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March 09, 2009 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-09

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2B - March 9, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 4

Dance bid would Blue cruises to Big Ten title

0

give campus a real
March Madness

Michigan's win over Min-
nesota on Saturday was
a major step forward for
.en's basketball program.
It could also be the start of two
very fun weeks
for students.
Nothing is
set in stone, but
Michigan great-
ly increased s
its chances of F
making the
NCAA Tourna- NATE
ment with that SANDALS
win (fingers_
crossed). A win
in the Big Ten
Tournament this week will help
solidify that spot in the Big Dance.
None of us were here the last
time Michigan's name was called
on Selection Sunday (except those
10th-year seniors). That could very
well change in six days.
If Michigan's name is called, the
excitement level on this campus is
going to reach a level it hasn't seen
since the football team went to
Columbus with an 11-0 record in
2006.
Students are primed to succumb
to March Madness, and this year
the basketball team is giving them
the chance.
The Wolverines spot in the tour-
nament and many of the following
events depend on what happens in
conference tournaments around the
country, but here are a few ideas for
how the Athletic Department can
take advantage of the opportunity
to make this campus live and die by
Michigan basketball in the next two
weeks:
The students should get to enjoy
the fun of March Madness, too,
startingwith a Selection Show party
at Crisler Arena on Sunday. After
years of watching students on cam-
puses across the country celebrate
their team making the tournament,
Michigan students have earned
their chance to do the same.
In general, pep rallies are lame.

But if Michigan makes the tourna-
ment, the student body should get a
chance to send the team off before it
heads out for its first game.
And if Michigan gets placed in a
regional within reasonable driving
distance, the Athletic Department
should arrange buses to take as many
students to the game as want to go.
Only a few hundred students
bought season tickets this year, but
that number will go up for next sea-
son. Winning always builds a bigger
fanbase, and involving the fans in
the excitement of this experience
will help itgrow even more.
And those are just the possibili-
ties before Michigan even plays a
tournament game.
If the Wolverines happen to play
on Thursday afternoon, the Uni-
versity may as well cancel classes
because every student is going to be
watching, even the ones who don't
usually care about basketball.
Provided the Wolverines make
the tournament, it will be exciting
to see how March Madness takes
over this campus.
Just consider how nuts this cam-
pus goes for March Madness when
Michigan isn't in the field. The bars
are always packed, bracketsrare lit-
tered around campus, lecture halls
are empty on Thursday and Friday,
and students who do go to class are
watchingthe games online.
By adding a significant rooting
interest in the results, March Mad-
ness on this campus is going to reach
a scale we've never seen.
It's been 10 years since Michigan
last made the tournament, which
means a lot of students have gradu-
ated without getting to enjoy what
we may get to this March.
If we get that chance, let's not
take it for granted.
- Sandals reminds readers of
his Jan.26 column to go watch the
Michigan water polo team in the
Wolverine Invitational this weekend
at Canham Natatorium. He can be
reached at nsandals o umich.edu.

By JASON KOHLER
Daily Sports Writer
The women's club lacrosse team
jogged onto the field in the Ooster-
baan Fieldhouse, giving each other
high-fives with their sticks and
yelling cheers of encouragement.
Twenty yards downfield, the
Wisconsin players quietly walked
to their positions.
No cheers. No exuding sense of
confidence.
Judging by the difference in
demeanor, the game was already
over. No. 4 Michigan looked like it
knew it was going to win, an atti-
tude that was obvious all weekend
against the powder-puff field in
the Big Ten Tournament.
The Wolverines (8-2) trounced
the Badgers 16-2 and outscored
opponents 58-14 all weekend to
easily take the tournament crown.
Michigan's offensive produc-
tion made freshman goalie Emmy
Scheidt's work in the net a bit more
relaxing than usual. Wisconsin
had just three shots on goal, large-
ly because the Wolverines were
too busy scoring and the Badgers
didn't have many possessions.
But the Wolverines are not
invincible. Early in the season,
Michigan lost by a goal to both No.
2 Cal Poly and No.3 Colorado.
"Personally, it's tough to stay
focused in games like these just

