All you students should come. The Zone (the student section) is largely made up of marching band members, but because this game starts during band there's a good chance that their numbers will be small. That's why we need lots of people to show up and make sure Keen Arena gets loud!
Volleyball Hosts State 6pm
- MSU (17-11, 5-11, RPI: 33) @ #14 Michigan (22-7, 10-6, RPI: 13)
- Wednesday November 18
- Cliff Keen Arena
- TV: BigTenNetwork
- Radio: MGoBlue
Michigan returns to the floor for it's second Wednesday night special of the season against Michigan State as the two teams set out to battle for the State Pride Flag. Michigan currently leads the race including a 3-0 win over MSU by scores 33-31, 25-22, and 26-24. That's really close for a 3-0 sweep, and by all indications, that'll probably be the case again tonight.
Momentum Coming In
Michigan enters this game on a 3 game winning streak, but all three of those wins came against the 3 of the bottom four teams in the BigTen. To make it sound worse, two of those games involved Michigan squeaking by in 5 sets. That's not the way a top 15 team should be winning.
The Spartans also have struggled of late, including losing 3 of their last four. One of those losses was a respectable sweep by Illinois (the Illini are a top ten team), but the other two came at the hands of Northwestern and Indiana, teams guaranteed to finish the conference season with a losing record.
A little bit has changed since the last time Michigan faced the Spartans. In that last game, Lexi Zimmerman dislocated her thumb, and that has definitely made a noticeable difference in the team's play. While Lexi's thumb should be getting closed to healed. The last time I saw it was two weeks ago, still wrapped in the support brace. In the picture to the right, from mgoblue, you can see the thumb wrap at it's largest. You can also see some excellent control of her body.
Another player that has been missing is middle blocker Courtney Fletcher. While I don't have the exact diagnosis, her being on crutches with the ankle soft cast (or that's what it appeared to be, feel free to leave what you know in the comments) is still a fixture on the sidelines. Karlee Bruck has taken her place on the court, and has done well so far. Bruck was the starter to finish last season and has plenty of experience. She should be a solid replacement on the net.
The real loss with Fletcher's injury is on the serve. Bruck's serve is the reason she lost her starting job to Courtney in the first place. To try and keep a solid 6th server, Coach Rosen has been using Maggie Busch as a defensive specialist as a substitute. Busch has already had 7 service aces on the season, but she's very inconsistent, claiming 7 service errors as well.
What to Watch
While I think Michigan should be a heavy favorite across the board in this game, the Wolverines have been letting too many teams stay in close games. With teams like Indiana and Purdue, our team's talent can pull through. Against Michigan State, they'll have that added motivation which could really hurt Michigan. We need to keep the intensity high and not take the boot off their throats. If Michigan starts to let MSU go on any 5-0 run or better and we haven't called timeout, I'll start to worry.
Oh, and we need to cut down on the service errors.
Again, I'm not sold on these charts yet, but I think they may put a couple things in perspective.
|Serve Errors/Game||2.5||Serve Errors/Game||1.9||MSU|
|Passing Errors||29||Passing Errors||37||Michigan|
I understand why you put the categories against each other, but I'm not sure that it works.
For instance, it makes sense intuitively to put one team's Blocks up against the other team's Attack%, but it where is the cutoff from one team winning the match up?
I guess it's kind of like putting up one football team's passing yardage against the opponent's interception totals, then trying to determine a winner. If one team throws for 400 yds/gm and the other team has 2 INT/gm, then what?
I think you need to just make the categories the same, then look at national averages and provide some context and analysis, even if it's just in bullet form.
My 2 cents.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing when putting it together this time. I started playing with a metric on what I think the advantage is, but I couldn't come up with anything that worked solidly for every situation. High and low percentages blew up almost anything I wanted to put.
Sloane having an off stretch. Let's hope the passing improves.
2-1 M so far. Go Blue!
That was tough but ended well.
Fucking BTN cut out the 5th set to show the tip off of Northwestern and Butler. What a fucking joke. It was 4-3 Michigan when they cut off. How do they not finish a down to the wire volleyball match with a top 15 team from their conference to show the first few minutes of a basketball ball game where a team is going to be blown out by a visiting top 10 team?
Who do we complain to?
It wasn't even the tip! It was the introductions! And then they cut back for match point. Thanks, BTN -- it's cool, I don't watch football games until the last 30 seconds of the 4th quarter either.
They switched away from the match in the 5th set to a Northwestern/Butler basketball game.
Michigan wins. 3rd set was score 15-8.
Score: 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-8
Paz 19 kills, Hunt, Bower, and Rood all in double digits.
Our block was pretty horrible, but that's nothing new. MSU hit really well and Sloane seemed to have an off night. Lexi definitely had a few miscues both on the block and in the back court. All's well that ends well though.
It's got to be awkward to dig when both your hands are messed up, especially that you can't catch yourself on your hands without doing more damage before you hit the floor. Probably tough to block. It's a wonder she can set and serve as well as she is.
