IL ! 4 rY
MEN'S SOCCER: THE SPORTSTUESDAY COLUMN: FIELD HOCKEY:
Blue falls to Lobos, splits Freshmen get first taste of Stickers look
at Spartan Invitational. Big House football. to rebound
PAGE 6B PAGE 3B from rocky
September 5, 2006 1B
No. 14 MICHIGAN 27,
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Editor
For one drive, Michigan appeared to
silence its critics.
On the Wolverines' first play from
scrimmage, junior running back Mike
Hart answered any questions as to how
well he could run after his hamstring
injury last season. Hart took the run
off left tackle for an 12-yard gain and a
Michigan first down.
That run began an impressive 10-
play, 81-yard Wolverine drive that
ended with sophomore Kevin Grady's
19-yard touchdown run. No. 14 Michi-
gan went from there to a season-open-
ing 27-7 win over Vanderbilt, although
little of what followed was as smooth
as that first drive on Saturday.
The wide receivers dropped catch-
able passes. Fifth-year senior Steve
Breaston mishandled punts. The offen-
sive line jumped-offsides..Gradyfum-,
bled deep in Commodore territory to
end a Michigan drive. And kicker Gar-
rett Rivas had a field goal blocked.
"I'm disappointed in the way we
executed," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "I thought we dropped some balls
that had big play potential. We had too
many penalties. ... We stopped our-
It wasn't until late in the third quar-
ter that the aerial attack finally showed
brief signs of coming together.
Junior quarterback Chad Henne hit
tight end Tyler Ecker in the back of the
endzone to stretch the Michigan lead
to 20-7. Then with just more than two
minutes left in the game, Henne found
See COMMODORES, Page 5B
D'the key in
It's hard not to cringe to get up in his players'
while listing the litany faces. English's aggressive
of mistakes the Wol- style seemed well-suited
verines committed during to reforming a soft defense
Saturday's season opener. that made blowing leads
Michigan's receiv- an art form in 2005. Still
ers dropped six passes. there was no way to be
Michigan's sure whether the
defense bit badly players would
and gave up a respond and
touchdown on a mirror their
gimmick play. coach's hard-
Michigan had charging per-
a kick blocked. sona.
Michigan lost a So far, it
fumble. Michi- appears they
gan roughed the have.
punter. Michigan MATT True to its
jumped early. And SINGER leader's philoso-
jumped again. Spitting Fire phy, the defense
Michigan held. arrived at the
And held again. Michigan Big House ready to pun-
lined up illegally. ish people. By the time the
It wasn't the cleanest game ended, nearly every
opener for the Wolverines Vanderbilt regular had
by any means. But if you taken it on the chin, courte-
cut through the thicket sy of a Michigan defender.
of blunders and missteps The entire defense played
(true; you'd need a sizeable well, but the front four
machete to do so), there stole the show. Vanderbilt's
were plenty of encourag- offensive line was sup-
ing signs. Especially in the posed to be the strength of
area where Michigan most the Commodore offense,
needed to make a statement but the Vandy line looked
(defense), it looked sharp more like Swiss cheese by
and hungry. And that could the time Michigan's D-Line
portend big things for the was through with it. The
upcoming season. beating was so bad that
With new coordinator Vanderbilt center Hamilton
Ron English running the Holliday had to change
show, the buzzword around his jersey number from 53
Michigan's defense lead- to 61 midway through the
ing up to this season was game because there was so
"intensity." At spring prac- much blood on his white
tice, I witnessed firsthand road uniform.
how vocal English was; I While tackles Alan
saw how willing he was See SINGER, Page SB
Linebacker David Harris's four tackles were part of Michigan's impressive defensive effort against Vanderbilt.
* VOLLEYBALL L t l ed a
M' breaks through Late goal gives Blue draw
By Mark Giannotto
perfect on season
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Editor
Trailing Iowa State by six points,
the Michigan volleyball team was
just two points away from losing the
third game of Saturday afternoon's
match. The winner would take a
momentum changing 2-1 lead.
Then freshman Megan Bower stepped
up to the service line.