"It's tough," Dunbar said about
working both jobs. "You definitely
have to work with schedulingcon-
cerns,bothplanningaroundgames
and when the practices start. It's a
long season."
Despite the pressure of coach-
ing two teams, Dunbar embraces
the challenge and has come to
appreciate the maturity and love
for the game that her collegiate
players possess.
The team's maturity showed in
its first game of the season against
Division-III Adrian - one of just
two varsity teams in the state.
The Wolverines knocked off the
varsity squad 8-7 in a exhibition
match.
"We think we can play against
the top-level Division-III teams,"
Dunbar said. "Being able to play
against Adrian and beat Adrian,
I think it legitimizes us a little
more."
Although the game didn't count
toward Michigan's record, it
meant everything for players who
decided to give up the chance to
play varsity when they came to
Michigan.
"It's an awesome thing for the
student athletes to be able to play
club sports because a majority of
them wouldn't be playing a Divi-
sion-I sport," Dunbar said. "And I
wouldn't be a coaching a Division-I
team."

Sophomore Britt Boehm is Michigan's second-leading scorer (20 goals) this season.
because there's not a lot of oppor- verine club duties.
tunity to help out," Scheidt said. Dunbar's high school gig helped
"We still work on things. It's not her recruit for Michigan. When
just a cakewalk out there. We have Scheidt decided to come to Michi-
to challenge ourselves." gan, her coach prodded the goalie
In 2007, Scheidt led Birming- to give the club team a shot.
ham Seaholm High School to' "It was more of an encourage-
the team state championship in ment," Dunbar said. "'Hey, do you
Michigan. Both Michigan coach hear the coaches are pretty cool?
Jen Dunbar and assistant coaches You should come out for the team.'
Ginny and Kasey Hughes coach at But jugglingtwo jobs also has its
Seaholm in addition to their Wol- drawbacks.

Tiebreaker trouble dooms Wolverines

By ANDREW CLAUW
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's tennis
team had already lost the meet, but
its No. 5 singles had the intensity
of a championship game. Wolver-
ine junior George Navas, facing
off against Wake Forest freshman
David Hopkins, won the first set
6-4 and dropped the second set 7-5
to leave the match to a10-point tie-
breaker.
The crowd was silent as both
teams watched from a distance.
Navas went up 8-4, but his oppo-
nent refused to give up. With a 9-8
lead and the chance to finish the
smatch, the junior stepped up to
serve. He hit a well-placed, cross-

court approach shot off of Hopkins'
quick return to win the tiebreaker
10-8 and earn a point for No. 28
Michigan.
Unfortunately for the Wolver-
ines, Navas' point was Michigan's
only one of the meet. The Wolver-
ines were down 6-0 to No. 23 Wake
Forest by the time Navas started
the tiebreaker.
"I don't worry about everyone
watching, but it's difficult once
the match is clinched by the other
team," Navas said. "I was (just)
tryingto salvage one point."
The match started off on a sour
note for Michigan. The Demon
Deacons came out strong with
4-1 leads at No. 1 and No. 3 dou-
bles. Sophomore Jason Jung and

Navas appeared overwhelmed by
the nation's No. 1 doubles team of
Wake Forest junior Steven Forman
and senior Cory Parr and Michi-
gan lost 8-4.
Coupled with Michigan's 8-5
loss at No. 3 doubles, the Demon
Deacons sealed the doubles point.
Wake Forest's momentum
hurt Michigan early on in singles
competition. The Wolverines fell
behind early, losing No. 1and No. 2
singles in straightsets, with both of
senior Andrew Mazlin's decided by
close tiebreakers at No. 2 singles.
"We were in every match, and
we competed very hard," Michigan
coach Bruce Berque said."We were
losing a lot of tiebreakers (and) a
lot of close ones tonight."

Senior co-captain Peter Aarts's
match was also drawn out to a
10-point super tiebreaker for the
decisive set after splitting 7-5, 6-7.
Aarts failed to clinch a victory and
lost the tiebreaker 10-6 at No. 4
singles.
"I think we played decent,"
Aarts said. "I'm not going to say
well and I'm not going to say bad
- obviously not the level that we
want to play at."
Berque feels that there is a lot
of potential for his team, but as
the season continues, there will be
fewer opportunities for players to
prove themselves.
"We're a good team despite our
record, but we're not our best yet,"
Berque said.

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