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November 20, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-11-20

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SPORTSMonday - Monday, November 20, 1995

Brownlee, O'Donnell
shine in last home game

head to
Iowa for

I .

By Doug Stevens
Daily Sports Writer
Cliff Keen Arena will not be the
same in the future. -
Michigan fans will no longer have the
opportunity to watch the performances of
two of the finest players in school his-
tory. Saturday's match with Penn State
was the last home contest in the illustri-
ous careers of co-captains Suzy
O'Donnell and Shannon Brownlee.
But rather than the moment being an
upsetting one for the duo, it turned into
one of joy as both O'Donnell and
Brownlee played key roles in helping
the Wolverines (9-
9 Big Ten, , 15-13
overall)pull offone
of the biggest vic-
tories in team his-
tory.O'Donnell and
Brownlee both
raised their games a
notch as Michigan:
upset No. 8 Penn
State, 15-12,10-15,
13-15, 15-5, 15-13. Brownlee
The match was
closely contested throughout as the
Wolverines used the emotion of Senior
Recognition Night, in addition to great
defensive play, to compete with a Lady
Lion (13-5, 25-6) squad which had de-
feated them, 15-4, 15-5, 15-2, earlier in
the season.
Michigan, behind the determined
leadership of its captains, overcame a
heartbreaking loss in the third game
and dominated the fourth game of the
match. The fifth game, in which there is
rally scoring, was played under extreme
pressure as the seniors knew a win
would both enable them to go out in
style and would im-
prove the team's
chances of gaining
an NCAA Tourna-
ment bid.
"It was just such
a great way to end
here," Brownlee
said. "It would have
been such a disap-
pointment if we
would have lost the O'Donnell
fifth game."
Despite the fact that Michigan was
riding a four-match losing streak and
had never defeated a team ranked as
highly as Penn State, it seemed as if
O'Donnell and Brownlee were sim-
ply not going to let the Wolverines
O'Donnell, in particular, seemed to
play her best match of the season as she
was a force on both the offensive and

defensive ends. She finished with 21
kills on only 43 attempts for an impres-
sive .442 hitting efficiency against a
Penn State team that is first in the Big
Ten in blocking. In addition, she seemed
to spike the ball with a greater pace
than she has shown throughout the
"They're great blockers and we had
to figure out a way to get around them,"
O'Donnell said.
On the defensive end, O'Donnell
played a great match. She was apresence
on many of the Lady Lion kill attempts
and finished with five block assists. She
was a main reason that Michigan
outblocked Penn State, 20-16.
"I played the same I play every match,"
O'Donnell said. "It helped a lot that this
was our last home match. It feels great
because we've been trying to beat them
since our freshman season."
Brownlee turned in yet another fine
performance against the Lady Lions.
In addition to her tangible contribution
of25 kills, Brownlee provided theemo-
tional leadership for Michigan as she
tried to keep the team relaxed on the
court despite the tense atmosphere of
the fifth game.
While Brownlee's performance was
strong Saturday, it certainly was not
surprising. She currently leads the
Wolverines in kills, attempts and digs
and is tied with O'Donnell in solo
blocks. The development of Brownlee
is one of the prime reasons for the
team's improvement from 4-16 in the
Big Ten last season to its current con-
ference mark of 9-9.
"This year has been the best by far,"
Brownlee said. "We've won a lot of
matches. There is something special
about your last year."
O'Donnell and Brownlee both are
peaking at the right time. The win over
Penn State has put Michigan in prime
position to earn a berth in the NCAA
Tournament. With wins on the road
against Northwestern and Purdue next
weekend, the Wolverines will be virtu-
ally assured a post-season appearance
for the second time in 23 years.
"They're playing the best ball of the
season in their senior year," coach Greg
Giovanazzi said.
Although this is Brownlee's and
O'Donnell's final campaign with the
Wolverines, they are confident that
they are leaving the program in good
"Every year, (Giovanazzi) is bring-
ing in better and better players,"
O'Donnell said. "We have three fresh-
men now that are going to be great.
They're getting used to winning."

Jeanine Szczesniak and Jane Stevens helped Michigan to upset the eighth-ranked Nittany Lions Saturday.-
SuNo.8 Penn tate

By Monica Polakov
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan has never done this before.
In its game with No. 8 Penn State,
the Michigan volleyball team accom-
plished two things: it beat the Lady
Lions and a No. 8 team, both for the
first time ever.
Last year, the Wolverines finished
ninth in the Big Ten. This year, the very
improvedMichigan team is 15-13 over-
all, 9-9 in the conference and has a good
chance to go to NCAAs, thanks to this
weekend's win.
The Wolverines came ready to play
against two top-10 teams. Michigan
lost its first match against No. 6 Ohio
State (3-15, 8-15, 9-15).
In its next match, Michigan pulled a
huge upset. The unranked Wolverines
beat Penn State.
Because it was their last home match
this season, the Wolverines were ex-
tremely pumped.
"The whole team is a lot more intense
at our last home game," senior co-cap-
tain Suzy O'Donnell said.
In addition, the Wolverines were
hungry for a win after losing their last
four matches.
"We were sick of losing." O'Donnell
Michigan beat Penn State in the first
game, 15-12.
The Lions came back to beat the

