8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - December 6, 2004
49ers put cagers'
offense to sleep
Win City: Blue hits
jackpot in Las Vegas
By Matt Venegoni
Daily Sports Writer
Going into Friday's game, Michi-
gan coach Cheryl Burnett thought
that her team needed to refocus.
But after the 60-47 loss, it looks
like things are still a little fuzzy for
With less than
six minutes to
go in the second
clawed back to within five points
of Charlotte, 50-45, on sophomore
Kelly Helvey's free throw. Unfortu-
nately, the Wolverines would only
score once more in the game.
Michigan (2-3) struggled all game
to keep up with the 49ers. Helvey's
free throw pushed the Wolverines
to within striking distance, but
the more experienced Charlotte
team took control and kept Michi-
gan from gaining momentum. The
49ers went on a 6-0 run while hold-
ing the Wolverines scoreless over
a five-minute stretch that started
after Helvey's free throw. Senior
Tabitha Pool's layup with 0:57 left
was Michigan's only score in the
"We could not get into any kind
of flow," Burnett said. "We made
some silly decisions offensively,
but I give credit to Charlotte for
keeping us off balance."
Michigan played tentatively from
the start of the game. Charlotte's
speed, combined with its swarm-
ing defense, forced six Wolverine
turnovers in the game's first three
These early troubles left Michi-
gan scoreless over that period.
Charlotte (6-0) did a good job of
disguising its traps, which seemed
to disrupt the young Wolverines.
"Charlotte did some things that
I as a coach, did not have time to
prepare for," Burnett said. "They
really changed their defenses a lot,
did some different kinds of pres-
sure, and really gave us a major
wakeup call to some things that we
need to do."
Michigan's defense kept it in the
game, holding Charlotte 24 points
under its season average. The 49ers
entered the game shooting 44 per-
cent from the field and averag-
ing 83.4 points. Charlotte had just
30 first-half points on 29 percent
shooting, but with two offensive
threats - Helvey and freshman
Ta'Shia Walker - in foul trouble,
the Wolverines could not take
"When Kelly got a quick second
foul that really affects our perim-
eter play," Burnett said. "We were
still getting some good looks offen-
sively, but, if we can get back to
hitting these easy shots, that will
really help our confidence."
Pool's shooting struggles - she
made just 4-of-17 shots from the
field - compounded the offensive
problems. With Pool and Walker
struggling, Michigan turned to
freshman Janelle Cooper for a much
needed offensive spark. The fresh-
man answered with a team-high six
first-half points and brought Michi-
gan back from an eight-point defi-
cit to within four - 23-19 at the
4:07 mark. But Charlotte responded
with a 7-0 run to end the half and
"We really could not have played
a worse offensive half," Burnett
said. "We really didn't perform well
offensively from a strategic point."
Michigan came out after halftime
with more intensity, especially on
defense and on the boards. Michi-
gan got back into the game behind
many second chances and seven
second-half steals. But just like the
first half, Charlotte weathered the
The 49ers took advantage when
Michigan shot just 1-for-10 in the
last six minutes and turned the ball
By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
wrestling team to Las Vegas, went 0-for-4
in championship matches and finished in
second place at the Cliff Keen Invitational.
This year, No. 5 Michigan went 4-for-4 in
title contests to earn its second Cliff Keen
championship in four years.
"I think we are just more relaxed,"
junior Mark Moos said. "We are having
a better time just being around each other,
and we're not getting too serious too early
(in the season)."
Moos (125 pounds), fifth-year senior
Ryan Bertin (157 pounds) and junior Greg
Wagner (heavyweight) all won individual
titles after losing in the final round last
year. The fourth win this year came from
junior Ryan Churella in the 165-pound
"I think we've changed our training
style upa little bit," Churella said. "It's not
as structured in the beginning of the sea-
son. We're focused more on technique and
not as much on hard-nosed practices every
day. It has given us a chance to relax a bit
more and adapt to our own styles (individ-
ually), I think our guys are just wrestling a
little more aggressive this year, too."
Churella prevailed in the 165-pound
division after finishing third at 149 pounds
last year. The junior dominated fourth-
seededNate Yetzerof Edinboro, 7-1, in the
"He is really coming into his own,"
Michigan coach Joe McFarland said. "He
has really grown into his weight and has
started to mature into that 165 weight class.
