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November 05, 2004 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-05

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November 5, 2004

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Pool's 24 sparks
exhibition victory

Cagers prepared for
'intense' exhibition

By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
With seven freshmen on the roster,
it's obvious that the Michigan women's
basketball team lacks experience. And it
didn't take long for it to show.
Thinking that she was being introduced
prior to the game, freshman Krista Clem-
ent started toward
the court, only to CAN
realize that fellow
freshman Becky Flippin's name was blar-
ing over Crisler Arena's loudspeaker.
"I think it's kind of cute, actually,"
Michigan coach Cheryl Burnett said.
"Before the game, they're like, when do
we run on the floor?"
Fortunately for the Wolverines, their
inexperience wasn't much of a factor the
rest of the way. Featuring a fast-breaking,
aggressive style, the youthful squad came
up with a 75-61 exhibition game victory
over Athletes in Action last night at Crisler
Arena. With most players on the team
making their collegiate debuts, Michigan
came out fired up - diving on loose balls,
creating turnovers and out-rebounding its
opponents despite the Wolverines' obvi-
ous size disadvantage.
"We were all really excited, and we
all came out and played like we were,"
sophomore Kelly Helvey said. "We were
up-tempo the whole game and our energy
just showed."
The Wolverines' second leading scorer
last season, senior Tabitha Pool, keyed
Michigan's strong offensive showing. The
forward was a force throughout, leading
Michigan with a double-double - 24

points and 14 rebounds.
"Tabitha Pool is a player that we're
going to continue to ride the shoulders of,"
Burnett said.
After emerging from halftime with a
41-35 lead, Michigan kicked it into high
gear. The Wolverines nearly ran Athletes
in Action out of the building, ratcheting
up the intensity on both ends of the court.
Within seven minutes, Michigan had
opened up a 17 point lead.
"That's our game," Pool said. "They
were getting tired. We knew we had to
push it and just start running."
No one typified the Wolverines' go-
for-broke style more than Helvey. Early
in the second half, she took an outlet pass
from freshman Becky Flippin and fired a
perfect bounce pass to freshman Janelle
Cooper for a quick score. A few minutes
later, Helvey dove for the ball at midcourt,
came up with it and fed Flippin for a wide-
open lay-in.
"This early in the year, Ithink it's unusu-
al to have those great fastbreak opportuni-
ties where we're seeing the floor and seeing
people that are open," Burnett said.
Helvey weaved her way through the
Athletes in Action defense all game,
opening up the Wolverine offense, and
racking up a game-high seven assists.
The forward also sparked Michigan on
the defensive end, picking up both of her
steals in the second half.
"I've coached a long time, and I don't
know thatI've ever seen one player play-
ing the effort game that Kelly Helvey
did tonight," Burnett said. "She was
solid. She had hustle plays. She was a
factor with just the energy and effort she

By Megan Kolodgy
Daily Sports Writer
Last year the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team went into its exhibition
matchup against Michigan Tech aloof
and relatively unprepared.
This lackadaisical attitude led to what
described as
an "embar- UN A
rassing 73- Mi.. higa.: Tech
61 win that M. tg .
was much 7,
closer than «
The Wol-
verines took
the jab to heart and have adopted a
new perspective that should help them
perform a bit better when they take on
Michigan Tech on Sunday.
"Last year, those guys came in with
a lot of intensity," junior Daniel Horton
said. "They came here to win. They
wanted to win. I really respect those
guys, and I think our team has a lot
more respect for them coming in the
game this year than we did last year."
Michigan's newfound admiration for
the Huskies is not undeserved. Michi-
gan Tech forward Josh Buettner was
named National Preseason Player of
the Year for Division II. Last season,
Buettner averaged 22.2 points and 6.6
rebounds per game, while leading the
Huskies to an appearance in the NCAA
Great Lakes regional semifinal - Divi-
sion II's NCAA Tournament. Currently,