Wolverines in a close second game, 15-
10, with incredible play from middle
hitter Terri Zemaitis.
The third game was long and gruel-
ing with both teams playing intense
volleyball. O'Donnell dominated for
the Wolverines, finishing the night with
21 kills.
All the Wolverines put in a lot of
effort, however. Senior co-captain Sh-
annon Brownlee tallied 25 kills,
middle blocker Sarah Jackson had five
blocks, and Linnea Mendoza set 53
Michigan led for most of the third
game, but the Lady Lions came back to
win, 15-13.
But the Wolverines never gave up.
They went into the fourth game look-
ing to grab the last two and the vic-
"We focus more this year on our
own team," coach Greg Giovannazi
The fourth was a short and sweet
game for Michigan which ended, 15-5,
in Michigan's favor. It all came down
to the fifth game, which was as tough as
Penn State had previously never lost
to Michigan.
"We've been trying to beat (Penn
State), since my freshman year,"
O'Donnell said.
Penn State was the favored team.

But it was Michigan's last home
match, not to mention the night of the
senior salute.
The Wolverines had a lot of moti-
vation to win. There were the two
seniors to think about, not to mention
that the post season may ride on this
game. They wanted a win, really
"Always on the last games here, we
win," Brownlee said. "Everyone steps
up a lot."
The match reflected the attitudes of
the teams. It was a neck-in-neck battle.
Michigan got a point, Penn State got a
Finally, Michigan managed an 8-5
lead against the Lady Lions. But the
match wasn't over yet. Penn State came
back to tie Michigan, 11-11.
At 14-13, Michigan won an exciting
point that ended their last home match
as victors.
Saturday's game was the second time
in three years that the Wolverines beat
a ranked team.
With a win over No. 21 Illinois ear-
lier this season, chances for post-sea-
son play now look good for the Wolver-
To seal the NCAA's invitation, the
Wolverines must win their upcoming
road games against Northwestern and
Purdue, two teams they have already
beaten this season.

By Julie Keating
Daily Sports WriterrV
It's off to Iowa for the women's cross-
country team. This will be the Wolver-
ines' seventh-straight trip to the NCA As.
The team hopes to capitalize on its im-
pressive record after finishing second last
The Wolverines lost the district title for
the first time since 1991, but they came
back to win the NCAA District IV Cham-'
pionship. Michigan upset Wisconsin to
capture the title last weekend at Purdue.
The Wolverines won by a five-poin
spread. Led by senior Pauline Arnill, the-
team goes into today's meet ranked sev-
enth in the nation. Arnill returned in top
form after missing the Big Ten Champi-
onships with a lower-back injury. She
captured second (17:37) in theDistrict
meet behind Wisconsin's Big Ten Cham--
pion Kathy Butler (17:20).
Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Katie
McGregor, placed third (17:47) behind
teammate Arnill. She also finished in
the top 10 at the Big Ten Champion--
Senior co-captains Kelley Chard and
Courtney Babcock also contributed with
top-20 performances last weekend.
Babcock sat out most of the season.
with an injury, but she came back well at
Big Tens. She is a former cross-country
All-American and a two-time All-Big,
Ten selection, despite being hamperedby
injuries throughout her career. She is ex-
pected to run an excellent race.
Kelly Chard recorded a strong top-to.
finish at Big Tens. She also turned in a
top-20 finish at Districts with atime pf
Senior Katy Hollbacher and junjor
Jennifer Barber will be running for,
Michigan as well. The pair have pro-
duced for the Wolverines all season,
The team is looking to repeat, if not
improve upon its all-time best perfor-
mance at nationals. Last year, the Wol-
verines set a record score of 108 and,
returned home with three All-Americans.
Host Illinois State will pose a threat,
along with No. 1 Providence and N9r
Brigham Young.
The 5,000-meter event will start kt
noon, following a short memorial service
for members of the 1985 Iowa squa,
whose members perished in aplane crash
while returning home from NCAAs.

