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February 11, 2008 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-11

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4B - Monday, February 11, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wolverines finally show signs of improvement

"I know one thing. After going through
this, there'll never bea win that I don't enjoy
the rest of my lHfe. In some years, it's been
lots of wins. And a lot of times, I was upset
how we played afterward. And that'll never
happen again as long as I live."
- Men's basketball coach John Beilein
t has been a tough season for Beilein,
tough enough for him to redefine his
perspective on winning after 30 years
of coaching.
I hope he gets to the
point where that chang-
es, and Michigan is good
enough to allow Beilein
to find disappointment
in wins. But that's in the
distant future.
For now, he's lead-
ing the Wolverines in DANIEL
what will likely end up FELDMAN
as their worst season
in nearly 50 years. I'm
not happy with this team's progress, but
it is where it is. And considering what has
transpired, there's some satisfaction to be
found in its recent play.
Saturday's win over Penn State and
Tuesday's competitive loss at Ohio State
were back-to-back inspiring performances
for Michigan.
Playing well in consecutive games
shouldn't excite Michigan fans, but it
does, because the Wolverines hadn't been
impressive in two straight games since
their first two of the season - wins over
Brown and Radford by an average of 21
points per game.
This was Michigan's 11th straight vic-
tory over the Nittany Lions.
Fans shouldn't be excited about cleaning
score l
From page 1B said. "I
the bas
chusetts, Maryland, South Caro- Nem
lina and host Florida Atlantic at the weeken
Kick-Off Classic. a domir
With two one-run victories and chusett
two extra-inning games, Michigan strikeo
had its hands full all weekend. But win ove
thanks to the relentless pitching Nem
duo of sophomore Nikki Nemitz games
and freshman Jordan Taylor, the since I
Wolverines stayed close in every first-te
game. year an
Nemitz, Michigan's only return- her fre
ing pitcher, assumed the leadership tions h
role as the team's ace. the vete
"Pitching is key for keeping the ing staf

up against Big Ten bottom-feeders.But they
are, because the Wolverines lost to an Ivy
League bottom-feeder.
Despite letting Penn State take the lead
with a 12-0 run to start the second half,
Michigan battled back.
Fans shouldn't be excited about a game
where the Wolverines had another one of
the lengthy mental lapses that have killed
their offense.But it is exciting because
Michigan still won and it's been oh so long
since that happened - 28 days since a win
and 59 since a home win.+
As senior Ron Coleman dribbled out the
final seconds, the crowd erupted, seeming
to break free from a box the team's failures
had stuck them in.
The Wolverines' schedule, youth and ther
challenge of learning a new system may¢
prevent wins. But they should be better
than they've been most of the season. The
players are talented - not the most talent-
ed, but more talented than 6-17.
Keeping up the energy they had the
last two games would be a huge start in
improving their play.
The players talked all season about
getting that vigor. Last week, they had a
players-only meeting to talk about it some
It's too early to tell if that talk has actu-
ally made them play harder, but they did
the next two games.r
Can they make it three in a row at Iowa?
That might be pushing it.k
It's hard to fathom how low expectations4
have fallen.
But they have, so now fans must search
for some baby steps.
- Feldman can be reached Michigan coach John Beilein said he l value wins more after the Wolverines tough season. Mic
at danfeld@umich.edu. finally got back on the winning side of things with a 68-63 victory over Penn State Saturday.

Maravic sgrves up
clinching victory
A fist pump and sigh of relief
from senior Matko Maravic sealed
a weekend in which the captain of
the Michigan men's tennis team
led his squad to a solid return after
losing to No. 1 Virginia last week.
With the score 3-2 in favor of
No. 18 Michigan Sunday against
Vanderbilt, Maravic had a feeling
his match was taking on a greater
"I felt an energy shift when
everyone came over to watch,"
Maravic said.

Trip west unkind
for young squad


ow, so our batters have a
to win the game," Nemitz
It keeps the other team off
es as much as possible."
itz set the tone for the
id, tallying 10 strikeouts in
nating 1-0 win over Massa-
s. She picked up seven more
uts in a 3-2 complete-game
er South Carolina.
itz's control during the tight
demonstrated her growth
ast season. After earning
am All-Big Ten honors last
nd posting a 22-4 record in
shman campaign, expecta-
ave risen as she takes over
eran role on the young pitch-
f, which includes two fresh-

