The Michigan Daily - SportsTuesday - January 17, 2006 --3B
By Ian Robinson
Daily Sports Writer
COLUMBUS - In the story of David
vs. Goliath, David's strategy for taking
out Goliath was a sling and stone to the
Against No. 8 Ohio State, Michigan's
strategy against the Buckeyes' Goliath,
6-foot-5 All-American Jessica Daven-
port, was the double-team.
The strategy of taking out the Phi-
listines' great warrior instilled fear in
David's other enemies, but the Wolver-
ines couldn't stop the other Buckeyes.
On Sunday afternoon, Michigan con-
tained the Buckeyes' primary inside
threat, but it was Ohio State's other
post players that wreaked havoc in the
Wolverines' 62-34 loss.
For the 13 minutes Davenport was on
the bench, Michigan adjusted its strate-
gy in the post from a collapsing defense
on Davenport to a more conventional
man-to-man with limited help-side
defense. After the game, Michigan
coach Cheryl Burnett said she regretted
"We had a certain strategy when
she was in the game, (and) probably
shouldn't have changed that strategy
when she went out," Burnett said.
From the outset, Michigan's defense
took Davenport out of her rhythm.
Every time she received the ball in
the paint, a pack of Wolverines swarmed
the junior center. On Davenport's first
two offensive touches, Michigan dou-
ble-teams forced the Buckeye to com-
mit two turnovers - a travel and a
The Wolverines were able to limit her
field goal attempts to just seven - she
entered the game averaging 11 attempts
and 18.9 points per game. Most of her
15 points on Sunday came off putbacks
and free throws.
Ohio State coach Jim Foster noted
that his team's offense was more fluid
with Davenport out of the lineup. He
said that if his team is going to stand
still and rely on giving the ball to a
double-teamed Davenport, he could
keep the game close with "You, me and
three other guys."
Can't cut it on varsity?
Check out club sports
ike a lot of former high school athletes,
I came to Michigan looking for a com-
petitive and athletic outlet. I was never
the biggest, strongest or fastest, but I was often
the most competitive. I lived off sports, and the
thought of not practicing for something every
day was a little bit shocking.
I know I'm not the only one who
felt this way. My friend Abiman
dreamed of, and tried out for, a.
spot on the basketball team. Craig
thought the cross country team was
his best chance at Division I athlet-
ics. Last year, I talked to a bunch
of club hockey guys who wanted
nothing more than a spot on Red
Many of the people I eventuallya IA
became friends with were high HER]
school athletes, and a large chunk The Sport
of those fantasized - at least Colu
briefly - about a spot in collegiate
I was admitted to Michigan and Cooper
Union, a small engineering school in New York
with a few hundred people. At Cooper Union, I
could have played on the basketball team - seri-
ously, more than half of the basketball team
there never played the sport in high school. At
Michigan, I'd be lucky to walk on to the average
Obviously, Michigan is one of the country's
premier athletic institutions. Few debate that
Michigan's 27 sports teams - from football to
hockey to cross country - are always among the
best in the nation. And even though that may be
great for the school's reputation and recruitment,
it's frustrating for Abiman, Craig, me and you.
But for all of us, Michigan provides another
option. The University has more than 70 club
sports teams for former athletes looking for that
competitive outlet. I chose ultimate frisbee, but
the options are endless. Synchronized swim-
ming, tae kwon do and roller hockey are exam-
ples and the chances are that, if you've played it,
we have it at Michigan.
I knew it would be tough - I wasn't one of
those who expected the ultimate team to be
filled with hippies or anything like that - but I
was in no way prepared for the amazing athleti-
cism I found on the squad. Guys who can jump
over buildings and outrun dogs. Girls who could
do the same. The coaches look specifically for
athleticism - they figured they could teach the
rest, and, from the success of the team, it looks
as if they might have the right idea. The team
has made Nationals in something like six of the
last seven years.
Even during my freshman year, the focus was
on athleticism, but I remember a shift in attitude
midway through my career at Michigan. One of
the requirements of the team was the timed run.