By $usan Da
Daily Sports Wi
Arriving h
Michigan wi
as if all ther
Phoenix was
True, the
their attempt
national ch
Michigan sti
than it leftw
chapter in its
The Michi
5-7) compet
giate Soccer
pionship To
vancing to th
time tournam
be a decidin
against New
"They wer
coach Steve
membered w
the tourname
pressed. The
We wanted t

men's soccer garners historic
nn look (against New Mexico), and we With one game remaining ii
riter really came in with a psychological robin play, there was no clear w
ome to the gray skies of move." Michigan's bracket.
thout a trophy, it may seem The Wolverines soundly beat New "At that point, our fate was st
men's soccer team got in Mexico, 3-0, with two goals coming own hands," Burns said. "If
a tan. from senior Rick Weinberg and one won (against Middle Tenness
Wolverines fell short in from senior Adam Carriere. Weinberg would have been in the quarterf
t to bring home their first playedinspiteofanaggingbackinjury. sure."
ampionship. However, "Rick was not 100 percent, but (this Against the University of'
ll returned with a lot more tournament)washislastdance,hisswan sin-LaCrosse, the Wolverine
with, most notably a long song as a senior, and he didn't want to early 3-1 lead slip, and the gam
history. miss it," Burns said. in a 3-3 tie.
ganmen's soccer team(15- The second match of the day pitted Weinberg scored two, inclu
ed in the National Colle- Michigan against Middle Tennessee off a diving header, and sop
Association's Club Chain- State. The Wolverines were unable to Eric Frickel added a goal to giv
urnament in Phoenix, ad- carry the momentum from the previous gan a comfortable 3-1 lead. Bur
he semifinals. win into the match, tying Middle Ten- a tactical change to preserve f
s veteran status as a third- nessee, 1-1. changing from a 5-3-2 formatii
ment participant proved to Michigan's goal came on a free kick 4-4-2.
g factor in its first game in Middle Tennessee's penalty box. "We started relaxing andit w
Mexico State. Senior Ian Kurth was called up from the bad," Burns said. "We got sli
re a good team," Michigan sweeper position to take the kick. marking defensively even tho
Burns said. "But we re- "Middle Tennessee had some older, had one more (player) in the b
hen it was our first year in experienced players, but they were not as eryone forgot their defensive r
nt and we were really im- athletic as us," Burns said. "We just bilities."
re are a lot of distractions. couldn't put it away, and they were able to Despite a two-goal second ha
o come in with a full team get the ball to their experienced players." the Wolverines were able

finish at national club championships

n round-
vinner in
ill in our
we had
see), we
inals for
s let an
e ended
ding one
e Michi-
ns made
he lead,
on to the
as really
oppy on
ough we
ack. Ev-
to stop

LaCrosse's momentum and hold on for
the tie.
"We knew if we tied, we advanced to
the quarterfinals," Burns said. "We just
ran out the clock with a little possession
game in the corner."
In what Burns called the "most defin-
ing moment for the Michigan soccer
club," the Wolverines defeated South-
west Texas State, 2-1, in an overtime
Late in the second half, while trailing,
1-0, the Wolverines changed their tactics
to a "goal down look," sending long balls
up top where they had a numbers advan-
tage. Freshman Blake Novotny took on a
defender and fired the tying goal with 30
ticks left in regulation.
The second oftwo sudden death over-
time periods was a standstill, with both
teams having chances to take the win.
"With three minutes left in the sec-
ond overtime, I was planning who my
five shooters would be and the order
(for a penalty kick shoot-out)," Burns
said. "Blake rose like a phoenix from
the ashes, took the ball on the left side,

and scored basically the same goal as
the one which tied (the game).
"It is a great win that gives a positive
push to the program that will have some
kind of lasting effect. It is the best win
in (our) history, and it couldn't have
come at a better time."
Michigan faced defending national
champion Weber State in the semifinal
match. The Wolverines were hoping to
play a back-and-forth game with the
"We felt we had a deeper bench, and it
being the fifth game for both teams, we
wanted to push the pace because we felt
our legs could last longer," Burns said.
Despite a 0-0 halftime tie, Weber
State dominated the second half.
Burns looked to give the Wolverines
some fresh legs, but Weber State con-
trolled the game for about eight min-
utes without an opportunity for Michi-
gan to substitute, sealing a 2-0 win.
Michigan finished its run, losing to
the eventual tournament champions.
That, however, didn't soften the blow.
"It is disappointing that we didn't

have the legs," Kurth said. "If we
could've snuck a goal in, we definitely
could have beaten them. We just fan
out of juice. They were definitely
Junior Mike Milman agreed.
"We didn't give up until the final
whistle, but everyone was so exhausted
and we pretty much realized it would be
hard to score two goals in five min-
Michigan's hard work did not go
unnoticed, as several Wolverines re-
ceived tournament honors. Weinberg
was named to the all-tournament first
team. Kurth, Novotny and senior Andy
Cosenza received second team hon-
Burns emphasized that Michigan's
success was not tangent upon winning
the championship.
"I did not want to let the product we
were aiming for to define us, the prod-
uct being our sights on the champion-
ship game. I wanted to make sure the
process defined us, and everything that
got us to the end product."

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