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April 14, 2008 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

T c D - h y V.Monday, April 14, 2008-5B

Blue finishes season on
21-game winning streak

With 27 wins, Wolverines set
program record for victories
By RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Writer
With 21 straight victories to end the regular sea-
son, the Michigan water polo team was certainly
playing its best at the right time.
And with three victories at the Terrapin Tourna-
ment this weekend in College Park, Md., the Wol-
verines finished the season with a 27 wins - the
most in program history.
It was a record-filled weekend for No. 11 Michi-
gan, which also registered the first shutout in pro-
gram history, a 13-0 win over George Washington,
and also pulled out victories over Maryland, 15-12,
and Bucknell, 7-6.
The shutout was the cherry on top for the Wol-
verines, whose defense has drastically improved
over the course of the winning streak. Michigan
(27-9) has held opponents to single-digit totals in 18
of its 21 victories.
"(The defense) was the biggest reason we got the
shutout," sophomore goalkeeper Kimberly Gero
said. "I had a couple of blocks, but that was mainly
because they controlled the ball and kept it where it
was supposed to be."
Gero registered five saves in the victory, continu-
ing the team's stellar play between the pipes along
with Michigan's other netminder, junior Brittany
May..
Michigan coach Matt Anderson described the
defense in the opening shutout as "outstanding."
But the second game was a different story.
.Although the Wolverines came away with a vic-

tory over Maryland (20-12), it was a little too close
for comfort for Anderson.
"We just forgot how to play defense," Anderson
said.
The Michigan offense had to pull the team out
of trouble. Junior Sharayah Hernandez posted a
career-high eight-point effort to lead the Wolver-
ines.
Maryland scored with 1:38 remaining to send
the game into overtime, and it took the Wolverines
a second overtime to close the game out. Senior
Michelle Keeley hit the back of the net to put away
the Terrapins'in her final regular season game.
"We just got caught up in only scoring points,"
Anderson said. "But the girls realized that defense
was the only way to win"
The Wolverines returned to their defensive ways
against Bucknell (24-7). Junior Julie Hyrne led
Michigan to a victory with her sixth hat trick of the
year.
Hyrne's outstanding play and leadership sparked
the Wolverine offense that lost Michigan's all-time
leading point scorer, Shana Welch, to graduation
last year.
"Julie has been a force to be reckoned with in the
water this season," Anderson said. "She's been con-
tributing for a while now."
As the top-seeded Wolverines head into post-
season play next week with a game against Penn
State-Behrend in the CWPA Western Division
Championship, the team knows that another slip-up
on defense could mean the end of the season.
"We know what we're good at," Anderson said.
"It's just a matter of going out and being willing to
play that tough defense."
But for now, the Wolverines are just happy to
make it out of Maryland with their winning streak
and momentum intact.

AP PHOTO
Junior Tiffany Ofili posted NCAA Mideast Regional qualifying times in the 100-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash Saturday.
in first outdoor races

r
Immelmar bests Tiger Woods
m 11 upset victory at Masters
South African golfer
rebounds from . -1,

Michigan records 10:, thought," Michigan coach James
Henry said. "She was a little ner-
qualifying times at vous. The competition was solid,
but it wasn't the kind of competi-
meet in Arizona tion she has looked for."
The trip to Arizona offered the
By ALEX PROSPERI Wolverines an opportunity to run
Daily Sports Writer in great weather and compete
against teams other than their
Since winning the NCAA Indoor typical midwest foes.
National Championship in the 60- Sophomore Charnee Lumbus
meter hurdles a month ago, junior joined Ofili as a regional qualifier
Tiffany Ofili had yet to compete in the 100-meter hurdles with her
in her trademark event in the out- ninth-place finish (13.78).
door season. And Ofili's ninth-place finish in
But when that chance came at the 200-meter dash also qualified
the non-scoring Sun Angel Clas- her for the regional and was one of
sic in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday, Michigan's 10 qualifying times.
she didn't skip a beat, qualifying Junior Geena Gall quali-
for the NCAA Mideast Regional by fied by winning the. 800-meter
running a 13.01 in the 100-meter run (2:05.88), and senior Nicole
hurdles. Edwards did the same by winning
"She did better than what I the 1,500-meter run (4:17.74).

