Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Senior Leah Robertson, pictured here, won Eastern Conference Championship MVP honors this past weekend in College Park, Maryland.
Michigan wins conference
title, secures Tourney bid
From Page 11
we step up or we go home. It's a
learning experience; it's good for
us. We had some pressure on us and
it was good to see that they could
But the Hawkeyes' home-court
advantage wasn't enough to stop
the surging Michigan squad.
"(Iowa) had a good crowd (Satur-
day)," Michigan coach Ronni Bern-
stein said. "But we're going to have
to win on the road if we want to do
well in the postseason. So while it
was tough, it was good to see that
we can do it away from the Varsity
Tennis Center, too."
That win would be the end of
the road for Michigan's weekend.
On Sunday, they ran into a North-
western team that was hungry for
Earlier in the season, the Wolver-
ines handed the Wildcats their first
conference loss since 2006. It was
clear that No. 5 Northwestern came
to Iowa with a purpose.
The two teams had met in the
tournament final in each of the past
six seasons, and Northwestern was
crowned tournament champions
each of those years.
"We didn't play our best and
Northwestern played really well,"
Bernstein said. "We're disappoint-
ed, but we're going to go back to the
drawing board and will be ready to
go in two weeks because we've had
a great season, and we're not ready
Even with the disappointing
From Page 11
opposite way. With former shortstop
Barry Larkin and a medley of Michi-
gan baseball alumni in the stands to
honor the retirement of Larkin's jer-
sey, the Wolverines were unable to
seal the win.
"It's definitely disappointing (to
lose), especially on a day when we
are retiring Barry Larkin's jersey,"
junior leftfielder Ryan LaMarre said.
"But I mean, we fought. We battled."
A double in the bottom of the
eighth by LaMarre tied up the game
as redshirt junior second baseman
Anthony Toth came sprinting across
As the score evened out to 2-2, the
Wolverines had a chance at a come-
But the late run was for naught as
the Buckeyes tallied one more run in
the top of the tenth inning and Mich-
igan, unable to match it, fell 3-2.
In the rubber match on Sunday,
loss in the finals, there are definite
bright spots for the program this
weekend. Bernstein was named
the conference's Coach of the Year,
while junior Denise Muresan was
named Player of the Year.
Along with Muresan, the team
had two more players on the All-Big
Freshman phenom Mimi Nguy-
en - who was undefeated in
singles during conference play -
took home Freshman of the Year
honors, and junior captain Whit-
ney Taney also made the distin-
It was Taney's second time on
the prestigious list, but in her usual
fashion, she immediately deflected
all the glory to her team and team-
"Mimi and Denise deserve it 100
percent," Taney said. "They're so
well deserving of the awards, and
I'm just so proud of them.
"They've done so much to
deserve it so it's awesome for them
and it's awesome for the program. It
just goes to show how well Michi-
gan has done."
The Wolverines' fate is now out
of their hands.
The NCAA Tournament selec-
tion will 'take place on Tuesday,
when Michigan - who will most
likely remain a top-five team - will
be hoping to host regional action for
the tournament, which begins Fri-
day, May 14.
"Our mentality is going to be to
do what we do," Taney said. "We
know what Michigan can do and
what Michigan's game is, so we
need to go out there and go for it and
do it together as a team."
the Wolverines won by that one-run
margin, which could prove to be a
Friday night's offensive duo was
back in action as Dufek and Urban
both launched a home run out of Ray
"I felt a lot better at the plate this
weekend," Urban said. "I felt more
comfortable and that I was seeing
the ball better and it paid off."
Michigan also played solid
defense, producing only one error on
Although a number of pitchers
contributed to the series win, Bur-
goon made a valiant effort in closing-
out all three games.
"What a job again by Tyler Bur-
goon," Michigan coach Rich Malo-
ney said. "I mean, pitching three
straight days - that's just willpower.
It's a tough spot to be in and to be
able to get the double play when it's
all on the line; he was just pitching
"That's what your closer needs to
wins third straight San Diego," Michigan coach Matt
Anderson said. "We viewed it as,
stern Conference 'We don't lose to Indiana'."
The Wolverines showed a promis-
mpionship, defeats ing balanced attack against the Hoo-
rival Hoosiers siers, as they exploded for five goals
in the first half against a stubborn
Indiana defense, matching their
BY: JAMES BLUM total from their April 24 victory.
Daily Sports Writer The second half was about hold-
ing off the surging Hoosiers, who
Robertson proved exactly were trying to overcome a three-
was named CWPA Western goal deficit.
a MVP in the Wolverines' But freshman goalkeeper Alex
weekend at Eppley Rec- Adamson and the Wolverines'
Center Natatorium in Col- defense were able to fend off Indi-
k, Maryland by winning the ana's best efforts. Indiana made it
Conference Championship a 5-4 game heading into the fourth
stanza with two unanswered goals,
ed the No. 7 Michigan water but a late goal by junior Lauren Orth
am to a record-setting third sealed the Michigan victory.
tive CWPA division title, "We put five on them in the first
ncludes an automatic NCAA half," Anderson said. "We actually
ment bid. handled them differently in that we
two high-scoring victories busted through their defense for
rvard, 18-10, and Princeton, five goals. And at 5-2 not very many
in which Robertson had six teams, if any, are going to come back
the Wolverines met arch- on us.
. 14 Indiana. "And that's what the ladies were
didn't view this as a game feeling at halftime - that Indiana
a bid for the final eight in would make a run, but we were
going to play lock-down defense and
that's what we did."
And some Wolverines celebrated
more than just a NCAA Tourna-
ment bid after defeating the Hoo-
siers. Robertson wasn't the only
one recognized for her performance
this season. Anderson was awarded
his fifth and second-consecutive
Western Division Coach of the Year
crown and freshman Kiki Golden
was enshrined as both the West-
ern Division Rookie of the Year and
Eastern Conference Rookie of the
Michigan will look to continue
its hot streak on a much larger scale
starting May 14 in San Diego, where
the Wolverines will face the best in
the country in search of their first
NCAA Tournament Championship.
"To do three in a row is harder
than to win it the first time or the
second time," Anderson said. "After
last year, losing seven of our top 16
and losing roughly four starters,
people didn't expect this to happen.
But we felt as a program that we
could do it. ... It made it very satis-
fying for the team to complete the