game
- coming out of our own zone, the
neutral zone, the transition game
and our special teams."
Berenson has decided to start
freshman Billy Sauer in goal for
the third consecutive game. With
a 2.00 goals-against average and
49 saves, Sauer earned a victory in
both games last weekend.
After facing the Eagles on Fri-
day night, the Wolverines welcome
Merrimack to Yost Ice Arena. The
Warriors will play their season
opener at Bowling Green on Friday
night before coming to Ann Arbor.
Merrimack opens the season hop-
ing to snap a 14-game losing streak
that dates back to Dec. 31.

down
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Editor
Images of Ohio State
,quarterbacks Troy Smith
Young dismantling the W4
defense last season still ha
Michigan football fans. Thi
Michigan fans could be in:
when another dual-threat
back - Penn State's fifth-y
Michael Robinson - comes
It's true that Michigan st
running abilities of Michig
Drew Stanton in the Wolver
win, but Stanton has not loo
as much as he did last seas
ing him to zero yards didn
impressive when he refuse
But it was still a step in
direction for a Michigan de
had been criticized for its i
stop a mobile quarterback.
The Wolverines now hav
to show they can stop a mul
signal caller - Robinson 1
that he is more than willi
the ball and pound out a fev
the ground.
Through six games this}
inson is the Nittany Lion
leading rusher, tallying 338
78 carries and chipping in fi
touchdowns. But he also h
himself to be a competent pa
ing nine touchdowns forr
1,100 yards.
"He is a great athlete, an
like a tailback," Michig
Lloyd Carr said. "I think
really developed as a throwe
In the first four games
Robinson had some turno
lems. Prior to Penn Stat
victory over Minnesota,
fumbled and lost the ball f
while also throwing six inte

speedy B
But since then, the dynamic quarter-
back has taken care of the ball and led
his team with poise.
and Texas "He is definitely our leader," Penn
and Vince State redshirt freshman receiver Deon
Volverines' Butler said. "We definitely look up to
aunt many him each time we get into the huddle.
s Saturday, He is always so calm and says, 'Hey
for a scare guys, we are going to drive this many
quarter- yards. We are about to score.' When
year senior you get into a huddle with a guy like
s to town. Mike, he puts so much confidence
opped the into you."
an State's Carr and some of the veterans on
ines 34-31 Michigan know what Robinson can
ked to run do with the ball in his hands. They
son. Hold- saw it first-hand three years ago, the
i't look as last time Penn State and the Wolver-
ed to run. ines played.
the right Robinson was all over the field,
efense that playing quarterback, wide receiver
nability to and running back. He finished with
just 36 yards, but he showed his versa-
e a chance tility even then.
ti-purpose "They have a quarterback who is
has shown really a running back with a quar-
ng to tuck terback's arm," senior co-captain Pat
w yards on Massey said. "He is somebody who
can do it all."
year, Rob- Robinson has proven to be adept at
s' second- running the attack, so it will be up to
yards on the Wolverines' defense, especially
ve rushing the front seven to stop Robinson and
has shown the spread offense attack. The option
asser, toss- offense means that defensive ends
more than LaMarr Woodley and Alan Branch
will have to watch Robinson constant-
nd he runs ly and put a hit on him every time he
an coach comes to their side.
he (has) "When you are dealing with an
er." option team, the stress that it puts
this year, on the end of the line of scrimmage
ver prob- - the perimeter guys up front - they
e's 44-14 don't block them on the option," Carr
Robinson said. "If they get up the field too far,
our times, the quarterback darts inside. So they
erceptions. have to be disciplined."

Senior captain Andrew Ebbett leads Michigan into a big weekend of hockey.
WOLVERINES - EAGLES IN OCTOBER?
When Michigan and Boston College face off, there's often
a lot on the line. Since 1998, they've met five times, three
of which were in the NCAA Tournament. Boston College
has won the last four meetings.

Date.
4/4/1998
12/30/2000
4/5/2001
12/27/2003
3/28/2004

Result
W-OT
L
LT
L
LOT

Score
3-2.
5-8
2-4
1-4
2-3

Site,
Frozen Four Championship
Great Lakes Invitational
Frozen Four Semifinal
Great Lakes Invitational
Regional Final

FOR MORE FOOTBALL COVERAGE
AROUND THE BIG TEN VISIT
WWW.MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Spi'kers' offense turns around
By Lindsey Ungar
Daily Sports Writer

It started with Megan Bowman. Then
Mara Martin. And Katie Bruzdzinski.
The offense never stopped for Michi-
gan (3-3 Big Ten, 9-6 overall) against
Illinois last week, when the team had a
.400 hitting percentage and recorded 12
service aces - the most by the Wolver-
ines since they tallied 13 more than six
years ago.
But on a team that had been averag-
ing a .245 hitting percentage, where did
all the offense come from?
"We were firing on all cylinders
that night," Michigan coach Mark
Rosen said. "We had very good bal-
ance to our offense - lots of people
were contributing."
An unlikely source, Bowman,
sparked the offensive onslaught. Bow-
man, a junior known better for her
blocking skills - she ranks sixth all
time for Michigan with 346 rejections
- jumped out early in the first game
with two kills.
"It's been a point of frustration for her
and for our setter," Rosen said. "And we
worked a lot last week with her offen-
sively. And she came out - very first
point of the game - and Mara set her
on the quick attack, and she just got up
and ripped it. Everybody got excited
because they know how hard we've
been working on it. All day long she
was unstoppable.
But it wasn't just a balanced offensive
attack that allowed Michigan to sweep
Illinois. Prior to the match, the Wolver-
ines had been averaging 1.33 service
aces per game - good for ninth in the
Big Ten. Against the Illini, they had 12
over three games. Freshman Martin had
four of the service aces.
"We've been working a lot with her
on being a more attacking setter," Rosen
said. "Normally her job is to tip over the
ball to other players, but it can be very
helpful to our offense if she is an attack-
er as well. She doesn't necessarily like
to do it, but she knows it's important and
we work a lot in practice."
Said Martin: "I just was able to run

RODRIGO GAYA/Daily
Sophomore Mara Martin led a potent Michigan offense last week in Illinois.

Our problem is just being so young-
especially at the setting position - it
hasn't been as consistent as anyone
would like. But that's part of the process
of development and growing."
Rosen has been working with the
younger players like Martin in practice
not only on offense, but also on defense.
He hopes the extra focus will translate
into winning on the court.
"It's kind of fun to see how hard the
girls are working through the week, and
nobody else sees that, just the people
that are with the team," Rosen said.
Junior Danielle Pflum was injured
against Illinois, forcing the coaches to
switch up the roster in preparation for
No. 4 Penn State this Friday and No. 19

Ohio State on Saturday.
"We've been pretty comfortable with
the lineup we've had for the last month,
but now we've got to shuffle it a little
bit," Rosen said.
The team will look for the return
of the high-powered offense against
Penn State and Ohio State. Five out
of six of Michigan's losses have come
to teams that were or are ranked in
the top 25.
"They're both very good teams,
and we'll have to have long rallies -
just being able to put the ball where
we need to and keep playing, know-
ing we're gonna have to take two or
three swings to win the point," soph-
omore Lyndsay Miller said.

I LhEhhIU~UT IlAlIure I

n.

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