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November 06, 2006 - Image 13

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-11-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, November 6, 2006 - 3B

'M' learns to finish in upset

Lions too much
for Tuura, Blue

Daily Sports Writer
The same thought resonated
through the minds of the players,
coaches and fans alike after the
Michigan volleyball team defeat-
ed No. 12 Minnesota Saturday
night at Cliff Keen Arena: whew.
The Michigan volleyball team
has struggled all season long to
finish games, especially against
tough opponents. Those struggles
were nowhere to be found as the
Wolverines downed the Golden
Gophers in four games.
Adaybefore Michigan'simpres-
sive performance against Min-
nesota, the Wolverines continued
their woes when they lost at home
to No. 10 Wisconsin, three games
to none.
Against Wisconsin (10-3 Big
Ten, 18-5 overall), Michigan
stayed close in games one and
two, but like so many times this
year, they were not able to finish

either one of them.
But the tough loss had no last-
ing affect, though, and Michigan
came out swinging the following
evening against the Gophers.
The first game was tight while
both sides tried to get a feel for
each other, before Minnesota
(11-3, 17-7) squeaked out a three-
point victory. But coming into the
second game, Michigan picked up
its intensity and began to play its
best volleyball of the season.
"We just came out and played
like we had nothing to lose (in the
second game)," sophomore Beth
Karpiak said. "Even when (Min-
nesota) scored a point, we just
brushed it off and said 'It doesn't
matter. We are going to win.' "
The team was visibly more
relaxed in the second game.
Teammates were laughing, cel-
ebrating and even dancing to the
music played over the P.A. sys-
tem. Many members of the team
agreed that the loose atmosphere

helped the Wolverines play to
their potential.
Juniors Katie Bruzdzinski and
Lyndsay Miller led the way with
21 and 19 match kills, respective-
ly. With Michigan's game two
win (30-23), the teams went into
intermission tied at one game
Coming out of the break, it
was clear that the Wolverines (5-
9, 18-9) had not lost any of their
momentum. They kept constant
pressure on Minnesota by blast-
ing shots over the net, flustering
the Gophers.
the two games this weekend was
that we didn't go out and attack
Wisconsin," Miller said. "We just
kind of let them do whatever they
wanted. We were attacking Min-
nesota at every point and forced
them into situations they didn't
want to be in."
The constant pressure resulted
in Michigan's 10 point game three

With their backs against the
wall going into the fourth frame,
the Gophers attempted to mount
a comeback. In the most tightly
contested game of the night, the
teams practically matched each
other point for point.
With a 23-22 lead, the Wolver-
ines took control. Finally, Michi-
gan finished a big game, and the
result was a victory over Minne-
sota- the third highest ranked
team a Michigan volleyball team
has ever beaten.
Michigan coach Mark Rosen,
who said that the team created
scenarios in practice that helped
them finish games, was very
impressed with the win.
"This is a very passionate team,
and they were more passionate
tonight than they've ever been,"
Rosen said. "We needed a break-
out game to get over the hump.
Now we know that we can play
like that all the time."

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan senior goalkeeper
Megan Tuura didn't want Friday
night's matchup against Penn State
in the semifinals of the Big Ten
Tournament to be her final colle-
giate game.
And her play reflected that. She
stood on her head for the Michigan
women's soccer team, but the tour-
nament host and top-seeded Nitta-
ny Lions prevailed in a 2-1 victory.
The loss means the Wolver-
ines will anxiously await news of
whether they will receive an invi-
tation to the NCAA Tournament,
which begins next weekend.
Against Penn State, Michigan
struggled to keep the ball out of
the defensive end and allowed a
season-high 28 shots. Tuura's phe-
nomenal play kept the score closer
than it probably should have been.

