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December 01, 2014 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-12-01

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

December 1, 2014 - 3B

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom December 1, 2D14 - 3B

'M' ends year with loss

Spike Albrecht had an expanded role in Michigan's win over Nicholls State, since Derrick Walton was out with an injury.
Shots fall as Michigan ets
easy win. over -Nicholls St.

For the Daily
Michigan volleyball coach
Mark Rosen didn't envision his
team losing 17 games this season,
but he's coming to terms with
that reality after Saturday.
The Wolverines fell to Illinois
in four sets to end the season,
25-22, 20-25,14-25,14-25.
Michigan (8-12 Big Ten, 13-17
overall) started the match on
the right foot,
winning the
first set, but the
Fighting Illini "W e'llI
responded .
quickly. conpe
"We were
up two points
(the second game), and right
toward the end of the match
they just pulled ahead of us
and kind of pulled away with
it," Rosen said. "I thought that
was a little bit of a momentum
breaker for us."
Illinois went on to take the
next three sets and spoiled any
hopes of ending the season on
a high note. The Wolverines'
record doesn't qualify them for
the NCAA Tournament, and
now they're forced to reconcile
their record as they prepare for
next year.
"Our expectations next year
are goingto be through the roof,"
said freshman middle blocker
Claire Kieffer-Wright. "I think
that we'll be very competitive
practicing, as well as very
competitive when we step on the
court for a game."
Illinois started three seniors,
while setter Lexi Iannemiller
was the only senior on the floor
for Michigan. More notably, four
of the six Wolverine starterswere
either sophomores or freshmen.
Rosen knew he was going to.
have a young team even before
two projected starters, both
juniors, suffered season-ending
injuries. The growing pains have
been a source of consternation

all year long and, again, were
highlighted in Champaign.
The passing and offensive'
attack that gave Michigan the
early lead fell off in the second
set and allowed Illinois to draw
equal. The Wolverines' attack
had new energy in the next set,
running the offense well. But
a few spectacular defensive
plays and the ability to score in
transition kept the Illini on top
and made Michigan kills a rare
"We weren't
be very mistakes;
. they were just
titive. making great
plays," Rosen
Wright earned a team-best and
career-high 11 kills against the
stout Illinois defense, but battling
through momentum shifts
eventually proved too much to
"They started picking up
where they were lacking on the

first set, we couldn't keep up
with them and we were a little bit
inconsistent both offensively and
defensively," Kieffer-Wright said.
"It was tough today in the locker
room because this was not the
season we anticipated."
Despite the disappointing
end, Rosen said next year holds
promise, especially considering
the team's steady improvements
throughout the season, and the
fact that he'll see most players
return a year more experienced.
"I'm really proud of this
team, I'm excited about the
foundation we're building,"
Rosen said. "The culture of this
team was really strong."
Rosen is optimistic, but knows
he's losing one of his team's best
players in Dannemiller, who
has over 5,000 assists over her
distinguished career and was
named to the preseason All-Big
Ten Team. If the Wolverines .
are to improve on their 2014
record, her absence next year
undoubtedly leaves a hole for

Daily SportsEditor
For the Michigan men's
basketball team, the 72-hour
stretch from Sunday afternoon to
Wednesday afternoon included,
in order: a flight to New York for
the Progressive Legends Classic,
a9:45 p.m.tip-off againstOregon,
a 10:15 p.m. tip against Villanova
and a late-night flight home in
time for class Wednesday.
If that weren't enough, the
following days would include
game planning for Syracuse's 2-3
zone defense and a home game
against the Orange.
But for a few hours Saturday,
the 3-point shots fell and the
offense was run to perfection in
an easy 91-62 win over Nicholls
And for a few hours, there
were no worries about the score,
the personnel or the experience.
Almost everyone played, almost
everyone scored and almost
everything worked against the
"Bouncing back was definitely
something that we really wanted
From Page iB
2. Michigan's chances of
winning were determined in
the final two minutes of the
With a 14-7 lead, the
Wolverines' defense allowed an
83-yard drive at the end of the
first half that tied the game.
The Buckeyes ultimately
scored on the first drive in
the third quarter. Going into
halftime with the lead could've
shifted how both teams called
And the same thing happened
against Maryland, Michigan
State and Minnesota. All three.
teams scored in the last two
minutes of the first half before
defeating the Wolverines. That's
not to say Michigan would have
won Saturday had they not

