The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 7, 2005 - 7B
}.,Grap lers take
third at Big Tens
By Seth Gordon
Daily Sports Writer
IOWA CITY - Michigan had two chances to beat Illinois this weekend
at the wrestling Big Ten Championships and went 0-for-2.
After the two teams tied each other for the regular-season championship
with identical 7-0-1 records - including a 17-17 tie against each other in
Ann Arbor on Feb. 6 - the centerpiece of the Big Ten Championships was
the 157-pound title match between Michigan fifth-year senior Ryan Bertin
and Illinois junior Alex Tirapelle.
Tirapelle beat Bertin 4-3 for the individual title while the Fighting Illini
ran away with 130 points and the team title.
The Wolverines (7-0-1 Big Ten, 15-3-1 overall) finished with 118 points
in third behind Minnesota, on the strength of individual championships
from redshirt freshmen Josh Churella and Eric Tannenbaum and senior co-
captain Ryan Churella.
"Obviously, this is a grueling tournament," Michigan coach Joe McFar-
land said. "It's great to have three individual champions, and I'm proud of
how all three of them wrestled this weekend."
Despite their battle for the team title, Bertin and Tirapelle battled in the
only matchup on the mat between the two teams. The two have developed a
rivalry over the past two years, with Bertin winning the national champion-
ship in 2003 and Tirapelle earning the Big Ten title last year.
With Bertin leading 3-2, Tirapelle scored a takedown with only 15 sec-
onds left to prevent Bertin from winning his first ever Big Ten title. With
the win, Tirapelle evened his career record against Bertin to 4-4.
"I looked at the clock with about 30 seconds left, and I stopped wrestling
and stopped moving my feet," Bertin said. "Up until that last takedown, I
felt in control of the match."
Despite losing the match, Bertin was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year
for his 26-0 regular season. Yet the accolade wasn't enough to cheer up
the obviously disappointed Bertin, who said he will use yesterday's loss as
motivation for the NCAA tournament in two weeks.
As Bertin finished his last Big Ten tournament on a sour note, two
Wolverines earned Big Ten titles on their first try. Josh Churella defeated
,Michigan State sophomore Andy Simmons 2-1 for the 141-pound title while
Tannenbaum beat Wisconsin freshman Craig Henning 3-2 at 149 pounds.
Both wrestlers earned early leads and were able to hold on for the victory.
The elder of the Churella brothers, Ryan, won his second-career Big Ten title
at 165 pounds by defeating Iowa's Matt Perry, 6-5, in the championship match.
The two Churella brothers were one of three sets of brothers at the tour-
nament - with the Simmons brothers of Michigan State and the Flaherty
brothers of Wisconsin - but they were the only pair to claim two Big Ten
"It's a great feeling," Churella said. "We both set this as one of our step-
0 WOMEN'S GOLF
Olin's win sparks
team in Arizona
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
Senior co-captain Ryan Churella tookhome his second career Big Ten title.
ping stones to Nationals, and I just think we're staying on the right track.
We have to close the gap this next week and a half and take it to the next
step when we get to the NCAAs."
In addition to its three champions, Michigan placed five other wrestlers
on the podium, including heavyweight Greg Wagner, who finished third.
Seeded second, Wagner was upset 7-5 in overtime in the semifinals by
Indiana senior Pat DeGain, but he battled back and dominated Northwest-
ern freshman Dustin Fox 14-1 in the third-place match.
The Wolverines also got a strong performance from junior Mark Moos,
who finished fourth at 133 pounds. Moos upset Wisconsin's Tom Clum 13-6
in the quarterfinals but dropped the rematch 4-3 in the third-place match.
Michigan's other place-winners were sophomore Nick Roy, who was sixth at
174 pounds, and sophomore Josh Weitzel, who was seventh at 184 pounds.
Finishing at seventh or higher in the Big Ten Tournament qualifies a
wrestler for the NCAA tournament, which is the ultimate goal for the Wol-
"I think we have a great group of kids going to Nationals," McFarland
said. "We had eight place-winners, and, obviously, Bertin is disappointed,
but it's an easy adjustment to make, and he will make it. It stings to lose like
that, but it will give him extra motivation."
