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February 07, 2011 - Image 12

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4B - February 7, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Michigan holds own
w against top teams

JAKE FROMM/Daily
Junior guard Stu Douglass scored 14 points off the bench for the Wolverines, including 4-5 from beyond the 3-point arc against Penn State.
Shooters cthfire a S

By CHANTEL JENNINGS
Daily Sports Editor
STATE COLLEGE - Junior
guard Zack Novak stood in the
locker room following the Michi-
gan men's basketball team's 65-62
win over Penn State on Sunday
and said the team's 3-point shoot-
ing was pretty good.
He paused and thought over
the numbers - 48 percent for the
game, 56 percent in the second
half.
"I guess that's probably really
good," he said with a laugh.
The Wolverines (4-7 Big Ten,
14-10 overall) bested the Nittany
Lions from long range by 11 per-
cent, which, for this team, almost
always guarantees a win. On the
season, Michigan is 12-0 when
leading in 3-point shooting per-
centage.
Through the first tep minutes
of the game, the Wolverines only
attempted two long-range shots
- uncharacteristic forateam that
averages 24 shots per game from
beyond the arc. At that rate, the
Wolverines would have taken just
eight 3-pointers the whole game.
The Nittany Lions (5-6, 12-10)

had prepared all week for a John
Beilein-coached team - a squad
trigger-happy from deep - by
focusing on getting hands in the
faces of shooters..
Penn State did a good job of
weathering the Wolverines'
offensive pressure for most of the
first half, establishing an 11-point
lead after senior David Jackson
nailed a 3-pointer.
But the Michigan attack,
fueled by junior Stu Douglass
and sophomore Matt Vogrich, hit
three-consecutive 3-pointers to
pull within two points of the Nit-
tany Lions. It was the spark that
allowed the Wolverines to go into
halftime with a 27-24 lead.
According to senior guard
Talor Battle, Penn State shot
itself in the leg when its defense
allowed the Wolverines' perim-
eter players to catch fire at that
point in the game.
"With a team like Michi-
gan, they're never out of a game
because they shoot the ball so
well from (long range)," Battle
said after the game. "We just
stand there with our hands down
and they knock it in our faces. It's
just so disappointing. Every time

it goes up, we just see the ball
going through the hoop."
While Penn State did a good
job of guarding the shooters in set
plays during the first half, Michi-
gan displayed its ability to score
in transition - Douglass and
Vogrich's 3-pointers came off the
fast break.
"(Michigan) coach (John
Beilein) always says, 'If you're
coming in transition and you've
got a wide-open shot on the wing
- and it's a shooter and you're,
feeling good - shoot,' " Douglass
said on Sunday. "You might not
get a better shot the next thirty
seconds if you run (the) offense.
No matter how well you run it,
you might not find a better shot
than that."
In the second half, the Wolver-
ines settled into their offense and
scored off set plays. And when
Penn State moved into a 1-3-1
zone to switch things up defen-
sively, Michigan was able to take
advantage of the holes on the
wings.
With sophomore point guard
Darius Morris penetrating the
zone and kicking out to open
shooters, the Wolverines were

able to put up 19 3-point shots.
Throughout the season, the
young team has been learning
the difference between a good
shot and a better shot. On a few
occasions, Douglass passed up
what looked like open shots,
only to find someone who was
more open. It's something Dou-
glass believes the team has been
getting better at during the last
three to five games.
Four different players con-
tributed from deep for the Wol-
verines. That's vital - other
teams can't key in on just one
deep-shooting threat.
"Coaches are nervous when
they're up 15, because you hit
three (3-pointers) and it's a six-
point game - you can get back
in a game very quickly," Beilein
said. "So (the 3-point shot) is
very good offensively, (but also)
very bad defensively for teams
when they're leading."
Penn State is the newest team
to learn that lesson from the
Wolverines. But if Vogrich is
right in describing the Wolver-
ines' hot hands as "contagious,"
there's a good chance the Nit-
tany Lions won't be the last.

By NEAL ROTHSCHILD
Daily Sports Writer
Competing in a meet that
included SEC powers like Ala-
bama and Mississippi, the
Michigan men's track and field
team knew it was going to be
hard to win events.
But even with the inflated
competition, the Wolverines
put themselves toward the top
of the scoreboards at the Meyo
Invitational in South Bend
this weekend. The two-day,
unscored meet included schools
ranging from North Dakota, to
Illinois and into the southeast.
"It was the biggest quantity
of quality competition we've
had this year," Michigan coach
Fred LaPlante said on Saturday.
"In track, you're going to have
pockets where some teams are
stronger in some events than
others. When you have a lot of
teams that compete, then every
event is strong.
"One school might have a
good jumper, but not a good
sprinter, and vice versa."
The Wolverines held their
own, taking home six third- .
place finishes and two runners-
up.
Perhaps the most impres-
sive performance of the week-
end came from junior Robert
Peddlar in the long jump. The
Jamaica native finished second,
jumping 24 feet and 10.5 inches
- a personal record.
"This past week, we've real-
ly been working on our tech-
niques, and I just came into
the meet focused on that, and I
believe that's what allowed me
to jump as well as I did," Ped-
dlar said.
The former indoor Big Ten
champion believes his marks
are still improving, and that he
will be able to record his best
jumps in the Big Ten Champion-
ships on Feb. 26.
Freshman Ali Arastu also put
together his best performance
of the year, placing second in
the 500 meters with a time of
1:03.81. Though the 500 meters
isn't an official indoor event,
LaPlante believes that Arastu's
performance will translate well
to the outdoor season, when he
will run the 400-meter hurdles.

