March 25, 200
sports. michigandaily. com
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By Ryan Sosin
Daily Sports Writer
When Michigan (23-3-2 CCHA, 30-
7-3 overall) left the ice following its
November matchup with
Wisconsin (16-9-3 WCHA,
23-13-4), the Kohl Center
crowd taunted the then-No.
1 Wolverines with a chant
of "overrated." Michi-
gan coach Red Berenson
agreed with the fans eval-
uation. But the Michigan
team that faltered in the
College Hockey Showcase
is rolling into the tourna-
ment on a 14-game unbeaten streak.
"I think we were looking too far ahead
in the future when we were in Novem-
ber, assuming that we would be in the
position that we're in (now)," sopho-
more T.J. Hensick said. "Once we real-
ized that things aren't going to be given
to us, then we went out and played 10
In November, as Wisconsin handed
Michigan a 3-1 loss, Hensick and senior
Eric Nystrom were sitting a few hundred
feet above ice level. Watching from the
stands, the senior captain - who had
been vomiting on the bench the night
before - and the team's co-scoring lead-
er sat helplessly as the Wolverines stum-
bled to the lowest point of the season.
"It (was) disappointing not to get in
that game," Hensick said. "Especially
a Big Ten rivalry like that. But you get
a second chance, and, hopefully, I can
come out and play hard."
During that road swing, Michigan lost
to Minnesota, 5-1, on olympic-sized ice
before the loss to Wisconsin on a larger-
than-usual surface. Aside from being at
a vastly different point on the momen-
tum scale, the Wolverines will not have
to overcome the spacing differences on
Van Andel Arena's regulation ice.
"It's nice to get them in Grand Rap-
ids on smaller ice," Nystrom said. "But I
have a feeling they'll be ready for us, and
we'll be ready for them."
Most of the Wolverines
seemed thankful for the
IGHT chance to face Ohio State
Wisonn - the only other CCHA
Regioa1s team in the tournament
:.30p.m. - during the conference
eL0e a Despite the close 1-0 win
over Notre Dame, Hensick
said where the level of play
was the only game up to par
with the NCAA tournament.
"(It will be) a battle," freshmen Chad
Kolarik said. "That's how I would
describe it, a battle. Maybe even a war.
It's going to be much tougher than Ohio
State and Alaska. We've got to be ready
Adding to Michigan's drive during
this year's playoff run are the memories
of an early exit from last year's NCAA
tournament. A quarterfinals loss to
then-No. 4 Boston College marked the
first time this year's seniors didn't play
in the Frozen Four.
"You never want to get too high and
you never want to get too low," junior Al
Montoya said. "Right now, we're at the
point that we know what it takes. Last
year was just a piece of the puzzle"
"They've had a tough, tough sched-
ule," Berenson said. "We've had tough
games, but, on paper, the teams they've
played are a lot better than the teams
we've played. So, that's why I say they're
a lot better than their record."
The Wolverines skated in Grand Rap-
ids yesterday and will get in a gameday
skate before tonight's game.
FOR MORE HOCKEY, SEE PAGE 12
Junior Peter Vanderkaay placed first in the 500-yard freestyle yesterday, missing the American record by 1.07 seconds.
Vanderkaay coasts to winin500
By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - The smile said it all.
Standing on the podium in front of his family,
his friends and the swimming community, junior
Peter Vanderkaay waved a number one above his
head and accepted the first-place NCAA trophy
for winning the 500-yard freestyle.
Vanderkaay led the Michigan men's swimming
and diving team to a ninth-place standing last
night after claiming the freestyle on the first day
of competition at the men's NCAA swimming
championships in Minneapolis.
In the morning prelims of the 500-yard free-
style, Vanderkaay led his heat for the first two
hundred yards of the race. Slowing down his
pace for the final portion, Vanderkaay allowed
Justin Mortimer of Minnesota to draft off of him
and ultimately outtouch him by eight-hundreths
of a second.
"I tried to keep it smooth in prelims,"
Vanderkaay said. "I wanted to save up for the
His strategy worked.
