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January 31, 2011 - Image 12

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4B - January 31, 2011

The Michigan Daily - miehigandaily.cm

4B - January 31, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Blue disappoints on road
against lowly Minnesota

Freshman Shaun Bernstein won his consolation match over Corrado Tocci, 6-0, 6-0.
'M' ousted at ITA Kickoff

By MATT RUDNITSKY
Daily Sports Writer
Virginia Tech's Corrado Tocci
may not have ordered a bagel on
Saturday, but Michigan men's
tennis team fresman Shaun Ber-
nstein served him two, anyway.
In an overall disappointing
weekend, Bernstein gave the
Wolverines something to cheer
about, winning 6-0, 6-0 - the
rare "double bagel."
The win helped No. 24 Michi-
gan get past No. 25 Virginia Tech
in the consolation round of the
ITA Kickoff Weekend in Dur-
ham, N.C. by a score of 4-2 after
the Wolverines were shut out
by No. 14 Duke, 7-0, in the first
round.
"(Bernstein's win) was impres-
sive," Michigan coach Bruce
Berque said. "(Tocci) is really
good, normally plays at the top
half of their lineup. We watched
him play yesterday, and he won
against the kid from Pepperdine.
It doesn't surprise me that Shaun
bounced back.
"He's serious about the sport.
His win was"big for himself, and
big for the team. To tie the match
so quickly after losing the dou-
bles point really swung momen-
tum back to our side and gave our
guys alot of confidence."
Bernstein leads the team -
along with senior captain Jason
Jung - with 11wins this season.
Jung won at No. 2 and fresh-
man Barrett Franks won at No. 6,
both in straight sets.
The Wolverines also benefit-
ted from a straight-sets win from
sophomore Evan King at No. 1
singles that clinched the victory
for Michigan.

"Virginia Tech is a good team,"
Berque said. "We watched their
match with Pepperdine yester-
day and knew that we would have
our hands full today. It's not easy
to beat a team like that. We com-
peted well on every court."
But Michigan lost the doubles
point for the third consecutive
match - a red flag as Big Ten play
approaches.
"Doubles is disappointing,
obviously." Berque said. "We'll
get better there. Evan and Jason
played a lot better. We didn't play
well or execute well today and
they did. Give them credit. Our
doubles play needs to get better,
and we're confident that it will."
The Wolverines' No. 1 duo of
Jung and King did get a routine
8-3 win, but the remaining two
pairs lost, giving the Hokies the
point. Freshman Alex Buzzi
made his dual-match debut with
a loss at No. 3.
And things were even worse
in doubles for Michigan on Fri-
day against Duke, as it lost two
matches fairly easily to allow the
Blue Devils to jump out to a 1-0
lead.
The third match was aban-
doned after Duke clinched the
point, with Michigan trailing 8-7.
In singles play, Duke sustained
its dominance, winning all six
matches - five ofthemin straight
sets.
Bernstein almost got the Wol-
verines off the schneid as he was
leadingf6-3, 4-3 late in the second
set. But he struggled from then
on, losing the next three games
and then finally succumbing to
Fred Saba of Duke, 10-6, in a
super tiebreaker.
It was a solid showing by Bern-

stein, but it wasn't enough to stop
Duke from shutting out Michi-
gan.
The Wolverines' loss knocked
them out of contention for a
berth at the ITA National Team
Indoors Championship - an
event they haven't qualified for
since the 2008-09 season.
But despite the lopsided loss,
Michigan (2-2 overall) showed
resiliency, bouncing back the
next day with a solid win against
the Hokies.
"I think they responded well
(to the loss against Duke)," Ber-
que said. "This was our first time
playing back-to-back matches,
which isn't a problem physi-
cally, but we came here with the
thought of winning two matches
and making it to the ITA National
Team Indoor Championships."
Duke also may be under-
ranked even at No. 14, as it boasts
a lineup that includes the Nos. 5,
9 and 118 singles players in the
country, as well as the No. 12
doubles team.
The Wolverines have just one
ranked singles player in No. 35
Jung and one ranked doubles pair
in No. 28 Jung and King.
"To go out and get beat pretty
decisively by Duke (Friday) was
certainly a disappointing loss,"
Berque said after bouncing back
against Virginia Tech. "We have
a lot of freshmen on our team,
and to see them respond so well
out there today was encouraging.
I could tell right away.
"We were on the court practic-
ing at about 7:30 this morning to
get that taste out of our mouth.
These guys are all eager to get
better. They came out with a lot
of energy and alot of confidence."

