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March 11, 2010 - Image 8

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8A - Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 9

'M' remains on bubble with NCAAs looming

Wolverines excited
for chance at out-of-
conference play
By AMY SCARANO
Daily Sports Writer
Now it's waiting time.
It's been two years since the
Wolverines have seen the post-
season. And with NCAA Selection
Day just five days away, there is no
telling what this postseason will
hold.
Michigan (17-13 overall, 8-10
Big Ten) could be selected to the
NCAA Tournament - though the
likelihood of that is debatable. If
they don't make the field of the 64
best teams in the nation, they will
probably receive an at-large bid to
the Women's National Invitation
Tournament.
Either way, the Wolverines are
excited at the possibility to play
opponents from other conferenc-
es.
"I think our conference from
top to bottom is so tough, day in
and day out, that I think any one
of us would relish a chance to play
someone outside of it," Michigan

coach Kevin Borseth said follow-
ing the team's loss in the confer-
ence tournament. "We are waiting,
hoping that we get an opportunity
to do that."
The Wolverines completed the
regular season last week when
they lost to second seed Michigan
State 61-50 in the quarterfinals of
the Big Ten Tournament in India-
napolis.
A win over the Spartans would
have almost certainly secured
Michigan's spot in the NCAA
Tournament, but with the loss
they remain squarely on the bub-
ble.
Last year, five teams from the
Big Ten were selected to the NCAA
Tournament, the most since 2006.
Minnesota (20-12, 11-7 before
selection day last season) had the
worst record of the conference's
tournament teams.
And the Wolverines, with 17
wins on the season, are seventh
in the conference. But with five
possible bids in the conference
and only three teams - Ohio State,
Michigan State and Wisconsin -
sitting pretty going into selection
day, it is likely that either Michi-
gan, Iowa or Penn State will be
celebrating come Monday.

Any one of those teams has a they advanced to the third round *
decent chance of making the tour- of the tournament two years ago
nament. Michigan swept Iowa before losing to Michigan State in
early in the season before the East Lansing.
Hawkeyes found success to end "We (played at home) a couple
the season with 18 wins. Penn years ago," senior center Krista
State started strong before los- Phillips said. "We want to do
ing eight of their final nine regu- it again, to have a home-court
lar season games to end tying the advantage. We want to try to get a
Wolverines with 17 wins. The Nit- few more Ws before the season is
tany Lions split games with Michi- over."
gan this season. Though Borseth has seen just
one postseason appearance with
the Wolverines, he's no rookie to
"W e want to try the NCAA or WNIT. In his nine
years at Wisconsin-Green Bay, he
and get a few took his team to the NCAA Tour-
nament seven times and to the
more Ws before WNIT twice.
No matter which tournament@.
the season's over" they end up playing in, Borseth is
more than capable of succeeding
with such an inexperienced team -
But even a WNIT bid would be between all 13 players, just four of
an improvement for Michigan, a them have ever played a postseason
team that ended its season after game in their collegiate career.
a first-round loss in the Big Ten "(This year) is a lot differ-
Tournament last year. ent," sophomore forward Carmen
In the event of receiving a Reynolds said. "It's been a lot dif-
WNIT bid, Michigan will likely ferent. We are young, we have a lot
have a chance to play at home, of fun with each other and we get
something the Wolverines were along great so we are just looking
able to take advantage of in their forward to what we have in store
last postseason appearance when for the postseason."

Junior Veronica Hicks leads the Wolverines in scoring this season with 13 points per
game. Michigan sits on the bubble with NCAA Tourney selection on Monday.

