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March 22, 2010 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
'Wolverines shut
out Spartans, 7-0

March 22, 2010 - 3B
'M' sweeps Fordham, loses to Mets

Daily Sports Writer
Prior to this season, the highest
the Michigan women's tennis team
had ever been ranked was No. 16.
On March 9, program history
was made once again this year, as
the ITA rankings moved the Wol-
verines up to No. 6 - the highest in
program history. Despite moving
back down to No. 8 due to an idle
week, the Wolverines (11-3 overall,
1-0 Big Ten) took that ranking into
Big Ten play with a win against
in-state rival Michigan State (5-8
overall, 0-1 Big Ten) on Saturday.
Michigan dominated the courts,
winning all doubles and singles
matches and shutting out Michi-
gan State 7-0, even though the
team had not played a dual match
in over two weeks.
"We were a little rusty, starting
a little slow in doubles," said Mich-
igan coach Ronni Bernstein. "We'd
been off for a couple weeks, but it
was good to get back out there and
to obviously get a Big Ten win."
Michigan junior Denise Mure-
san and senior Tania Mahtani
clinched the point for the Wolver-
ines in doubles, putting them ahead
1-0 and helping the team earn their
eighth consecutive.doubles point.
In singles, the Wolverines
dominated, and didn't allow any
matches to be taken to third sets.
This included junior Kari Wig who

played her first dual match of the
season at No. 6 singles, defeating
Christine Milliken 6-1, 6-2.
"Kari got in the lineup today and
that was very cool for her," Bern-
stein said. "She played pretty well
and won decisively, and that was
good to see."
Michigan earned its first singles
point when 26th-ranked Muresan
won her ninth match of the season
at No. 1, easily defeating Michaela
Silesova 6-1, 6-1. After junior
Whitney Taney won next at No. 3,
Mahtani clinched the match for
the Wolverines at No. 5, defeating
Elena Ivanova, 6-0, 6-4.
It was a day of continuous win-
ning streaks for the Wolverines, as
this was Michigan's fifth consecu-
tive win, not having a lost a dual
match since Feb. 20 against Duke.
Freshman Mimi Nguyen and
Taney also each won their sixth
and fifth matches in a row, respec-
Since starting her career as the,
Michigan women's tennis coach in
2007, Bernstein is now 19-2 against
Big Ten opponents.
"We're happy where -we are,"
Berstein said, "But we need to take
one match at a time and get ready
for next weekend."
The Wolverines take on two Big
Ten opponents next weekend as
they travel to Iowa on Saturday
and Minnesota on Sunday to con-
tinue their conference play.

By BEN ESTES this weekend, we played much bet-
Daily Sports Writer ter baseball. Hopefully, this will be
our turning point."
The Fordham baseball team The Wolverines' offense explod-
entered its series with Michigan ed during Saturday's doubleheader,
as the Division I all-time leader in scoring 33 combined runs in its 13-2
wins, with 4,026. and 20-0 victories. The latter saw
And at weekend's end, the Rams the most runs the team has scored
still had 4,026. this season, also the highest mar-
The Wolverines completed a gin of victory in Maloney's tenure.
sweep of the Rams in the first Senior right-hander Alan Oaks
meeting between the two pro- ensured that all the offensive pro-
grams, playing the set at the New duction was unnecessary with his
York Mets' spring training facil- performance in the first game. The
ity in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It was the White Lake, Mich. native went
team's first successful sweep since seven and a third strong innings,
besting IPFW almost exactly a allowing only two runs and strik-
year ago, from March 20-22, 2009 ing out a career-best ten hitters.
(the Mastodons will also be Michi- Oaks (2-3) had been somewhat of
gan's opponent for next weekend's a hard-luck loser so far in the 2010
'series). campaign. In his three losses, he
If Michigan (9-9) had its way, had gone at least six strong innings
it would probably never leave the but left the game each time with no
friendly confines of the Tradition runs behind him in support.
Field Sports Complex-it has now The nine runs he had this time
won 12 straight times at the Mets' were a welcome change.
spring training home. "We expected that he'd compete
Entering the series, Michigan for a Friday night job, and he's cer-
coach Rich Maloney had been taihly earned that," Maloney said.
stressing the need for playing a "He's lived up to his billing and the
complete game. While the team's goal he set for himself. Now he's
fielding has been consistent, in. got to continue but he's been by far
most games, either the offense our best pitcher, no question."
or pitching has failed to show up. Senior catcher and captain Chris
Against Fordham (4-14), every- Berset tripled, driving in two runs
thing finally came together for an in the bottom of the first inning to
entire series. get the Wolverines on the board.
"No question," Maloney said. Two innings later, redshirt sopho-
"This was the first time. We think more leftfielder Garrett Stephens
it's there, we just haven't been con- performed the same feat with the
sistent enough in those areas. For bases loaded to push the Wolver-