the Huskies are ranked No. 6 in Divi-
sion II.
Horton said he knows what Michigan
Tech will bring to the table this week-
end, and feels he is mentally prepared to
counteract the Huskies' skills.
"Everybody on their team can shoot the
ball, and they play well together," Horton
said. "They are going to play tough on
'D,' and rebound - and they are going
to do the things their coach asks them to
do. That's what you have to expect from a
championship-level program."
This weekend presents the first
opportunity for both teams to test them-
selves against an opponent.
The game marks the beginning of
what Michigan coach Tommy Amak-
er and the rest of the Wolverines hope
will be their most successful season
since Amaker arrived in Ann Arbor
three years ago.
"I think, as we start this season, we're
very optimistic about where we are and
hopefully where we're headed," Amaker
said two weeks ago at Michigan's Media
Day. "We're coming off of a successful
year for us this past year in a lot of ways.
Certainly we want it to be more success-
ful as we continue to climb the ladder,
but we're very optimistic about this sea-
son and we're very hopeful."
Horton believes that this game will
be the Wolverines' first stepping stone
to bigger things.
"That's what we are trying to do - be
a championship-level program - and
playing against a team like Michigan
Tech will help us," Horton said. "It will
be a step toward that."

Tabitha Pool led the Wolverines in scoring last night with 24 points.

put out on the floor."
Michigan's nerves were evident early
on, as Athletes in Action scored on its
first four possessions and took a 10-5 lead.
After Burnett called a timeout, Clement
put in a reverse layup to get the Wolver-
ines rolling, and they soon took the lead
for good..
Perhaps the biggest surprise was Mich-
igan's 40-33 advantage on the boards. The
Wolverines overcame a severe height dis-
advantage, consistently boxing out their

opponents and ripping the ball out of
their hands. But Athletes in Action took
advantage of its size offensively, work-
ing the ball into the paint and getting off
many high-percentage shots. Center Jes-
sie Stomski scored a team-high 19 points,
16 of them coming inside the paint.
"Certainly our post defense is some-
thing we're going to have to continue
to work on," Burnett said. "That's
going to be a team challenge due to
our lank of size"

'M' downs Wisconsin to advance in Big Tens

By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
With just eight minutes left to play, freshman Melissa Dob-
byn scored her first goal in over a month to lift the Michigan
women's soccer team to a 1-0 win over No. 25 Wisconsin
in yesterday's opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in
The win was the Wolverines' first
step toward qualifying for the NCAA MCG
The duo of Dobbyn and junior Therese Heaton - Mich-
igan's two leading scorers - came out of their late-season
scoring slump at just the right time. Heaton timed a pass
into the Wisconsin box to Dobbyn, who fired the ball past
goalkeeper Lynn Murray from 12 yards out.
"We need (Heaton and Dobbyn) to score," Michigan
coach Debbie Rademacher said. "It has shown this entire
season that, when those two are able to assist or put one in,
then we come out on the winning side."

After the goal, Michigan (7-3-1 Big Ten, 12-7-2 over-
all) had to rely on its defense - including two of its sec-
ond-team All-Big Ten players, goalkeeper Megan Tuura
and defender Brenna Mulholland - to seal the win.
Tuura turned in her seventh shutout of the season, while
Rademacher credited Mulholland with a strong effort on
the back line.
"The last five minutes, they were just down our throats,"
Rademacher said. "After the goal, they put another forward
up top. We still held pretty strong, but the last five minutes
were pretty hectic. They were getting the ball in our end and
bringing us under a lot of pressure."
Michigan thought it had taken the lead in the first half
when freshman All-Big Ten midfielder Jamie Artsis headed
home a rebound off a corner just 16 minutes into the game.
But the goal was called back when the referee called a push-
ing foul on Artsis.
The Wolverines went into halftime confident after control-
ling much of the first half, which was slowed by heavy rain.
With the rain gone, a back-and-forth game developed

in the second half in which both teams were able to create
scoring chances.
Tuura recorded just two saves in the game, but both
thwarted good scoring chances in which Wisconsin sent the
ball deep into Michigan's box.
Heaton narrowly missed on a crossing pass in the 56th
minute, as no Wolverine was able to reach the ball. It rolled
just a few feet in front of the post.
Yesterday's win was important for Michigan's chance
of making the 64-team NCAA Tournament field. After
a disappointing 3-7-1 record in October, the Wolverines
may need to earn an automatic bid by winning the Big
Ten Tournament.
"This was a great win for us," Rademacher said, "The
team is very fired up and very motivated after the win."
Michigan can't afford to enjoy the victory for long as it
turns around to play No. 13 Ohio State at 7 p.m. tonight
- the tournament's No. 2 seed. The Wolverines and Buck-
eyes tied their only contest this season, 1-1, on Oct. 3 in Ann

