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November 15, 2013 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-15

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- The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 15, 2013- 7

IRW

The ichgan ail - ichiandilycm Fida, Noembr 15 203-M

Wolverines head to Nebraska

'M' gets first test

By ERIN LENNON
Daily Sports Writer
Fully rested from a bye week,
the No. 2 Michigan hockey
team will travel to the second-
largest college
hockey rink
in the coun- Michigan at
try this week- Nebraska-
end to take
on Nebraska- Omaha
Omaha. Matchup:
With a Michigan 6-1-
capacity of 1; UNO 5-5
17,100, Century When: Friday
Link Center is 7:07 p.m.
among the 50 Where: Centu-
largest rinks
intewrd ryLink Center
in the world T/ai-
and is second TV/Radio:
in the NCAA CeS College
only to Ohio
State's by 400
seats. Nebraska-Omaha lists
three more women's sports than
men's, doesn't have a football
team and has a men's basketball
team that won just 11 of 31 con-
tests last season. There, hockey
is king.
Though the rink seldom fills
to the rafters, this weekend's
road trip is arguably the Wolver-
ines' biggest, and final, road test
heading into Big Ten play in two
weeks.
The Wolverines and Maver-
icks last met in Ann Arbor in
March 2011 for an even bigger
game - the first round of the
NCAA Tournament. An over-
time goal from then-sophomore
center Kevin Lynch - which was
reviewed for 10 minutes before
being upheld - sent Michigan to
a regional final before going to
its 24th Frozen Four.
There are just seven players
from that team still on the roster
for Michigan.
"It was a fun, high-paced
game," said senior forward Luke
Moffatt. "It was an elevated
intensity. If we don't win that
game, we don't end up going
to the Frozen Four. They're a
good team, and we know that.
We know it's going to be a gritty

By DANIEL WASSERMAN
Daily Sports Editor
Is there anything worse than
that stingy exam you just can't
overlook that falls right before

you're set to
leave for a nice,
sunny vacation
that?
The Michi-
gan men's bas-
ketball team
can certainly
sympathize
with you, stu-
dents. Sunday,
two days before
the Wolverines
board a plane
for San Juan,
Puerto Rico -

Michigan at
Iowa State
Matchup:
Michigan 2-0;
Iowa State 2-0
When: Sun-
day 5 p.m.
Where: Hilton
Coliseum
TV/Radio:
ESPN2

PAUL SHERMAN/Daily
Senior defenseman Mac Bennett has three assists and 14 blocked shots as a captain this season.

hockey weekend."
Unlike Michigan, Nebraska-
Omaha (5-5) has played five
straight weeks of hockey enter-
ing this weekend's series, includ-
ing matchups against No. 15
North Dakotaand No.19 Cornell.
The Mavericks are 2-4 at home.
But, much like the Michi-
gan Tech team Michigan (6-1-1)
faced early this month, Nebras-
ka-Omaha's record is more a
reflection of its schedule than its
talent. Still, three years after the
last meeting, the coaching staff
expects a similarly high-tempo
team this weekend.
"We expect speed and skill,"
said Michigan assistant coach
Billy Powers. "They're a team
that plays with great tempo, and
they really get up and down the
ice well. I think it's been a staple
of (Nebraska-Omaha coach)
Dean Blaze's teams back to his
North Dakota days. They're very
impressive on film, in particular
their ability to create offense."

In addition to downtime and
team bonding during the bye
week, the Wolverines switched
lines up once again in practice
last week, hoping to spark an
offense that will find the back of
the net more than .082 percent of
the time. Michigan's 22 goals in
eight games are tied for 28th in
Division-I hockey.
The bye week has given new
lines - namely that of freshman
forward Tyler Motte, sopho-
more Andrew Copp and junior
Phil Di Giuseppe - time to build
the necessary chemistry to make
an impact this weekend.
Even with a few off days
last week, captain Bennett was
pleased with the energy in prac-
tice both week.
"We still get worked pretty
hard," Bennett said Monday. "It
was nice to have those off days.
Sometimes in an off week guys
kind of slow down a little bit,
but I thought everyone brought
their 'A' game to practice, and

they were excited and ready to
be there."
Extra practice time also made
the choice between freshman
goaltender Zach Nagelvoort and
sophomore Steve Racine - who
both delivered strong practices
this week - that much more dif-
ficult. Though Michigan coach
Red Berenson made his decision
Tuesday after practice, Powers
said that he would announce
Friday's starter to the team on
Thursday before practice.
Though talks of a platoon sys-
tem like that of former Wolver-
ines Shawn Hunwick and Bryan
Hogan persist, Powers said the
series will not necessarily be
split. If Friday's starter earns a
win, he will likely be in the net
on Saturday. If Michigan loses,
expect to see Friday's backup in
the crease this weekend.
For now, Berenson will make
his decision one win at a time. It
is the motto of this team, after
all.

