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March 20, 2008 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-20

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ji The Michigan Daily - michigandy.com

Thursday, March 20i 2008- 5A

Bronco beatdown: Streak 'Twas the night
contimes in Wolverine rout before Opening Day

By RYAN KNAPP
For the Daily
Led by strong play from juni
Chisako Sugiyama, the Michige
women'stennisteamscored an ea
7-0 victory over Western Michigs
lastnight attheVarsity Tennis Ce-
ter, extending Michigan's pattei
of domi-
nance W. MICHIGAN
in the MICHIGAN
intrastate
battle.
Michigan has now racked up I
straight victories against the Bro-
cos.Lastnight's match also gave t.
29th-ranked Wolverines (7-4) thv
fifth consecutive win after startir
the year with a subpar 2-4 record,
"This is by far the best tenr
we have played all year," Michigi
coach Ronni Bernstein said. "We-
ern always seems to gives us fi,
as shown by last year's comebl*
win. I told the team to stay focusl
because on any given day in teno,
even the most talented teams to
lose."
The match started off witl a
strong showing by Sugiyama ad
sophomore Tania Mahtani, se
nation's 44th-ranked doubles ten.
The duo held off a late rallby
Western Michigan's doubles ttm
to win 8-5.
"I told them to settle downnd
play with more energy," Bernein
said. "The important thingfor
them to realize was that losing ur
straight games did not matter, iy
were still winning."
Sugiyama and Mahtani wer on
top of their game, hitting on of.
their shots and dominating in eery
facet of the game.
Unable to match their intesity,
the Broncos' pair became frusrat-
ed. This led to several balls hinto
the net and a few slammed racets.

Junior Chisako Sugiyama was recently n
After the Wolverines defeated
Western Michigan in all three
doubles matches, Michigan swept
the six singles matches. Freshmen
Whitney Taney and Rika Tatsuno
were impressive, dominating their
opponents and winning 6-0, 6-1
and 6-0, 6-0, respectively.

Anu shors anuseortsxsrts anusiltssofsassasops.
So don't be deterred by the unpleasant weather,
The team's funto watch andthe conditions get better.
JEREMY CHO/Daily You may need warm clothing or asnug winter hat,
amed Big Ten women's tennis Athlete of the Week for the fourth time in her career. As you sit and enjoy the first pings of the bat.
But back to the players and the coaches, too,
Though most of the Wolverines help of a perfectly placed drop shot. All sleeping at home, dreaming of what they can do.
breezed through their matches, Using that momentum, Sugiyama They want to play well, coach well, do everything right,
Sugiyama ran into a little trouble, cruised to a 6-4 set win. Score early and often for the fans' delight.
finding herself down 4-1 in the sec- "That shot was the turning point And if you ask this columnisthe has just one wish -
ond after winning the first set 6-2. in the match," Sugiyama said. "It Every student going down to Opening Day at the Fish.
But Sugiyama slowly worked her gave me the confidence that I could
way back into the match, getting win the set and it was a huge psy- -Bosch is really excited for baseball in Ann Arbor to
the next game to deuce with the chological boost." start. So much so that he tried to write a poem. Weird.
He can be reached at hectobos@umich.edu.
Hagelin starting totap potential