With first place on the line on the final
day of the East/West Rio Verde Invita-
tional in Rio Verde, Ariz., Laura Olin
was as solid as a rock, coming up with
big shots to erase the few mistakesfshe
made. Three times in the final round,
the Michigan senior bogeyed a hole and
all three times she responded with bird-
ies shortly after to hold off Iowa's Liz
Bennett by two strokes, to keep her final
round at even par (71) - her best round
of the event - and take first place.
"It was really exciting to have the
individual title along with the team title
this week," Olin said. "Our team has
worked really hard this offseason, and
we're really putting in a lot of effort."
Olin came out firing with an opening
round 73, which had her tied for third -
two strokes back of Marshall's Amber
Churchill for first place. On Friday, she
shot a 74, keeping her two shots back of
the lead. In the final round, Olin stayed
strong as Churchill faded. Churchill had
fallen out of contention after shooting
an 82, but Olin still had to outduel Ben-
nett - who entered the final round tied
with Olin - to win the event.
Olin's individual win paced the
No. 22 Michigan women's golf team,
which got off to a fast start Thursday
and never looked back. What started as
a tight battle for the top spot between
Michigan and Minnesota quickly
turned into a laugher when the Wolver-
ines got hot in the final round as the
"I'm extremely pleased with the per-
formance of the team over the course
of this week," Michigan coach Kathy
Teichert said. "This team has worked
extremely hard. This whole week, we've
really practiced a lot, and we're excited
and pleased with a win."
After notching scores of 303 on
Thursday and 301.on Friday, Michigan
held the first-place lead by six strokes.
The Wolverines saved their best for last
as they posted a 296 on Saturday while
the Gophers shot a disappointing 311.
The 296 mark was the best round of the
event, and it gave Michigan a more than
comfortable 19-stroke win over fellow
Big Ten challenger Iowa with Minne-
sota finishing third. d
Great individual performances along
with consistent team play were needed
to come out on top, and that is exactly
what the Wolverines got in Arizona.
To compliment Olin's impressive play
were four other Wolverines who finished
in the top-25. Junior Amy Schmucker
- winner of last week's Central District
Classic - and freshman Isabelle Gen-
dreau recovered from poor play in the
opening rounds to finish tied for 11th
overall. Sophomores Brianna Broderick
and Ali Stinson finished 16th and 25th,
Michigan's overall team score of 900
was actually one stroke worse than the
899 mark that earned them fifth place in
the Central District Classic, which sug-
gests weaker competition in this event.
Olin said she and her teammates were
very aware of this, and therefore set the
bar at nothing short of first place.
"We all knew that this was a tourna-
ment that we needed to win," Olin said.
"We didn't have a ton to gain, but we
had a ton to lose."
Michigan will look to keep the
momentum going and will try to extend
its individual first-place streak to three
events in a row as they travel to Las
Vegas for the Spring Rebel Invitational
on Mar. 14.
'M' Nine starts season with solid play
By Billy Heisler
For the Daily
The Wolverine baseball team jumpstarted their
regular season by winning five of seven games dur-
ing their spring trip in Florida and North Carolina.
The team's powerful hitting, solid fielding, focused
pitching and exceptional teamwork could spark an
Yesterday, the team capped off the Keith LeCair
Invitational in Greenville, N.C., with a 1-0 victory
over No. 10 North Carolina. The Wolverines finished
the tournament with an overall record of 5-2. Senior
co-captain Matt Butler's game-winning double in the
FILE PHOTO ninth inning gave Michigan the win. Sophomore short-
stop Leif Mahler set the scene for Butler by opening
the inning with a single, before sophomore left fielder
Brad Roblin moved Mahler up to second base after a
sacrifice bunt, a common small-ball technique often
utilized by Michigan coach Rich Maloney.
But yesterday's matchup was all about pitching.
Junior Derek Feldkamp, who started on the mound for
the Wolverines, got the team rolling. In his five innings
of work, he left seven runners stranded and kept the
Tar Heels scoreless. As good as Feldkamp was, it was
the left-handed reliever Paul Hammond that stole the
show after replacing Feldkamp on the mound in the
"Overall, our pitching was strong today," Maloney
said. "Paul performed better than Derek. He handled
the pressdre of a great opposing team well, and didn't
give up a single run."
