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February 28, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-28

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 7A

In Big Ten opener, Blue sweeps Michigan State

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan might have been
crushed by rival Michigan State
in men's basketball, but the No.
13 women's tennis team (1-0
Big Ten, _
7-3 over- MSU 0
all) wasn't MICHIGAN 7
due for a
similar fate. In its first Big Ten
match, the Wolverines took
on the Spartans (0-1, 8-3) on
Wednesday in Ann Arbor and
proved to be a terror, crushing
their rivals, 7-0.
"Any time you can play Mich-
igan State when you're Michi-
gan is big," said Michigan coach
Ronnie Bernstein. "It is a big
rivalry, and we wanted to play
well and we did that today."
Michigan started the meet off
right, winning point after point
in its doubles matches.
Leading the way was the
nation's No. 3 pair of sophomore
Emina Bektas and junior Brooke
Bolender. Earlier in the day,
Bektas was named the Big Ten
Player of the Week.
The pair started the match
strong, earning two quick
breaks. Playing with energy,
the pair was never broken on its
serve. When things took a turn
midway through the match,
the pair responded with tough
serves and returns, ultimately
leading to an 8-3 victory.
"We have a lot of playing

experience together," Bektas
said. "We played all of last year,
and we complement each other
well. We have improved on a lot
of things like our return game,
first volleys, getting to the net."
Michigan then looked to
clinch the point with a victory at
the No. 3 spot. Luckily, the new
tandem of freshman Amy Zhu
and senior Mimi Nguyen came
out firing on all cylinders.
Dominating the net and base-
line from the start of the match,
the Spartans could never get
going. The pair looked like it had
been playing together for years,
showing great chemistry and
poise in a win over Emily Mey-
ers and Julianne Gruber, 8-1.
Michigan's duo of freshman
Ronit Yurovsky and sophomore
Sarah Lee was well on its way
to victory, leading the Spartans,
6-2, but the match was halted
after Michigan had clinched the
doubles point.
The Wolverines looked to
continue their dominance in the
singles matches, but before they
began, Bernstein made a bold
She swapped Bektas out ofthe
No. 1 spot in favor of Yurovsky,
who has been a force on the
court recently, winning her last
13 matches.
"Either Ronit or Emina can
handle the top spot because they
are both team players," Bern-
stein said. "Wherever we put
them they will get the job done.

Sophomore Emina Bektas, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, was never broken in her 8-3 doubles win with junior Brooke Bolender.

But Ronit can definitely handle
it at number one."
It didn't bother Bektas, as she
cruised to a comfortable victory
over Catherine Parenteau, 6-3,
The sophomore was too hard
to break, and just as Parenteau
gained momentum, Bektas
broke her service.

"I was trying to do what I
usually do - getting to the net,"
Bektas said. "I stayed in the
points and grinded out a few of
them and got the victory."
In her new role as the Wolver-
ines top singles player, Yurovsky
played like a wily veteran -
never letting her opponent gain
any momentum.

The freshman never got bro-
ken and fired back huge returns,
which guided her to a 6-2, 6-1
Michigan took all of this
energy into the remaining
matches, gaining huge wins by
Bolender, Zhu and sophomore
Kristen Dodge.
"We took care of business

today," Bernstein said.
Michigan will try to again
take care of business on Satur-
day against No. 2 Duke.
"(Duke) is going to be a really
tough team, and we are going to
need everyone out there," Bek-
tas said. "We are all confident to
go out there and we believe we
can win."

Another senior night, another quiet Yost

Like Thanksgiving
break game,
student hockey
tickets not included
for Ferris State
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan hockey coach
Red Berenson has stressed
the importance of keeping the
opposing team's crowd - spe-
cifically its student section
- out of the game when the
Wolverines are on the road.
When Michigan's at home,
Yost Ice Arena is one of the
most formidable venues in the
CCHA. Its unofficial student
section, Children of Yost, shows
up early and constantly makes
noise while bantering the
opposing team's players.
. "They're unbelievable. They
come up with a little of every-
thing," said senior forward A.J.
Treais. "They've been great
to my class and all the classes
that have been here so I think
they're one of the best student
sections in the nation. It speaks
a lot about the Children of Yost
and what they've done and
what they put together every
day we come into the rink."
Though Yost might have lost
some of its intimidation fac-

tor this year - t
(9-15-2 CCHA, 1
have gone just 7-£
still considered t
arena to play in.
ris State visits
for Michigan'si
finale, the crowd
a big role.
Every year, th
place during th
spring break. WN
series is at home
included in the st
ticket packages.
there's an
option to
pay extra for
tickets to the
games, many
students don't
choose that
LSA senior
and four-year
ticket holder
Dan Rosen-
berg chose to 1
tickets because,'
really going to m
to keep people av
how many peopi
show up."
But he feels t
students won't b
boat. Since it's t
end of spring bre
already had plan
"I'm definitely