ines' lead to an insurmountable 9-1
The second game of the day
saw Michigan's best offensive per-
formance to date, but the bigger
story involved redshirt freshman
lefthander Bobby Brosnahan.
Brosnahan, who sat out all of
last season while recovering from
Tommy John surgery on his elbow,
started the game and collected his
first career victory. He went for a
career-long seven innings, shutting
out the Rams and allowing only
five hits.
"It was real exciting," Brosna'
han said. "I've been trying to get
(my first win in) a couple starts,
but I finally got to get it. The whole
week, (pitching coach Bob) Keller
and I worked on ... throwing the
fastball low in the zone because the
only time you get in trouble is when
you get the ball up. Saturday, I was
able to keep the ball down, and we
got all our outs."
Friday's game was more diffi-
cult. Michigan found itself on the
wrong side of the scoreboard twice,
but battled back and took the lead
on both occasions, notching its first
comeback victory of the season
with its 8-6 result.
Sophomore designated hitter
Coley Crank led the charge, going
3-for-5 on the day with three RBI.
With his team down 5-4 in the bot-
tom of the seventh, Crank tripled
off of the right-field wall to drive in
two runners and retake the lead for
good. The Pinole, Calif. native fin-

ished a home run short of the cycle.
To close out the weekend, the
Wolverines took on the host New
York Mets in an exhibition event
that has become an annual affair.
The big-league team easily took
the 8-1 victory, but Maloney did
not approach the game as he would
any other. Instead, he tried to get
as many players as possible into
the game to provide them with the
experience of playing in a major
league game.
For collegiate athletes, it's a sur-
real experience to see players like
all-star David Wright trot out on
the field for the opposition.
"It's fun," senior first baseman
and captain Mike Dufek said. "We
want to come out and still play
good baseball, but we're not really
expecting a win or a loss-kind of
thing. We just wanna play well ...
and we are very thankful that the
Mets and (Michigan alumnus and
Mets owner Fred) Wilpon allow us
to do all that."
And after five weeks of exten-
sive, exhausting travel to open the
season, the Wolverines can now
look forward to their home opener
against IPFW at Ray Fisher Stadi-
um this Friday.
"I'm hoping that we'll play as
well as we did against Fordham
and hit on all cylinders in prepara-
tion for the Big Ten," Maloney said.
"We're hoping the weather holds
up, so we can play these games
because we gotta keep tryingto get
some momentum now."

Michigan falls short of
0 topping No. 1 Alabama

Blue's speed proves too much for NMU

Daily Sports Writer
In its final meet of the regular
season Friday, the No. 10 Michigan
women's gymnastics team found
plentytobesatisfied within its close
loss to top-ranked Alabama.
On the Crimson Tide's Senior
Night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Wol-
verines kept themselves within
striking distance all night long, fall-
ing by just a slim margin of 197.575-
196.875, which set a season-high
team score.
The only problem for Michigan
(4-1 Big Ten, 13-3 overall) was that
Alabama (9-2) also put up its top
marks of the season, tallying the top
score for any team in the NCAA this
But despite the defeat, the overall
team score boosted spirits enough
to appreciate the outcome.
"We're happy to come away with
that score, and we are very pleased
with how we performed," Michi-
gan coach Bev Plocki said. "We're
steadily climbing and getting ready
for next week and the beginning of
the postseason."
With the Big Ten Championships
next Saturday, the team is peak-
ing at just the right time. The most
encouraging aspect of the evening
was the Wolverines' abilityto regain
stability on the balance beam where
they struggled much of the season.
Although the beam rotation was
the team's biggest worry at the
beginning of the season, senior cap-
tain Kelsey Knutson hasn't faltered
as of late, taking home the ninth
title of her career with a career-
best 9.950 performance against the
Crimson Tide.
"That was just icing on the cake,"
Knutson said. This was by far the
best gymnastics meet of my life, and
it was just a lot of fun to go out there
and put it all together."
From Page 1B
Kelly, Michigan's most versatile
swimmer, earned All-American
distinctions in both the 200-yard
individual medley and 100-yard
butterfly, placing sixth in both
races. Her performance in the 100-
yard butterfly is the fastest ever in
the Big Ten in a legal swim suit. She
also helped the 400 and 800-yard
freestyle relays finish in 11th place,
good for honorable mention All-
American honors.
"It's hard to come back after we
tapered for Big Tens," Kelly said.
"It's kind of a hard to comeback and
perform just as well as we did there.
I think everyone did a good job."
The two represent opposite
paths in their journey to donning
a Michigan swim cap. Kelly was a
standout swimmer fromAnn Arbor
Pioneer High School and arguably
one of the best recruits in program
history. She was a seven-time All-
American swimmer during her
senior year of high school, and she
helped Pioneer to four state cham-