The block miscue I saw involved a ball set right in front of Lexi. She jumped and threw her hands WAY to the left. Rood was there and going right. Their hands collided and the ball went right over Lexi untouched. That wasn't on the hand, that was on an absolutely horrible read by Lexi.
Some of the back row were the same sort of errors. She was out of position a few times or way late on getting down.
Just a few errors but not overwhelming. That block just really stood out as ugly.
Is it just me or are some of the insults at the game unnecessary? For example one of the band members was yelling something along the lines of “hey ref did you go to Michigan state because that call showed a lower intellectual level” and then they harass the girls by calling them ugly or that they look like horses and so forth. I would just rather see us root for our team then trying to belittle the other teams because that is more supportive and makes us look classier.
are generally unnecessary. In fact, I can't think of a time when they are necessary. That being said, have you ever stepped foot inside Yost? There's a reason that's one of the most difficult places to play in the country and it's not just that the students all smile and yell "Let's Go Blue" really loud.
And for the record, there are several lines the Zone doesn't cross:
We don't use names or numbers, we don't do anything that could be considered sexual harassment and we don't swear. Also, perhaps this was before I got there, but I don't remember calling anybody ugly. We attack hairstyle, uniforms (libero's different color, tags that are sticking out), intelligence levels, refs, talent/ability, height and probably several other categories. But on the whole, I don't think we cross any lines. When the volleyball team/Coach Rosen/marketing department asks us to stop (and they have) we will (and have). And it's not like we don't support our team, we Let's Go Blue and Victors all night long.
I think there is a fine line between classy and supportive, we support the team as much as possible, while trying to retain as much class as possible. Cheering solely for our team, as opposed to against the other team, does not make the opposing team's players/bench/coach look/glare up at us. If we can get in the other team's head, we can maybe help our girls earn some points and that is what having a student section is all about. Also, if you do ask the team/coaches/marketing department, I do believe you will find that they do not only support us, they also receive much worse criticism (though far less witty) when they play away almost anywhere. So yes, I'm biased, but I don't think there is anything wrong with the Zone. I'm sorry you find everything offensive and I'm sorry to sound so defensive about this, but I just don't understand why every small little quip has to be defended. Grow some skin people.
I don't find everything offensive in the zone. Some of it is quite humorous such as the woo--ooop during the opposing school's serve. I know the coach from State and she has told me how difficult is is to play at Cliff Keen which is great for our team however sometimes our fans do step over the line. There has been times when she has had girls cry because some of the jeers cross the line when people mention things like eating disorders which are very serious. Maybe some of this predates your joining of the zone. Also, maybe I am too defensive of this because it is involving women.
I see your point, obviously we aren't aiming for tears but at the same time, we the fans don't see the players cry, so we don't always know when to stop. Eating disorders are very serious and not to be made light of, if somebody actually has them, but at the same time, who expects to run into somebody with an eating disorder? It's like saying a "your mom" joke, just to find that the other person's mom is dead. It's horrible but completely unexpected. Certain things are always going to have extra, grotesque significance to certain people, but when it's impossible to predict there really isn't anything to do. The line can be redrawn for every situation and every person and every definition, so of course at some point "the line" is going to be crossed, but generally unintentionally and we do our best to avoid crossing it again, but if we stopped certain genres of taunts because one person has a special circumstance, soon there wouldn't be many left. I'm not saying it was right, just that it wasn't malicious and defending the right of students to come up with taunts that are not something a team is going to hear somewhere else or even again EVER. We're never going to have a game where everyone find everything we say completely appropriate, but we do try to stay within bounds. We have a sort of code, which is why we take it pretty hard when people criticize us, we're doing the best we can to support our team while maintaining a decent amount of respect for the other team, but it's hard, especially when you go outside the box and try and be creative (which are generally the more effective cheers) because they have a lot more potential to accidentally have a far greater impact than they are meant to.
Also, I don't think you need to defend women any more, it's chivalrous of you, but I've definitely been made to cry by girls more often than guys and a good amount of girls, certainly athletes, could beat me up with one hand tied behind their back and many of the girls I know are way smarter than I am.
Thanks for your email. We, too, were distressed to see that the network cut away from the Michigan State-Michigan volleyball game. The plan was to tape the first few minutes of the Northwestern game and begin airing it immediately following the conclusion of the match so that fans of either event did not miss any coverage. Unfortunately, the technical facility in Houston cut directly to the live start of the Northwestern-Butler basketball game and we could only provide on-screen updates before switching to the volleyball game at match point. We are aware that fans were disappointed with what happened, and we apologize for the error.
You may be interested to know that the network will be replaying the MSU-UM match in its entirety at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Thank you for letting us know how you feel, and how passionately you follow women’s volleyball.
The Big Ten Network
So yeah, I don't think that was the actual case as they continued to say how they were going to flip over before they even started the "to-be-filmed" portion.