Third Annual
Gramlich SHOWCASE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2010
of Student Work 4:00 - 6:oo P.M.
Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, ist and 2nd floors
735 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Poster session. Free and open to the public. Refreshments served.
join us as we highlight and celebrate the intellectual achievements of graduate and undergraduate students at the Gerald R.
Ford School of Public Policy.
Ford School faculty have nominated students for inclusion, and the posters on display will represent a wide range of
student work: from local issues to foreign policy, from social welfare policy to health care reform, from undergraduate
work to dissertation research. Students will be on hand to describe their projects and answer questions.
This annual event is named for long-time U-M faculty member and former Federal Reserve Board Governor Ned Gramlich,
as a tribute to his belief in and commitment to the value of a public policy education.
Details, call Jill at 734-6i-3893,. wwwfordschool.umich.edu Gerald R Ford
School of Public Policy
i s iUN VP RSITY OF MiCt )GAN

0

ARIELBoND/Daly
Junior Dorian Shaw leads the Wolverines in home runs this season with eight in 18
games of action. She also led the team last year with a total of 14.
Despite lengthy road
trip to start the season,
Michigan finds success

rT-

. ,
,
,,

Wolverines are 14-4
without playing a
home game in 2010
By ALEX HERMANN
Daily Sports Writer
It's an annual occurence for
the Michigan softball team. Every
year the Wolverines travel for
more than the first month of the
season as the Ann Arbor weather
remains uncertain.
This season, No. 7 Michigan
plays six straight weekends away
from home, with its home opener
finally coming on March 24.
But even with the challenges
that come with playing on the
road, the team has still seen a tre-
mendous amount of success.
Last year the Wolverines were
20-9 before they ever played in
Ann Arbor, and in the 2008 sea-
son Michigan went 29-3 during its
early-season road stretch.
And in 2010, a similar script is
being written. The Wolverines
(14-4) have played well early, led
by their two stud pitchers, junior
Jordan Taylor and senior Nikki
Nemitz.
The success is more impressive
when you consider the quality
of teams that Michigan gener-
ally plays before entering Big Ten
play. This season, the Wolverines
have had matchups against eight
top-20 teams already, winning
five.
"We practice indoors all year,"
junior first baseman Dorian Shaw
said after last week's win at Mis-
sissippi State. "When we go out
and beat a team that hasn't had to
practice indoors a single day all
season, I take pride in that. I have
to practice on rubber turf, with
a high ceiling and crazy lighting,
and we can still come out and
compete with you guys."
Though the results have been
favorable for Michigan, traveling
across the country every week
doesn't necessarily become easi-
er the longer you do it. At best, it

becomes tolerable - sort of.
"You don't even know what
day it is sometimes," Nemitz
said. "Having to get on buses and
planes, and driving here and flying
there, it kind of gets old and bor-
ing. But you just get used to it and
you know how to handle it."
Even for seniors like Nemitz,
the traveling can be grueling. But
for other upperclassmen like Shaw,
staying on top of her academics
presents the biggest challenge.
"That middle of the week when
you can only go to class two days,
three days in the week and then
you're gone again," she said. "I
think that that's the hardest part,
keeping up with everything, all of
your responsibilities, within the
three days that you're actually in
town."
. Every Big Ten team makes sim-
ilar sacrifices. West-coast schools
travel east to play relatively early
in the morning in the eastern
time zone. Even Southern schools
do quite a bit of traveling, con-
sidering the same schools aren't
hosting every early-season tour-
nament.
But with that said, Michigan
still faces a unique challenge
when you consider both the trav-
eling and the quality of the com-
petition.
"I don't think you ever really get
used to not being in your bed for
seven straight weekends," Shaw
said. "Although the travel, you
know, makes you a little bit weary
and you can't wait to play at home,
we understand that it's kind of a
necessary evil."
But getting away from Ann
Arbor might also allow the team 0
to concentrate simply on softball.
"Once we're out of town, it's
like softball is the only thing we
have to do," Shaw said. "We wake
up, we eat, we go hit, we go play,
we come back, we eat more. It's
kind of like being a professional
athlete."
The Wolverines continue their
road play in the Red and Black
Tournament in Louisville this
weekend.

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