But just as Knutson's high scores
no longer come as a surprise, junior
Kylee Botterman's numbers were
just as outstanding as they have
been all season.
Botterman put up an all-around
score of 39.550 to steal the crown
fromAlabama's Morgan Dennis and
Ashley Priess, and won the vault
with a nearly perfect score of 9.950.
"To go out and winthe all-around
against the top-ranked team in the
nation is a pretty big accomplish-
ment," Plocki said. "Kylee had a
great meet and had an absolutely
outstandingvault. one of the judges
even gave her a 10.0 on vault."
Aside from the individual per-
formances, Plocki had a few words
to say about the meet's judging, say-
ing that the scoring seemed slightly
biased, and with the Big Ten Cham-
pionships looming, she hopes that
the judging from now on will be a
"It was Alabama's Senior Night,
so the judging was pretty generous
for some of their routines," Plocki
said. "They are a very, very good
team, but I thought that the team
score should have been a little bit
closer. I hope that in postseason
competition in a neutral atmosphere
we would give them a little more of a
run for their money."
As the Wolverines approach next
Saturday's six-team matchup in
Columbus, they will try to contend
for their fourth-straight conference
championship by putting up equally
impressive totals.
"When we go up against the top
teams, the difference is that they
are sticking their landings, and we
can improve on that," Plocki said. "I
justwantto go in there and have the
same kind of meet, the same kind
of energy and focus that we had (on
Friday), and if we do that then we
should fare very well in the postsea-
Brunemann, on the other hand,
was not a "blue chip" recruit as
Richardson describes from Cres-
cent Springs, Kentucky. Despite
not being highly touted coming in,
it didn't take long for Brunemann
to find her stroke.
As a freshman she placed fourth
and fifth place in the 1,650-yard
freestyle and 400-yard individual
medley, respectively, at the Big Ten
"I never thought coming in that
I would have done as much as I've
done in college," Brunemann said.
"I can't walk away with any disap-
pointment because ... throughout
my five years here and I've exceed-
ed expectations that I've had of
Although their careers are com-
plete at the university, there's no
question that the two have secured
their legacy as some of the best
swimmers in program history.
"You know when you put them
in a race it's going to take probably
one of the top two or three people
in the country to beat them," Rich-
ardson said. "There aren't many
swimmers around like that*'