where the forecast calls for tem-
peratures in the high 70s - they'll
be in blustery Ames, Iowa, home
to a perennially scrappy team and
one of the toughest road environ-
ments in the country.
Both the seventh-ranked Wol-
verines and Iowa State have cake-
walked through two blowouts,
and Sunday's game will go a long
way in answering questions about
the legitimacy of each team's
early season expectations.
Though the Cyclones fell short
of a preseason ranking, most
expectations tabbed them some-
where in the Big 12's upper ech-
elon. A big part of that is because
Iowa State rarely loses at home;
the Cyclones are 32-3 in Hilton
Coliseum over the past two sea-
sons.
And if a raucous home envi-
ronment isn't enough to rattle the
freshmen, Dick Vitale will be on
hand to call the nationally tele-
vised game - a first for freshmen
like Walton and guard Zak Irvin.
On a Thursday teleconfer-
ence, Michigan coach John
Beilein raised eyebrows when
he announced that the timeline
for sophomore forward Mitch
McGary's return may be drasti-
cally abbreviated. Earlier indica-
tions suggested that McGary may

miss all of November, and per-
haps even December, but Beilein
told reporters that his big man
began participating in drills that
he hadn't done since last year,
and that his return will probably
"happen very quickly."
Still, even if he dresses on Sun-
day, don't expect McGary to play
- which is unfortunate for the
Wolverines given the Cyclones'
undersized frontcourt.
Even without McGary, 6-foot-
10 redshirt junior forward Jon
Horford could exploit a mismatch
on the block - Iowa State's start-
ing forwards are 6-foot-6 and
6-foot-7.
But while Beilein has praised
Horford's rebounding abilities
this season, the forward has
never been a reliable offensive
threat.
Until McGary returns to the
floor, Michigan will need to rely
on production from the wing,
where it has a wealth of options.
Sophomore guards Caris
LeVert and Nik Stauskas and for-
ward Glenn Robinson III have
scored 101 of theteam's 162 points
through two games - 62.3 per-
cent of the offense - and that fig-
ure will likely increase as games
get more competitive and role
players' minutes decline.
Iowa State nearly eliminated
Ohio State in the third round
of last year's NCAA Tourna-
ment, but its starting backcourt
has since graduated, and the
Cyclones' best player, forward
Melvin Ejim, is injured and isn't
expected to play.
Especially with Ejim out,
the game should come down to
whether Michigan can play with
composure. Barring a completely
flat performance, the Wolverines'
talent should be enough to over-
come some marginal road strug-
gles from the freshmen.
"I think we're ready," Stauskas
said. "Hopefully, they don't get
too scared or too nervous of the
moment, and I'm pretty sure they
won't.
"I guess we'll see on Sunday."

Sister battle in Detroit

PAUL SHERMAN/Dail
Fifth-year senior defender Holly Hein is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and will be counted on to perform on Saturday.
MIChigan begins NCAAs

By BRAD WHIPPLE
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's soc-
cer team has never won an NCAA
title.
The closest
the Wolver- MiIWaUkee
ines came to at Michigan
a champion-
ship was under Matchup: Mil-
Debbie Radem- Waukee 10-5-1;
ace n20, Michigan 15-3-1
acher in 2002,
when they When: Satur-
made a run to day 7 p.m.
the Elite Eight Where: UM
before losing Soccer Stadium
to Santa Clara. TV/Radio:
After taking mgoblue.com
his team to the
Sweet 16 last
year, Michigan
coach Greg Ryan is confident that
this year could be "very special."
Saturday, the third-seeded
Wolverines (9-1-1 Big Ten, 15-3-1
overall) will host Wisconsin-Mil-
waukee in the first round of the
NCAA Tournament. This week-
end's winner will move on to face
the victor of Louisville and Illinois
State.
The Panthers are coming into
their 11th NCAA Tournament as
conference champions. In Sun-
day's Horizon League champion-
ship game, forward Kelly Lewers
scored with 23 seconds left to
lift her team to its sixth straight
tournament title. She is second on

her team with nine goals and was
named both tournament MVP
and Horizon League Player of the
Year.
But of the five NCAA Tourna-
ment teams it has faced this sea-
son, Wisconsin-Milwaukee has
only one victory. Of those four
losses, one was at the hands of
Michigan in the season opener.
The game ended in a 3-0 shutout
victory for the Wolverines.
"We played them early in the
year, and both teams were just
gettingstarted," Ryan said. "How-
ever, both teams have improved
tremendously since then."
In last week's Big Ten Tour-
nament, old scoring struggles
returned to force a first-round
Michigan exit. Still, Ryan feels
that the early elimination actually
gave his team a huge advantage.
With 11 days off, the team had
the opportunity to physically and
mentally recover before hitting
the field once again.
"These are possibly our best
days of training all year," Ryan
said. "The reason is we were able
to rest. It's amazing what it does
for the legs, the mind and the
spirit."
Added senior defender Holly
Hein: "We've been working on the
fundamentals, like making sure
our back line is sound, getting to
the goal and making sure every-
one is committed to scoring and
working collectively."

