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March 01, 2004 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-01

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 1, 2004

Blue finishes second
despite late charge

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
Too little, too late.
After two straight years on the Big
Ten throne, the Michigan women's
track and field team has finally given
up the crown. At this weekend's Big
Ten indoor championships in Iowa
City, a late charge pulled the Wolver-
ines (98.33 points) within striking dis-
tance. But an injury-riddled Michigan
team could not get over the hump.
Penn State's (115 points) well-rounded
squad fended off the Wolverines and
celebrated their first-ever Big Ten
championship.
"Penn State was a big, big favorite,"
Michigan coach James Henry said.
"And we gave them a run for their
money."
Injuries plagued the Wolverines.
Long-distance runner Rebecca Walter
and pole-vaulter Elizabeth Boyle were
out the entire indoor season, while star
thrower Melissa Bickett competed
with a sprained knee, placing eighth in
the shot put. With Michigan's stars
out, the Nittany Lions rose to the top,
winning Walter's event, the 5,000-
meter run, and Bickett's event, the
shot put.
"We need to get healthy," Henry
said. "We brought a limited squad."
The Wolverines entered the second
day of competition in fourth place, but
were still confident about their

chances.
"We had .a significant number of
people qualify for the next round,"
Henry said. "We got 30 percent more
people in the finals than we expected."
The Wolverines came through with
eight top-three performances in 12
events on the meet's final day, even
pulling within six points of Penn State
after the 600-meter run. But they just
couldn't match the Nittany Lions' fire-
power.
"We overachieved," Henry said.
"That's indicative of the type of team
we have."
Two Michigan middle-distance run-
ners earned individual Big Ten titles.
Sophomore Katie Erdman continued
her undefeated indoor season with a
track record, earning a victory in the
600-meter run (1:29.57). Junior There-
sa Feldkamp placed first in the 800-
meter run (2:09.96), earning her first
ever Big Ten victory.
Michigan's distance-medley relay
team of Andrea Parker, Vera Simms,
Stephanie Hirtle and Katie Erdman
(11:33.76) highlighted the first day
of competition with its first-place
finish.
While the Wolverines would have
preferred a victory in Iowa City, they
are .keeping the second-place finish in
perspective.
"When you looked at it on paper,
we were a fourth or maybe fifth-place
team," Henry said.

Who: Jennie Ritter
Hometown: Dexter

Sport: Softball

Year: Sophomore

Why: Ritter fanned 13 of the 26 batters she faced in Michigan's 2-1 loss
against No. 20 South Carolina on Saturday. She also recorded no walks and
pitched the entire game for the Wolverines.
Ritter
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3
M Basketball at Indiana
THURSDAY, MARCH 4
W Basketball Big Ten Tournament Rd. 1 - Indianapolis, Ind.
FRIDAY, MARCH 5
Baseball at Duke
W Track/Field Alex Wilson Invitational - South Bend
M Track/Field Alex Wilson Invitational - South Bend
W Basketball Big Ten Tournament Qtr. final - Indianapolis, Ind.
SATURDAY, MARCH 6
M Basketball at Northwestern
Baseball at Duke
Water Polo CWPA Tournament - vs. Slippery Rock
Water Polo CWPA Tournament - vs. Grove City College
Ice Hockey vs. Michigan State - Joe Louis Arena
M Gymnastics at Iowa
Water Polo CWPA Tournament - at Indiana
W Track/Field Alex Wilson Invitational - South Bend
M Track/Field Alex Wilson Invitational - South Bend
Wrestling Big Ten championships
SUNDAY, MARCH 7
M Basketball at Northwestern
Baseball at Duke
W Gymnastics at UCLA
W Basketball Big Ten Tournament Semifinal - Indianapolis, Ind.
Wrestling ' Big Ten Championships

6 p.m.
TBD
3 p.m.
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
1 p.m.
1:45 p.m.
6 p.m.
7:35 p.m.
8 p.m.
8:15 p.m.
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
1 p.m.
5 p.m.
TBD
TBD

0

RYAN WEINER/Daily
Junior Theresa Feldkamp (3) won her first Big Ten title by taking the 800-meter
run, but the Wolverines still lost the team conference title to Penn State.

