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March 19, 2010 - Image 8

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8 - Friday, March 19, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily-com

Former walk-on
earns her stripes

Conference's top team
awaits 'M' in semifinals

By STEPHEN NESBITT
Daily Sports Writer
From walk-on to starter, senior
Jaclyn Kramer has become a fixture
on the Michigan women's gymnas-
tics teamsince arriving on campus in
the fall of 2006.
Performing well in the clutch is
a valuable asset, yet those who do
don't always receive credit. Recog-
nized or not, Kramer has been there
when she was most needed in the
last four years.
During a pregame salute to the
team's graduating class on Senior
Night at Crisler Arena last Friday,
Michigan coach Bev Plocki praised
Kramer's attitude and performance.
"We talk a lot about our depth and
the importance of athletes who are
ready to go into the lineup whenever
calledupon,sometimesatamoment's
notice,"Plockisaid. "Jackiehasplayed
that role on many occasions."
As Kramer stood in front of a re-
cord crowd before taking on No. 5
Georgia in her final home meet, her
three coaches - the three people to
whom she had to prove her worth
- flanked her. She realized that her
biggest critics had become her big-
gest fans.
LANDING IN A2
While considering college routes
that had her going to Brown Uni-
versity and conference rival Penn
State prior to her senior year of high
school, Kramer admits that her visit
to Ann Arbor is what clinched things.
"Michigan had really great aca-
demics and gymnastics, which was
definitely what I was looking for,"
Kramer said. "The campus was
beautiful and all the girls on the team
were just tremendous. I came here
and loved it right away."
As her freshman year got un-
derway, the West Hills, N.Y. native
jumped right into the rotation. De-
spite her walk-on status, Kramer be-
gan competing on the balance beam
and the floor for the Wolverines, and
started strong.
When the team faced off against
even some of the best squads in the
nation, the young athlete answered
the call.
"It was a really exciting year
because I didn't really expect to
compete, coming in as a walk-on,"
Kramer said. "I just wanted to help
out the team. So it was really cool to
be able to contribute to the team in
that way."
In a late-season matchup against
No. 16 Missouri, Kramer put to-
gether the meet of a lifetime. She set
two career bests by winning her first
collegiate event title with a 9.900 on
the beam, followed by a 9.875 for her
floor routine.
The night ended in a close loss;

the outgoing senior is still nostalgic
for the event.
"I remember that we already had
a fall on the beam," Kramer said. "I
had to hit my beam routine in order
to not count the fall, and I did. The
feeling of nailing my routine and
having my team's back was amazing.
I had never even gotten a 9.9 in high
school, and it's one of those things
you see on TV and only dream of get-
ting:.'
For Kramer, dreams were becom-
ing a reality. At this point, she had
three years left and one goal remain-
ing.
FIGHTINGFORFUNDS
Kramer was unable to find a spot
in the lineup to perform during her
sophomore campaign, but she re-
mained undeterred in trying to earn
a scholarship and remain on the
squad.
After not competing during her
second year, Kramer came back with
a different mindset as a junior, and
set to work, training with double the
effort to find a way back into the ro-
tation.
And at the beginning of the sea-
son, she found a starting job.
"In 2009, as a team we were deci-
mated by injury," Plocki said. "Jackie
as a sophomore stepped into our
lineup in as many as three events.
She did a great job and the team did
not skip a beat, qualifying all the way
to the national championships:'
Within weeks, Kramer had ac-
complished her goal. Because of her
success during her junior year, Jack-
ie was offered a scholarship for the
remaining two years of her career at
Michigan.
WINDING DOWN RIGHT
For the senior, though gymnastics
has taken up a major portion of her
life, nothing has gotten in the way of
her academic ventures.
Kramer will leave Michigan with
hopes of attending law school in the
fall en route to eventually becoming
a lawyer.
"She has been accepted to several
schools"Plockisaid, nudgingKramer
who stoodbeside her. "But she is still
awaiting her letter to Michigan be-
fore she makes any final decisions:'
But before she looks to her not-so-
distant future, Kramer is focusing on
the remainder of the season.
With less than two weeks left
until the Big Ten Championships,
Kramer expects to make a few im-
provements.
"My personal performance hasn't
been as good as it should be this
year," Kramer said. "I'm trying to
work on that to finish up senior year
really strong. As a team we're doing
very, very well, and we have a lot of
potential ... but there is definitely
room for improvement:'