By MARK BURNS to cycle the puck down low in the
Daily Sports Editor Northern Michigan end for 35 to
40 seconds at a time. The sustained
DETROIT - Speed kills. offensive pressure helped Michi-
And -for the Michigan hockey gan gain a 35-18 shot advantage on
team after its 2-1victory over North- the night and wore down the Wild-
ern Michigan, its team speed was cats' five-man unit on the ice.
certainly present throughout the As a result, Michigan saw the
CCHA Finals, according to North- bulk of the scoring opportunities
ern Michigan coach Walt Kyle. throughout the contest, and similar
"Their speed gave us big prob- to the previous night against the
lems," Kyle said. RedHawks, it made the best of its
"They got pucks NOTEBOOK chances around the net.
behind us, they "We knew it would be a tough
forechecked ... they had great back game after getting by Miami last
pressure, stole the puck from us night," Michigan coach Red Beren-
numerous times coming up ice, and son said in Saturday's postgame
we failed to get pucks in the zone press conference. "The game could
and generate a forecheck." have gone either way, and they had
In recent years, the Wildcats some isolated chances. But we put
have had big, strong players with our chances in."
a knack for throwing their weight CAPTAIN CRUNCH: In Michi-
around, attempting to knock gan's CCHA semifinal game
opposing teams off the puck. But against Miami (OH), senior cap-
what they boast in size, they lack tain Chris Summers could be spot-
in foot speed. It may have been one ted three sections over from the
of the deciding factors in Michi- Joe Louis Arena press box sitting
gan's win to clinch the confer- alone in the upper bowl.
ence's automatic bid to the NCAA His body language painted the
Tournament. picture - a senior defenseman
The Wolverines' speed and quick and the Wolverines' captain, who
decision-making allowed them stayed-for his fourth season, out

From Page 1B
On Saturday, the Wolverines
(25-17-1) took a 1-0 lead into the
final period. They had 20 minutes
to extend to their streak to 20
years. As those minutes dwindled
down to mere seconds, Michigan
still clung to a one goal lead, this
time by the score of 2-1.
Caporusso, the face of Michi-
gan's second-half resurgence, had
the game-winner on the power
play. He wheeled out of the cor-
ner, received a pass from senior
defenseman Steve Kampfer and
directed it on goal to score his
second of the game.
The Wildcats spent the third
trying to get back into the game
after Caporusso's second goal.
But their final chance was sent
From Page lB
Junior forward Louie Capo-
russo, who scored both goals on
Saturday, said Michigan has been
playing its best hockey of the sea-
son. Michigan cruised through
the CCHA Tournament, scoring
28 goals in six games to its oppo-
nents' nine.
With the Wolverines winning
the CCHA's automatic qualifier
for the tournament, Michigan
(14-13-1 CCHA, 25-17-1 overall)
now has appeared in the NCAA
Tournament a record 33 times.
The momentum from the confer-
ence tournament run could be a
big factor in helping the Wolver-
ines advance in the tournament if
they can continue their high level
of play.
"We realized that we were a
team that could go places (after
the last reguir season series),"

wide to the right of Hunwick, and
with 3.5 seconds left in the game,
Northern took a penalty to stop
the clock. Michigan didn't wait
for the final seconds to tick down
to mob Hunwick.
. As soon as the puck was
dropped, the bench emptied and
gloves and sticks lay scattered all
over the ice as Hunwick disap-
peared in the huddle of blue jer-
It was a fitting end for the
goalie who was anonymous to the
masses for most of his career thus
Hunwick's biggest contribution
came against the CCHA's leading
scorer, Northern's Mark Olver, in
the second period. Olver walked
into the slot and let go of a wrist
shot, only to have Hunwick reach
out with his glove to get a piece
on it. Hunwick's 17-save effort
was rewarded after the game, as
senior defenseman Steve Kampfer
said. "When we started the CCHA
Tournament, no one expected us
to do well. We came out in those
first two playoff series as a team
that nobody wanted to play. That's
what we're going to keep doing."
Michigan found out Sunday
morning that it will be the No. 3
seed in the Midwest Region and
will take on the No. 2 seed Bemi-
dji St. in Fort Wayne, Ind. in the
first round. The No. 1 seed in the
region is Miami (Ohio), the regu-
lar-season CCHA champ which
the Wolverines beat 5-2 Friday
night on their path to the tourna-
ment, setting up a possible sec-
ond-round matchup between the
But, the Wolverines say they'll
just take the tournament one
game at a time, just like the CCHA
"We'll focus on Bemidji now,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "They knocked Notre Dame
out sof the tournament last year.