By CAITLIN SMITH
Daily Sports Writer
The halftime scene in Min-
neapolis looked quite similar to
that of Thursday's game against
Ohio State - Michigan went
into the locker room trailing by
a hefty margin.
But the difference between
a comeback victory against
the 24th-ranked Buckeyes and
Sunday's
60-50 loss MICHIGAN 50
to Min- MINNESOTA 60
nesota - a
team that had only one previous
win in the Big Ten - was resil-
"The game was honestly
determined in the first 10 min-
utes of play," Michigan coach
Kevin Borseth said after the
game. "Minnesota made us exert
so much energy with physical
play and from that point on it
affected out shooting."
In fact, the game may have
been decided even earlier than
that. The Wolverines (6-3 Big'
Ten, 13-8 overall) didn't make
their first field goal until five
minutes into play - after already
turning the ball over four times.
Michigan usually takes good
care of the ball, but the Gophers
(2-7, 10-12) frustrated the Wol-
verines offensively with their
tight defensive play.
Michigan's first frame was
plagued by more turnovers than
field goals, as the Wolverines
went just 7-for-25.
"We didn't set screens in the
first half and when we did, we
didn't hold them," Borseth said.
"We got pushed around and
bumped around. And (Minne-
sota) just came up and literally
out-physicalled us."
After making the first shot of
the game, the Gophers, shooting
35.4 percent, carried the lead for
the rest of the contest. But the
Wolverines did have opportuni-
ties to come back, bringing the
game to within one possession
on a handful of occasions.
Sparked by the energetic
defensive play of sophomore
guard Jenny Ryan, who tallied
three assists and two steals dur-
ing the game, Michigan went
on a 7-0 run with over 15 min-
utes left to play. The Wolverines
continued to chip away at the
Gophers' and Michigan came
within one point.
Sophomore center Rachel

JAMESWEAVER/G
Senior guard Veronica Hicks had eight points and five rebounds yesterday.

Sheffer, coming off a hot offen-
sive game against Ohio State,
led the team in scoring with 13
points. Junior guard Courtney
Boylan added to the mix with 10
points of her own, but the rest
of the Wolverines looked rather
stagnant on offense - especially
Ryan and senior guard Veron-
ica Hicks, who only tallied two
points each.
But Michigan looked tired
on its last few trips to the bas-
ket - taking quick shots rather
than putting the ball on the floor
and moving it around - and that
affected its transition back to
defense.
Minnesota took advantage of
a few misses by the Wolverines
and regained a considerable lead
as the clock ran out.
"I think all in all when we
were coming down to tie up
the game, or get into the lead,
we would get a turnover or
they would limit us to one shot
and out, or we would just get
an unlucky call," Hicks said. "I
think that kind of took some of
the momentum out of us and
then (Minnesota) would come
down and score. We needed to
getastop, butthey wouldget the
rebound or make the shot that
we were supposed to make."
Though the loss to Minne-