Everyone on the team was required to run a mile
in five and a half minutes and two miles in less
than 12. Group runs, team lifting sessions and
plyometrics parties were habit to the guys on the
team. And if you wanted to get playing time, it
had to be.
I couldn't keep up with the top guys
(literally or figuratively), but, for three
years, I got my athletic outlet with the
ultimate 'B' team. And at times, the
competition was just as intense. The
team travels around the country - the
'A' team made it as far as Oregon and
Georgia for competition; the 'B' team
stays in the area, but still makes trips
all around the Midwest.
I played with the 'A' team for just
one tournament - a brutal competition
ERT down in Tennessee. It was 35 degrees
Tuesday and raining for the entire weekend,
in and we took turns running back to the
car just to keep from freezing. Play-
ers, caked in mud and drenched from the rain,
continued to play as if it were the World Series.
Against Notre Dame, Mike dove headfirst into
a pile of mud to break up a pass. He then, with-
out hesitation, popped up and just kept running
- hoping someone would pick up the disc and
hit him on a deep route.
I wish we at the Daily could cover the ultimate
frisbee team every week becaus-e layout deflec-
tions and picturesque catches are an everyday
occurrence for the team. We have a spot in the
paper just once a week to cover the 70 club
teams, meaning we cover 25 of the teams just
once and the other 50 don't get any time in the
paper. Throughout my last year as the Managing
Sports Editor here, a half-dozen guys from the
lacrosse team:- one of the club varsity sports at
Michigan - basically begged for some kind of
coverage. Every time, I tell them that we don't
have the resources or the space in the paper to
give them the kind of coverage they want - and
But all of these club sports - at least all
the ones that I've seen - are worth a look. It's
worth paying nothing (tickets are generally free)
and spending a few hours at Oosterbaan to watch
a girls ultimate frisbee tournament - there was
one this past weekend - and it's worth making
the trip over to Yost at midnight some Saturday
to watch women's ice hockey. If you're looking
for a competitive outlet, joining one of these 70
teams is probably the best thing you can do. And
if you're looking for entertainment sans football
(especially on weekends when basketball is out
of town and hockey is just playing an exhibition
game), becoming a club sports fan is always an
- Ian Herbert can be reached
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Sophomore Katie Dierdorf led the Wolverines In scoring with 10 points in the loss to Ohio State.
With 13:45 remaining in the game,
Davenport went to the bench, and,
against a man-to-man post defense,
Ohio State went on an 8-3 run in a span
of just over three minutes.
In that time, the Buckeyes grabbed
two offensive rebounds, got fouled
while shooting in the post and hit two
baskets in the paint.
When Davenport left the game with
more than seven minutes remaining,
the Buckeyes scored in the paint on
three consecutive possessions.
Michigan sophomore Katie Dier-
dorf said that the effectiveness of Ohio
State's forwards "falls on me and the
rest of the post players."
Dierdorf said that Michigan practiced
all week to stop Davenport but failed to
adjust when she left the game.
Ohio State's other post players com-
bined for 19 points and 14 rebounds.
Buckeye forward Debbie Merrill ben-
efited the most from the Wolverines'
man-to-man defense. Merrill went 5-for-
10 from the floor with 10 points and eight
"When Davenport is out of the game,
it's my responsibility to step up and
score," Merrill said.
Ohio State head coach
By Ian Robinson
and Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writers
COLUMBUS - At Big'
late October, Ohio State
coach Jim Foster down-
played the existence of a
rivalry with Michigan in
"When I look at the
attendance, Iowa seems
to be the biggest rival,"
Foster said at Media Day."
Ohio State and Iowa were t
competed (for the Big Ten
Including Sunday's 62
Buckeyes, Michigan hasI
contests against Ohio St
ines dropped to 6-40 all
Buckeyes with a 2-22 rec
Because of the few mat
teams, the rivalry remain
But after looking at the
of 7,180 spectators, Foster
a change of heart. Thep
3,541 fans per game and
total of 7,180 just once th
game against No. 3 Louis
"In my fourth year att
understanding that Michi
something other than aI
DOWNTOWN WOES: Michi
to make shots from beyon
in their previous two gar
the first half. The Wolver
the range at all on Sunda
of their long-range attempts. Against Pur-
due on Jan. 8, the team hit on just three of
their 13 attempts. Against both Purdue and
Ohio State, the Wolverines missed all five
Ten Media Day in of their first-half 3-point attempts.
