arch 17, 2005
PaO IRTSigan ailg
Icers left off list
of CCHA honors
A recie for St.
Patty s success
can bring. Especially on the first
weekend of the tournament, when
upsets are flying in and you still
think you have a chance at winning
By Jake Rosenwasser
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson
is generally forthright when he speaks
to the media. But at his press conference
after Saturday's 1-0 win over Notre Dame,
Berenson couldn't stop himself from mak-
ing a sarcastic remark to support one of his
That senior was Eric Werner. The defen-
seman had just scored the only goal of the
game two minutes into overtime to clinch
Michigan's series sweep of the Fighting
Irish in the first round of the CCHA tour-
nament. The goal was more proof to Beren-
son that Werner should have been honored
with the title of the CCHA's Best Offensive
"It was nice to see Werner score a goal,"
Berenson said with a smirk. "(He's a play-
er) who was not the league's best offen-
sive defenseman, (even though) he led the
league in points (for a defenseman)."
"Everyone has players on their team that
they think might have been overlooked,"
Berenson said a few days later. "Werner
has been one of the best offensive defense-
men, and, if you measure it on points, he
has the most."
Berenson got the hint that Werner had
been snubbed by the coaches because play-
ers who would be receiving awards or are
on the All-CCHA teams are asked to order
tuxedos for the ceremony. Werner was not
asked to "dress up" for yesterday's award
ceremony, and, sure enough, Miami defen-
seman Andy Greene won the award.
Berenson cited problems with the vot-
ing practices as one of the reasons why
he thought that Werner got slighted. In
Michigan's last two games - a home-
and-home series against Bowling Green
- Werner had his best weekend of the
year. The senior registered five assists and
won CCHA Defenseman of the Week. But
coaches all around the league had already
submitted their votes.
"The way the voting works, a lot of the
coaches, us included, are asked to vote
before the final weekend," Berenson said.
"So if you vote and then somebody gets
five points - like Werner did last weekend
-- and jumps up (to the league lead), some-
body else gets the award."
Similarly, freshman Chad Kolarik
was left off the CCHA All-Rookie team.
Kolarik scored two goals in Michigan's
regular-season finale, but the coaches voted
before the game even took place.
Even though Werner wasn't honored,
he -can't feel too bad about his offensive
game at the moment. He is in the midst of
a career-best eight-game point streak. In
that span Werner has registered two goals
and 11 assists. In all, Werner registered
six goals and 17 assists in conference play
- two more points than the CCHA's Best
Offensive Defenseman, Greene.
Another Wolverine that did not win an
award last night was forward T.J. Hensick.
The sophomore was one of three nominees
for CCHA Player of the Year. Northern
Michigan goalie Tuomas Taarki beat out
Hensick and Bowling Green goalie Jordan
Senior defenseman Eric Werner notched six goals and 17 assists in conference play.
Sigalet for the honor.
Hensick - who led the CCHA with 43
points, five more than any other forward -
was hopeful that he would win but knew he
was up against some stiff competition.
"Those two goalies are two of the top
players in the league," Hensick said before
the ceremony. "Especially (Taarki), but you
never know, hopefully, the coaches are on
my side. If it happens it happens, it's a great
accomplishment and a great honor (to be in
the running). But if it doesn't happen, I'm a
lot more worried about the Super 6 than I
am about player of the year."
The only bright spot of the ceremony
for Michigan was when senior captain
Eric Nystrom won the award for the
CCHA's Best Defensive Forward. In
2003, another Michigan senior captain,
Jed Ortmeyer, won the award. Oftentimes
this season Berenson has compared Nys-
trom to Ortmeyer in that they don't put up
huge scoring numbers but do all the little
"Best defensive forward was a great
award for Jed Ortrmeyer," Berenson said.
"He was a senior, he was a captain and
everybody around the league respected
him. To me that was a very fitting award
for Jed Ortmeyer."
And fitting that Nystrom was honored in
the same way.
* WOMEN'S TENNIS
Doubles point spurs nette
By Daniel Levy
Daily Sports Writer
With one doubles win already in hand, the Michi-
gan women's tennis team's tandem of junior Debra
Streifler and sophomore Elizabeth Exon attempted to
seal the doubles point for the Wolverines last night at
the Varsity Tennis Center. Trailing 30-40 in a game
that could give Michigan the win over Western Michi-
gan, the two raised their play to another level.
First, Streifler turned what seemed like a sure Bron-
co point into a Wolverine point when she returned an
overhead slam over an outstretched Western Michigan
racket for a winner.
Next, Streifler and Exon exhibited tremendous hus-
tle as they returned three overheads to keep the point
alive. Exon ripped a blistering forehand, and the Wol-
verines had a match point.