to do," said junior guard Caris
LeVert. "We pride ourselves on
not losing two games in a row."
In fact, the Wolverines haven't
lost two straight games since
back-to-back road defeats at
Wisconsin and Michigan State
on Feb. 9 and 12, 2013, and they
made sure not to let Tuesday's
loss to Villanova send them into
a tailspin.
This time, the "comeback
game," as freshman forward
Ricky Doyle called it, was at
home, with the friendly rims
at Crisler Center. Michigan
knocked down eight of 12 3-point
attempts in the first half and used
its shooting to roll from there.
The two games in Brooklyn
were physical, aggressive
contests, the kind after which
a trap game can be an issue. At
times in Tuesday's loss, Michigan
took abeating. LeVert was shoved
to the floor on an and-one layup
in the second half, and the night
ended with sophomore guard Zak
Irvin getting stopped at the rim
by Wildcatsforward JayVaughn
The physicality also showed

with sophomore guard Derrick
Walton Jr. (toe) and freshman
forward D.J. Wilson (knee)
sitting out with injuries suffered
But there wasn't even a remote
threat of a letdown Saturday.
Nicholls State didn't have the
defense to stop the Wolverines,
and while LeVert wouldn't admit
Michigan took Saturday's game
more lightly than any other, he
was happy to see things run
"I know I played less minutes
than I normally do, so that was
good today," he said.
The Wolverines got the
bounces they didn't seem to
get in Brooklyn. Junior guard
Spike Albrecht - who started in
Walton's place - and freshman
forward Kameron Chatman hit
back-to-back 3-pointers to kick
off Michigan's 4-for-4 start.
From that point, the Wolverines
never trailed again.
They rode the experience of
their junior floor general to an
easy rout ahead of Tuesday's
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
showdown against Syracuse.

Claire Kieffer-Wright is one ofthe many weapons returning next season.

allowed a late drive, but it would
have changed momentum.
3. Doug Nussmeier wasn't the
answer to the Wolverines'
offensive woes.
He came from Alabama as
the guy who could fix what Al
Borges had left. But in his first
season as Michigan's offensive
coordinator, Nussmeier's offense
performed worse than Borges'.
Last season, the Wolverines
averaged 32.2 points and 373.5
yards. This season, they slumped
to 20.9 points and 333.0 yards
per game.
His offense couldn't score
against Notre Dame or put up
more than 10 points against
4. Michigan's defense was
good, but it neededturnovers.
In a game that remained close

until late in the fourth quarter,
the turnover battle was a large
factor in the outcome.
The Buckeyes forced two
turnovers, an interception and
fumble recovery - which they
returned for a touchdown -
while Michigan failed to tally
a single one. But that wasn't
much different from the way the
season played out.
This season, the Wolverines
forced 10 turnovers - five
interceptions and five fumbles -
and turned the ball over 26 times
For as well as the defense
played this season, it wore itself
out by staying on the field too
long. Opponents stayed on the
field, and if they didn't reach
the end zone, they piled up field
Itwasn't anecessity, butitsure
could have swung the outcome
of close games such as Rutgers,
Northwestern and Maryland.

Handel's Me

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Paul Johnson; TuTh 10-11:30; Reqs: ID, RE
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Learn about the origins of where the US is today
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UMS Choral Union
Ann Ar bor Syrnpnony Orchestra
Jerry Blackstone, conductor
Janai Brugger, soprano
David Daniels, countertenor
Cohin Ainswor th, tenor
David Pit tsinge r, bass -baritone
Edward Parinontier, harpsichord
Sunday, December 6, 8 pm
Sunday, December 7, 2 pm
Hill Auditorium
The holiday season in Ann Arbor is never officially
underway until Handel's Messiah is performed at Hill
Auditorium. An eagerly anticipated holiday season
tradition, these performances are ultimately the heart and
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and first concerts in the 1879-1880 season.

Carl and Isabelle Brauer Fund
Michigan Radio 91.7 FM and Ann Arbor's 107one


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