She registered 11 saves, many com-
ing from close range.
"I felt like I gave 100 percent,
and there wasn't much else I could
do," Tuura said. "It is still frustrat-
ing that we lost and that this may
be my lastgame ever."
Part of the Nittany Lions' moti-
vationcamefromwaitingto avenge
an emotional loss to Michigan in
the Big Ten Tournament last sea-
son. The host Wolverines stunned
undefeated and top-ranked Penn
State in a first-round shootout.
"Penn State came out pretty
motivated to play us," Michigan
coach Debbie Rademacher said.
"They put together a really strong
No. 12 Penn State (8-1-1 Big Ten,
14-4-3 overall) dominated from
the opening minute. It controlled
play territorially and outshot the
Wolverines 10-2, but couldn't solve

Season ends in shutout loss to Bucks

Daily Sports Writer
They had barely caught their
breath coming out of halftime.
Just 39 seconds into the second
half of Friday's semifinal game of
the Big Ten Tournament against No.
2 seed and host Ohio State, the No.
6 seed Michigan men's soccer team
gave up a goal that would prove to
be allthe Buckeyesneeded to escape
with a 1-0 win - and seal the end of
the Wolverines' season.
"Scoring goals in soccer is about
finding if you can take advantage
of one or two consecutive mistakes
that the opponent makes," Michi-
gan coach Steve Burns said. "Ohio
State scored a good goal against us.
... The difference in the game was
who finished the chances."
After the first half concluded in a
scoreless deadlock, the Buckeyes (3-
2-1Big Ten, 11-6-3 overall) broke the
stalemate at the outset of the second
stanza. Left alone at the top left cor-
ner of the 18-yard-box, Ohio State's
Geoff Marsh collected a pass and
beat Michigan goalkeeper Patrick
Sperry to tally the score.
Instead of rolling over, the Wol-

verines bared their teeth in attack
"I think Ohio State just caught us
off guard and, from there, we knew
we were going to have to fight hard-
er and give everything to get back in
the game," freshman Mauro Fuzetti
Leading goal-scorer Peri Maros-
evic had two good looks on the net
at both the 53rd and 62nd minute-
marks. But Ohio State goalkeeper
Casey Latchem made the saves to
stifle the freshman's chances for
Marosevic - who tallied four
shots on goal for the day - also had
a golden scoring opportunity in
the first half. On a breakaway from
the right flank in the 34th minute,
the rookie fired from 12 yards out.
Latchem was able to knock the ball
out of bounds, setting up a series of
three corner kicks for Michigan (1-
2-3, 7-10-4). But each restart passed
without a conversion.
At the end of the day, the Wolver-
ines took a total of 18 shots without a
result - a familiar scene for Michi-
gan this year. Despite tallying more
shots than any other Big Ten team
this season, Michigan often came

up empty. The Wolverines' 18-goal
total from the regular season is the
lowest in the conference.
"Before this season, I believed
that you should finish one out of
every six shots," Burns said. "(By
that equation), we should've been on
50 goals. But we're not. It's through
maturity and experience that you'll
learn how to get to that one to
six ratio. When you have a young
attacking team, they need to play
beyond their years if they are going
to have success scoring goals."
Struggling to convert, Michigan
increased its level of physicality to
match an aggressive Buckeye team.
The Wolverines earned 19 fouls
- including three yellow cards
- compared to Ohio State's 18 fouls
and two yellow cards.
"When you're playing in the Big
Ten Tournament against a higher
seed, you have to go in with that
fighting mentality, and our guys did
that," Burns said. "We set the table
for them by making them realize
that we were going to see what kind
of men we were and what kind of
guts we have. ... Ohio State is a big
rival of ours, and we expected that
it would be physical at any time.

We've got a lot of fight on our team
though we are small in stature. We
are not going to back down."
Despite Michigan continuing to
apply pressure, the Buckeyes began
bunkering in, staying behind the
ball deep in their territory and hav-
ing their forwards track back.
In the end, Ohio State's defen-
sive game plan absorbed Michigan's
attack, and the Buckeyes held on for
the narrow 1-0 victory.
Michigan ended its season tied
for fifth in the Big Ten with an over-
all record a few games shy of .500.
Burns attributes the season's results
to a difficult schedule. In terms of
RPI, Michigan's strength of sched-
ule ranked as the 10th most difficult
in the country.
With such ayoung team this year,
freshmen were immediately thrown
into starting roles as attackers in
pressure-filled situations. Often,
inexperience resulted in defeats and
But holding the underdog posi-
tion for most of the year proved a
valuable learning experience for
these rookies.
"I realized that you can't let down

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