Freshman Emily Pendleton
added another qualifier to her
young career. She received her
second NCAA regional qualifying
throw in the discus (163-6) after
her first-place finish in the same
event two weeks ago at the Florida
State Relays.
Since Ofili hadn't run her best
event in a month and Henry had to
rest Edwards after an exhausting
indoor campaign, the numerous
qualifying times are impressive
for this Michigan squad.
"They have pretty much been
our lead goal," Henry said. "(And)
of course getting some good com-
petition in good weather."
After its third-place finish in
the NCAA Indoor Championships,
Michigan looks to be on the right
track for the NCAA Outdoor Cham-
pionships in June.

surgery to win first
major tournament
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Trevor
Immelman felt goose bumps as he
listened to a phone message left by
Gary Player, his childhood idol and
the last South African to slip on a
green jacket at the Masters.
Player told him to believe in
himself, to be strong through the
adversity that was sure to find him
during the wind-whipped final
round at Augusta National.
"I took that all to heart," Immel-
man said after a three-shot victory.
"And I'm sure he's proud of me."
For more than just his golf.
Only four months ago, Immel-
man was in a hospital in South Afri-
ca as doctors prepared to remove a
tumor from his diaphragm, learn-
ing only after the operation that it
was benign. Yesterday, as he stood
over a slippery 20-foot putt for par
as Tiger Woods was trying to make
a charge, Immelman passed his
biggest test in golf
Immelman came up clutch
around Amen Corner, stretched
his lead to as many as six shots, and
held on for a 3-over 75 to become
the first South African since Player
in 1978 to wear the coveted green
jacket.
"This has been the ultimate
roller-coaster ride, and I hate roller
coasters," Immelman said.
He wins a tournament in South
Africa. He's in the hospital a week
later as doctors slice open his back
to remove a tumor. He struggles
to contend when he returns to
golf. And only last week, he misses
another cut on the PGA Tour.
"Here I am ... Masters champi-
on," Immelman said. "It's the cra-

Trevor Immelman strikes a pose after becoming the Masters champion on Sunday.

ziest thing I've ever heard of."
Reached by telephone in Abu
Dhabi, Player told his assistant:
"I am so proud of Trevor. What a
thrill it was to see him come back.
from major surgery and beat Tiger.
I can't wait to see him and shake
his hand personally."
Player is among five players to
have won the career Grand Slam.
Among active players, Immelman
becomes the third South African to
capture a major, joining Ernie Els
and Retief Goosen.
As for that calendar Grand Slam,
that will have to wait until next
year for Woods.
He never got within five shots of
the lead when he was on the course.
He twice missed birdie putts inside
8 feet. And he had to settle for a 72
for his fifth runner-up finish in a
major.
"I learned my lesson there with

the press," Woods said with a
smile. He was the one who started
the talk about a Grand Slam by stat-
ing three months ago that winning
all four majors in the same year was
"easily within reason."
The only slam possibilities now
belong to Immelman, a 28-year-old
with a polished swing and quiet
determination.
"I knew he was going to make a
run," he said, referring to Woods.
"To win a major while he's playing,
and lie's playing at his peak ... it's a
hell of an achievement. I'm not sure
if I'll ever get it done again, but I'll
be trying my best."
Even after Immelman dunked
a 7-iron into the water on the
16th hole with a five-shot lead, he
regrouped to make double bogey,
saved par from a bunker on the 17th
and hit the final green despite his
tee shot landing ina deep divot.

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The building is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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www.umalumni.com 800.847.4764

ROWING
In Columbus for second straight week,
Wolverines leave with four victories

Varsity and novice
boats rebound from
losses to Virginia
By CLAIRE ABRAHAM
For the Daily
Dreary weather, choppy water
and two formidable opponents
couldn't hinder the No. 15 Michi-
gan women's rowing team Satur-
day.
In their second consecutive
week racing at Griggs Reservoir
in Columbus, the Wolverines won
four of the seven races, with victo-
ries from the first varsity four and
eight boats and both novice boats.
The first varsity four boat came

in 10.6 seconds ahead of No. 11
Ohio State. Bucknell and No. 9
Tennessee finished third and
fourth.
In the day's next race, the sec-
ond varsity eight clocked in with a
third-place time of 7:12.2, behind
Ohio State and Tennessee.
Michigan's first varsity eight
fed off of the day's earlier victo-
ries, though.
Tennessee held a slim lead for
much of the race, but the Wolver-
ines edged the Volunteers at the
end, coming in just two-tenths of
a second ahead of their competi-
tion. Ohio State came in a boat-
length behind the Wolverines.
"We're about racing every sin-
gle stroke of 2,000 meters," Mich-
igan assistant coach Veronika

Platzer said. "It's approximately
220 strokes in a 2,000 meter race,
and every stroke matters. We're.
not about jumping out into the
lead and hanging onto it for dear
life and hoping somebody else
won't beat us."
That philosophy drives each
boat to be consistent and gain
momentum each week. A loss to
Virginia last week challenged
the team to perform and outdo
their opponents this week. Platzer
said Michigan feels confident it
will continue to improve through
practice and by making changes
to its weekly lineups.
The Wolverines will compete at
Minnesota next week before host-
log the Big Ten Championships
two weeks later.

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