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February 26, 2014 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-26

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 7A

A rivalry, even on the ice

Smith finding an
offensive rhythm

Daily Sports Editor
It's 'Ohio' week in February.
The hype of a Saturday in
late November might not be
swirling around Ann Arbor and
Columbus, but the Michigan-
Ohio State rivalry is still held to a
high standard on the ice.
The Wolverines have finished
ahead of the Buckeyes in the
conference standings for each
of the past 10 seasons and hold a
72-33-11 edge since the first game
was played between the two
schools on Feb. 8, 1964. Records
and a lopsided difference in
program prestige might not point
to a heated rivalry, but everything
else does.
"It's a big game between
two rival schools, and you feel
that out on the ice," said senior
defenseman Mac Bennett.
"People are making that extra
effort or fighting a little bit more
to get that puck, and they're
exciting games to play in."
Take the 2004 CCHA
championship, for example.
Michigan and Ohio State came
into the conference tournament
sitting in first and fourth,
respectively. The Wolverines
came out flat, and after conceding
three second-period goals,
stumbled toward a front-row
seat to Ohio State's first CCHA
championship since 1972.
The next season, in 2004-
05, Michigan finished atop the
conference with the Buckeyes
close behind. No matchups
could particularly be classified
as an upset, but those contests
provoked a sincere hostility
between the two sides due to
their competitiveness.
Michigan coach Red
Berenson said the construction
of Value City Arena - the
current home of Ohio State
basketball and men's hockey
programs - in 2000 ignited the

hockey program's relevance on a
more national scale. Previously,
the Buckeyes played in a rink
that held 1,700 people and
hardly resembled a place that
supported Division I athletics.
"It was too bad, but it was a
disgrace to Ohio for them to have
to play Division I hockey in that
rink," Berenson said.
Since the opening of Value
City Arena, it'd be fair to say
Ohio State's increased relevance
has created its benefits for the
Wolverines, too.
Senior forward Derek DeBlois
remembers struggling through a
seven-game losing streak during
his sophomore season. With
a weekend series with Ohio
State looming, the Wolverines
desperately needed a way out of
a massive sinkhole. That time,

the Buckeyes were ranked No.
2 in the nation, but DeBlois and
company outscored their rivals
8-1 over the weekend.
"I think it was the most packed
it's been since we've played
there,"DeBloissaid. "Thatkindof
turned around our whole season,
so it was an exciting time."
Berenson creditsthe increased
television exposure from the
Big Ten Network and the
conference schedule as keys to
igniting the rivalry even more.
With teams vying for the same
recruits, bragging rights and
championships, rivalries become
"You saw the outpouring
support when they played here
the first time we played them,"
Bennett said. "That place was

It was quite the spectacle. Big
Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney
was in attendance alongside
5,800 fans who were well aware
of what a matchup between
Michigan and Ohio State should
entail. Most left satisfied,
too, after sophomore forward
Andrew Copp's winning goal
in overtime. The following
Monday in Columbus, Bennett
proved to be the hero when he
netted a game-winner in the
final minutes.
"The losing team always
feels it's a bigger rivalry than
the winning team," said senior
forward Luke Moffatt. "Just
because it hurts so much more to
lose than it feels good to win."
When these teams meet this
weekend, there's no reason to
expect any different sentiment.

Guard tallies 38
points in two games
Daily Sports Editor
Though the final score
said otherwise, the Michigan
women's basketball team didn't
feel like it
walked away NOTEBOOK
with a loss
Saturday to Iowa.
In its last home game of the
season, the Wolverines (8-7
Big Ten, 17-11 overall) played
strong in both halves and shot
50.8 percent, matching its
best shooting performance in
conference play.
"We knew it was going to be a
tough matchup for us, but it went
back and forth," said Michigan
coach Kim Barnes Arico. "We
came out ready to play."
And for the second time in
as many games, junior guard
Shannon Smith led the way.
Smith started the season as
the team's only viable offensive
option, but the growth and
emergence of junior forward
Cyesha Goree and freshman
guard Siera Thompson has often
put Smith in the backseat of the
scoring action.
In Michigan's last two games,
though, Smith has put up 38
total points. But in the game
before that, though, she was held
to just five.
"That's what we've talked to
Shannon about, you have to be
more consistent," Barnes Arico
Smith's inconsistency is
attributed to the fact that the
opposing team's best defender
hovers between her and
Thompson. When one isn't in