After starting the season shooting well
from beyond the arc, freshman Carly
Benson has made just one of her last 15
attempts, and sophomore Ta'Shia Walker
$0 has only found the bottom of the net on one
of her previous 12 attempts.
NEW SEASON LOWS: The Wolverines post-
ed season lows in points (34), field goals
"Back in the '80s, made (14), field-goal percentage (.250) and
the two teams that assists (7). Michigan matched season lows in
ichampionship)." rebounds (29) and 3-pointers made (0). Walk-
2-34 loss to the er - the team's leading scorer -. scored just
lost its last seven four points, Benson was held scoreless for
ate. The Wolver- the first time all year and sophomore Janelle
-time against the Cooper - who had averaged more than 10
ord in Columbus. points per game in her previous nine games
ches between the - mustered just two points.
s weak at best. BENCH PRODUCTION: On Sunday, the Wol-
attendance figure verines' bench outscored the Ohio State
appeared to have reserves 16-11, making this the 12th time
Buckeyes average in 17 games that Michigan's subs have
have topped the trumped their counterparts.
is season, in their Freshman Stephany Skrba - the only
iana State. Wolverine to shoot above 50 percent on
Ohio State, I am Sunday - led the reserves with nine points,
gan-Ohio State is her fourth highest total of the year.
football rivalry," BASKETBALL JONEs: After seeing her min-
utes gradually rise into double digits in five
gan has struggled of the previous six games, freshman Ashley
nd the 3-point arc Jones led the team with a season-high 34
nes, especially in minutes on Sunday. She contributed four
ines couldn't find points and three rebounds.
ay, missing all 12
Continued from page 11B
Michigan had forced the Buckeyes to commit eight turn-
overs in the first 12 minutes of the game, and with scores on five
straight possessions, the Wolverines looked as if they might find
their rhythm offensively.
"We had some possessions, in the first half when they were in
a zone and we executed brilliantly," Burnett said. "Every team is
going to make certain adjustments during a game, and we really
struggled to make those subtle adjustments offensively. I think
we should be better at it by now."
Ohio State started to play more confidently and move the
ball quicker on offense. Michigan couldn't handle these new
adjustments, and the Buckeyes only committed one turnover in
the final eight minutes of the half. During those eight minutes,
they outscored the Wolverines 14-2 and took a 23-16 lead into
At the time, things still looked manageable for the Wolver-
ines. Michigan out-rebounded Ohio State 20-15 (11-4 on the
offensive glass) in the half and held Davenport to just four shot
attempts (nine points) and forced her to commit four turnovers
with aggressive double-teams.
But after Michigan started the second half by cutting the lead
to five on a Dierdorf putback of a Benson miss, the Buckeyes
went on a 17-2 run to effectively put the game out of reach. The
Wolverines shot 0-for-8 and committed three turnovers during
this stretch, and they were never able to get back into the game.
"We just need to never let up," Dierdorf said. "That's our
problem. If we can get to the point where we play for 40 min-
utes the way we played tonight for 12 or 15, then I think we can
"It's frustrating when you play a first half the way we did,
and then you just can't keep it together and you look up at the
scoreboard and you're down by 20. It's frustrating, but to be
able to play a first half like we did tonight, knowing that we
can do it is good. We can play with these people and we can
beat these people if we just do it for a whole game. Eventually
it's going to happen."
Ohio State coach Jim Foster sees several good things in Mich-
igan's young team.
"They play hard,' Foster said. "They share the ball. But are
they ready to play against a team that can flip the switch defen-
sively? What young team at this level and in this league is? They
are making steps."
Freshman Ashley Jones put up four points and three rebounds against Ohio State.
University of Michigan United Asian American Medical Student
3rd Annual Asian American
Health and Culture Fair
Saturday, January 21, 2006 11 AM- 4PM
The University of Michigan
Board of Regents meeting sc
Beginning Jan. 20, the board's monthly meetings will
with public comments to begin at 11 a.m.