Special teams, defense key to
weekend series with Miami

Hung out in singles,
still alive in doubles

By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
As practice began to wind down yesterday, the No.
2 Michigan hockey team was in high spirits. After an
arduous week of practice, the Wolverines enjoyed a few
laughs during the final
tune-up of the week before
a weekend series against Ti EK
No. 17 Miami (Ohio)
"It looked like every- 7 hgn
body was making plays
(in practice)," senior cap- T 3 .
tain Eric Nystrom said.
"(Wednesday's) practice
was pretty tough, but
(yesterday) we looked
ready to go."
The theme of the week's practices appeared to be
defense. Despite failing to put a puck past Ferris State
goalie Mike Brown last Saturday, Michigan coach Red
Berenson was happy with his team's play in the 1-0 over-
time loss to the Bulldogs. He believes the solid defense
will lead to solid offense.
Nystrom echoed his coach's sentiment.
"If the offense doesn't light up, the defense needs to

be there," Nystrom said. "We all need to buy into the
defense because we won't score four or five goals a
Last season, Michigan took three of four from the
RedHawks. All four games were high scoring - with
32 combined goals between the teams - in what Beren-
son called "heart attack hockey."
"This weekend is huge," Nystrom said. "These are the
games that put you in first place, or the ones to knock
you out of first place."
This weekend, special teams will once again be a key.
Miami has been explosive on the power play this sea-
son. In its final matchup last year, Michigan went 3-for-6
with the extra man, while the RedHawks put two in the
net on five chances.
As the coaches filtered off the ice yesterday, the team
was free to enjoy the end of practice. Senior Milan Gajic
rode his stick across the ice to celebrate a faceoff win
over Nystrom, while junior goalie Al Montoya attempted
acrobatic catches of pucks flipped into the air by senior
Brandon Rogers.
If the offense does ignite and the defense plays on the
right side of the puck, it's a good bet that those smiles
will carry through to next week.
Junior team announced its preliminary roster yes-

Mike Brown attempts to score against Ferris State.
terday and named four Wolverines to its initial
group of 12. Montoya was the only netminder
selected so far.
Sophomores Mike Brown, T.J. Hensick and Matt
Hunwick will join Montoya on the team. Hensick
and Brown are both newcomers to the team, while
Hunwick and Montoya return to defend last year's
gold medal.
The team will compete in the IIHF World Junior
Championships from Dec.. 25 to Jan. 4.

Blue advances to
pair of quarterfinals
The Michigan women's tennis team
entered just two of its players in the ITA
National Indoor Championships, which
were held at Varsity Tennis Center in
Ann Arbor. But senior Michelle DaCos-
ta and sophomore Kara Delicata proved
themselves to be good picks to represent
the Wolverines.
DaCosta and Delicata went into their
doubles match with a No. 4 ranking,
and defeated No. 8 Nebraska's Maja
Mlakar and Diane Hollands 8-1, 8-1 in
straight sets. The duo will advance to
the quarterfinals, where it will face a
UCLA pair today at 5 p.m.
DaCosta also won two tiebrakers en
route to defeating Hollands in singles, 7-6
(2), 7-6 (5), and advanced to the quarterfi-
nals. This is the first time that a Michigan
women's singles player has advanced to
the quarterfinals of the tournament

'Independent' week ends tomorrow

By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
Brian Hung has been on a tear during
the past few weeks, and seeded players
are feeling the effects.
Hung had two more chances to
enhance his giant-killer persona yes-
terday in the ITA National Indoors at
the Varsity Tennis Center. Although he
came up short in the singles draw, Hung
and doubles partner Ryan Heller left
their mark.
Hung and Heller faced off against No.
3 seed Ludovic Walter and Jason Zim-
merman of Duke - the tournament's
defending champions - in first-round
action. The wildcard Wolverine duo
hoped to play consistently for the whole
match, hoping to collect a late break and
hold on for the upset. That break came
in the 10th game, giving Michigan a 6-4
lead in its eight game pro-set.
The lead did not hold long though, as
the defending champs rallied to break
back and send the match into a deciding
tiebreaker. Play went back and forth for
the majority of the tiebreak as Michi-
gan tried to stick to its "better safe than
sorry" strategy. Although Duke grabbed
alate match-point opportunity, Michigan
fought it off, rallying for three straight
points and the win.
Michigan coach Bruce Berque was
satisfied with his doubles team's win,
even though he thought it missed a
few opportunities. He was especially
impressed with Heller's performance,
calling it his "best match of the year."
Heller's partner agreed.
"Ryan stepped up big time," Hung
said. "He served and returned great, but
he especially did well at the net."
Today Hung and Heller will next tack-
le another ACC foe in Geoff Boyd and
Brad Pomeroy of North Carolina.
Hung's attempt at another upset fell
just short a few hours later in his first-
round singles match. Playing another
seeded opponent - No. 5 Izak Van der
Merwe of Old Dominion - Hung treat-
ed the Ann Arbor crowd to a three-set
thriller that left nothing to the imagina-