he Wolverines ity of people who I know that
2-18-2 overall) are buying tickets for the game
8 at home - it's though," Rosenberg said.
o be a difficult The bigger issue is that
But when Fer- the final home series, which
this weekend includes senior night, falls
regular-season when the majority of students
might not play have pre-arranged spring break
plans. Unfortunately, there's
e CCHA's final nothing the University can do
weekend takes to affect the scheduling since
e University's the CCHA makes the schedule.
Vhen the final "Tickets were not included in
tickets aren't the season ticket packages as we
udents' season knew it fell over spring break
and the overwhelmingly major-
ity of stu-
dents would
ehave not be able to
We e to attend," said
the athletic
create our own department's
* 2 chef maket-
energy if it's not ingef mo-ffi
there." Hunter Loch-
mann, in an
e-mail inter-
view. "Our
primary goal
buy the extra is to have a full arena for Red
'12 dollars isn't and the team, so we couldn't
ean that much risk including the students and
way in terms of not having anyone show up."
le are going to For the past three years,
Michigan has been on the road
that all of the during its final weekend series,
re in the same allowing the students to see
he first week- the final regular-season home
eak, they likely series and senior night.
is to be out of But before that stretch, the
scheduling wasn't so favor-
in the minor- able to the Children of Yost -

starting in 2002, six of seven
senior nights took place with
the students on spring break,
though Yost later played host to
a CCHA Tournament series in
front of the students in each of
those seasons.
This won't be the only time
this season that a hockey series
was affected by the University
break schedule, though. The
Wolverines squared off against
Bowling Green the Wednesday
before Thanksgiving, and the
majority of the students weren't
in attendance. Some were scat-
tered among the regular seat-
ing, but Yost didn't have the
same atmosphere.
And the absence of the Chil-
dren of Yost comes at a crucial
time for the Wolverines. Michi-
gan currently sits in eighth place
in the CCH, but just five points
separate seventh and 10th place.
So if the Wolverines have a
good weekend, it's much more
likely that they wouldn't have
to play on the road in the first
round of the CCHA Tourna-
"It's not the same without the
students," Berenson said. "But
we can't let that be a factor or
worry about that. Our fans have
been great and spring break or
not, we're going to get a good
contingent of fans. Some stu-
dents might stay, but it won't be
the same. Nevertheless, we have
to create our own energy if it's
not there."

Offensive depth
showing early
for Wolverines

Daily Sports Writer
Michigan coach Erik Bakich
preaches that good pitching and
sound defense make up the recipe
for playing good baseball.
But this past weekend, in a
three-game series against Ford-
ham, it was an offensive explosion
- 30 runs in three games - that
pushed the Wolverines forward.
"We really cut down on the
strikeouts," said freshman infield-
er Jacob Cronenworth. "(We)
really focused on our approach
and having quality at-bats every
time we came up to the plate."
Quality at-bats were more plen-
tiful this weekend as Michigan
recorded 32 hits against Fordham,
compared to just 25 against Cali-
fornia two weeks ago. Even bet-
ter news for the Wolverines is the
consistent balance within their
Already this season, eight dif-
ferent players have recorded
1 an RBI, while 11 Wolverines
have scored at least one run. If
Michigan maintains this bal-
anced offensive production while
heading to the plate with a more
focused mindset, it's likely to
showcase more scoring outbursts
similar to this past weekend.
"It's just an improved offense,"
Bakich said. "I think some guys
are doing a nice job at the top of
the order and beyond. It's just
another week of development and
seeing more live competition."

Bakich also cited multiple
two-out RBI as a key factor in his
team's offensive progress against
Fordham. Clutch hitting was an
issue lastcyearthatthe Wolverines
have been working to improve
upon throughout these first few
With just two days of practice
last week, Bakich and his play-
ers were able to make the neces-
sary adjustments during batting
practice, both mechanically and
mentally. The development of a
more concentrated approach at
the plate, along with mechanical
tweaks here and there, allowed
Michigan to finally show what its
offense is capable of.
"Our guys got after it and
worked really hard last week,"
Bakich said. "We wanted to make
sure that our focus was having
quality at-bats, and our guys did a
great job."
Now that the Wolverine bats
have found a rhythm, the most
difficult task will soon be to main-
tain consistency with timely hit-
Also, quality production from
the top to the bottom of the line-
up will play a crucial role in the
upcoming weeks.
"We just need to puta complete
weekend together, where we take
care of business start to finish,"
Bakich said. "I thought we played
two complete games against Ford-
ham, but we just need to be more
consistent offensively, defensively
and on the mound."

@theblockm @blockmbball @blockmhockey


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