While most indoor tracks are
a 200-meter oval, Notre Dame's
facilities include a 300-meter
track, which allowed for faster
times in all races longer than
60 meters. A 300-meter track
has longer straightaways where
runners can hit top speed for
longer periods of time.
"I didn't worry about the
competition," redshirt sopho-
more Matt Campbell said after
winning the unseeded section
of the 400 meters. "I just took
the opportunity to get a better
time and run on a better track.
I looked at it as a new opportu-
nity rather than an obstacle."
Among other top performers
was redshirt freshman Bradley
James, who cleared seven feet
in the high jump for the fourth
straight meet (jumping off of
four different surfaces). James,
along with freshman shot put-
ter Cody Riffle, redshirt fresh-
man 35-pound weight thrower
Ethan Dennis, sophomore 200-
meter runner Aaron Taylor,
freshman 60-meter hurdler
Erick Gavin and the 4x400
meter relay team all took third
place in their events.
Michigan will have an eye on
the Big Ten Championships as it
competes in the next two meets
leading up to Feb. 26.
The Wolverines will rest ath-
letes when they feel necessary,
as they did with the distance
runners in this weekend's com-
petition.
"When you get to a certain
point in the year, it takes a toll
on your body," LaPlante said.
"Mentally it's good, but physi-
cally, you need to get recovered
for the next competition."
This weekend's meet also
gave Michigan a sneak peak at
what it will be going up against
in the Big Ten Championships
- Purdue, Indiana and Illinois
were part of the Meyo Invita-
tional field.
Michigan knows what it has
to do to top these teams ina few
weeks.
"We need to improve on
being more consistent," Camp-
bell said. "We can't let little
things get us down. We need to
learn from our mistakes and get
better. That's the only way we'll
do well at the Big Ten meet."

MEN'S TENNIS
Blue sweeps singles matches,
dismantles Demon Deacons

Wolverines blank Kentucky

Michigan coach
Berque one win
away from No. 100
for career
By MATT RUDNITSKY
Daily Sports Writer
Trailing No. 21 Wake Forest
1-0 on Saturday night at the Var-
sity Tennis Center, the No. 23
Michigan men's tennis team had
reason to worry.
The Wolverines had lost the
doubles point in three straight
matches, which eventually cost
them the dual match twice. Last
year, Michigan was 12-4 when
it won the point and 2-7 when it
didn't.
But the Wolverines (3-2) dug
themselves out of the early hole,
taking all six singles matches to
recorda lopsided 6-1 victory.
"You always want to win
the doubles point," Michigan
coach Bruce Berque said. "But
we know it's just one point out
of seven. So, yeah, I was con-
cerned, but I was comfortable,
looking at the matchups, that
we could win four out of six sin-
gles (matches). Against a top-25
team, to be down 1-0, that's a lot
of pressure, but our guys han-
dled it well."
In doubles play, Wake For-
est (1-2) won two of the three
matches to take the point. The
lone Wolverine win went to
the top tandem of senior cap-
tain Jason Jung and sophomore
Evan King - the No. 28 pair in
the nation.
"I thought (the team) played
better (in doubles), but we've

