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April 09, 2007 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-09

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Ilk
1 Y
Alow ME PLAr
DAILY SPORTS BREAKS DOWN THE WEEKEND THAT WAS

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

0

2B - Monday, April 9, 2007

SAID AND HEARD
"We'll be willing to (play) pretty
much any Division I game that we
can find."
- Michigan baseball coach RICH MALONEY on how his
team plans to make up for games lost due to this week-
end's poor weather conditions.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
MATKO MARAVIC
M TENNIS
The junior won both his singles matchesthis
weekend, including a victory over the 15th-
ranked player in the country to help Michigan
knock off No. 8 Illinois on Friday night. It was
Michigan's first win in 10 years against the Illini.

Search for a new mitt harder than it sounds

March 15, my parents
pronounced him dead.
Black
Magic, my
trusty ol' base-
ball glove, was
no more..
I had asked
my parents to
send him to Ann
Arbor a few L
weeks earlier, J
but every time I JACK
called home, he HERMAN
was still missing -
in action. Mom
and Dad rummaged through clos-
ets, the garage and my bedroom,
each time reporting the search had
come up empty. Hope grew dimmer
with each conversation.
And when I finally found the
big brown box on the table of my
apartment filled with a fleece, a
book, some shirts and no baseball

mitt, I had to accept that no amount
of hocus-pocus would bring Black
Magic back.
With weather warming and
baseball beginning, finding a new
glove became a top priority. Sure
I could borrow someone else's,
but I might as well ask if we had
an extra pair of underwear while
I'm at it.
I reminisced about the good
times with Black Magic, like when
we, members of the underdog Vero-
na Vipers, were beating the mighty
Pequannock Red Hawks 2-0. And
the bad, like when the Red Hawk
hitters switched to their natural
side of the plate and beat us 24-2
(surprisingly, I ran track in high
school).
But once I arrived at Dunham's
sporting goods store, the baseball-
glove rack knocked me out of the
trance.
The variety shocked me. Did I

want a 12-, 12-and-a-half, 13-, 13-
and-a-half or 14-inch mitt? Tan,
brown or black? Nike, Easton,
Mizuno or Rawlings? Index-finger
hole or just over the glove? Open
webbed or closed? Adjustable
strap or not? Regular padding
inside or Nike's super-duper-spe-
cial sweat absorbing material?
Although I could "play like
the pros," as one mitt noted, it
appeared as if I could no longer
just buya signed one from the
juniors (Ken and Cal), Barry Lar-
kin, Tony Gwynn or any of the
other early '90s greats and call it a
day. Why is that buying a baseball
mitt, like most things, seemed
much less complicated as akid?
I finally decided on a glove (13,
brown, Rawlings, hole, closed,
adjustable, regular, FYI) and head-
ed home to break it in. Without the
opportunity to stand in the infield
and give it the POUND, POUND,

POUND, BEND, DIRT, BEND,
POUND, POUND, POUND, BEND,
DIRT treatment, I had already
researched the subject. Sugges-
tions included the conventional
rubber band-and-oven treatment,
shaving cream, glove oil, saddle
soap, mink oil, neatsfoot oil, soak-
ing in water and petroleum jelly, to
name a few. Sadly, Moises Alou's
urine treatment doesn't transfer
to gloves.
But when I looked at the card-
board instructions attached to the
glove, there was bad news:
"READY TO PLAY! NO NEED
FOR OIL!"
Even worse, Rule 5:
"WARNING: DO NOT place
your glove ina conventional or
microwave oven for any reason.
Extreme heat could damage the
integrity of the leather and com-
promise the durability of the laces.
DO NOT heat the glove to speed up

the break-in process."
Hmmph ... corporate has even
taken the fun out of the break-in
process. Call me old fashioned, but
I was looking forward to the ritual.
Despite the letdown, I powered
on. A few pops of the ball into the
mitt and a couple near-death expe-
riences trying to throw a curveball
in the dark at Elbel Field made me
quickly forget the setbacks.
Oddly enough, my dad called last
Thursday to let me know he had
actually found my mitt, not realiz-
ing it was mine.
But after a few grounders, pop
flies, long tosses, bobbled catches
and balls that needed to be chased
down with my new mitt, my memo-
ries of Black Magic had already
gone "poof."
- Anyone looking to play
catch with Herman can reach
him at jaherman@umich.edu.