sota was unrivaled compared to
Michigan's last performance, it
was not a negative sign for the
program. The Gophers' 1-7 con-
ference record prior to Sunday's
game does not doesn't neces-
sarily reflect its level of play in
every game.
The Gophers were handlhd
in their home-opener against
Illinois, then lost to Indiana ty
just one point in overtime, and
were defeated by Iowa only after
a 14-point Hawkeye comeback,
Minnesota is a strong BigTeT
team that just doesn't have 'te
numbers to boast it.
"It was just an absolutd
smash-mouth basketball game
and we got beat up," Bors-.
eth said. "It was a very phy i'
cal game, almost like playing
against Stanford or Connecticut!
It was that physical and we jtst
got beat early on."
Borseth also reinforced lie1
fact that it is difficult to win
games on the road. He told his
team before the season began
that they would be lucky to get
one road win, but Michigan has g
clearly defied that.
The Wolverines have notched
four wins on opposing courts,
including two wins against
ranked opponents Iowa and
Ohio State.

___________________________________________________i

WATER POLO
Out West, Michigan defeats
five of the nation's top teams

WOMEN'S TENNIS
Nguyen and Critser's singles wins
push Wolverines past Southern Cal

By HEIKO YANG
Daily Sports Writer

About 90 miles northwest of Los
Angeles, nestled in the rain shad-
ow of the Santa Ynez mountains,
the city of Santa Barbara has 300
sunny days a year, January tem-
peratures in the 60s and the lon-
gest stretch of east-west shoreline
thatisn't in the Gulf of Mexico.
Perhaps the only similarity that
the school there has with the Uni-
versity of Michigan is a fierce pride
in its aquatic sports. Its women's
water polo team owns a cool 7-0
all-time record against the Wol-
verines, and it went into thisweek-
end looking to add another win to
that record.
But it couldn't add an eighth vic-
tory.
After losing to the No. 1 team
in the country the previous week,
the No. 7 Michigan women's water
polo team bounced back to sweep
all six of its games at the Univer-
sity of California-Santa Barbara
Winter Invitational Tournament,
beating the home team in the first
game and then four other nation-
ally ranked California teams along
the way.
"It's kind of unbelievable for
Michigan, a midwestern team, to
fly out to the West Coast and play
six games in a row and go unde-
feated," said senior Lauren Orth,
who is from Poway, Calif. "I don't
think we've ever gone undefeated
in California before."
The first game against the 12th-
ranked Gauchos was the tough-
est, lasting seven periods. The
Wolverines trailed UCSB 6-5 into

the fourth period until freshman tion in the lineup to help the
Audrey Pratt scored the equalizer. players stave off fatigue, which
The two teams then traded points allowed several freshmen to earn
for three overtime periods until meaningful playing time. Kelsey
senior Keller Felt was fouled dur- Nolan, Lauren Dudley and Sophie
ing sudden death. Orth's penalty Hoegh all registered multiple
shot found the back of the cage goals throughout the tournament.
and sealed Michigan's 12-11 vic- The schedule was so grueling
tory. that Anderson had junior Mor-
gan Turner and sophomore Alex
Adamson split time at goalie,
"I don't think which for him is an uncommon
On t t~lndecision for him.
vv'e've everogone."Six games would be a lot for
we've ever gone either goalie to do, (plus) six games
undefeated in in the sun, it's going to wear you
out," Anderson said. "I didn't want
California." to burn the goalies out."
The biggest surprise of the
weekend was the breakout perfor-
mance of senior Ryley Plunkett,
The triple overtime win against who had a personal-best five goals
the Gauchos provided enough over the course of the tourna-
momentum to propel the Wolver- ment. She tallied a hat trick against
ines through the rest of the tour- UC San Diego, and scored a point
nament. Michigan beat Concordia against both UC Irvine and San
12-6, No. 13 UC San Diego 11-8, Diego State. She missed only one of
No. 10 UC Irvine 13-11, No. 11 San her attempts.
Diego State 12-11 and capped off "Ryley just dominated this
the weekend with an easy15-4 vic- weekend," Anderson said. "I think
tory over No. 20 Cal State Bakers- she had 12 goals last year and she
field. had (five) thisweekend alone. She's
"I always believe the most so good defensively, it's unheard of
important game of the tournament for her to all of a sudden decide to
is not only the first game but also become such an offensive force.
if you're playing the home team, The girls were excited when she
because beating the home team was stepping up and scoring. It
is that much tougher," Michigan really did energize everybody."
coach Matt Anderson said. "So Plunkett attributed her perfor-
right then it's like, 'Okay, the rest mance to a team effort.
of the tournament's going to be "I think a lot of my teammates
tough, but we did beat the home were helping out," she said. "They
team and win the first game, so were opening up a lot of oppor-
let's keep on rolling."' tunities (for me), and I took them
Anderson kept a constant rota- when they presented themselves."