an offensive rhythm, the other
faces the best defenders.
"When -you put numbers
up like that, you're facing the
opponents' best defender night
in and night out," Barnes Arico
said. "They're trying to be
physical with you and they're
trying to bang you around.
Shannon's really thin and tiny,
and she had to get accustomed
to that, and she had to learn to
adjust to that.
"And against Indiana and
Iowa she did."
MIDDLE: Senior center Val
Driscoll has been an unexpected
force in the middle this season.
Last year, Driscoll sat out the
entire campaign with a torn
anterior cruciate ligament. But
after months of recovery, she has
stormed back to make the most
of her last season as a Wolverine.
With Michigan in need of
height in its starting lineup,
Driscoll's 6-foot-4 frame was
a welcomed option. Now a
consistent starter, Driscoll
averages six rebounds and just
over two blocks per game. The
center is tied for seventh in
program history on the single-
season block list.
Driscoll has been a big reason
why the Wolverines have
outrebounded their opponents
in 24 of 28 games. Against the
Hawkeyes, Driscoll posted a
career-high 18 points.
"Our kids did a great job
of really looking inside, of
attacking the high-low, of
getting Val or Cyesha touches,"
Barnes Arico said. "It's so great
for a coach to see a young lady
develop like she has, and see
her have such a special night
in front of her parents and her
family and her team."

Senior forward Derek DeBlois has fond memories of playing Ohio State, a rivalry the Wolverines have dominated lately.

Gardner practices, Hoke
reveals position changes

'M' hosting Championships
seeking fourth straight title

Gardner returns He subsequently missed the
Wolverines' game at the Buffalo
from broken foot Wild Wings Bowl on Dec. 28.
suffered in Ohio The injury, which Gardner
called "the worst painofmylife,"
State game kept Gardner from competing
in winter conditioning with
teammates. But on Tuesday,
By GREG GARNO Gardner returned to practice
Daily Sports Editor without complication, albeit
in only shorts and a helmet,
Devin Gardner looked a little using just a plate in his shoe for
bigger, a little thicker around protection.
his shoulders and arms as he Gardner has been rehabbing
stood to talk to media for the his foot and bulking up in his
first time in NOTEBOOK time offhis feet, and Hoke said he
2014. was pleased with the fifth-year
The fifth- senior's speed in drills Tuesday.
year senior quarterback is "He looked great," Hoke said.
heavier - nearly 15 pounds so "I was more surprised, as much
- than the end of last season as anybody.
after he said he dedicated more "His mobility was awfully
time in the weight room. Last good. I think that's what
year, Gardner said he regularly surprised me."
came in at about 205 pounds. Both Hoke and Gardner said
Now he says he's 218 pounds, they expect the quarterback
but "sometimes 220." to do everything with his
"I was just doing everything teammates for the remainder of
in my arms," Gardner said. spring practice.
"I was getting on arm bikes,
pulling ropes and doing pretty POSITION CHANGES:
much anything Hoke
they make up announced
for me." a number
,But just "COmpetition of position
because he's changes
added weight that's there is to open up
doesn't mean y Tuesday's
he's slowed reall yhealth press
down. In the forus conferences,
Michigan . most notably
football team's at the
first spring linebacker
practice of the position.
2014 season, Gardner returned Fifth-year senior Jake
to running through drills with Ryan moved from strong-side
teammates after he injured his linebacker to middle linebacker,
foot in November. switching with redshirt junior
So what did he do? James Ross.
"He played football," said Junior Royce Jenkins-Stone,
Michigan coach Brady Hoke. also moved to the strong-side
"He was a quarterback. I mean, linebacker position.
just throwing, play-action Senior Desmond Morgan
passes and all that stuff." moved from the middle to weak-
Gardner last played in a loss side linebacker, where Hoke
to Ohio State, but finished the said he has practiced well.
game despite breaking his left Redshirt junior Keith
foot during the third quarter. Heitzman moved from the