tion, but couldn't hold on in the end.
In the third set, the grind of back-to-
back matches seemed to take its toll on
Hung. After grabbing the first game of
the set, Hung's counterpart won six of
the next seven, giving him the victory.
Hung ended up committing 29 errors on
his backhand side during the match.
"Fatigue did play a factor for me in
the third set." Hung said, "Not just physi-
cal fatigue, but mental fatigue certainly
kicked in as well."
"Having to constantly read his serve
and anticipate took a lot out of me."
Van de- Merwe collected two straight
breaks midway through the first set, giv-
ing him the serve at 5-3. Hung charged
back, winning eight straight points and
deadlocking the score at 5-5. The two
traded games on serve and took the first
set into a tiebreaker. Van der Merwe
took an early 2-0 lead in the tiebreak,
but Hung strung seven straight points
together, giving him the opening set.
Hung had 19 winners in the opening
set and looked to be on track for another
big upset. But Van der Merwe didn't get
that memo, and, after falling down 2-1 in
the second set, won four straight games.
Although Hung grabbed a late break,
Van der Merwe held on to a 6-4 second
set win.
In the other singles match for the Wol-
verines, senior Michael Rubin returned
to action for the first time in over six
months. Last year, he suffered aribinjury
that cut his junior season short. Although
he visibly struggled early on, he made,
adjustments as the match progressed and
put together a good second set. He took
his opponent - Texas Tech's Bojan Szu-
manski - into a tiebreaker and held a
5-3 lead.
But that lead evaporated after Rubin
had two errors and Szumanski won a
forehand. After a Rubin backhand volley
found its way into the net, the match was
over. Szumanski advanced by the score
of 6-0, 7-6 (5).
"Last season was a great season."
Rubin said, "This was a good first step
on getting back on the track I was prior
to the injury."

By Mark Giannotto
For the Daily
Last year, after winning the Big Ten
regular-season title, the Michigan wres-
tling team finished third in the Big Ten
The stumble atthe finish put a damper
on an otherwise successful season and
the team went on to finish 10th in the
NCAA championship.
"We were a little disappointed with
our finish. We fell a little short of our
goals," Michigan coach Joe McFarland
The coaching staff has examined the
reasons behind the late-season fade. As
a result, the Wolverines have made some
changes in the way they prepare for the
"We've made some adjustments and
changed a few of the workouts," McFar-
land said. "We are having light weeks so

(the team) can have a breath of fresh air.
Last year, there would have been a full
(wrestling room) right now, but we're
giving the guys a week to be independent
of the team."
Practices, at least right now, are laid
back. Wrestlers are not expected to be in
Crisler atla specific time, and there is no
set training schedule.
"We are easing into things right now,"
redshirt sophomore Mark Moos said.
"There is less structure (than during
regular practices)."
The wrestlers have embraced the
alternative style of practicing.
"The season is long, and (the light
practices) don't get you into the sea-
son so soon," said redshirt junior Ryan
Churella. "We're still training hard, but it
isn't the same intensity. These (practices)
are going to help us peak at the end of
the year."
Although the Wolverines take the

regular season seriously, ultimately, their
focus is on the postseason.
"We expect to be the best and we
haven't reached our goals yet," McFar-
land said. "The (NCAA Championship)
is the ultimate goal, but to achieve that,
we have to be there at the end of the sea-
son. That will come down to how we
Senior Ryan Bertin, redshirt junior
Greg Wagner and Churella will lead the
Wolverines this season. The Wolverines
are also banking on some younger wres-
tlers to step up this season.
"(The coaching staff) is expecting
some of the young guys to have a good
season," McFarland said. They've been
through the grind once now, so they
know what to expect."
The first test for the Wolverines and
their new practice style comes tomorrow
when Michigan competes in the Eastern
Michigan University Open.

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