Butler had similar magic in Saturday's game when
he hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning
against No. 8 Georgia. Butler's rip capped off Mich-
igan's three-run comeback in the final two innings to
finally edge out Georgia 6-4. Butler now has a team-
leading seven-game hitting streak. The victory also
secured the first winning spring trip and the most wins
on a spring trip for the Wolverines this century.
"The guys have taken ownership of their perfor-
mance," Maloney said. "Their efforts have paid off
because they have had great success against the nation's
top teams. When these players continue to work and
grow together as a unit, they will reap the benefits of
the solid defense, timely hitting, and an incredible
pitching depth that we have seen thus far. This will all
make for one exciting season.
Senior co-captain Matt Butler had a huge weekend for the Wolverines.
Water polo bounces back
with six straight victories
0 MEN'S GOLF
Adios: Blue finishes
last in Puerto Rico
By Kevin Wright
"Daily Sports Writer
Winning a game builds confidence; winning six
games creates momentum.
For the No. 12 Michigan women's water polo
team, the six victories this weekend helped them
,regain some momentum going into a critical part
of the season.
After struggling through a vicious trip to the
' 4 West Coast where they played five ranked teams
and finished 2-4, the Wolverines bounced back in
tthe College Water Polo Association tournament
Michigan (6-0 CWPA, 14-8 overall) took care
of business on Saturday by beating Grove City (0-
5, 0-6) 16-3, Washington and Jefferson (0-2) 16-6
and Slippery Rock (4-11, 3-3) 15-4.
On Sunday, the Wolverines had to do a little
bit of traveling when they played three schools at
-three different pools - all within 15 miles of each
K other in Erie, Penn. First, Michigan beat Gannon
.(1-3, 2-3) 14-2. Then - finishing their long road
trip - the Wolverines easily defeated Penn State-
Behrend (0-5) and Mercyhurst (0-2, 2-3), 13-2 and
While disappointed with the lack of wins on
the West Coast, Michigan coach Matt Anderson
thought that his team played very well the whole
week and finishing the trip with victories was a
The Wolverines were able to improve their scor-
ing, totaling 91 goals on the weekend, with sopho-
more Shana Welch leading the way with 19 goals.
Senior Jo Antonsen and junior Megan Hausmann
chipped in with nine assists each. Anderson was
happy to see his team start shooting the ball well
and actually firing the ball in the back of the net.
"We're playing well right now," Anderson said.
"This weekend allowed us to take a lot of shots
and, just like any type of player, you need to find
your shooting touch. On the whole, we ended up
shooting as a team almost 50 percent, which is a
great percentage to have. This weekend allowed
us to get our shooting rhythn back." .
In light of the tough road trip, Anderson wanted
to test the character of his team in order to see
how they would react to not only the caliber but
also the sheer number of their opponents.
"(The road trip) was a test to see how the girls
would respond to 13 games in 11 days," Anderson
said. "I'm happy with how they responded. Sure I
would have liked a few more wins, but better now
than in the last 11 days (of the season)."
While the losses on the West Coast prepared the
Wolverines for tougher competition in the latter
part of the season, their strong play over the week-
end allowed them to regain confidence in their
ability to post victories with solid performances.
"We're better now than we were 12 days ago,"
Anderson said. "We have the confidence of going
toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the nation
and then still being able to come back to the east
and be dominant, which is what we always want
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
Junior Megan Hausmann's nine assists contributed to
Michigan's perfect weekend.
Now with newly found confidence in their abil-
ity to score and win, the Wolverines will prepare
for bitter rival No. 6 Indiana, who will travel to
Ann Arbor on March 18. The winner in the match-
up between the two heavyweights will most likely
take the CWPA crown and coveted first seed in
the CWPA Western Division Championship.
"We've gone to battle with the teams in the
west," Anderson said. "Now we have to come back
and focus on the task at hand which is Indiana."