Michigan tops
Auburn, 7-0,
and USC, 5-2, on
successful weekend
By EMILY BONCHI
Daily Sports Writer
For the second time in three
hours, the same two playerswere
left on the court, with two points
left to be decided. The weekend
outcome hung in the balance.
The No. 8 Michigan women's
tennis team was ahead of No. 18
Southern California, 3-2, leaving
the decision up to either sopho-
more Mimi Nguyen at the fourth
singles slot or freshman Sam
Critser, sitting at No. 2.
Nguyen clinched her match
first, beating Kaitlyn Christian,
6-4, 5-7, 7-5, to give the Wolver-
ines the victory and an invitation
to the ITA National Team Indoor
Championships. The University
of Virginia is hosting this year's
event from Feb. 18-21.
Critser played her match out
- and for good reason. After los-
ing her first set 5-7, the fresh-
man came striking back against
tenth-ranked Danielle Lao in the
second, taking the set 6-2. It took
Critser 180 minutes to defeat
the Trojan sophomore, but she
secured the upset, and the Mich-
igan win, with a 6-4 tally in the
third.
The 5-2 victory gave the Wol-
verines (3-0 overall) their second
straight invitation to the ITA
Indoor Championships - just the

second
"We
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Just
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I in program history. "In doubles, the girls had come
're confident," Michigan back and won. And again, my
Ronni Bernstein said. singles opponent had come back.
e got a lot of experience. But I had to get that stress out of
ve some seniors, and there my head to fight for the team."
me underclassmen who've After blanking Auburn on Sat-
ontributing. We're going urday afternoon, 7-0, the Wol-
in and give it our all and verines waltzed into Sunday's
ike we did today. We're ITA Kick-Off Final against USC
good about our chances." ready to compete.
several hours earlier - Freshman Brooke Bolender
the two were each sent was the first one off the court
:hird set at singles - Nguy- for Michigan, after clipping her
Critser played together at match against Ramos, 6-1, 6-1.
rd doubles spot. The other Michigan continued to pick up
atches had been decided, points against the Trojans, with
Michigan and USC (3-1) seniors Rika Tatsuno and Whit-
aking one. The duo had ney Taney picking up points at
eading the match 7-4, but the No. 6 and No. 5 singles slots,
eir positioning, resulting respectively.
-8 overtime battle. USC's third-ranked Maria
Sanchez collected a point at No.
1 singles, leaving deciding points
in Nguyen and Critser's hands
I had to get once again.
"We lost a tough doubles point
gat stress out and (Nguyen and Critser) were
obviously deflated afterward,"
ny head ... for Bernstein said. "So I'm really
happy for them, that they could
the team ." come through. They just battled.
They fought hard. "
Michigan collected its fifth
consecutive ITA Kick-Off match
rong comeback by Trojan win, giving it a 5-1 all-time
ristala Andrews and Ali- record in the event.
amos proved too much for The Wolverines will wrap up
gan, as USC took the over- their four-match homestand this
et and the doubles point. Saturday, as they host Kentucky
Wolverines could have at the Varsity Tennis Center,
t decision set the tone for before kicking off conference
st of the match. Instead, play.
am stepped up and battled "This match shows how well
tiving Michigan the week- we can do," Critser said. "I think
veep and ITA invitation. we can do really well this season.
vas nervous," Nguyen said. I'm very excited."

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