By TIM ROHAN
Daily Sports Writer
Although the Michigan hockey
team played at Michigan State,
Munn Ice Arena was referred to
by many as "Yost West" last week-
end. Hoards of Wolverine fans
made the drive
up to East Lan-
sing to support Michigan
the team in the vs. Miami
CCHA tourna-
ment quarter- Matchup:
finals. For the Michigan 23-17-
Wolverines, it 1; Miami 26-6-7
was win or go When: Tonight
home. And the 8:05 p.m.
maize and blue Where: Joe
faithful could Louis Arena
be heard loud TV/Radio:
and clear over Big Ten Network
supporters for
the Spartans.
It did help that Michigan State
was on spring break, and that
Michigan jumped out to early
leads in both games.
"I know as a player it's impor-
tant" Michigan coach Red Beren-
son said of the fan support. "It
definitely is important. That's the
reason any team in sports has a
better home record than a road re-
cord. And the fans, and the support
they give at home it's huge. Could
that be a factor? It could be."
Tonight, when Michigan (14-
13-1 CCHA, 23-17-1 overall) takes
on No. 1 seed Miami (OH.) at Joe
Louis Arena, the fan support could
make a similar impact. The Wol-
verines are the closest remain-
ing team to Detroit and Friday's
semifinal matchup should be like a
home game for Michigan.
So far, the Wolverines are 2-1 at
the Joe this season, going 1-1 in the
Great Lakes Invitational and beat-
ing then-No. 13 Michigan State,
5-4, on Jan. 30. Tonight's game in
Detroit will be another win-or-go-
home scenario for Michigan.
When the Wolverines faced the
RedHawks (23-3-5 CCHA, 26-6-7
overall) back in early November,
Miami came into Yost and swept
Michigan 3-1 and 5-1. Entering that
series, the Wolverines knew they
were going to have their hands
full, facing a roster of skilled for-
wards, talented defenders and two
top goalies.
Since then, No. 2 Miami has
only gotten better, easily winning
the CCHA regular season title and
earning the first seed in the con-
ference tournament.
"Their top three lines are as
good as anyone" junior forward
Matt Rust said.
But Michigan is playing its best
hockey of the year during the
CCHA tournament. In sweeps over
Lake Superior State and Michigan
State, the Wolverines have scored
21 goals in four games and held op-
ponents to just 1.5 goals per game.
At the beginning of the season,
the Wolverines were relying on

Junior Matt Rust is third on the team in scoring this season with 35 points, behind only Carl Hagelin and Louie Caporusso.

their special teams to win games,
but now Michigan's five-on-five
play has picked up considerably
since November and is a big reason
for its improved results.
After the Wolverines fell behind
3-2 after the first period last Satur-
day against Michigan State, they
held the Spartans to just one shot
in the second period. But it wasn't
just by playing in their own zone
the whole period. Part of Michi-
gan's improved defense is its of-
fense's ability to maintain posses-
sion of the puck and keep it away
from the opponent.
That, combined with a team ef-
fort on the defensive end, will be
important if the Wolverines are
able to topple the conference's
top team. A win would send the
Wolverines into the CCHA Cham-
pionship game Saturday night
against either Northern Michigan
or Ferris State giving Michigan a
chance to make the NCAA tour-
nament - even after starting the
season 10-10.
"At the start of the year, I think
one thing they exploited of us was

our defensive zone," Rust said. "I
think that's one thing our teani re-
ally grown (in), worked better on.
We're more of a defensive team
now. So, I think if we take pride
in that, like we've been saying all
year long, I think we'll do a lot bet-
ter against them:'
But the offense has also im-
proved by leaps and bounds, espe-
cially from junior forward Louie.
Caporusso, who is now second on
the team with 35 points. Berenson
noted that, since starting off slow,
the team is getting balanced scor-
ing across several lines.

And with a hot offense, the one-
game series format this weekend
could benefit Michigan because
anything can happen in one game.
"It's just like the NCAA tour-
nament," Berenson said. "I mean
you're in, it's all or nothing. I like
our chances. It's what you want....
I think it's anybody's game. I know
they'll be really good. And we're
going to try and be as good as we
can be. The more I look at their
team, the moreI see us as a bigger
underdog. But I still like our team,
and we're definitely going to show
up, and we'll see what happens."

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March 20, 2010 9:30am - 6:00pm
University of Michigan Law School, Hutchins Hall
On Saturday, March 20, The Asia Law Society at the
University of Michigan Law School will host a symposium
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Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Influence on
the Rule of Law."
The symposium will contemplate the influence of CSR
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(2) Access to Information and Freedom of Expression
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Our keynote speaker is Chip Pitts (Lecturer at Stanford Law
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Guest Speaker: Patrick Kuhse
Patrick will share his journey from prominence as
a successful stock broker to his involvement in a
financial fraud scheme, life as an international
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
4:30 p.m.
Blau Auditorium
Ross School of Business
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