Although a third-straight "triple
crown" is now impossible, the
Wolverines' goals for the upcoming
outdoor season have not changed.
With Walter, Boyle and Bickett
expected to return, and the arrival of
Sierra Hauser-Price from the basket-
ball team, Michigan is confident it

can re-establish itself atop the Big
Ten this spring.
"Our goal every year is to be in the
top three or defend our champi-
onship," Henry said. "We'll get some
rest, re-energize, get healthy. All the
other characteristics of a winning team
are in place."

Tiger downs Love for WGC title

6M9

NOTES

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) - Tiger
Woods made it sound so simple, even
after making it look so hard.
"It all boils down to what my dad
always told me when it comes to match
play," Woods said. "All you have to do
is just be better than your opponent
that day. All you have to do is win
more holes than you lose."
When he tapped in a 4-foot par putt
on the 34th hole yesterday, Woods
proved again that he has no match.
Spraying his tee shots all over La
Costa Resort, unable to take the lead
until the 25th hole, Woods turned a ter-
rible tee shot into an unlikely birdie,
then roared past putt-starved Davis
Love III to win the Match Play Cham-
pionship for the second straight year.
"He's obviously the best at what he
does," said Love, who failed to win a
hole over the final 17. "That shows
even more in match play. He can play

the game no matter what rules you put
out there."
Woods won for the 40th time on the
PGA Tour in just his 149th start, the
quickest anyone has reached that mile-
stone. Jack Nicklaus played 221 events
before he won his 40th tournament.
Woods earned $1.2 million, the
biggest prize to date on the PGA Tour,
and reminded everyone who's No. 1 in
the world - and who's the best when
the world gets together.
He won for the eighth time in the 14
official World Golf Championships he
has played.
Even more impressive are his back-
to-back victories in the Accenture
Match Play Championship, the most
unpredictable format in golf because
of the five 18-hole matches required to
get to the finals.
Woods thrives on this format.
"Right from the first tee, it's eyeball-

to-eyeball," he said. "That to me is a
great rush."
His amateur record was among the
best ever: three straight U.S. Junior
Amateurs, followed by three straight
U.S. Amateur titles. His professional
record is starting to catch up.
Woods is 20-3 in this tournament,
and 30-5-1 overall in match play.
He has won 12 straight matches in
this fickle format. Perhaps even more
amazing, Woods has reached the finals
three of the last five years.
He wasn't as dominant as last year,
when Woods needed only 112 holes
over five days to win. Had it been
stroke play, he said he probably would
have won by a lot.
And if this week had been stroke
play?
"I wouldn't have won," Woods said.
He wasn't at his best. But in this for-
mat, no one is better.

Water Polo goes 1-2
against top-1" teams
At the U.C. Santa Barbara Invita-
tional this weekend, the Michigan
water polo team lost to No. 5 San
Diego State 5-3 on Sunday. Kerney
scored two goals and Megan Haus-
mann scored one.
Michigan beat No. 7 Loyola Mary-
mount 3-2 on Saturday.
Michigan struck first with a power-
play goal by junior Sheetal Narsai in
the first quarter.
After a Loyola goal early in the
second period, senior Julie Nisbet's
goal regained the lead for the Wolver-
ines heading into the second half.
Narsai scored one more in the
fourth quarter. Junior goaltender
Betsy Armstrong finished the low
scoring game with 10 saves to keep
Michigan on top.
Michigan finished the day with a
6-4 loss to No. 1 Southern Cal. The
Wolverines took their only lead of the
game early in the second before
Southern Cal. pulled away after three
straight goals.
Nisbet and junior Casey Kerney
scored two goals a piece, and Arm-
strong made 15 saves in a losing
effort.
- Katie Niemeyer
Softball loses final
two at Leadoff Classic
The Michigan softball team
wrapped up a busy Spring Break on
Sunday with a 4-0 loss to No. 5 Okla-
homa at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in
Columbus, Ga. The Wolverines fin-
ished the tournament with a 3-2
record and reached the Gold Bracket
playoffs for the fifth time in eight
appearances. The NFCA Leadoff
Classic is considered one of the top
non conference softball tournaments
in the country
On Saturday, No. 7 Michigan fin-
ished pool play with a 3-0 record,
with wins over No. 14 Nebraska, Vir-
ginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Senior
Jennifer Olds led the Wolverines
throughout pool play, hitting three
homeruns, including the game-win-
ner against Georgia Tech.
After finishing in first place in
Pool One, Michigan advanced to the
Gold Bracket quarterfinal contest to
face No. 20 South Carolina. Despite a
strong performance from sophomore
Jennie Ritter, who struck out 13 bat-
ters without issuing a walk, the