He was outstanding in all aspects of his
wrestling. He wrestled really well on his
feet and well on the mat, especially in the
ing wrestlers ranked ahead of him, includ-
ing top seed, and No. 3 in the country, Vic
Moreno of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
"He was determined coming into this
tournament, that he was going to win,"
McFarland said. "He put together some
outstanding matches. He wrestled great
from the quarterfinals all the way to the
Bertin, a two-time captain and the
2002-03 NCAA champion at 157 pounds,
broke through for his first championship
at the meet in four tries. Bertin finished
in third, sixth and second in the last three
In the championship match at heavy-
weight, Wagner faced top-seeded Matt
Feast of Pennsylvania, whomhe had never
beaten in three matches. Wagner scored
two takedowns in the final period to beat
The Wolverines also earned points from
sophomore Eric Taanebaum's third-place
Roy's fifth-place finish at 174 pounds.
Michigan entered the second day of the
tournament with a slim three-point lead
over Nebraska in the team competition
after finishing second to the Corhuskers
"I was really impressed with how the
guys competed," McFarland said. "They
wrestled tough all weekend. As the tour-
nament progressed, they continued to stay
focused and wrestle with great intensity.
That's how you win championships."
The Wolverines struggled to advance
wrestlers deep into tournaments down the
stretch last year, not just in the Cliff Keen
Invitational but the Big Ten and NCAA
tournaments as well.
"We didn't have a strong finish in this
tournament last year," McFarland said.
"I think that's the difference between last
year's team and this year's team. We fin-
ished much stronger - guys are wrestling
with muchmore confidence."
The win gave the Wolverines their sec-
ond championship in two weeks (they won
the BodysBarInvitationalon Nov. 20). But
Michigan's main goal remains the Big Ten
and NCAA championships.
"This is all training - we want to be
ready at the end of the year," McFarland
said. "That's one ofthe things we're talking
about and we're concentrating on. We're
going toenjoythis forabout24 hours, then
we're going toputitbehind us."
Michigan will host Cleveland State
on Friday in its last meet before the
Freshman Janeile Cooper was 4-of-12 for 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 35
minutes against Charlotte on Friday night.
over twice. Pam Brown paced the "I just think that with the aca-
49ers with her 17 points and eight demic pressure with the last week
rebounds. of classes we took Saturday off,"
With a key three-game homestand Burnett said. "We wanted to try
coming up, Burnett and the rest of to keep us fresh for a very good
the staff hope to refocus the team. UNLV team."
'M' enjoys success in two states
By H. Jose Bosch
One of the most memorable and pro-
lific seasons in Michigan volleyball history tX55tt5 5ZI55O55ay
came to an end on Saturday night as the Michigan's Katie Bruzdzinski had 12 kills against Texas in the NCAA Tournament.
Wolverines lost 3-1 to No.11 Texas in the
second round of the NCAA tournament. edge in digs (66-59). But Michigan could first two games, which they split with
Before Saturday's match, Michigan not overcome its errors - eight service the Owls. Then Michigan turned on the
was 1-8 against ranked teams, many times errors and zero aces in game two, and 15 afterburners and rolled over Rice 30-23
being its own worst enemy and falling service errors overall. in game three thanks to an efficient .704
behind early in matches. Saturday's match "We were trying to pinpoint our serves attack percentage and five of their 15
was not much different. more than anything, to go after the libero," blocks.
Despite once again struggling in the first senior Lisa Gamalski said.' That kind of Michigan got off to a strong start
two games, Michigan came out strong in hurt us because we were worried about in the fourth and deciding game.
game three and cut Texas' lead to 2-1. where we were going to serve rather than Rice came within one at 15-14 but
But Michigan could not carry its putting (the ball) in aggressively." trailed the rest of the game. The Wol-
momentum into game four. Texas senior The Wolverines could not side out verines' final two points were tallied
Mira Topic came alive and helped lead consistently in game one against the by Cobler - a kill and a service ace
the Longhorns to a comfortable lead, 20- Longhorns. Despite a 6-0 run that - improving Michigan's first-round
14. The Wolverines, led by senior Jennifer brought Michigan within four at 18-14, record to 5-1 and setting themselves
Gandolph, answered with a 5-2 run. Later, the Longhorns cruised to an easy 30-19 up for a second round match-up
a kill from freshman Katie Bruzdzinski victory. against Texas.