defensive line to tight end, a
position he held in high school.
Heitzman should fill a void
left by sophomore Jake Butt,
who is out indefinitely as he is
scheduled to have surgery on
his ACL.
Junior Devin Funchess will
not move back to tight end and
instead will stay outside as a
wide receiver.
tumultuous 2013, the offensive
line still creates concern with
a pair of redshirt freshmen
missing time in the spring.
Erik Magnuson will miss the
entire spring practice because
of a shoulder injury, while
Logan Tuley-Tillman should
miss a few weeks because of
hand surgery.
For now, Hoke will put
at center, and sophomore Kyle
Bosch and redshirt sophomore
Kyle Kalis at left and right
guard, respectively.
Redshirt freshman David
Dawson and redshirt
sophomore Ben Braden are at
the top of list at left and right
tackle, respectively.
"I think competition that's
there is really healthy for us,"
Hoke said. "Is it aconcern?Yeah
it's a concern, but we'll just keep
working every day."
After he was suspended last
season for team-specific
reasons, redshirt junior Will
Hagerup has returned to
practicing with the team.
Hagerup, who made the
Big Ten's first team his junior
year, was hitting the ceiling in
practice, according to Hoke.
Al Glick Fieldhouse, where
the team trains in the winter, has
a maximum height of 80 feet.

has b
40-1 a
in the
is po
run of
four o
in the
have 1
We b
and (t
our ho

)lverines heavy to win the title by a convincing
bt a t margin. Michigan swimmers
)rites, but parity have accumulated 78 NCAA
Championship cuts during the
the Big Ten has regular season and boast the
dthconference's top time in 15 of 18
esed tis yer recorded swimming events.
After winning the National
ByZACH SHAW Championship in 2013, this
Daily Sports Writer year's Wolverines are seeking
a repeat. Michigan returns 11
minating the Big Ten All-Americans from that squad,
ecome a routine for the including reigning Big Ten
gan men's swimming and Swimmer of the Year and 2012
team. Since 2007, the Olympian Connor Jaeger.
rines have won five of six Amazingly, the 2013-14
-ence titles and have gone edition might be even more
gainst Big Ten opponents. loaded. Eight freshmen
s year, as the No. 2 team have already reached NCAA
country and defending qualifying times. In addition, a
al champions, Michigan much-improved dive program
ised to win its fourth will send four divers to the
ht title and continue its NCAA qualifying meet and give
conference dominance. Michigan a punch last year's
recently, the gap in the team was missing.
ence has narrowed. With Yet as a controversial four-
f six ranked teams ranked point victory over Ohio State on
top 11, the Big Ten has Feb. 1 proved, it's tough to tell
ed as the nation's fastest who will show up at any given
rence, leaving Michigan meet, leaving the pressure on
Mike Bottom more the veteran Wolverines to carry
us than usual. the team.
ere's a lot more "Our leaders need to lead,"
etition this year," Bottom Bottom said. "We have an
"Ohio State and Indiana incredible senior class that's
looked really good lately. done a lot for this team and have
eat them both at their been great leaders. They need
pools earlier in the year, to show up, but we have some
hey) have been eyeing us freshmen and sophomores we
Now they're coming to feel like we can count on too."
me pool looking to take us The four day event will
and we have to be ready." begin Wednesday evening
pite the nerves, the with the 200-medley relay
rines (6-0 Big Ten, 9-0 and 800-freestyle relay. The
1) remain the favorites following day will crown

champions in the 500 freestyle,
200 IM, 50 free and 400-medley
relay, all events in which
Michigan is favored. Regardless
of the final results, Bottom
believes a fast start to the meet
will set the tone for the rest of
the way.
"That 500 can be huge for
us," Bottom said. "It's the first
individual event, and if (Jaeger)
and (senior Ryutaro Kamiya)
can get us started, that can
spark our team the rest of the
way. You don't win a big meet
with just the big guns, you need
everyone to step up. If we can
get off to a good start, the whole
team can build off of that and
our chemistry can be really
Last season, the Wolverines'
dominant performance
propelled the team from a third-
place ranking to its first NCAA
Championship in 18 years. This
year, the target is on Michigan's
back yet again, but with the Big
Ten Championships in its home
pool for the first time since
the beginning of its dominant
stretch, Bottom is hoping a
hometown crowd will propel
the Wolverines to their 38th Big
Ten title.
"This one's special," Bottom
said. "It's the first time we're at
home, able to swim in front of
home crowd (in the conference
championship), and we're
"This is the best, fastest
conference meet in the country.
No one's going to deny that, and
we want this one bad."



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