4. Vancouver 81 pts.
* Naslund is back, and Daniel
Sedin has found his magic stick. All
they need is a goalie.
* The Blewud Jovto have
#afT Luf Dues
6. Ottawa 84 pts.
" Bondra and Smolinski spent
time with theVipers while in contract
disputes. That makes them good.
7.140s" n2 pis
" Put Your at n m m
goale, oure stfl going to oe t
8. Toronto 82 pts.
e Ed Belfour is back from his
vacation, giving the Leafs plenty of
time to create false hope in Canada.
9. New JOrs$y 78 pt,
SBrodeuristogodte het
ta n fa e et'13 go
10. Dallas 75 pts.
" Dallas is setting up for the first
playoff run where it's an underdog
since Jon Casey minded the nets.
Wolverines lost 2-1 in eight innings.
Sophomore Tiffany Haas drove in
Michigan's only run in the third.
Following the quarterfinal loss,
Michigan moved onto the Gold
Bracket consolation semifinals to
take on Oklahoma. Junior Nicole
Motycka took the loss, allowing four
runs on nine hits in four-plus innings.
Ritter came in on relief and struck
out six batters in the final 2-plus
innings. The Wolverines' 4-0 loss
eliminated them from the tourna-
ment, while the Sooners advanced to
the consolation final against Central
Michigan.
Michigan was led by strong pitch-
ing throughout the tournament, as the
Wolverines' pitchers finished with 40
strikeouts and three walks in 36.1
innings. Ritter performed consistently
in each of her two appearances, going
1-1 with a 0.79 earned run average,
while striking out 27 batters and
walking one in 17-plus innings.
Senior Monica Schock led the team
with a .364 average, going 4-for-11,
while junior Jessica Merchant went
4-for-13. Olds also had four hits,

:>ieerf:rr.:;~we ts*N :.' ~ '~
4. New Jersey 36-21
*Frank is not a genius. Those 14
consecutive wins ALL came against
the Leastern Conference.

6. Los Angeles 37-20
" With Malone returning in early
March, inseltown is talking champi-
onship again. Poor Kobe. Well ...

8. Detroit 37-24
t Sheed's first- fulgame.resuts in
a home loss to the Orlando Tragic.
Plus, he's gone after this season.

S il' " owrRnkns BHysNA oe anings
1.set,,,t~r ist .., _,, 44
* AddIng one ef th H' top e Snapped Lawrence Frank.4&
Robie angQe ~ sak
2.Colorado 82 pts. 2. Sacramento 42-15
" Forsberg is heading for Swee- * Just when Webber's suspen-
den at season's end, so it's now or sion is about to expire, Kings place
never for the Denver Warriors. Jackson on IR. Miller may join him.

10. Houston 34-24
* Mobley calls refs "retarded," gets
fined $5,000 - about the price for a
family of 4 at the new Toyota Center.
matching Schock and Merchant, to
help the team in the tournament.
- Stephanie Wright
Tennis sweeps on
Hawaiian adventure
The Michigan women's tennis team
got to spend its spring break in
Hawaii for winning the Leaders and
Best award for receiving the highest
grade point average of any Michigan
sports team. But, in receiving their
free trip, the Wolverines weren't done
performing.
Michigan dominated on the court
on Saturday, winning 11 out of 12
singles matches en route to a sweep
of Long Beach State and Hawaii by
scores of 6-1 and 7-0, respectively.
The wins upped Michigan's record to
7-0, its best start since the 1989-90
season.
Junior Michelle DeCosta, fresh-
man Elizabeth Exon, senior Kavitha
Tipireni and junior Leanne Ruther-
ford all won two matches each.
- Staff Reports

RAL
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