WRESTUNfG
Turni rg failure
into mnotivation
After losing spot teammates - which makes his
unlikely turnaround even more
Marsh hopes to bi surprising.
Marsh wrestled in just 14 dual
All-American meets in his previous four years.
This season, he has already won
By GJON JUNCAJ 14 dual matches,. including an
Daily Sports writer upset victory over then-No. 1
Mike Poeta of Illinois.
Jeff Marsh made a promiseo Marsh's quick-strike offense
himself. has catapulted him to a 21-12
Twd weeks after losing is overall record this season and
sta ing spot at 157 potuss makes him a dark horse to cap-
during a ture the 157-pound title this
wrestle-off weekend.
with former MARSH "When Jeff's aggressive,
teammate when he goes out and stays on
Rob Sulaver the attack, he can beat anybody
last season, in the country," Michigan coach
the Dexter Joe McFarland said. "I want him
native was to keep the pedal down and just
a spectator keep scoring points. Good things
in Auburn YEAR: Senior are going to happen to him, and
Hills for WEIGHT:157 he's proved that all season."
the NCAA McFarland's confidence in
Champion- HOMETOWN Marsh hasn't always been this
ships.While Dexter steady.
contemplat- Marsh is rankec . Marshconsideredtransferring
ing how to No.15 in his shortly after losing his starting
rebound weight class. spot last season. But having just
from a one year of eligibility remain-
mediocre ing hurt his stock with potential
10-11season suitors, so he flirted with quit-
record, the redshirtjunior foud ting wrestling altogether. But
his answer while watching Jo' his revelation in Auburn Hills
Churella during the semifinals sparked momentum few thought
"I knew that every day in t Marsh would still be riding one
wrestling room, we had goo, year later.
solid matches," Marsh said. "AI "When we'd bein the wrestling
then I saw guys I had beats room, people were yelling, 'You
becoming All-Americans ad want a national title,' " Marsh
NCAA finalists. And I was lii, said. "Before that, it'd just be a
'I should be here. There's no my word. Then (after the NCAAs),
I shouldn't be at this tournamet I had something concrete to put
and shouldn't be an All-Ame- behind the image."
can."' Marsh recalled feeling pangs
This year, as a senior, Mar in his stomach while driving
fulfilled the first of his vom, home from a workout the week
placing fifth at the Big TA after the national tournament,
championships and qualifyig "and it wasn't for food." Marsh
for nationals earlier this mon. craved a national title, but his
Now Marsh, along with fie determination was again tested
teammates, will look to cary before the season started.
Michigan's momentum froma I After a vigorous off-season,
third-place team finish in te Marsh was told his scholar-
conference championships a ship wouldn't be renewed. But
this weekend's NCAA Tourn- Marsh's response to the news
ment in St. Louis. was even more surprising then
Of those six national qua- the timing of the withdrawal.
fiers, Marsh and freshman K- "That's not what I'm here
len Russell are the only two wb for," Marsh told the coaches.
aren't returning All-American "I'm here to lead this team to a
And with Russell receiving B National Championship."
Ten Freshman of the Year hos Twenty-one victories later,
ors, Marsh is th ione Wolverir Marsh lofls to follow through
lacking the lofty accolades of h on his pr8mise.

ByANDYREID
Daily Sports Writer
Carl Hagelin's Michigan debut
couldn't have been more perfect.
With the laid-back finesse of
someone enjoying a Sunday after-
noon public skate, Hagelin blew
past a line of Western Ontario
defenders.
The freshman curled effortlessly
around the crease, finding a wide-
open net for a wraparound goal. As
the lamp lit, a flurry of hats floated
down to the ice, acknowledging his
third goal in the exhibition contest.
"I mean, if I was a defender, and
I had Carl coming down on me, I'd
back up," freshman Matt Rust said.
"The kid's gotcincredible speed, he's
got a good shot and he's shifty. He
can make you look stupid in a lot of
different ways."
But the high expectations Hage-
lin set with such awe-inspiring
goals early in the season gave way
to streaky play and missed chances
as the year wore on.
Now, in the midst of a three-
game goal streak, the longest of his
collegiate career, Hagelin finally
seems comfortable in maize and
blue.
"Some of them were lucky," said
Hagelin of his early season success-
es. "Now, it feels like I'm getting
into it more and more. I'm more
confident with the puck and that's

ter."
Butbefore he assumed the duties'
at center last week, Hagelin was 0.
often too hesitant with the puck,
looking for outlet passes instead of
takingopenshots.
One of the fastest players on
the Wolverines' roster, Hagelin
could explode for breakaways but
regularly slowed up to wait for
teammates, missing out on scenring
chances.
"At the beginning, I didn't hold
on to the puck as much as I prob-
ably should have," Hagelin said. "I
threw it away too much. I think the
,more you play, the more confident
you get. That's how it is."
Just beforetheNebraska-Omaha
series, Michigan coach Red Beren-
son had one simple message for the
Swede - shoot more.
And the result was two high-
light-reel breakaway goals, one in
each game.
On Friday night, in a play similar
to his final goal against Western
Ontario, Hagelin circled the net
with the puck. But instead of com-
pleting the wraparound, he pulled
up and then shot, completely fool-
ing goalie Jerad Kaufmann for his
first career playoff tally.
And with Rust's return to the
lineup doubtful for this week,
Hagelin will have another chance
to wow the crowd from the center
position.