Performing years beyond her playing
experience, Bower served aggressively,
keeping the opposing team off balance
and out of sync.
Tvo blocks, a kill, an ace and another
kill brought the Wolverines within two,
28-26, and Iowa State never recovered.
Four Michigan points later, with Bower
remaining on the service line the entire
time, the Wolverines took a 2-1 lead and
carried the momenturto a four-game vic-
tory at the UC-Irvine Nike Invitational.
The final game of the tournament
was just a formality, and Michigan
swept the host Anteaters (30-22,30-22,
30-27) to win its second tournament
title in as many weeks.
"We struggled at the beginning, but we
got a few blocks to bring our momentum
back,"Bowersaid."Icame up toserve,and
I thought going into it 'You have nothing
to lose at thatlpoint. You just have to serve
aggressive, get them off balance and let
our defense work.' We all workedtogether
and just gelled at the right moment."
Seniors Megan Bowman and Erin
Penn helped to stifle the Cyclones (5-2)
with a combined 16 blocks during the
match, and junior Katie Bruzdzinski had
a team-high 17 kills.
Despite not playing their best volley-
ball, the Wolverines won on the road. In
the tournament's first game on Friday,
Michigan (7-0) had an impressive .323
attack percentage in a three-game sweep
of No. 20 San Diego (3-2) - the best
team Michigan has played all season,
according to coach Mark Rosen. But the
Wolverines hit just .115 and .136 in the
second and third games, respectively.
Instead of relying on a powerful offense,
Michigan had to rely on competitiveness
and a very strong defense, making timely
blocks and digs.
"We competed really well, and,
sometimes, that's more important;'
Rosen said. "At critical points, when it
really mattered - the tight later points
of every game - we seem to find the
kills we needed, the digs we needed and
the blocks we needed when it mattered
See CYCLONES, Page 68
Daily Sports Writer
Everything in the box score indicated a
loss for Michigan.
The Wolverines were drastically outshot
and generally outplayed by Oklahoma State
throughout the second half.
But it was just one of those days for the
Wolverines(2-0-2). They somehow scrapped
their way to a 1-1 draw and ended the Big
Ten/Big 12 Challenge in Stillwater, Okla.
with a 1-0-1 record, despite a less-than-stel-
Michigan pulled a rabbit out of its hat,
scoring with just 1:12 remaining in regula-
tion. Junior Melissa Dobbyn fielded a long
pass from senior Judy Coffman and con-
verted one of the Wolverines' few scoring
"We were pressing in the second (half),
and then they got the momentum back and
scored their goal," Michigan coach Deb-
bie Rademacher said through the athletic
department. "We had just two good oppor-
tunities (all game). They are a strong team
and have a couple of real good players. We
hung tough and earned the late chance. It
was just ahard-fought game."
Michigan seemed to be in trouble late in
With the score deadlocked at zero in the
80th minute of regulation, Oklahoma State
forward Jesyca Rosholt gathered a pass at
the top of the 18-yard box and buried a shot
to give the Cowgirls a one-goal lead.
Up to that point, the stellar play of senior
goalie Megan Tuura kept the Wolverines in
the game. She made nine total saves, includ-
ing two in the overtime periods. The goal by
Junior Melissa Dobbyn earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after a big weekend.
Rosholt was the first tally allowed by Tuura
and the Michigan defense this season. But
the late goal wasn't late enough for Okla-
"We were under a lot of pressure;'
Rademacher said. "Judy (Coffman) drib-
bled out and served the long ball because
we didn't have much time. We needed to
pressure and dump something in there. She
served Melissa (Dobbyn) over the top run-
ning at their backline. It was a wonderful
The Wolverines couldn't use the momen-
tum fromthe end of regulation to their advan-
tage in the two overtime sessions. Michigan
failed to mustera shot,but was literally saved
by Tuura, who moved up to second on the
all-time saves list in Michigan history. She
now trails Carissa Miller by 63 saves.
Sunday's draw followed the Wolverines'
2-0 win over Oklahoma Friday night. The
successful weekend leaves Michigan unde-
feated heading into their fifth game of the
season at Dayton on Friday.