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February 20, 2006 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-02-20

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2B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - February 20, 2006

Rain or snow, frisbee tops tourney

Alete itane ea
Athlete of the Week

Name: Casey White
Hometown: Commerce

Team: Wrestling
Class: Redshirt freshman


By Lisa Gentile
For the Daily
Battling the weather seemed to be the biggest of the
Men's Ultimate Frisbee team's worries when it trav-
eled down to Charlotte, N.C. for the Queen City Tune-
The team - also known as Magnum - dealt with
low temperatures, rain and snow flurries through nine
games, but came out on top, winning the tournament.
This marked Magnum's best finish in the tournament's
"We had a really good weekend, our seniors really
played well," coach Ricky Eikstadt said. "The weather
was really bad, and, the last time we played in bad
weather, we didn't do so well. But they just took a
lot of the things we worked on in the past six weeks
and applied it this past weekend and everything came
The tournament, founded and run by a former Mag-
num player, works as a primer for the beginning of
the Ultimate spring season. Teams from around the
country travel to Charlotte to compete in the two-day

competition. Michigan matched up against North Car-
olina, Delaware, North Carolina State and Tennessee,
along with five other schools.
Ultimate Frisbee is the combination or "bastardiza-
tion" of three different sports, according to assistant
coach Jason Barnes. Taking rules from basketball,
football and soccer, the sport requires seven players
on the field at once. Players throw the frisbee to each
other, but, when one is in control of the frisbee, he
cannot move - only pivot and toss. The field setup
is similar to football, and each team tries to score
points by moving the frisbee down the field into its
opponent's end zone. Games typically last between an
hour and half to two hours and go to either 13 or 15
points. Stamina is important, considering the exces-
sive amount of running up and down the field that
Ultimate requires.
"It is (exhausting)," Eikstadt said. "That's one of the
reasons we carry a big roster. We brought 22 (play-
ers) down to that tournament out of 27 (possible play-
ers), and it's really good to have that kind of depth. I
feel like there's been two occasions where we went to
nationals because we had a really big roster that was

able to withstand a really long weekend."
Magnum has a strong history. The team has quali-
fied for nationals six of the past seven years - more
than any other team in the nation - and has finished
in the top 10 all six times. The sport has grown since
the team's birth in the late 1980s.
"Ultimate in general has really exploded in popu-
larity, so I feel like the past 10 years has really been
a golden age for Ultimate," Eikstadt said. "It is more
established, and there are more than 350 teams in the
U.S. and Canada."
The sport's popularity has attracted more and more
players. The team had more than 100 men try out in
the fall - the highest turnout ever. Many of the play-
ers become hooked on the sport after playing on club
or high school teams, and their love of the sport con-
tinues on into college.
"It definitely makes it a lot more fun to go out and
win," senior Armand Conti said. "But right now, we're
just trying to get better. The most important part of our
season comes in April. So basically, we're just going
out there to practice and get better every week. That's
all we're hoping for."

Shaky beginning for returning champs

By Dan Feldman
Daily Sports Writer
With the expectations higher than ever
before, the No. 1 Michigan softball team
hoped to jump out to a hot start to begin
its first post-NCAA Championship sea-
son. A 3-2 record wasn't quite what it had
in mind when the team headed south to
Gainesville, Fla. to play in the GRU Clas-
sic this past weekend.
The Wolverines sandwiched a pair of
one-run losses to Florida and Penn State
on Saturday between stompings of No.
21 DePaul and Longwood - outscoring
them by a combined 15-2 - on Friday
and a 4-0 redemption win over Florida
In their first game against Florida, the
Wolverines battled through five shut-
out innings. In the top of the sixth with
senior Tiffany Haas on second base, the
Gators intentionally walked sophomore
first baseman Samantha Findlay. Sopho-
more centerfielder Alessandra Giampaolo
doubled into left on the next pitch, scoring
both runners.
But it wasn't enough. In the bottom of
the seventh, Florida made its move.
The first Gator batter made it to first on
an error by senior third baseman Grace
Leutele. Senior pitcher Jennie Ritter
then walked the next hitter before being
replaced by junior Lorilyn Wilson. Rit-
ter finished the game with three hits, no
earned runs, 11 strikeouts and 3 walks.
Wilson struck out her first batter before
walking the next to load the bases. The

following Gator batter grounded out, but
all three runners advanced. Lindsey Cam-
eron singled into left, emptying the bases,
for a Florida win. Wilson got the loss.
Wilson started later that day against
Penn State. She walked the leadoff hit-
ter in the second inning. Penn State pinch
runner Kari Lucas advanced to second
base on a passed ball by junior catcher
Tiffany Worthy and then stole third. Her
score on a two-out single was all the Nit-
tany Lions needed. They went on to win
1-0 after Michigan left the bases loaded
in the fifth. Despite pitching all seven
innings and giving up just one run on four
hits and one walk, Wilson recorded her
second-straight loss.
In its first weekend on a softball dia-
mond since the fall, Michigan saw both its
losses decided by fielding mishaps.
"It was an example of tentative ball,"
Ritter said. "(We) thought too much. (It
was) a little sloppy. When you think too
much, that's what happens."
The Wolverines - especially senior
catcher Becky Marx - rebounded well
from the losses. Marx - who was I-for-6
in the two losses - had two hits for four
RBI yesterday. Her second hit helped
Michigan overcome its struggles with
the bases full. After stranding three run-
ners late against Penn State, the Wolver-
ines had the bases loaded in the first two
innings yesterday, but didn't score either
time. Marx drove in the game's first run
in the third.
But later that inning, Michigan loaded
the bases and again failed to score. Marx