The Michigan men's golf team might
value home a little more this week. In
its only tournament outside the nation
this year, the Wolverines were anything
but par for the course at the Puerto Rico
Classic - finishing last out of a field of
The Wolverines played well enough
on the first day to stay in contention and
finish near the middle of the pack. They
were tied for 15th but trailed twelfth place
by only five strokes that Michigan coach
Andrew Sapp thought they gave away
with sloppy play at the end of the day.
"We played 300 on the first day, and
I was pleased with that because I knew
we gave away some shots at the end of
the round," Sapp said. "We were easily
looking at a score of 295,296, but we just
didn't finish the round very well."
Normally, a team would not be satis-
fied with an average finish. But because
10 of the 18 schools in the event were
ranked in the top-25, and it was the Wol-
verines' first outing of the spring season,
a middle-ground finish would have been
a good result to build upon.
But on the second day Michigan
slipped further down the leader board.
After shooting a 307, the Wolverines
finished in 16th place withta sizeable
10-stroke gap separating them from
Day two's setback was only a pre-
lude to a nightmare final round for the
Wolverines. Michigan's score of 320 on
Tuesday guaranteed them sole position
of last place in the tournament. No other
school posted a single-round score high-
er than 308. The round killed Michigan's
chances to move up on the final day, as it
finished 19 strokes behind the next team
"Things just kept getting worse and
worse," Sapp said. "It was just one of
those situations where your confidence
can unravel and get fragile."
The team did not have a top-50 finish-
er. Sophomore Matt McLaughlin had the
best weekend for the Wolverines, shoot-
ing a 228 to finish 65th.
Georgia Tech won the event with a
score of 845. It got out to a first day lead
and held off Florida the entire way to
take first place.
Next up for Michigan is a trip to Tus-
caloosa, Ala., where the Wolverines will
compete in the Conrad Rehling Invita-
tional on Mar. 11.
Sapp knows his golfers will have to
shrug off the disappointment and regain
confidence in their strokes to have any
chance at success next week.
"I think a lot of it is getting hard work
and getting them to believe in them-
selves," Sapp said. "We have got our work
cut out for us to get back in the shape we
want to be so that we can compete better
than we did this week."
M MEN'S TENNIS
Netters' winning streak ends out west
By Scott Bell
Daily Sports Writer
After a positive beginning to their Big
Ten season just one weekend ago, the
men's tennis team suffered a setback Sat-
urday afternoon in San Diego. There, they
ran into red hot No. 53 San Diego, who
abruptly ended the No. 41 Wolverines'
dual win streak at four matches with a 5-2
for our confidence," coach Bruce Berque
said. "We played very well against North-
western and then did a great job avoiding a
letdown against Wisconsin the next day."
Michigan could not keep the momen-
tum going against San Diego (3-3). After
waiting an extra day to play because of
inclement weather, the two teams final-
ly faced off Saturday afternoon. The
match began in an untraditional fashion
who suffered through sickness over the
trip, kept Michigan in the match early. He
battled both his flu-like symptoms and San
Diego's Mirza Koristovic at No. 3 singles,
on his way to a 6-3, 6-2 victory, narrowing
the Wolverines' deficit to 2-1. ,
But Michigan couldn't close the gap any
further. After the Wolverines dropped first
and second singles, San Diego clinched
the win. At No. 1 singles, 100th-ranked
The doubles point was taken by the Tore-
ros as well, as they swept the three doubles
matches, 8-5, 9-7, 8-5, respectively.
I wasn't disappointed with our effort
(Saturday)," Berque said. "We competed
well, and, considering the illnesses we had,
I thought we had a decent showing.
"San Diego is a lot better than their
record indicates, and they showed that (on
Ritter's two no-hitters
spark perfect week
It looks as though nothing can stop
the No. 7 Michigan softballteam.
first, junior Jessica Merchant led the
offensive charge for Michigan. She
belted a three-run homer, her sixth of
the season, helping the Wolverines to a
five-run inning on their way to victory.
Merchant hit a two-run double in the
fifth, giving her 19 RBI on the year.
Solid pitching also helped Michi-
gan continue its 21-game winning