Freshman Carl Hagelin, who hails from Sweden, has had his ups and downs during
his rookie campaign, but he's currently on a three-game goal-scoring streak.

when the points come."
That confidence couldn't have
come at a better time. With center-
man Rust out after sustaining a bro-
ken left fibula in practice last week,
Hagelin was called upon to fill the
role in the Wolverines' first post-
season series, a CCHA quarterfinal
matchup with Nebraska-Omaha.
Although the Sodertalje, Swe-
den native hadn't played center in
almost four months, he showed a
knack for the position, winning
54.3 percent of his faceoffs and

thriving under the pressure of set-
ting offenses and having more pos-
session of the puck.
Hagelin also excelled inside the
blueline, where Michigan coach
Red Berenson wants his centermen
to crash down and play an aggres-
sive style of defense not normally
expected from wings, Hagelin's
usual position.
"He was all over the ice," Beren-
son said. "He was our best two-way
player all weekend. ... What he did
show me is that he can play cen-

Longtime friends to reunite at NCAAs

By RUTH LINCOLN
Daily Sports Writer
Borrowing a pencil or lending
a friend a sweater is an everyday
occurrence.
But giving a competitor a $260
swimsuit during a National Cham-
pionship meet is a little different.
At the 2007 ConocoPhillips USA
Swimming National Champion-
ships last August, North Carolina's
Whitney Sprague had a less-than-
stellar performance in the 800-
meter freestyle.
Sprague's friend in the next lane,
Michigan's Emily Brunemann,
comforted her.
The two distance swimmers
had their sights set on qualifying
and traveling together to the Japan
International Grand Prix meet
later that month.
Brunemann lent Sprague one
of her personal Speedo Fastskin
FS Pro racing suits to i( prove her
chances. A top-of-the-line compe-

tition suit, the FS Pro retails for
$260.
"I don't thinkI could have gotten
through Nationals without her,"
Sprague said. "She really wanted
me to do well. She was just exactly
what I needed when I was down."
The duo swam head-to-head in
three events during Nationals. In
the 1,500-meter freestyle, Brun-
emann took first while Sprague
finished fourth. But the medals
carried little importance.
"It almost didn't matter who
won," Brunemann said. "I really
wanted her to go on that trip with
me because she's an amazing per-
son as well as a competitor."
Unfortunately for the duo,
Sprague didn't qualify to join
Brunemann in Japan. But as two of
the top collegiate distance swim-
mers in the nation, their paths
were likely to cross again.
They first met as sophomores
last March a the locker room at
the NCAA $wimming and Div-

ing Championships in Minne-
apolis. They discovered some
mutual friends from club and col-
legiate swim teams and quickly
became friends.
Only getting to see each other
at meets, the two keep in touch
frequently through Facebook,
but haven't reunited since last
August. They'll have their chance
this weekend at the NCAA Swim-
ming and Diving Championships
in Columbus.
"I'm really excited to see her,"
Sprague said. "It's fun to see how
she's doing, and to know that I,
have a friend when I go to Nation-
als or NCAAs."
They both broke records in
the 1,650-yard freestyle in their
respective conferences this season,
and swam the nation's two fastest
mile times. Sprague edged Brun-
emann by less than three-tenths of
a second (15:51:02).
The NCAA l$ampionships kick
off tonight at Ohio State's McCorkle

Aquatic Pavilion with Brunemann
and Sprague's showdown set for
Saturday. The 1,650-yard freestyle
final is loaded with talent, but the
duo have times more than seven
seconds ahead of the nearest com-
petitors.
"I don'thave alot of otherswim- ,e
ming friends from other sides of
the country," Sprague said. "As I've
grown older, Pve met more people,
but she's one person who I've met a
and really loved."
Both Brunemann and Sprague
haven't faced tough competition
this season, taking early leads and
never looking back. They'll see the
stiffest distance competition of the
season this weekend, but the end
results will be more than just atrip
to the podium.
"Yes it's a race, and yes it's a
competition, but it's almost more
that," Brunemann said. "Yeah, you
win this race a couple times, but
the 4you have a friend for alot lon-
ger.

I

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