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Page 174 text:
volleyball improving withevaylliatch The Wolverines set up a new season in Cliff Keen arena with a team full of fresh faces. Of the 16 women on the volleyball team 12 of them held sophomore or freshman status and seven members of the squad had never participated in a NCAA volleyball match when the season began. Together the team faced a challenging new season and high hopes of receiving a third consecutive bid to the NCAA Championship Tourna- ment. The opening matches frustrated the young team as the women came together for the first time. At the start of the Big Ten Season, with an unfortunate three loses already on the record, the Maize and Bluefell first to Northwestern and then to No. 9 Wisconsin. Head Coach Mark Rosen, admitted that the young team struggled with their intense travel sched- ule. " We play back-to-back nights on Fridays and Saturdays, and ourtravel partners are very spread out. We go from Penn State to Ohio State or Northwestern to Wisconsin or Minnesota to Iowa; we have to make some pretty significant trips with a one-day turn around. After playing on Friday night, somehow you have to get to your next opponent and play on Saturday night. It ' s a huge disadvantage when the otherteam is sitting at home. " Rosen continued optimistically when he said, " I love playing at Cliff Keen. The crowd is rowdy; it ' s fun and entertaining. All teams are the same at their home venues. It makes the players feel more comfortable if they ' ve got a crowd cheering for them. " And his confidence in the team proved to be justified the following week. Cliff Keen roared in celebration when the team returned home, regrouped and earned five straight wins. The Maize and Blue held a solid 8-6 season record and a 4-3 Big Ten Record. Perhaps the most impressive achievement this season was when the Wolverines stepped up to No. 1 1 Penn State. They took the Nittany Lions in a three-game sweep, which marked the high point of the women ' s season, since it was the first time they had beaten Penn State since 1 995 and just the second time ever. It was their biggest win yet, and one that made a difference, earning the team a third consecutive bid from the NCAA Championships with a 6-4 record. They were tied for a 4th-place ranking in the conference and the season ' s goal of a championship tournament bid was within reach. Strong leadership from Coach Rosen, and Associate Head Coach Leisa Rosen was recognized by the conference when they were inducted into the Ohio State ' s Hall of Fame. It was this leadership that brought the fresh faces of the team into the championship tournament. With growing precision, teamwork and dedication to the sport the Maize and Blue pushed to the end of the season. Story by Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Lee Setting herself defensively, senior Katrina Lehman awaits a serve. Lehman ended the season fourth all- time on the University ' s career block assits, with 272. photo courtesy of Athletic Media Relations Following through on her attempted spike, sophomore Erin Moore watches the ball get blocked out of bounds. Moore earned Big Ten Honorable Mention, as selected by the coaches. photo courtesy of Athletic Media Relations keepingSCOre UCLA 3 ||| 1 Hawaii 3 ||| O Kansas State 3 ||| 3 Pittsburgh ||| 3 Eastern Michigan ||| 3 Georgia 1 ||| 2 Northwestern 3 ||| 1 Wisconsin 3 ||| 3 Iowa 2 ||| 3 Minnesota 1 ||| 3 Michigan State 2 ||| 3 Purdue ||| 3 Oakland ||| 1 Illinois 3 ||| 3 Indiana 2 ||| O Ohio State 3 ]| 3 Penn State | 1 Michigan State 3 ||| 3 Purdue 2 ||| 1 Minnesota 3 ||| 1 Iowa 3 ||| 2 Wisconsin 3 ||| 3 Northwestern ||| 2 Penn State 3 ||| 1 Ohio State 3 ||| 3 Indiana 1 ||| 2 Illinois 3 Sports | 1 70
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water polo Women ' s Water Polo faced its second year with varsity status, having been upgraded from a club sport last season and newly recognized by the NCAA. With a strong first season under their belts the Wolverines received good news when preseason rankings posted, Michigan at num- ber 1. " It ' s where we had hoped to be at this point, " said head coach Amber Drury-Pinto. " Now we have to live up to it. We have to prepare now for other teams that will be aiming to knock us off. " Preparing for the challenge, Drury-Pinto set up and in- tense training program for her team. Conditioning focused heavily on the athletes hitting the weight room all fall, " The girls are in really good shape - they have to be. It ' s not like in basketball where the whistle blows and play stops. We are always treading water, swimming, and moving. Our conditioning is what helps us get through the season. " At their first competition, the Wolverines faced three tough Eastern Conference foes, Hartwick, Harvard, and Bucknell. Though all of these teams were top ranked, the Maize and Blue reigned as the No. 1 ranked team in the Collegiate WaterPolo Association preseason rankings and swept all three opponents. The victories were key after Michigan was upset by Cal-Santa Barnbara their opening weekend which dropped the Wolverine ' s to 15th in the national poll rankings. However, it opened the door for some star players. Senior JenniferCrisman defined the team attitude when she said, " The team is coming together really well so farthis season. We have great leadership in our two captains Maribeth Sitkowski and Delia Sonda and the freshmen are really finding their niche on the team as well " The team kept its momentum in to the season as it rolled out to the WestCoast polo scene for the University of Cali- fornia Santa Barbara Tournament. This tournament fell on the first weekend of the University ' s Spring Break leaving the team to bask in the heat of California collegiate water polo while their classmates lolled in balmy sunshine. Story by Sarah Johnson Goal tender Betsey Armstrong sends the ball back into play. Armstrong broke the school record for saves with eleven against Indi- ana, photo by AMr Johnson Team mem- ber Clare Peyrebrune attempts to steal the ball from her op- ponent. The Michigan Invitational proved to be intense corn- petit i on . photo by Abby Johnson Senior Jen Crisman at- tempts a shot on the Michigan State goal. Crisman helped lead the team to victory with three goals in the match Up. pliala hy Ahh\ Johnson 6 Hawaii 9 III 10 Indiana 9 Sports | 1 69
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