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October 02, 2006 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2006-10-02

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6B -The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 2, 2006

Spikers drop two more

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
The optimism in junior cap-
tains Lyndsay Miller and Katie
Bruzdzinki's voices can't mask
the cold-hard facts: After a 13-0
start to the season, the Michigan
volleyball team has dropped four
straight games.
Following a heart-break-
ing loss to Minnesota on Fri-
day night, the Wolverines were
swept by No. 14 Wisconsin (30-
24, 30-19, 30-16) on Saturday to
continue their Big Ten woes.
The two losses over the week-
end will likely push No. 24
Michigan out of the top 25 just
three weeks after the Wolverines
debuted at No. 22 in the CSTV/
AVCA rankings.
The evening didn't start out
on a negative note as Michigan
scrapped its way to within four
points in game one, 22-18. But
the Wolverines' inability to fin-
ish strong cost them as the Bad-

gers (4-0 Big Ten, 13-2) went on game one before giving up three
several two- to three-point runs straight points to drop the frame
to take the game 30-24. to the Golden Gophers. Then,
Games two and three weren't the Wolverines failed to parlay
much better for Michigan (0-4, a late lead in game two into a
13-4), which struggled to find its win, falling 30-28. Despite the
groove against a Wisconsin team tough losses, Michigan made it
that was firing on all cylinders, difficult for the Golden Gophers
The Wolverines pulled within to close out the match in the
two points in the second frame, third frame, pulling within four
15-13, but a 10-3 Badger run was points, 27-23, after trailing by as
enough to keep Michigan at bay much as 11. But Minnesota (4-0,
and Wisconsin cruised to a 30-19 10-4) outscored the Wolverines
win. The Wolverines dropped the 3-1 to take the game and match.
forgettable final game, 30-16. "Not winning," Michigan
"Right now we have to work coach Mark Rosen said of what
on finishing," Miller said. bothered him most about the los-
"We're getting teams close ... ing streak. "That's why we play.
(but) we're not putting games Everybody plays and competes
away. So that's really working to win. So it's frustrating to not
against us now. We need to work have that success and I think it's
on finishing games." frustrating when we're in posi-
The team's inability to fin- tions to win games.
ish contributed to its troubles Nobody is doing it on pur-
against Minnesota on Friday pose and nobody's not training
night, but the games were much hard, we just haven't been able
closer. to close those games out, and
Michigan held a 30-29 lead in that gets frustrating."

Continued from page 11B
coming back to school," Johnson
told The Michigan Daily after Car-
olina's final offer two weeks ago.
"I'm not ready to leave (Michigan)
at the l1th hour, a couple weeks
before the season starts. I just don't
think that's the right thing to do.
It's not fair to the program."
After another Johnson rejection,
Rutherford told multiple media
outlets he would entertain a trade if
something enticing came along. By
last week he said he had decided
not to trade Johnson, but the Kings
kept pursuing, and Rutherford
entered an internal battle that ledto
some sleepless nights.
"We have kind of gone back and
forth," Rutherford said. "Do we
wait for the development of Jack
Johnson, and when does that take
place, or do we take a player now
that's a good young defenseman
who's going to be good for a long
time? As camp has wound down,
that was the conclusion we all came
to, that now was the time to do it."
Johnson is now headed toward a
team that features former Wolver-
ine Mike Cammalleri and finished