With the Broncos on the ropes, Streifler found a
beautiful angle for a volley winner, and the Wolver-
ines captured the doubles point.
"It's always nice to get the doubles point," Michigan
coach Bitsy Ritt said. "It really sets the tone for the rest
of the match."
The Wolverines (5-6) used the doubles win as a step-
ping stone to an impressive 6-1 victory over Western
Michigan (8-4). The Broncos came into Ann Arbor
having already beaten three Big Ten opponents, mak-
ing Michigan's win even more significant.
In singles action, Streifler again set the tone. Using
a barrage of hard serves and crushing forehands, Strei-
fler was off the court with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 6 sin-
gles before Western Michigan's Noriko Saruta could
even blink. Following Streifler's lead, Michigan senior
co-captain Leanne Rutherford used big forehands and
crisp volleys to grab a stranglehold on the No. 4 sin-
gles match, and she rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over the
Broncos' Reedhina Parekh. Sophomore Kara Delicata
rs to victory
clinched the win for the Wolverines with a 6-4, 6-2
win over Malena Remynse at No. 3 singles.
"It was great to get those first two singles wins so
quickly," Ritt said. "We got up early, and we were
able to keep the lead and keep Western Michigan in
Michelle DaCosta, Michigan's other senior co-cap-
tain, cruised to an easy win at No. I singles, 6-0, 6-3,
and Exon grinded out a win at the No. 2 spot, 6-2, 6-3.
Even in its only loss of the day, Michigan could
still find positives. Even though freshman Allie Shaf-
ner fell, 6-3, 6-4, to Pryanka Parekh at No. 5 singles,
Western Michigan has yet to lose a match at this slot
Despite the Broncos' success this season, the Wol-
verines could sense a big performance coming.
"I wasn't surprised at all with the way we dominated
this match," Ritt said. "We have been preparing really
well, and we have a lot of confidence in this team."
Goin' to Work
'm just going to say something,
and I have a feeling that lots of
you out there will agree with
me: Today could potentially be one
of the greatest days in the history of
OK, so I might have overshot it a
But it's going to be spectacular,
and I know I'm not alone in think-
The biggest reason for excite-
ment is that, as of noon, the NCAA
basketball tournament is underway.
Now, I don't know about you, but
there are very few things that get
me as juiced up as watching March
And on top of that natural high is
St. Patrick's Day, perhaps the great-
est "Go Out and Act Like an Idiot"
holiday that there is. Combine that
with the hoops, and it's like sitting
down to open your Christmas pres-
ents and finding $1,000 under the
That being said, the endurance
it's going to take to get through
today and the hours upon hours of
basketball this weekend is pretty
substantial. No doubt some of you
reading this have been out cel-
ebrating since 7 or 8 a.m. (Irish
translation: "The wee hours o' the
morn"). But, if you can still read
this through the haze, let me offer a
few suggestions to help you survive
1. Pace Yourself: I know this
sounds too parental, but I'm telling
you the truth. Think about it - if
you started at 7 a.m., that means
five hours of partying before the
first basketball game even starts.
Add to that 12 hours of games to
watch each day for the next four
days, and you've got a lot in front
So it's important not to overex-
tend. You don't want to pass out at
10 a.m., and miss everything. You
don't want to be stuck in bed for
the rest of the weekend. You don't
want to throw- back a six-pack of
Guinness and not be able to move
because you gained 40 pounds.
Let's not forget that watching the
basketball games is mission No. 1
this weekend, so don't let anything
supercede that (Irish translation:
"Watch yourself, lassie").
2. Avoid the naysayers: Those of
you who will make it your duty to
watch all 48 hours of basketball this
weekend have no doubt come across
those that tell you you're stupid,
that you're wasting your time or
that you're obsessed.
I'm totally expecting a call from
my girlfriend, Amy, telling me at
least one of those things.
And normally, it might bother
me. Except that whenever anyone
talks to me this weekend, all I can
hear are the words to the "One
Shining Moment" song that they
play at the end of the tournament.
What someone says to me: "Hi,
What I hear: "The ball is
What someone says to me: "How
What I hear: "There you are..."
What someone says to me:
"You're a freakin' idiot."
What I hear: "You're running for
your life, you're a shooting star."
March Madness only rolls around
once a year, and it's important not
to let anyone interfere with the
sweet, sweet joy that watching it
your bracket pool.
Which leads me to step No. 3 ...
3. Don't let the brackets get the
best of you: Just because you have
Syracuse going to the Final Four
and the Orange lose to Vermont in
the first round, you haven't ruined
the whole tournament for yourself.