Vanderkaay opened up the first four laps of
the 20-lap race in 47.52, the fastest 100-yards
of the day.
"I told him he has more speed than anyone else
in the race and that he should take it out more
aggressively and just keep going," coach Bob
The field of eight swimmers tried to keep up
with Vanderkaay for the next six laps, but they
were unable to break the half-body lead that he
had taken from his opponents. With 10 laps left
in the race, Vanderkaay broke further away from
the pack and created a two-body lead off second
"I tried to go out pretty smooth but not too
slow," Vanderkaay said. "I just wanted to ham-
mer that last half of the race."
Turning into his final lap of the race, the crowd
rose to its feet in encouragement of breaking the
American record of 4:08.75 set by Michigan alum
and Olympic great, Tom Dolan. Vanderkaay hit
the wall and immediately looked around to the
scoreboard to see his time. It was 4:09.82, just
1.07 seconds off.
While Peter would have liked to have broken
the record, he was far from being upset.
"The race went exactly the way I wanted it to,"
Vanderkaay said. "I felt like I stuck to the game,
plan, and I was happy with my time - it was my
best time by a couple of seconds. I was trying to
go for the record, though."
Peter's parents, Robin and Mark Vanderkaay
watched Peter win the 500-yard freestyle and
couldn't help but be proud. They believed that
winning the race will push him to do better over
the next couple of days.
"It going to pump him up," Mark Vanderkaay
said. "I think it will pump up the rest of the kids
on the team also. He's going to be pretty tough in
the (200-yard freestyle) and the mile."
While Bowman was pleased with the results of
the first day of competition, he expects the team
to get better everyday.
"We're very strong in the 800-yard freestyle
relay and the 100 specialty events, which are
later in the weekend," Bowman said. "But I
think a ninth-place standing is a great place to
be after the first day. I think we did just as well
as we could do. We had a lot of time drops and
fast swims. That's what we came here to do. We
just need the guys to be fast in the morning and
faster at night for the next two days. It's a very
Today the Wolverines will compete in the sec-
ond day of preliminary action, starting at 12 p.m.
and the finals begin at 7 p.m.
Outfielder heats up batting order
By Kevin Wright
Daily Sports Writer
Something was wrong.
During the middle of the 2004
softball season, senior outfielder
Michelle Teschler began to feel pain
in her right shoulder. She went to the
doctor, but the pain did not subside.
After trying to play in a couple of
games, she was relegated to coming
off the bench, primarily as a pinch-
Once the season ended, Teschler
decided to get an MRI on her shoul-
der. It turned out that she had torn a
ligament and needed surgery.
While recovering from sur-
gery, Teschler was forced to sit
out during summer and fall soft-
ball workouts and games. In many
cases, a player might have come
back slowly - allowing time to
work out the rust from sitting
out an extended period of time
- but Teschler took a different
"I was really rejuvenated," Tes-
chler said. "I came into the season
really, really excited. I just came
back after my surgery this summer
with the mentality that I have noth-
ing to lose. I just go out everyday
and work my hardest."
Teschler's mindset has paid off
so far. In the Wolverines' 28 games,
she has started all but one and bat-
ted .265 from the ninth spot. Last
season, Teschler batted .169, and,
after the surgery, no one could have
expected her average to increase
almost 100 points.
"I didn't have any expectations,"
Teschler said. "I didn't really
want to put anything out there. "I
expected from myself just to try
my hardest and work hard. My
mentality is that that hard work
will pay off."
Alongside Teschler's positive atti-
tude and work ethic, one of the big-
gest reasons for her improvement
rests in her assured demeanor. Mich-
igan coach Carol Hutchins believes
that Teschler is as upbeat as she's
"She's hitting with confidence,"
Hutchins said. "She's a whole new
player because she is a confident
player. She's having good at-bats,
she's putting the ball in play and
she's turning . the lineup over
which is the No. 9 hitter's job. She
has made some things happen for
When Teschler came to Michigan
four years ago, she arrived with a
bundle of awards. She was the No. 3
softball player in the state of Michi-
gan during her junior and senior
year and was on the Detroit News
All-Metro first-team for three con-
secutive seasons as well.
