8A - Thursday, February 23, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam
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Critser returns in
sweep of Spartans
in East Lansing
lverines drop moved up to the third spot in sin-
gles last week in the ITA tourna-
:higan State in ment against Georgia, remained
undefeated on the season with a
match of 2012 win to clinch the match.
STenWednesday's appearance at
g season the third spot in singles was just
Lee's second time inthat position,
By NITAI LEVE as she normally contributes from
For the Daily the fourth spot.
"She has shown that she can
Junior defenseman Lee Moffie tallied four points last weekend against Northern Michigan and now leads Michigan with 29 total points of offense.
By EVERETT COOK
Daily Sports Editor
It's October. Imagine you
have some gambling tenden-
cies - which, of course, you
don't - and are taking a look at
the Michigan hockey team. You
want to place a bet on who is
going to be leading the Wolver-
ines in points in late February.
You would have looked at the
forwards first, maybe at senior
David Wohlberg and junior
Chris Brown. But you don't want
to limit yourself, so you take a
gander at junior A.J. Treais and
sophomore Luke Moffatt, and
throw in a freshman, Phil Di
If you want this list to be truly
comprehensive, you'll need to
pick out a defenseman, just for
You'd probably look to senior
defenseman Greg Pateryn, the
It's now late February, and
you want to collect your money.
But thanks to Lee Moffie, you
aren't going to see any of it. Not
The junior defenseman has
been on a tear the last month,
vaulting himself to the top of
Michigan's points list.
He's registered at least one
point in six consecutive games
leads offensive charge
- three goals and six assists - Moffie's shot. mindset that other Wolverines
to add to his team-leading and So how has Moffie racked do. He looks for the assist more
career-high 29 points. up almost four times as many than the goal, which is rare for
"Twenty-nine points as a assists than goals? anyone, let alone an offensive
defenseman is a big number to "It's a lot of luck," he said. defenseman.
put up," said senior goaltender "Sometimes your best passes "He always wants to shoot for
Shawn Hunwick. "I looked up aren't put in, but other times, sticks and talks about how much
our team stats and was pretty you just chip the puck out and a better a feeling it is when you
surprised to see (Moffie) at the guyscores. I feel like I'm looking set up a goal instead of scoring
top, I thought he would be third to pass more than I'm looking for yourself," Hunwick said. "I
or fourth. to shoot, which probably isn't a think it's a little bizarre myself,
"It's great for our team. You great thing, but it's just kind of butI always tell him to shoot the
can make up a lot of offense what my instincts tell me." puck."
when you don't have to rely on Berenson thinks it could be a While Moffie may not be your
just the guys up front to create." shot of confidence that has done prototype on offense, his style of
Moffie took the difference play is working for the Wolver-
home CCHA for Moffie. He ines.
Defensive was in and out Moffie is paired with sopho-
Player of the "Everybody can of the lineup more defenseman Jon Merrill,
Week honors frequently in arguably one of the best defen-
after a four- be good, but with his first two seman in the country. The pair
point weekend years in Ann may not have similar styles of
against North- connuence yOU Arbor, find- play, but they complement each
ern Michi- ,, ing consistent other on both sides of the ice.
gan, where he canbe great. playing time Merrill gives Moffie the con-
registered a for the first fidence to jump up in the play,
goal and three time in his knowing that Merrill is going to
assists. That career this have his back in the other zone.
goal-to-assist ratio is right in season. "When you know you can
Moffie's wheelhouse - he has "When you score like that,you count on a guy and he's got the
six goals to go along with his 23 get some confidence," Berenson same mindset as you going into
assists. said. "You start getting that feel- the game, you can use each
And it's not like Moffie ing, and confidence is so impor- other to play off each other and
doesn't have a good shot. Michi- tant in hockey. Everybody can make plays," Merrill said.
gan coach Red Berenson often be good, but with confidence you Merrill can count on Mof-
credits Moffie as being an offen- can be great. That can be the dif- fie the same way you can count
sive-minded defenseman, and ference." your winnings.
Hunwick also gives credit to But Moffie doesn't have the Oh wait.
The Michigan women's ten-
nis team opened its 2012 Big Ten
campaign with a sweep over rival
State in East MICHIGAN 7
Lansing on MICH. STATE 0
The Wolverines (1-0 Big Ten,
6-3 overall) started and ended
strong, dominating Michigan
Stace (0-1, 6-2) in both the doubles
and singles competitions.