tenth in the Western Conference
last season, two spots away from a
playoff berth.
But right now, Johnson's atten-
tion is centered on the team that
finished third in the CCHA last
spring: Michigan.
"I'mhere in Michigan, and that's
where my focus is," Johnson said.
"I'm excited about my new team,
but my life isn't going to change
because of it."
Reactions in hockey world to
Johnson's dismissal of the NHL
have been a mixed bag. Some say
Johnson is smart to wait and raise
his stock while developing under
Michigan coach Red Berenson.
Others think it foolish to reject
offer after offer when he is seem-
ingly NHL-ready.
Kings general manager Dean
Lombardi has said he's fully aware
of Johnson's staunch commitment
to Michigan, and that he is ready
to be patient in Johnson's develop-
And at least for this season, that
development is only happening inE
one place: Ann Arbor.
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Continued from page 1B
cute 100 percent of the time,
because they see that the tactics
Those tactics didn't kick in full-
gear until the second half. Down
1-0, the Wolverines found their
way back into the game when
freshman Kelly Fitzpatrick picked
off an errant outlet pass deep in
Maryland's circle. All alone, she
had plenty of time to wind up and
blast the shot past Terrapin goal-
keeper Kathryn Masson to tie the
score at one just three minutes into
the second period.
The goal did something for the
team's psyche, as the Wolverines
came alive following the score.
"It put the game in perspec-
tive for us," Fitzpatrick said. "We
knew that they were ranked num-
ber one, but the goal showed that
we could hang right there with
them. After that, our momentum
pushed us forward, and our tempo
was higher than theirs."
Defensively, the team turned it
up a notch following Fitzpatrick's
goal. SeniorgoalkeeperfBeth Riley
had a strong game, denying five
Terrapin shots in the second half to
force the overtime. But it was the
shot that got past Riley in the extra
period that brought Michigan back
to earth and allowed Maryland (3-
0, 12-0) to escape.
Senior captain Eleanor Martin
feels the Wolverines will benefit
from the game more than Mary-
land will.
"We were looking to upset them
because we had nothing to lose,
and they had everything to gain
from the win," Martin said. "We
are all really confident in our abili-
ties now."
While the overtime goal kept
the Terrapins undefeated, the Wol-
verines feel as if they walked away
victorious in some aspects as well.
Cox was especially pleased with
the play of freshman Paige Laytos,
who was given the assignment of
defending Maryland All-Ameri-
can forward Paula Infante.
"She had to match up on a fre-
quent basis with, in my humble
opinion, the No. 1 player in the
country," Cox said. "The way
Paige handled her today as a fresh-
man was amazing. The future
of Michigan field hockey looks
Cox wasn't the only one that saw
a bright future for the Wolverines.
"That's a great team," Mary-
land coach Missy Meharg said of
Michigan. "That is a team that has
what it takes to go deep into the
NCAA's and be a contender to win
their league. They're tremendous
and they gave us everything we
could handle."
Continued from page 1B
Fellow freshmen Anthony Cirau-
lo and Chris Summers also worked
their way onto the stat sheet, both
notching assists.
But one of Saturday's standout
players shined mostly because he's
no longer a freshman. Sophomore
goalie Billy Sauer notched 36
saves, playing the entire game for
the White team.
"He looks like an improved,
little more confident, little more
controlled goalie," Berenson said.

"It was a good test for him to play
the whole game, just physically
and mentally to get through it. I'm
happy with his play."
Last season Sauer struggled with
consistency, sharing the net with
former Wolverine Noah Ruden.
"There's a lot less pressure, to
not have to look over my shoul-
der," Sauer said. "This year I really
know what I'm coming into."
Seeing Sauer and the rest of the
Wolverines play outside of practice,
even if it was against themselves,
helped answer some questions
about this season's goaltending
and new faces. And with two more
exhibition games on the schedule,
there's still time to tune up.
"You can kind of see what our
team's made of this year, the char-
acter we have, the grittiness," said
Hunwick. "Even in a game we're
playing against one another you
can see the intensity out there and
how bad these guys want to win
this year."
Continued from page 3B
Association" sort of way).
As you can see, it's pretty easy to
get pretty excited about these games.
So the next time you ge upset
the Matt Millen just drafted another
wide receiver, take a deep breath,
pick up Front Office Football and fix
things yourself.
Who knows, you might just get
see your own dream turned into
(somewhat) of a reality.
- Already play text
sims? Herman wants to here
your tales. E-mail him at







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