But, in her first year at Michigan,
Hutchins used Teschler mostly as a
pinch-runner. She saw an increase
in playing time her sophomore sea-
son by starting in 16 games while
appearing in a total of 34 games and
In her first three seasons, Tes-
chler never batted higher than her
.212 average her freshman season,
but, with her newfound confidence,
Teschler has exploded offensively
Crediting her work with hand-eye
Senior outfielder Michelle Teschler has come back from shoulder surgery to play a
critical role in the Wolverines' batting order.
coordination drills, she is seeing the
ball better than she ever had before.
Her vision has allowed her to pick up
pitch locations and start her swing
Hutchins understands that Tes-
chler's determination has helped her
succeed, and she knows that she can
trust Teschler at the plate and in the
"She has maturity," Hutchins said.
"She has gained confidence from the
fact that she's been in there, day after
day, playing. She came back deter-
mined to get through her injury, and
she's doing a nice job."
While Teschler has improved
offensively, she has also taken an
active role in raising the spirits of
some of her teammates after dis-
"I try to lighten the mood," Tes-
chler said. "I'll tell a joke or some-
thing like that. I'm very willing to
help my teammates out whenever,
whether it's doing extra work or just
encouragement or confidence - like
saying nice things during the game
or after the game."
Gjesdal takes first in
for NCAA Regional
If you don't know what the steeple-
chase is, just ask Michigan junior Ana
Yesterday, Gjesdal took first place
in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the
Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla. Her
time of 10:41.25 qualified her for the
NCAA regional, smashing the standard
by 10 seconds.
Sophomore Laura Brosius placed
sixth in the 5,000-meter run with a time
of 17:31.86 - a new personal best.
On the field, the Wolverines com-
peted in the hammer throw. Senior
Ashley Eckel finished 10th, and
fellow senior Tara Kennedy placed
14th. Both hit season bests with their
Action continues tomorrow and ends
Blue uses Shootout to prepare
By Sara Livingston
Daily Sports Writer
With spring air sweeping through the open fairways,
the No. 25 Michigan women's golf team teed off for the
opening round of play at the Baylor Tapatio Springs
Shootout in Boerne, Texas. The Wolverines had just
one thing in mind - winning the tournament.
Freshmen Isabelle Gendreau led the way for Michi-
gan, shooting a 71 and finishing the day in first place.
The Wolverines currently sit in second, six strokes
behind leading Baylor and 13 strokes over par.
While Gendreau has struggled in past tournaments, com-
ing in 43rd at the UNLV Spring Invitational last weekend,
coach Kathy Tiechert is confident that Gendreau will con-
tinue her outstanding play through the weekend.
"She's young, yet she is still a very experienced
player so we're really happy with her," Tiechert said.
"She is sitting in a great position right now and we are
looking forward to seeing how she will do in the next
couple of days. Hopefully, she will keep this pace."
While Gendreau was the only player at the tournament
to shoot under par, which was 72, sophomore Ali Stinson
who had been performing especially well this season
- winning the season opener Central District Clas-
sics. She ended the round tied for 27th place after
shooting an uncharacteristic 7-over-par.
"There are still two more days of the tournament,
and it's a very close race," Teichert said. "There is still
a lot of golf out there to be played. We're just going to
have to take one shot at a time and maintain our dedi-
cation and focus and continue to execute our shots."
While the Wolverines were happy to be out of the
frigid Ann Arbor outdoors, they faced other problems
in Texas. Due to the lack of precipitation, the greens
were difficult and the fairways were rough.
"The course isn't in as good of shape as we want-
ed it to be," Teichert said. "It just isn't in as great
of shape, so it's a little difficult to putt and play the
greens. Yet, at the same time, it's the same conditions
for everyone, and we just have to play with what we
have. I'm not going to use the course or anything else
Tiechert wasted no time expressing her desires to'
win this tournament and to start preparing her team
for the Big Ten Championships, which Michigan will
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