definit
where
said."
battle
that p
"I t
is par
not be
right
work t
But
results
waste
score.
No.
at No.
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lowed
No. 5,
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to win
Michij
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At r
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early
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But
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The
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tely still got some spots With the outcome already
we can improve," Jung decided, sophomore Chris Cha
We don't want to have to won a tough three-setter at No.
back in every match for 6 and freshman Shaun Bernstein
oint. did the same - in a tiebreaker -
hink lack of experience in his first career match at No. 3.
t of it, and maybe skills Berque shifted the lineup
ing where they should be against the Demon Deacons,
now, but we're going to putting the 18-year old Bern-
o improve that." stein at No. 2 againstthe No. 100
after the disappointing player in the country in just his
s in doubles, Michigan fifth career dual match.
d no time leveling the "Shaun's match was pretty
high-quality," Berque said. "He
35 Jung won a cakewalk lost the decider the last time we
2 singles, dropping just played here against Texas and
me in the match. then last week he played well
shman Barrett Franks fol- against Duke and extremely
with a straight set win at well against Virginia Tech. So,
and fellow diaper dandy based on that, we moved him up
Rossi fought at No. 4 to No. 3 (singles).
a three-setter and give "And as a freshman, to play
gan a 3-1 lead. No. 3 against the No. 21 team
in the country is not easy. I
think he got his first win over a
ranked opponent today.
[guess (100 His level of play is good and
he's really improving in singles
is) means I'm and doubles."
The win was Berque's 99th of
ot quite Joe his career, and he'll go for No.
100 when Michigan takes on
aterno yet. No. 25 Washington on Friday.
The Wolverines also face No. 43
Vanderbilt on Saturday.
"Well, I guess it means I'm
No. 2 singles, King strug- not quite Joe Paterno yet," Ber-
arly on against No. 45 que said. "But any win we get
san Wolff, whose impres- this year, with our schedule, is
ace was disrupting King's definitely a good one. The dif-
m. Wolff jumped out to an ferences between even 20 spots
5-0 lead, and the match apart in the rankings is really
1 like a rout. small, so Washington is going to
King shrugged off the be good, and Vanderbilt is going
deficit, winning 14 of the to be good.
5 games to take the match. "Every match we've had with
2-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory (Vanderbilt) has been an abso-
ed the match for the Wol- lute war. We'll be ready for a
s. battle."

By EMILY BONCHI
Daily Sports Writer
The last time the Michigan
women's tennis team met Ken-
tucky, it was 2008 - the first year
of Michigan coach Ronni Bern-
stein's career inAnn Arbor.
Kentucky easily won, blanking
Michigan, 7-0.
This time around, the seventh-
ranked Wolverines came back
swinging and won all nine match-
es to keep their four-game home
series a perfect one.
Michigan (4-0 overall) took its
match on Saturday against the
Wildcats, 7-0, making Kentucky
the second visitor in four matches
at the Varsity Tennis Center to
leave with a 7-0 loss.
"Our seniors were freshmen the
last time we faced Kentucky, and
it was only their second match at
Michigan," Bernstein said. "Obvi-
ously, a lot has changed. We have
great seniors and obviously our
freshmen are stepping up. Every-
one is steppingup."
Michigan kicked off the com-
petition in doubles, sweeping all
three matches to take the point
and the early lead. At one time,
all three Wolverine pairs led 4-2,
before clinching their matches in
various fashions.
Senior Rika Tatsuno and junior
Michelle Sulahian were the first
pair off the court, beating Ken-
tucky's Khristina Blajkevitch and
CeCe Witten at No. 3,8-2.
The tandem at No. 2 doubles
- sophomore Mimi Nguyen and
freshman Sam Critser - clinched
the point for Michigan, taking its
match shortly after, 8-3.
The Wolverines entered sin-
gles play and took a strong stance
from the first volley. Four of the
six Michigan singles players took
their first set by at least three
games.
Eleventh-ranked senior Denise
Muresan led off, taking the match

JAMES WEAVER/Daily
Freshman Brooke Bolender helped Michigan to a 7-0 victory over the Wildcats.

at No. 1 singles 6-1, 6-1. This was
Muresan's 93rd victory, moving
her up to fifth for all-time wins in
the Michigan women's tennis pro-
gram.
"I just had a good week of prac-
tice and learned from the loss
that I had last week against USC,"
Muresan said. "I'm so proud of the
team. They had a really great win."
Nguyen continued the Wolver-
ines' point streak, taking charge at
the No. 4 slot and winning6-2, 6-3,
while Sulahian sealed the match
for Michigan at the sixth singles
court with a straight-set victory.
The next three points all went
the Wolverines' way - but not
without a fight.
Freshman Brooke Bolender,
after winning her first set, fought
back after a 3-2 deficit in the sec-
ond. After Kentucky's Jessica
Stiles tied the set at 6-6, sending
it to a tiebreaker, Bolender fell
behind 5-2. A few solid rallies and
help from a third party - the net

- allowed her to come back in the
tiebreaker set and win the match;
6-4,7-6(6).
"She just stepped back a little bit
and was waiting for her opponent
to maybe make mistakes instead
of sticking with her game," Bern-
stein said of Bolender's second set.
"When we get in those positions, I
want them to step up and go for it,
instead of letting their opponents
to come at them. Brooke did that
in the end."
Michigan stays perfect on the
year as it prepares for its first road
match of the season. The Wol-
verines will travel to South Bend
on Thursday to play the Fighting
Irish.
"It's nice to get Kentucky back
for sure, " Bernstein said. "But it's
just one win. It gets tougher next
week with Notre Dame."the best
conferences in the country - (we)
just want to be playing our best
basketball come Big Ten Tourna-
ment time."

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