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September 03, 2013 - Image 43

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-03

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 7E

Women's DMR runs away with National Championship

By ELI SPARKMAN
For the Daily
MARCH 11, 2013 - The Michi-
gan women's track and field team
captured the program's fourth-
ever Indoor NCAA Champion-
ship in the distance medley relay
event Friday at the Randal Tyson
track in Fayetteville, Ark.
Led by its three seniors, the
relay team has a potent mix of
experience, talent and confi-
dence, and it's proven to be one
of the most successful teams in
Michigan history. The relay won
the Big Ten Championship in
Geneva, Ohio, two weeks ago and

set a program record by running
the fastest time in the nation last
week in South Bend, Ind., with a
time of 9:56.66. The four athletes
once again outdid themselves this
week by re-breaking their fast-
est time in program history with
a race time of 9:56.46 to win the
Indoor NCAA Championship.
The Wolverines' national
championship relay team con-
sisted of senior Rebecca Addison
running the 1200-meter portion,
freshman Maya Long running the
400-meter, senior Jillian Smith
racing the 800-meter leg and
senior Amanda Eccleston clos-
ing out the relay with the crucial

1600-meter leg.
"It was really exciting after
qualifying last weekend with
the best time in the nation," said
assistant coach Mike McGuire.
"The girls came in with a real
focus, it was really exciting hav-
ing three seniors out there and I
think it was a really great way to
end their careers."
As the distance coach, McGuire
has a lot to do with the success of
the relay team. He's been work-
ing with distance and relay run-
ners at Michigan with head coach
James Henry for the last 21 years.
McGuire is also the head coach of
the Michigan cross country team

of which Rebecca Addison and
Jillian Smith are captains, so the
experience and chemistry needed
for success are there.
All of the recent success, com-
bined with the experience of the
three seniors and the coaching
staff, proved to be key in winning
the championship in the face of
the nerves.
"You go in feeling ready to a
degree because we won the Big
Ten in the event with a nation-
best performance," McGuire said.
"But it's also a National Champi-
onship so there's some nervous
energy you have to deal with."
Despite the nerves, the Wol-

verines distance medley relay
team won in decisive fashion,
edging runner-up Villanova by a
second and a half.
"Rebecca Addison's leadoff
was a little touch and go early on
because she was in the back of the
pack," McGuire said. "But she did
a really good job of rallying, par-
ticularly in the last lap to hand off
as a close third. Maya's 400-meter
leg kept us in about the same spot,
Jill Smith moved us up into the
lead on her third leg which was
800 meters. Amanda just did an
outstanding job anchoring, run-
ning as fast as she did, leading the
whole way was as good of a per-

formance as we've ever had."
Also competing for Michigan
was junior Erin Busbee who fin-
ished sixth overall in the long
jump witha mark of 6.33 meters.
The mark earned her first-team
All-American honors at her inau-
gural NCAA Championship.
In the mile, sophomore Shan-
non Osika finished 14th and was
awarded second-team All-Ameri-
can honors with a time of 4:43.43.
The Wolverines finished in
15th place in the National Indoor
rankings tied with both UCLA
and Florida State with a total of 13
points. No. 1 Oregon dominated
the field with a total of 56 points.

Special season comes to close, 'M' falls in Sweet 16

By JASON RUBINSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
MAY 23, 2013 - If you were
to ask any of the No. 10 Michigan
women's tennis players what they
would be doing Saturday morning
at 1:30 am, the answer would be
unanimous: sleeping.
Instead, the Wolverines were
playing the No. 7 UCLA women's
tennis team in their Sweet 16
matchup - a match that started
around four hours late. And the
delay ultimately proved too much,
as Michigan fell 4-0 on Friday
night and Saturday morning.
The Wolverines started the
highly anticipated match at 11:00
pm central time in Urbana, Ill. and
did not finish until the wee hours
of the morning. After giving up a
tightly contested doubles point,
UCLA (19-5) cruised behind its
strong singles play.
"It was a very difficult day,"
said Michigan coach Ronni Ber-
nstein. "You have to figure out
when to eat and hit, and we start-
ed over four hours late. I didn't
want them sitting around the
hotel all day, and we tried to get
them moving, while making sure

they had enough food in them. It
was just unusual circumstances.
It was tough for us, but for UCLA
as well."
For Michigan (10-1 Big Ten,
23-6 overall), winning the doubles
point has been the key to success.
Entering Friday's dual, the Wol-
verines were undefeated when
winning the point, and just 3-5
without it. The point becomes
even more crucial when an oppos-
ing team boasts a strong singles
lineup - something that has car-
ried UCLA all season. The Bruins
have five nationally ranked singles
players - two in the Top 20.
Michigan got down early at the
third spot, putting more pressure
on the first and second pairs. After
eventually losing at No. 3, the
Wolverines looked to their top-
pair of sophomore Emina Bektas
and junior Brooke Bolender. The
nation's sixth-ranked duo has
been a force to be reckoned with.
Bektas and Bolender, perhaps
the most aggressive team in the
nation, served and volleyed their
way to a 8-6 victory, evening up
the doubles score to put the dou-
bles point in the second match's
hands.

Sophomore Sarah Lee and
senior Mimi Nguyen have found
success as an unconventional pair,
with Lee hitting a big ball, while
Nguyen is more of a crafty player.
The duo jumped out to a 5-2 lead,
but went on to give up two breaks.
All tied up at 6-6, with Lee serv-
ing, the pair couldn't close out the
game after going to three deuce
points. Down 7-6, the Michigan
pair broke back, but couldn't hold
serve once again. UCLA served
out the match, giving the Bruins
the highly coveted doubles point.
"We had a good start at num-
ber two, and I thought the UCLA
was struggling big time," Ber-
nstein said. "When you have a
UCLA team down, you have to
close them out. Getting that dou-
bles point would have been huge
momentum wise and we let it get
away from us. We had chances,
but couldn't do it."
The Wolverines entered singles
play well aware of the singles line-
up the Bruins boasted. But no one
knew better than Bektas, set to
playNo. 3 RobinAnderson. Bektas
knew in order to be successful she
would have to exploit Anderson by
strong first serves, and put away

volleys, but against Anderson, it's
much easier said than done.
Anderson's shots were falling,
often times passing Bektas at the
net, ultimately winning, 6-3,6-4.
"I don't think she made enough
first serves, and that's huge for
her game, especially against a
kid like Robin, who makes good
returns and is quick," Bernstein
said. "Emina needed to have a
better first serve percentage, and
she couldn't doit. She almost had
an easier time breaking, which is
unusual."
The Wolverines also lost at the
sixth and second spots to give
UCLA the match victory.
Despite the loss, Bernstein
made it clear that she is proud
of this team and that the future
remains bright.
"It's obviously disappointing
losing in the Sweet 16, but we had
another great season," Bernstein
said. "There is alot ofsuccess to be
seen. We have agreat base return-
ing, with three new kids coming
next year. We just have to stay
healthy and improve our doubles.
Overall it was agreat year, and we
have to look into the positives of
that."

Junior Brooke Bolender will have their song "Hundred Level' played Saturday.

SCHOO. F KINESIOLOGY
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