Why: White secured a 7-2 win in the 197-pound weight class to
clinch Michigan's upset victory over No. 1 Minnesota on Friday
night. White was up by just one point heading into the third peri-
od of his match, but got late back points to put the bout away.
'M' Schedule
Date Event Location Time
2/20 W Golf @ Central District Classic Parrish, Fla. 9:30 p.m.
2/21 M Basketball vs. Illinois Ann Arbor 7 p.m.
2/23- M Swimming/Diving @ Big Ten Bloomington 12 p.m.
2/25 Championships
2/23 Water Polo @ Cal Lutheran Thousand Oaks, 7 p.m.
W Basketball vs. MSU Ann Arbor 7 p.m.
2/24- Baseball @ Wiregrass Classic Dothan, Ala.
2/24- Softball @ NFCA Leadoff Classic Columbus, Ga.
2/24 M Tennis @ Northwestern Evanston 7 p.m.
W Gymnastics Cedar City, Utah 9 p.m.
Ice Hockey @ Ferris State Big Rapids 7:05 p.m.
2/25 W Rowing @ Head of the Hills- Tampa, Fla. TBA
W Track/Field @ Big Ten Madison 11 a.m.
Indoor Championships
M Basketball @ Ohio State Columbus 1:30 p.m.
Water Polo vs. Hawaii Santa Barbara, 3:30 p.m.
Ice Hockey vs. Ferris State Ann Arbor 7:35 p.m.
2/25- M Track/Field Indoor Champi- Iowa City
2/26 onships
2/26 W Basketball vs, Illinois Ann Arbor 2 p.m.
2/26- M Golf @ Puerto R ico Classic R io Grande, P.R.
2/28 Softball vs. Troy and Auburn Auburn, Ala. 4 p.m.
3/1 Water Polo vs. Colorado Col- Fort Collins, Colo. TBA
lege and Colorado State
Baseball @ Central Florida Orlando, Fla. 6:30 p.m.
3/2- W Basketball Indianapolis, Ind.
3/6 @ Big Ten Tournament
3/2 M Tennis @ Pepperdine Malibu, Calif. 4 p.m.
Softball @ Florida State Tallahassee, Fla. 5 p.m.
3/2- W Golf @ Rio Verde Collegiate Rio Verde, Ariz.
3/3- W Track/Field @ Alex Wilson South Bend, Ind
3/4 Invitational
3/3- Softball @ Sunshine State Tour- Tallahassee, Fla.
3/5 nament
3/3- Baseball @ GSU Invitational Statesboro, Ga.
3/3 W Tennis @ UNLV Las Vegas 3 p.m.
3/3- Ice Hockey @ CCHA First TBA TBA
3/5 Round
3/4 M Basketball vs. Indiana Ann Arbor TBA
W Rowing vs. Central Florida Tampa, Fla. TBA
W Gymnastics @ Denver Denver, Colo. 8 p.m.
M Gymnastics @ Stanford Palo Alto, Calif. 10 p.m.
3/4- Water Polo @ CWPA League Erie, Pa.
3/5 Tournament
3/4- Wrestling @ Big Ten Champion- Bloomington
3/5 ships
*Bold Indicates home event

Senior catcher Becky Marx provided an unlikely spark on offense for the Wolverines.

came to the plate in the fifth, with the
bases loaded yet again for the Wolverines,
and doubled in all three runners.
The strong hitting came from an
unlikely source. Marx hit just .233 with 6
homeruns and 26 RBI last year, but her six
RBI last weekend were a Michigan best.
"I've always been capable," Marx said.
"I've been working hard this off-season. It
didn't surprise me or the coaches, actually.
Hopefully it's a sign of things to come, not

just a spurt ... (Michigan coach Carol
Hutchins) gave us a talk on it (all being
a process). I was expecting too much.
Expectations will kill you. I thought of
having a plan each time I was up there and
was able to put it into better practice the
second game (against Florida)."
Ritter held the lead for her second win,
pitching four and a third scoreless innings
in relief of freshman starter Stacy Delany.
Michigan opened the weekend with a
10-2 victory in five innings over DePaul.
Ritter got the win by pitching all five
innings, giving up four hits, striking out
eight and walking none.
The Wolverines shut out Longwood
5-0 later on Friday. Wilson pitched the
entire game, gave up three hits, struck out
10 and walked two.

Blue impresses in last tune-up,


By Katie Field
Daily Sports Writer

Normally, it's not good when an athlete snaps under pressure.
But snapping is something freshmen hurdlers Tiffany Ofili
and Joi Smith need to do - and they're good at it. Saturday at
the non-scoring Harold Silverston Invitational held in Michigan's
Indoor Track Building, both runners showed their talent for snap-
ping their trail legs - the leg that must quickly come over and
around - over the hurdles and dashing to get to the next one.
They placed first and second, respectively, in the 60-meter hur-
dles. Smith - who scored a personal-best time of 8.77 - was
both happy and relieved to see her hard work paying off.
"It felt way better, and I could tell because my practice was
excellent this week," Smith said. "I knew it was going to pay off
either this week or last week, and it did this week before Big Tens,

which is a good thing."
With next week's Big Ten Indoor Championships looming and
about half the team resting for it, the No. 9 Michigan women's
track and field team set out with some definite goals in mind.
"We wanted to get some kids their last performances
before the Big Ten and come out healthy and ready to run
next week," Michigan coach James Henry said. "We held out
quite a bit of our athletes because we've accomplished physi-
cally everything we wanted to. The other half just needed to
get some fine tuning in
The Wolverines especially improved in the field events, specif-
ically the high jump and long jump. Ofili jumped a personal best
of 19-3 1/2, earning a third-place finish. She won the 60-meter
hurdles and 60-meter dash, but Ofili said she was most pleased
with her long jump performance.


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