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Published: Thursday, 10/19/2006

Bowling Green's Miller warns players against overconfidence

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Curt Miller knows what his players relate to. In an age when the entertainment industry is omnipresent, Miller, the Bowling Green State University women's basketball coach, has used a few related comparisons for motivation.

Mid-American Conference champions the past two seasons, the Falcons opened practice on Saturday, and almost immediately, Miller explained what could be in store for them without hard work.

"He used an analogy, that a movie can be built up really big - I think he's talking about our preseason rankings - but sometimes movies are big flops," senior Liz Honegger said. "Our challenge is to not be one of those movies that's a big flop.

"Last year it was the one-hit wonder. So this year it's the movie flop."

Last year the Falcons successfully avoided becoming a one-hit wonder. They rolled undefeated through the conference season, won their second straight MAC tournament title, and finished with the best record in MAC history, 28-3.

This season, nine players, including all five starters, return. Three starters - Honegger, senior Ali Mann and junior Kate Achter - were named to the preseason All-MAC East squad. The Falcons are ranked in the top 25 in several preseason publications, including Athlon Sports, Lindy's and CSTV.com.

Miller's catch phrases, among other things, are preparing the team for that now ever-present bull's-eye.

"I don't want complacency within this program, that could be a downfall in a hurry," Miller said. "We have to continue to find ways to get better. If we were the same team as we were last year, other people are going to figure out ways to beat us."

Practices so far have often been facilitated by the upperclassmen, in emphasizing hustle and team chemistry. Seniors direct the three freshmen in drills and help correct the newcomers' minor mistakes.

"When he tries to explain things, we pretty much know what he's going to say," Honegger said. "We can help him so he doesn't have to take as much time to stop practice sometimes."

FACE-OFF: The showdown of the regular season for the BGSU women's volleyball team is next week. The Falcons (19-2) play Ohio at Anderson Arena on Oct. 28, a match that could decide the MAC East champion. Both teams are 8-0 in conference play. The Bobcats, ranked No. 21, advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament last year. They have won nine straight matches and are 16-3 overall.

Leading up to the match the Falcons play Buffalo and Akron on the road, the two bottom teams in the division. Tuesday night the Falcons won their 15th consecutive match, 3-1 over IPFW. The previous school record was 11 in a row. Ten of the 15 wins have been 3-0 sweeps.

SOCCER AT HOME: Sophomore Corbie Yee was named the women's soccer MAC player of the week this week. Yee scored all three of the Falcons' goals in two wins last weekend. The Falcons (8-8-0) play at home tomorrow (Central Michigan) and Sunday (Eastern Michigan).

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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