and a block by freshman Lyndsay Miller Game two was much closer. Texas "(Rice) is real hard to play," Rosen
pulled Michigan withintwo, 23-21. jumped on Michigan early for a second said. "I felt for the girls. The first two
Michigan had an uphill battle from that straight game and held a six- point lead,22- games (we played) tight. The third and
point on but was able to tie the game at 28 16. The Wolverines then went on a 7-1 run forth game we came out and played real
thanks to back-to-back kills from Bruzdz- to tie the game. Michigan had a chance to well."
inski and Gandolph and a killfrom sopho- serve for its first lead of the match but put The nervousness of such a big game
more Erin Cobler after a timeout. Texas the serve into the net. The teams continued didn't seem to affect Bruzdzinski and
senior Bethany Hoyden stepped to the ser- going back and forth, but the Wolverines Gandolph. Bruzdzinski led the team
vice line for game point after another Texas committed another service error late in the with a career-high 24 kills, while Gan-
kill and served up her fifth service ace of game and lostrmomentum, dropping game dolph tallied 17.
the match to win the game 30-28 and push two 30-27. "(Katie is) fearless, and I love that
the Longhorns into the Sweet 16. "I'm proud of how our team played," about her," Gamalski said. "And that's
"(When you) have a higher hitting per- Rosen said. "Ourkids came in and played how she plays ... They both played amaz-
centage and you out-defend your opponent, hard. They were down 2-0 and fought to ing that night."
you expect to win the match," coach Mark get back into the match." With the loss to Texas, Michigan fin-
Rosen said. The weekend started on a good note ished the season 20-13 - only the sec-
The Wolverines did out-hit their oppo- Friday night when Michigan went head- ond time in school history the team has
nent. Their defense was stellar, as they out- to-head against Rice in the first round. had back-to-back 20-win seasons. The
blocked (17-9) the Longhorns and had an The Wolverines looked sluggish in the last time was in 1980-81.
By Dan Ketchel
Daily Sports Writer
It's one thing that the Michigan women's swimming and
diving team has that not many other swimming teams can
The Wolverines' depth allowed them to compete in mul-
tiple meets over the weekend, taking first place overall at the
Eastern Michigan Invitational in Ypsilanti while also taking
a total of five top-10 individual finishes at the U.S. Open in
San Antonio, Texas.
While the majority of thesteamwascapturing its second straight
team victory at Eastern Michigan, three qualifying swimmers
accompanied by Michigan coach Jim Richardson ventured to
Texas to compete on a national level. Sophomores Lindsey Smith
and Susan Gilliam took turns as top performers, collecting five
total top-10 finishes, giving each of them NCAA-consideration
times and qualifying them for both the World Championship Tri-
als and the Summer National Championships.
Smith had a top-10 finish on each of the three days of com-
petition. She started off Thursday with a seventh-place finish
in the 50-meter freestyle, and then took ninth in the 200-meter
freestyle and 10th in the 100-meter freestyle on Friday and Sat-
urday, respectively. Gilliam showed similar success, using her
endurance to place high in the longer freestyle events. She took
sixth place in the 400-meter freestyle on Thursday and rounded
out the competition on Saturday with another impressive finish:
seventh in the 800-meter freestyle.
Senior Erica Watts, the other long-distance traveler for the
Wolverines, made the tripbut failed to place in the top-10 against
the strong nationwide butterfly competition she faced. Watts
came in at 35th in the 200-meter butterfly and 45th in the 100-
One of the hardest parts of the journey was being without
the bulk of their teammates, who were taking care of busi-
ness in Michigan.
"It's certainly a little tougher for a small group to go away
because there's a lot less team energy," Richardson said. "One of
the great aspects of our team is the energy we draw from each
other. They miss a team full of people there cheering for them.
That kind of energy is special."
Theteam energy for Michigan was clearly presentin Ypsilanti
this weekend where the Wolverines, led by assistant coach Ste-
fanie Kerksa, stole the show. After the first day of competition,
Michigan sat poised to take the title, resting in second behind
the tournament hosts. The Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten, 2-1) took
first place in 11 of the final 13 events to clinch the tournament
for the second consecutive year. With 1,091 points at the end of
competition, Michigan finished atop the list of nine teams par-
"I have a lot of confidence in Stefanie," Richardson said.
"So sending the team with her to Eastern, I (didn't) think
(they would) miss a beat. I know they'll be well coached and
well taken care of. I'm fortunate to have someone like her to
be able to trust and rely on."