The Game.
michigandaily.
com/thegame

'M' encouraged with first
win over ranked opponent

By ANDY REID Along with finishing second in
Daily Sports Writer the first varsity eight, the Wol-
verines took home a victory in
In what was supposed to be the first varsity four, the compe-
a rebuilding year, the Michigan tition's third event.
rowing team is coming together Michigan had other strong
at just the right time. Though the performances, placing second in
Wolverines lost to Ohio State by the second varsity four, second in
fewer than two seconds in the the first novice eight and tallying
first varsity eight this weekend, another first-place finish in the
Michigan blew past No. 12 Ten- second novice eight.
nessee for its first finish above a But the loss to the Buckeyes in
ranked team of the season. the varsity eights still stings.
The race, held on the chilly "We raced extremely hard,"
Scioto River in Columbus, was a Rothstein said. "Obviously we
perfect way to enter the waning would have liked to beat Ohio
weeks of the season. State, but the fact is thatwe're not
With just one weekend of com- that far off them."
petition before entering the Big Fortunately for the Wolverines,
Ten Championships, Michigan is they'll get another chance. When
thankful for the added momen- Michigan travels to East Lansing
tum. next weekend for the regular sea-
"We're continuing to move in son finale, the Buckeyes will be
the right direction," Michigan waiting at the head of the Grand
coach Mark Rothstein said. "We River.
want to focus on improving each But the fact that the Wolverines
week and building towards the are challenging Ohio State this
races in May, because those are season is an accomplishment all
the really important ones." in itself. The Wolverines, whose

varsity eight is mainly comprised
of freshmen and sophomores, are
a very young team this season.
"I think this whole team is a
good group," Rothstein said. "Our
leadership has been really strong
throughout the year even though
we don't really have that many
seniors on the team."
Rothstein believes the stretch
run will be the most difficult
time of the year for his squad.
With the rigour of finals com-
ing up, Rothstein said the team
needs to focus on balancing aca-
demics along with training and
practices.
Added to the pressures of finals
are the looming Big Ten Champi-
onships, slated to begin on April
28.
"The Big Ten is going to be
really competitive this year,"
Rothstein said. "Ohio State is
going to be really fast. Minneso-
ta is going to be fast. Wisconsin
and Michigan State are going to
be fast, too. Hopefully we can be
fast, too."

0

The Michigan water polo team's hot start was wasted, as the Wolverines let the lead slip away and fell in overtime toI Indiana.
OT loss sours Blue's ride home

By ANTHONY OLIVEIRA
Daily Sports Writer
Bus rides are hard.
But bus rides following a rivalry
loss are excruciating.
In another classicbattle between
the 17th-ranked Michigan water
polo team and Indiana, the Wol-
verines found the trip back to Ann

Arbor difficult; having given up key

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chances en route to a 9-7 overtime
loss in Bloomington.
"That was the longest bus ride
of my life," sophomore Julie Hyrne
said. "Everyone was not really in a
good mood."
There wasn't too much to be
happy about after falling just 42
seconds short of victory. Taking a
one-goal lead into the final minute,
a controversial call put the Wolver-
ines a player down. Indiana made
the most of it, knotting the score at
six to send the game to overtime.
With the crowd behind them,
the Hoosiers netted two goals in
the first half of overtime to seal the
victory. The win was Indiana's fifth
in the 26-game series and marked
the 18th time the two teams were
separated by two goals or fewer.
"We have to take advantage of

our opportunities earlier in the
game in order for this not to hap-
pen," Michigan coach Matt Ander-
son said. "You can't wait for the
fourth quarter. You have to get it
done in the first and second quar-
ter."
On Indiana's senior day, Michi-
gan (6-1 CWPA, 29-14 overall) got
it done early. Trailing 1-0 early in
the contest, the Wolverines netted
four straight goals, quieting the
crowd at the Counsilman-Billings-
ley Aquatic Center.
With the game shaping similarly
to Michigan's rout over the Hoo-
siers earlier this season, the Wol-
verines seemed to have their first
regular-season sweep of Indiana
for the first time in three years.
But in the second quarter, Indi-
ana (7-0,14-13) stifled the Michigan
offense and produced three goals of
its own to deadlock the game going
into halftime.
"In the second quarter, we
weren't there," Hyrne said. "I don't
know what happened. Maybe we
thought it was going to be easier
because we were so pumped up and
we played so well in the first quar-
ter. And then we just kind of fell
apart."

With a second half lead, Michi-
gan had several chances to put the
game away. On two fast breaks, the
Wolverines beat the keeper, but
found the crossbar instead of the
net. On another fast break, Michi-
gan missed the net completely.
"We need to finish our opportu-
nities,"Andersonsaid. "That'swhat
it comes down to. When you get
those two-on-one breaks, you've
got to score them. And we didn't do
that."
But getting a chance to play an
intense overtime game this late
in the season presents an oppor-
tunity in itself. With 18 freshmen
and sophomores, the first Michi-
gan-Indiana overtime game in
two seasons provided invaluable
experience going into the West-
ern Divisional Championship in
two weeks. If all goes according
to plan, the Hoosiers and the Wol-
verines are set to square off in the
final.
"In the month of April, our focus
is the postseason," Anderson said.
"Regardless if we were playing 0
in this game, we need to focus on
what we need to do to win the tour-
nament championship and win the
bid to the final eight."
reen plays

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