Nemitz split the pitching duties
this weekend with Taylor, who
made her collegiate debut Friday
against Maryland.
The Valencia, Calif., native
showed maturity beyond her 19
years, pitching calmly through two
extra-inning showdowns. After an
error-filled 2-0 nine-inning loss
to Maryland Friday, she bounced
back, holding Florida Atlantic
scoreless and limiting damage in
extra innings to give the Wolver-
ines an opportunity for a dramatic
come-from-behind victory Sunday
In the bottom of the ninth, with
the Wolverines down 2-1, freshman

Dorian Shaw hit a three-run walk-
off home run to give Michigan its
biggest offensive explosion of the
weekend. Before the clutch. blast,
Shaw had struck out seven times
over the first three games of the
Michigan coach Carol Hutchins
said the offense started to come
alive in the sixth inning of the Flor-
ida Atlantic game, whenthe players
started making more contact. They
maintained the offensive energy
throughout the end of the tourna-
"We got our sticks going,"
Nemitz said. "Our offense started
producing, and we started seeing
the ball."
In Sunday's rematch with
Maryland, Nemitz gave the
Wolverines a solid six innings

and left the game with a 5-2 lead.
Taylor stepped in with two base
runners on, struck out two batters
and forced a fielder's choice to pick
up the save.
With the promising pitching
performance and an offense that
combined for a season-high 12 hits
against the Terrapins, Michigan
has plenty to build on heading into
the 2008 season.
With five consecutive weekend
tournaments ahead, the Wolver-
ines need to defrost their bats from
the Michigan winter a little more
to take some pressure off the pitch-
"We need to play the game the
way we play in practice," Hutchins
said. "But I do think as we went
on, we got better. We were a better
team when we left."

Are you planning an event and need money?

. .

The Michigan Student
Assembly will be accepting
funding applications from
SOAR recognized
organizations until 5pm on
Friday, February 15, 2008.
Application materials and
further information can be
found at www.msa.umich.edu.

psac TEST
FEBRUARY 16,2008.
AllTs s aei nell Ha '
GREiT2vrei UD C g yiA isesso)
S-AT-230AM - AUD D

It may have been 70 degrees in
Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford
Invitational this weekend, but the
Wolverines were left out in the
Facing four of the top 10 wom-
en's water polo squads in the coun-
try, Michigan came up emptyin the
win column. The Wolverines were
trounced 16-0 by No.1 and three-
time defendingNational Champion
UCLA and followed up the shutout
with anotherbrutal loss, falling13-
5 to No. 7 San Jose State.
The second day offered closer
scores, but two more losses as
Michigan fell to No. 4 Hawaii, 9-8
and No. 10 Arifona State, 9-6.
Switzer impresses
in "Meyo Mile"
Michigan junior Justin Switzer
slashed three seconds off his per-
sonal-best time in the "Meyo Mile"
and was one of three Wolverines to
post NCAAprovisionaltimes atthe
Meyo Invitational in South Bend,
Ind. this weekend.
Switzer's time (4:03) earned him
10th place in the race. The Meyo
Mile pinned the nation's top dis-
tance runners against each other
and is known as one of the most
competitive individual competi-
tions of the season. Thirty-four
runners competed in the race,
three finished with sub-four-min-
ute miles and seven notched provi-
sional times.
Ofili and Co.
notch record time
Senior Nicole Edwards and
junior Tiffany Ofili could not have
run faster out of the cold weather.
A four-year member of the
4,000-meter distance medley relay
(DMR), Edwards anchored her
team in the mile for a victory at
Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational. In
Edwards's career, her DMR at the
Invitational has given her a reason
to smile. Each season, herteam has
posted an NCAA qualifying time.
But this year, the race proved to ,
be anything but ordinary.
The Wolverines shattered their
own 2007 DMR course record by
three seconds Friday at the Lof-
tus Center and recorded the fast-*
est time in the nation this season
(11:01:51). The victory gave Michi-
gan one of its five first-place finishes
in the two-day, 24-event non-scor-
ing invitational.
'M' gymnasts
falter in U.S. meet
LAS VEGAS - For Winter Cup
preliminaries last Thursday, the
crowd at the Las Vegas Sports
Center was small and relaxed, as
gymnasts from all over the country,
including four Wolverines, fought
tooth and nail for a spot in Saturday
night's finals.
That all changed Saturday night.
With seven Senior National Team
spots at stake, gymnastics fans
mobbed the entrance and rushed

to grab seats as soon as the doors
opened --two hours before the
"This is the first time I've ever
seen, when they let people in, ehey
were actually running in to their
seats," Michigan assistant coach
Scott Vetere said.

Co L, -4 0 1", PRO

NAL aft# I -

.2 (9k -
elemerdE 327 S. Main St. (734) 769-1590

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