If the Wolverines are going to
score, they will need to do it early.
In the games when it scores first,
Michigan is 13-0. To continue this
trend, Ryan has made his team
play pickup games that end when
the first goal is scored, empha-
sizing the importance of getting
ahead in the game.
"The key for us is not just
being content to have the ball but
to do something with it," Ryan
said. "We have to recognize that
whether we score first or not, we
have to continue to battle away."
Saturday, Michigan will have
home-field advantage as it host a
first-round game for the second
consecutive year. In fact, the Wol-
verines are undefeated (7-0) in
NCAA Tournament games in Ann
Arbor.
The last time Michigan was at
U-M Soccer Stadium was in its last
regular-season game against Ohio
State on Nov. 2. The chance to play
at home again is especially mean-
ingful for the seniors.
"It wasn't guaranteed that we'd
get another game here," Hein said.
"It's really nice to have at least one
more here, and we're really happy
about it."
Added Ryan: "Once the NCAA
Tournament starts, you have to
throw everything out. What's on
paper doesn't matter anymore.
It's what's in your heart, what's
in your mind and what's in your
body."

By ALEXA DETTELBACH
Daily Sports Writer
Nov. 16 has been circled on the
Ristovski family calendar since
its middle daughter decided to
play basketball for Detroit Mercy
in 2012.
Michigan
sophomore Michigan
guard Madi- at Detroit
son Ristovski
will face Matchup:
her sister, Michigan 1-2;
Titan fresh- Detroit 1-1
man guard When: Sat-
Haleigh Ris- urday 2 p.m.
tovski. Where: Cali-
Michigan han Hall
(1-2) will TV/Radio:
face Detroit WADL
(1-1) in a
matchup of
the Ristovski sisters as the Wol-
verines look to rebound from
an overtime loss to Xavier on
Wednesday.
"It's all about the bounce
back," said Michigan coach Kim
Barnes Arico "That's part of our
job as coaches to say, 'Hey, we
don't have much time. We have
to turn around and play again
on Saturday, so we have to make
sure we're getting better every
day, and we're ready to go for
Detroit."'
When asked at Michigan
media day which game she was
most looking forward to play-
ing this season, Ristovski smiled
and answered almost immedi-
ately. Facing her sister would be
great, even if she was going to see
limited minutes, but with Ris-
tovski a late preseason addition
to the starting lineup, the sisters
will find themselves on the floor
together for much of the game.
"We are going to have a sister
rivalry," Ristovski said at media
day. "We're probably going to end
up guarding each other, so that
will be kind of cool."
Though Ristovski calls the
matchup "cool," her mother,
Svetlana Ristovski, couldn't be
more stressed about the game.
"They've always played
together, so it's really hard, and
I know they're so close, so it will

rtuRACY K/aily
Sophomoreguard Madison Ristovski will play against her sister on Saturday.

probably be really emotional for
them," Svetlana said. "And for
me, I'm sitting in the middle,
wearing neither color and root-
ing for both teams. May the best
team win."
To make matters more com-
plicated for the Ristovski family,
Madison's uncle is an assistant
coach for the Titans, and her
youngest sister also committed
to playfor Detroit nextyear.
"For Madison, I'm sure it's a
pretty big deal," Barnes Arico
said. "I'm sure it's going to be a
big game for the Ristovski family
as awhole. Madisonusuallyplays
well in big games, so hopefully
she'll be up to the challenge."
Added junior forward Nicole
Elmblad: "I think there's goingto
be a lot of emotions on Madison's
end for sure, but if the rest of the
team can just be around her and
just keep her focused, I think
she'll be ready to play."
Though it's early in the season,
the starting lineup has had suc-
cess with Ristovski in it. After
recording her first career start
against Bowling Green, Ristovski
came off the bench in Michi-
gan's second game of the season,
against Arizona.
Barnes Arico decided to put
Ristovski back in a starting role

in the Wolverines' home open-
er loss to Xavier. The Sterling
Heights, Mich. native posted a
career-high 12 points, adding
two rebounds and an assist.
Because Michigan has a quick
turnaround after a tough loss,
Barnes Arico may continue to
tinker with the starting lineup,
citing practice performance as
the primary determinant of who
sees playingtime.
"With a young team that we
have, I don't think anybody's
really established themselves
starting night in and night out
with the exceptions of maybe
(junior forward Cyesha Goree)
and Nicole," Barnes Arico said.
With Detroit looming, the
Wolverines need to look out for
guards Ellisha Crosby and Senee
Shearer, who average 14 and 13.5
points, respectively. Crosby also
adds 9.5 rebounds per game. The
Titans also field a fairly small
team, but their guards, particu-
larly Crosby, are on the bigger
side and could pose matchup
problems for Michigan.
But for Madison, the most
important guard on the floor
is going to be Haleigh, and the
battle of the Ristovski sisters
should provide for an entertain-
ing affair.

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