The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 14, 2000 - 25
w Top Big Ten foes on deck
for Michigan crew at home
By Albert Kim
Daily Sports Writer
The No. 7 Michigan rowing team
hopes to avoid getting snowed under
- both literally and figuratively -
this weekend as it hosts rivals Ohio
State and Michigan State at Ford Lake
in Ypsilanti on Saturday and Sunday.
Despite the cancellation of last week-
end's race due to weather, the team
hasn't lost intensity.
Practices have been good, and the
team chemistry is still positive. In
some ways, the weekend off has made
the Wolverines hungrier.
"There have been no signs of rusti-
ness, and no problems with team
chemistry. We're just looking forward
to racing again," Michigan coach Mark
The Wolverines are looking forward
to taking on arch rivals Ohio State and
Michigan State because they are qual-
ity teams - ranked No, I1 and 17
respectively - and they will come in
looking to upset the Wolverines.
"It's going to be a tough two races
this weekend. We have a lot of respect
for both programs," Rothstein said.
This weekend is more important
than just the rivalries, though. This is
the first and only home meet of the
season for the Wolverines. It's a
chance to shine in front of the home
crowd for the team, and the only
chance for fans to see their national
This weekend is your one and only
chance to witness seventh-ranked
Michigan at home as they face their -
arch rivals, Michigan State and] Ohio
State on Saturday and Sunday.
Then the Wolverines continue on to
the NCAAs where they finished fifth
Here is the rest of this season's schedule
Apr. 15 Ohio St. 'Ypsilanti*
Apr. 16 Mich. St. Ypsilanti*
Si.Apr. 29 Big Tens Madison
championship caliber Wolverines.
The rowers must prove it on the
water, but the preparation starts with
the coach. Rothstein has been coach-
ing for eight years at Michigan, five on
the club level and the last three on var-
In those three years of varsity exis-
tence, Rothstein has built a top-10
team capable of winning the national
championship every year. He gets the
most out of his team, as evidenced by
fifth-place finishes the last two years.
His rowers respect him as a person and
"He's a great person, and [ feel very
lucky to have been coached by him,
All-American Kate Johnson said.
As expected this early in the season,
there have been lineup changes. Junior
Melanie Duncan (port) and sophomore
Angela Bierhuizen (starboard) have
both moved up to the varsity boat.
And most notably freshman
coxswain Helen Dalis moved up to the
In a sport where experience counts
for so much, Dalis has progressed at a
rapid pace since her arrival at
Michigan. A native of Augusta, (3a.,
she was the coxswain of the first boat
for the National Junior Team over the
summer, the second year in a row she
Considered the best high school
coxswain in the country, Dalis was
expected to make an immediate impact
on the team, and she has not disap-
pointed. She established herself as the
second-boat coxswain early in the win-
ter, and has matured quickly into varsi-
"I'm pretty excited about it, and
we've had some good practices the last
few days," Dalis said.
It appears to be the perfect timing
for Dalis to get a chance with the var-
sity boat, because Ohio State's
coxswain is a former teammate of
Dalis from Augusta. In addition, the
coach for Ohio State was one of the
coaches for the National Junior Team,
Dalis' Michigan pride is on the line,
and she is hoping to produce.
"In a nice way, I'd like to kick their
butts," Dalis said.
The next four races for this squad
will show a lot about the Wolverines.
The team's resolve and mental tough-
ness will be tested. The biggest thing
that these races will do is prepare for
the major concentration of the season
- the Big Ten, the NCAA regional
and NCAA tournament.
These three will be the true measur-
ing stick of whether the season will be
deemed a success or not, They are an
opportunity for the Wolverines to
shine, and there is no doubt that the
team controls its own destiny.
"We know we have the ability to be
a very fast team, now we just have to
go out and prove that on the water"
Continued from Page 22
went on to take the Big Ten by storm - capping their cin-
derella season off with a Big Ten title.
Other teams note how dangerous the hosting Wolverines
"I definitely wouldn't feel safe playing them in the first
round," Merzbacher said. .
UP IN THE AIR: Here are the top teams in the conference
who are going to be grinding it out for the No. I seed.
Minnesota (5-1, 13-3) - No. 33 Minnesota has been the
hottest team in the Big Ten of late, riding a 10-match winning
streak going into this weekend. With a talented core of three
seniors, and an impressive trio of freshmen, Minnesota has the
balance needed to run the table and take the title. The only
problem is that the Gophers' final four matches are on the road.
Remaining: at Northwestern, at Illinois, at Indiana, at Purdue.
Ohio State (5-1, 12-6) - The 40th-ranked Buckeyes are
fresh off their upsets over No. 15 Northwestern and No. 28
Illinois, and own an intimidating 9-0 record at home. Being
solid at the No. 1-4 singles slots, if their opponents don't win
the doubles point, the Buckeyes could easily run the table.
They also have one of the more favorable schedule, playing
only one more team with a .500 record in the conference.
Remaining: Purdue, Indiana, at Michigan State, at Michigan.
Illinois (5-1,9-10) - No. 28 Illinois' lone conference defeat
was to the Buckeyes last weekend. After starting the season 3-
9, Illinois has won six of its last seven. The Illiniwiffalsoehjo
home-court advantage in their last three matches of the year,
making them one of the favorites for the top seed. Remaining:
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa.
Northwestern (5-2,15-4) -The fifteenth-ranked Wildcats
are defending Big Ten champions, and they looked like they
were well on their way to sweeping through the conference
schedule - until an injury challenged their depth.
Northwestern has since lost two straight and fell to a second-
place tie with Indiana. But don't look past the Wildcats, who
will be home for their final matches. Remaining: Minnesota,
Indiana (5-2, 12-8) - The Hoosiers squeaked past the
Wolverines last weekend and have quietly sneaked into the
thick of things. The owner of 14 of the last 17 conference titles
is just one match back of the leaders, but has two difficult road
matches down the road - making the quest for No. 15 a chat.
lenging one. Remaining: at Penn State, at Ohio State,
Iowa (4-2,7-10) -The Hawkeyes raised the bar of success
last year, making the team's first-ever NCAA tournament
appearance. They didn't stop there, as Iowa upset two top-20
teams en route to a Sweet Sixteen finish.
The healthy Hawkeyes look to turn some heads once again
and contend for the team's first ever Big Ten title. Remaining
Michigan, Michigan State, at Northwestern, Illinois.
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* indicates home meets at Ford Lake
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