Don't rip up the bracket - you
never know what other upset might
get you back into the mix.
But most importantly, enjoy the
games anyway. Chill out with the
roommates, finish off the keg of
green beer and take it all in.
4. Consume food wisely: This is
especially important today, on St.
Patty's Day. You DO NOT want
to go crazy and order some Irish
concoction. The last thing you
need at 11 a.m., before you sit on
the couch for 12 hours is a huge
corned beef sandwich sitting in
And you will get sick of pizza
if you order it every time you and
your roommates get hungry. Lucky
Charms are only appropriate food
for St. Patrick's Day breakfast. Do
not live exclusively off of them.
Try to work in all of the basic
food groups. Or, if that isn't pos-
sible, at least pick up some chips
and dip to pass the time before your
next barbequed chicken pizza.
5. Rest when needed: Here's a
tip. There's a break in tournament
games between 5:30 and 7 p.m. Use
that hour and a half to take a nap,
take a shower and clean up what-
ever food stuffs you have stuck to
And feel free to sleep in until
the very last moment. Getting up
at 11:55 on Friday morning gives
you five minutes to wash your face,
brush your teeth and throw up that
corned beef sandwich before you sit
on the couch for 12 more hours of
So there you have it. Five simple
steps that will help you survive this
weekend. But for now, let me close
with an Irish blessing:
"May your doctor never earn a
dollar out of you, may your heart
never give out, may the ten toes of
your feet steer you clear of misfor-
tune. ... And before you're much
older, may you hear much better
blessings than this."
Happy St. Patrick's Day and
Happy March Madness everyone!!
Chris Burke can be reached at
Still no s unshine for M-Nine
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
Bright sunshine covers the baseball field
with a warm yellow glow. Puffy white
cumulus clouds are visible against a clear
blue sky. A warm breeze stirs the air while
birds chirp overhead.
In places like Florida and Texas, college
baseball teams can enjoy weather like this
during the months of February and March.
But in Ann Arbor - and the rest of the
Midwest - this classic "baseball weather"
is nowhere to be found. Instead, snow, ice
and arctic temperatures dominate the win-
ter and early-spring landscape.
While its southern and western oppo-
nents have daily outdoor practices early
in the season, the Michigan baseball team
is virtually confined to its indoor practice
facility at Oosterban Fieldhouse. Eleven
games into their 2005 campaign, the Wol-
verines have yet to have an outdoor prac-
tice on their home field.
"It is definitely more difficult (to not
practice outdoors)," Michigan coach Rich
Maloney said. "That's why you don't see
many northern teams in the top-25. (When
we're playing outside for the first time),
southern and western teams have already
played outside for over a month."
Even though Oosterban Fieldhouse is
designed as a practice facility for the foot-
ball team, Michigan manages to make
the most of its practice time. Four batting
cages are set up in the building, allowing
pitchers and batters to faceoff in simulated
games. To create a game-like atmosphere,
balls and strikes are called. But something
"It's tough to tell how far the ball
would go (on a field)," senior pitcher Jim
Other aspects of baseball can be ade-
quately simulated indoors - outfielders
can work on long throws, and the artificial
turf allows a full infield to practice. But
certain aspects of the game are impossible
to recreate without going outside. Outfield-
ers, for example, go months without seeing
the ball fly off the bat.
"I'm an outfielder, so the fly balls are
a huge thing," junior Mike Schmidt said.
"It's a huge adjustment the first couple of
In addition, certain game situations are
impossible to recreate in practice without
having intrasquad scrimmages on a real
"You can't practice all facets of baser-
unning," Maloney said. "You can practice
non-situtational things, but you can't do it
in terms of an actual game. And an area
like that can cost you in the games."
Despite the drawbacks of being a cold-
weather baseball team, Michigan has
cruised through its early-season schedule,
going 8-3 in games in Florida and Texas.
Even more impressively, the Wolverines
have put up an excellent 4-2 record against
"warm-weather" teams, including wins
over then-No. 8 Georgia and then-No. 10
"I'm just proud of our kids," Maloney
said. "We were able to play against some
teams that were definitely further ahead
of us as far as being outside for a longer
period of time."
Regardless of its early-season success,
Michigan hopes that warm, sunny days
will arrive in Ann Arbor soon. With the
team's home opener at Ray Fisher Stadium
less than two weeks away, spring can't
come soon enough.
"Believe me, we're looking forward to
getting out on the field and playing," Malo-
Senior Matt Butler has hit two home
runs and 12 RBI for the Wolverines in 11
games this season.
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Illinois junior Dee Brown will lead the
Fighting Illini in their first-round game
against Fairleigh Dickinson tonight.
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