8A - Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I
8A - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
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Wolverines attempt to.
bring success back home
'M' names two captains for the
first time since 2010-11 season
By SHANNON LYNCH
Daily Sports Writer
After a productive offensive
victory against Virginia last
weekend in Charlottesville at
the Big Ten/ACC Challenge,
the Michigan women's basket-
ball team is coming home to
Michigan's Michigan at
tested through- Michigan
nut the first Matchup:
month of the Eastern 6-0;
geason, when it Michigan 6-3
hadto compete When:
,n the road in Wednesday
'even of its first 7 p.m.
nine games. Where: Crisler
Plus, the team Center
has played TV/Radio:
the last two mgoblue.com
put its leading
forward Shannon Smith, who
averages 17.3 points per game.
In her absence, four players have
scored in double figures.
Coming back to Crisler Center
to finish out the year is a blessing
for the Wolverines, but a rigor-
ous four-game home stand will
be a different kind of challenge
for the team.
"It's been brutal and we threw
them right into the fire," said
Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Arico. "Now they've really got to
focus on finishing strong in the
classroom as well as finishing
the year strong on the basketball
Facing Eastern Michigan
in the "Battle of Washtenaw
County" poses no easy task for
the Wolverines. The undefeat-
ed Eagles are averaging 90.5
points per game and currently
rank fifth nationally in scor-
ing. Though Michigan leads the
series 12-8, Eastern Michigan
has won in three of the last four
"They really push the bas-
ketball, they take a tremendous
amount of shots a game, they go
in transition, they're extremely
athletic," Barnes Arico said.
"They're playing exceptionally
well, and playing with a lot of
On Wednesday night, the
Wolverines will need to focus
on decreasing their turnovers,
as the Eagles have been averag-
. By CLAIRE KINTNER straight season. Throughout her
Daily Sports Writer four-year career, Bolender has
become a two-time All-Ameri-
For the first time since the can in doubles, pairing with for-
2010-2011 season, the Michigan mer Wolverine Denise Muresan
women's tennis team will have for the honor in 2011 and junior
two captains instead of one. Emina Bektas last season. She
Every year, once the fall sea- is currently ranked with Bektas
son is well underway, Michi- as the No. 3 doubles pair in the
gan coach Ronni Bernstein and country and managed to fin-
her coaching staff ask the play- ish her fall season 10-5, includ-
ers to sit down as a group to go ing a 3-0 record at the Adidas/
over exactly what it means to USTA Collegiate Invitational in
be a captain, in addition to the November.
responsibilities that come with In addition to her accom-
it. plishments on the court,
To the coaches, a captain Bolender has shown leadership
is able to mesh the needs and through her efforts in the class-
talents of each team member room. Enrolled in the School
with the ultimate goal - win- of Kinesiology, Bolender was
ning matches. Each player is named to the Academic All-Big
then responsible for choosing Ten team for the first time dur-
as many of their teammates that ing her sophomore season and
they believe suit this quality. has earned Michigan's Athletic
When it comes to building Academic Achievement award
team spirit and fostering a cohe- the past three years.
sive unit for this year's team, "It's an honor to be voted into
junior Kristy Dodge and senior this position again," Bolender
Brooke Bolender seem to pos- said. "I think that with a team
sess the skills and personality as small as ours, I'm just the one
it takes to be among Michigan's that tries my best to push people
"Leaders and Best." and to make everyone feel com-
Bolender's efforts last season fortable. We have a huge system
certainly didn't go unnoticed, of trust on our team, so in a way,
as she is now set to serve as cap- I think everyone takes on their
tain of the team for the second own leadership role."
Dodge is serving as captain
for the first time this year. She
has been a standout since the
beginning of her freshman year,
quickly earning the respect of
her coaches and steadily play-
ing her way into the rotation.
As a sophomore, Dodge went
18-10 overall in singles. In dual
matches, she was able to peak at
the No. 6 singles spot and went
8-6. She now holds a career
record of 49-29 in singles.
Dodge is no . stranger to
exhibiting leadership. This past
summer, she made it a priority
to become a part of a passionate
coalition of current and former
college student-athletes called
Student-Athletes Leading Social
Change, where she participat-
ed in a week-long service trip
across the country.
Her invaluable experience
harnessed her leadership skills
and allowed her to gain consid-
erable insight into giving back to
those in need.
"One of my goals was to be
more of a leader this year,"
Dodge said. "I especially want-
ed to help the freshmen get
adjusted because when the team
is very close, it makes every-
thing easier, as if we're a family.
That's the best part of it all."
Junior forward Shannon Smith practiced at about 75 percent on Monday.
ing 26.7 points off turnovers per
game. Eastern Michigan also
leads the Mid-American Con-
ference in rebounds, averaging
18 offensive and 35.5 defensive
boards per game.
In Michigan's last game,
freshman guard Janay Morton
and senior guard Desyree Thom-
as led the team in points with 18
and 17, respectively.
Thomas is second in the MAC
in steals (3.2) and assist-to-turn-
over ratio (5.8) while ranking
third in field goal percentage
(55.9). Morton and two other
players in the Eagles lineup rank
in the top-12 in the MAC confer-
ence for scoring.
The lineup for Wednesday is
still questionable for the Wol-
verines. According to Barnes
Arico, Smith practiced at about a
75 percent level on Monday, but
is still in pain. Her return to the
court at Crisler this week is still
Senior forward Val Driscoll
has made strides in Smith's
absence, scoring a career-high
12 points in Virginia and going
6-for-6 from the field for Michi-
gan. But the Wolverines will
have to do more than just shoot,
turning up the pressure on
defense to keep the Eagles at bay.
One thing Barnes Arico won't
have to worry about is the mind-
set of her players. After fight-
ing for a close 64-62 loss to No.
15 LSU and earning two recent
wins, it's clear that the team has
bought into the mentality estab-
lished by the Michigan coaching
Michigan shot 53.8 percent
from the field against Virginia,
the third game of the season in
which the Wolverines shot over
Freshman guard Siera
Thompson and sophomore guard
Madison Ristovski moved the
ball around and combined for 17
of 21 assists in the game.
"There really isn't a superstar,
and no one really cares who gets
the credit," Barnes Arico said.
"They all want to make the extra
-pass and it shows up in the box
score. It shows up with easier
baskets and shot selection."
Senior Brooke Bolender is a two-time All-American in doubles and was recently named one of two captains.