with an injury and unable to make
any contributions on the ice.
"It was a huge blow for us," said
senior defenseman Steve Kampfer,
who has stepped up in a leader-
ship role and logged more minutes
since Summers's absence. "He's
our best defenseman game in and
game out.
"When he went down, there was
just more mental preparation from
myself ... and everyone down the
line. We had to step up and make
up for our captain."
The Wolverines lost Summers
to a lower body injury on March
6, and he hasn't seen game time
since. But that might change this
upcoming Saturday in Michi-
gan's NCAA first-round matchup
against Bemidji State. The Milan
native skated at the Joe last Satur-
day before the team's game against
the Wildcats and Berenson said he
would probably be back for next
weekend's game (or games) in Fort
Wayne, Ind.
WARE: Four Wolverines -
Kampfer, junior forwards Louie
Caporusso and Carl Hagelin and
goaltender Shawn Hunwick -
he was named the tournament's
"It was obviously nice, but
I think it takes away from the
team," Hunwick said. "The guys
played tremendous, I don't even
know if I deserve to be the MVP.
Six weeks ago if you would have
said I would sit here, 1 would've
said you're crazy."
Despite facing relatively few
shots - just 39 all weekend -
Hunwick stepped up to make the
saves when he needed to. On Fri-
day, Hunwick made three second-
period stops, including one where
he reached back with his stick to
deflect it into the netting.
Hunwick's effort got the Wol-
verines into the locker room up by
a goal. Michigan went on to score
three goals in the first eight min-
utes of the third period.
"You've got a one-goal lead
going into the third period and
They beat Miami this year. So
they're a legitimate team. They
beat Minnesota in a biggame, and
on and on. They're a good team.
They're a legitimate program.
They came out of nowhere last
year. They're notcgoingto surprise
anyone this year."
Miami will play Alabama-
Huntsville in the first round, the
only team in the field with a los-
ing record - which makes the
second-round matchup between
CCHA foes that much more likely.
With Michigan playing in
Fort Wayne, which is just about
two-and-a-half hours away from
Ann Arbor, the Wolverines could
be playing their third straight
weekend in an atmosphere that
resembles home ice. The Wolver-
ines drew a large crowd when
they traveled to Michigan State,
and then again when Michigan
made it to Joe Louis Arena for the
CCHA championship weekend.
"How many times have we sat
here and I've said, 'Geez, I'm dis-,

took home CCHA All-Tournament
Team honors, with Hunwick being
named the tournament's Most
Valuable Player.
Caporusso, who scored Michi-
gan's two goals in Saturday's win,
has 21 points in his last 17 games
and doesn't seem to be slowing
The Ottawa Senator draft pick
was aided by Hunwick's stellar
play as well. He has tallied a 7-1
record in net this year since Bryan
Hogan suffered a groin injury in
late February.
Hunwick played in by far the
most important game of his career
on Saturday - with a win-or-go-
home scenario on his shoulders,
not to mention a 19-year NCAA
Tournament streak. He main-
tained his composure on the ice
and made all of the stops he need-
ed to make in order to keep the
Wolverines in contention.
"I just tried to treat it like any
other game," Hunwick said. "You
just got to take it in five-minute
segments, that's all you want to
do. ... You can't worry about the
60-minute game, it's just too
we talked about if we have to play
the whole game with a one goal-
lead that's fine," Michigan coach
Red Berenson said after Friday's
game. "We're going out to win the
period. As it turned out we got the
first goal and then we got some
momentum and got another one."
After the championship game,
the team, the same one which
started the season 10-10, saw its
name on the bottom of the "CCHA
Champions" banner before it was
sent up into the rafters. The Wol-
verines had 14 wins in 22 games
and won six consecutively. For the
first time all year it was clear they
were the best in the conference.
Amidst the commotion, Beren-
son remained calm as he stayed
behind to do an on-ice interview.
He only had one message as the
team headed into the NCAA tour-
"We're still climbing."
appointed for our fans because it's
going to be hard to get to Bridge-
port, hard to get to Worcester, or
its hard to get Albany, or Man-
chester and so on, on short notice,'
" Berenson said. "But I'm happy
to say now, it's not hard to get to
Fort Wayne. ... You've got to take
advantage of it. It's all about how
we play, but I can't say epough for
our fans how they helped us get to
where we are right now."
Michigan has fed off the crowd
throughout the CCHA Tourna-
ment and it has only helped its
rejuvenated defensive-minded
hockey. Undefeated in March,
the Wolverines could be a tough
out when the tournament starts
next weekend. And with plentiful
support, Michigan could ride the
momentum to the Frozen Four at
Ford Field.
"I would not be surprised to see
that team continue to advance,"
Kyle said. "And hopefully some-
where, a long ways away, we can
play them again."

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