"This is a good start. tt feels
good to get our first Big Ten win
of the season," said Michigan
coach Ronni Bernstein.
Michigan started its doubles
competition with an 8-2 vic-
tory by the freshman-sophomore
duo of Emina Bektas and Brooke
The Wolverines clinched their
first point of Wednesday's match
when Michigan senior Michelle
Sulahian and junior Mimi Nguy-
en won 8-4.
Bolender, ranked No. 56, cap-
tured the second point for Michi-
gan when she won her singles
bout in straight sets.
No. 5 Bektas remained unde-
feated on the season when she
defeated Spartan junior Nicole
Herzog in straight sets to capture
Michigan's third point.
Bektas has been playing at a
very high level over the duration
of the season, moving up in the
national rankings from No. 36 to
No. 5 over the course of only a
Bernstein does not think that
has effected Bektas's mindset
"Bektas is a great team player,
and I don't think she's too focused
on her ranking." Bernstein added
"She's working on stuff in prac-
"She's gaining confidence with
every game she plays."
Freshman Sarah Lee, who was
compete in different spots, and I
have a lot of faith in her," Bern-
That flexibility in handling
positions is very useful to Bern-
stein, who added: "I like to move
the lineup around."
"Her return is
big for us ... one
of our better
Sophomore Sam Critser won
in her return to singles play. Out
since October with a knee inju-
ry, Critser returned to doubles
last week in the ITA Tourna-
"It feels great to be back on
the court," Critser said. "
I still have a little to work on,
but right now it's all building my
confidence back and working on
hitting the shots I'm used to hit-
Senior Michelle Sulahian and
freshman Kristen Dodge round-
ed out the sweep with victories
of their own.
The Wolverines have shown
a lot of promise through their
sixth win of the season.
With big victories against
then-No. 15 Clemson and then-
No. 18 Vanderbilt, the Wolver-
ines look like they will be fierce
competitors down the stretch of
the conference season. A deci-
sive sweep over Michigan State
wasn't a bad way to get started.
The Wolverines will play
their first outdoor match of
the season when they take on
Hawaii in Honolulu on March 3.
Michigan celebrates senior
night versus No. 22 Purdue
By MATT SPELICH
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's basket-
ball team will be celebrating their
senior night this Thursday at the
The Wolverines Purdue at
8-6 Big Ten) will Michigan
be taking on No. Matchup:
22 Purdue for Purdue 19-8;
their final home Michigan 19-8
game of the reg- When: Thurs-
ular season. day 6 p.m.
makers, once Where: Crisler
a top-10 team,
have fallen in TV/Radio:
the rankings in BTN
due to a string of conference loss-
es toward the end of the season.
From mid-December to the end
of January, Purdue was riding
high on an 11-0 run. But in the
last six games they've seemed
to fall apart. Their last win was
against Illinois two weeks ago at
"Purdue is big, they're athlet-
ic, they're fast, and they're very
talented all around," said Michi-
gan coach Kevin Borseth. "They
started the year on top of the con-
ference, but they took a bad slide.
Things have been a little bit dif-
ficult for them as of late."
Indeed, the Boilermakers are
big. Four of their five starters are
over 6-feet-tall. This may spell
trouble for Michigan, whose
starting center, junior Rachel
Sheffer is just 6-foot-1. Regardless
of their height, Sheffer has been
one of the team's leading scorers
Junior forward Rachel Sheffer has a tall task cowing up against Purdue.
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all season, and even when she has
struggled underneath, the Wol-
verines have come out on top by
looking to their outside shooters
to put points on the board.
"It's going to be a hard match-
up for us with their size," Borseth
said. "We obviously have to be
ready to go. It's going to be a big
game for everyone in the confer-
ence at this point in the year."
Aside from being a tough
matchup, this will also poten-
tially be the last game in the
Crisler Center for Michigan's
three senior guards - Courtney
Boylan, Carmen Reynolds and
Jamillya Hardley. For them, it's
going to be a night of celebration
and retrospection. For the young-
er members, it will be a reminder
that one day they will no longer
be able to call on the promise of
next season. Borseth believes that
this notion will give his team the
edge they will need to win.
"Senior night is generally an
emotional night, especially for
our three seniors," Borseth said.
"We're expecting a lot of high
energy, and being at home will
help us. It's a great night to honor
our seniors and the work they've
put in all four years."