With Kerksa standing in as coach, the Wolverines
unleashed a barrage of incredible performances. They came
out with a spring in their step on day two, ready to pounce
on the Eagles and swim away as tournament champs by tak-
ing first place in the first five events. They won the 200-yard
medley relay with the team of junior Carolina Sierra, fresh-
man Valeria Silva, sophomore Kaitlyn Bfady "Add 'sesi
Tracy Egnatuk. This group came in almost four seconds
before the Michigan 'B' relay team that came in second.
Next, freshman Justine Mueller and Brady led consecu-
tive sweeps for the Wolverines in the 400-yard individual
medley and the 100-yard butterfly, respectively. Adding to
Michigan's early success were first-place finishes by junior
Abby Seskevics in the 200-yard freestyle and Silva in the
Other notable performances were first-place finishes on Fri-
day by Brady in the 200-yard backstroke and Mueller in the 200-
yard breaststroke. The two also had another pair of victories the
next day, with Brady taking the 50-yard freestyle and Mueller
taking the 200-yard individual medley.
Richardson, although happy to win as a team, was more
pleased with the individual results and how well each of his ath-
letes swam when given the opportunity.
"I'm not concerned about points," Richardson said. "I'm just
watching the swims and seeing what each person is doing well
and what they could do better. Addressing those things in prac-
tices the following week is important. I really don't think about
winning meets. It's fun to win and all that. Ijust don't think about
it a whole lot."
Sophomore Susan Gilliam finished sixth in the 400-meter
freestyle on Thursday and seventh in the 800-meter on Saturday.
Tankers prove selves against top talent
By Anne Ulble where I'd thought they'd be at this point in the sea- the event.
Daily Sports Writer son," Bowman said. "The level of competition was "Peter had a great race on Thursday in the 500,"
very high, and, of the top teams in the country, there Bowman said. "He never ceases to impress me with
Fourth place has never felt so good. was a pretty good showing of the immense strength his abilities."
With 16 top-10 finishes, six automatic NCAA- that we are going to be up against throughout the On the second day of competition, Michigan fell
qualifying times and seven NCAA-consideration entire season. I think we really proved ourselves this one spot to fifth place after placing first in just one
times, Michigan men's swimming coach Bob Bow- weekend." event: the 800-yard free relay.
man couldn't be happier with a fourth-place team The Wolverines opened the first day of competi- On Friday, the final day of competition, the Wol-
finish at the Texas Invitational. tion on Thursday, placing fourth with 169 points. verines rebounded to fourth place with wins in the
"It wasn't just our three marquee swimmers per- The influx of points reflected fast swims fromjunior 200-yard butterfly by junior Davis Tarwater and
forming at the elite level," Bowman said. "Everyone Peter Vanderkaay in the 500-yard freestyle and on 200-yard backstroke by junior Chris Dejong.
really stood up and had some incredible swims." both the 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard med- "Dejong and Tarwater were just fantastic this
This weekend, the No. 9 Wolverines compet- ley relay teams. weekend," Bowman said. "They are in very
ed in the Texas Invitational at the Joe and Lee In possibly the most exciting event of the week- good shape and have done some good work up
Jamail Swimming Center in Austin. The Wol- end, Vanderkaay swam to a win in the finals of to this point."
verines finished the three-day event in fourth the 500-freestyle by out-touching Southern Cal's The past weekend concluded Michigan's competi-
place with 471 points, just 26 points behind Ous Mellouli and Larsen Jensen, who tied for tion until Jan. 4, when the team is scheduled to swim
third-place Southern Cal. Host Texas took the second place. Mellouli led throughout the entire against Southern Cal. for its first of three meets in
title with 764.5 points. mid-distance event. With just two laps remaining California. Over break, the Wolverines will travel to
The meet was a powerhouse matchup of 12 teams, in the 20-lap race, both Vanderkaay and Jensen Irvine, Calif., for winter training.
including four of the top five in the nation. Bowman inched up on the leader and made a sprint for the "We're going to be working on some technical
was impressed with the efforts of his team against wall. Vanderkaay was able to edge out both Tro- details over the break," Bowman said. "We're going
top-level competition so early in the year. jans by just 0.11 of a second. His time of 4:15.32 to try and refine some of the kinks and get ready for
"The team really surpassed my expectations of was the fastest time in the country this year in the tough schedule ahead of us."
JuniorDavisTarwaterwonthe 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard butterly atthe Texas invite.