fair point that
Sorry for those
who just now realized I took last weekend off who missed last weekend's coverage. Real life beckoned and I wasn't around a computer. So a brief recap of last weekend:
- Bree Evans was seriously injured in a softball exhibition. Last I heard, she was up and walking, but had a neck brace. Grapevine says her facebook status had some jokes about it, so she sounds like she'll be alright.
- Volleyball split a pair at home, including a 3-0 sweep of NU and a 2-3 loss to Illinois.
- Field Hockey swept a pair of games at Evanston, IL, defeating NU 3-1 and Saint Louis 7-0. NU was ranked #17, giving UM it's first win over a ranked opponent this season.
- Men's x-country placed 9th out of 13 in Madison for an 8k this weekend. Michigan was short 4 of their top 7 runners with sickness, and it took it's toll. Michigan's top finisher was Bobby Aprill at #35.
- Women's x-country was also in Madison for a 5k and finished 5th of 12. Kaitlyn Peale finished 4th overall with a time of 17:11.3, 11 seconds behind the leader. Kaitlyn Patterson also finished in the top 20 at #16.
- Men's soccer shut out Wisconsin in their BigTen home opener by a score of 3-0. Fuzetti netted the game winner for this 8th goal of the season.
- Women's soccer tied Northwestern 2-2. Michigan let a 2-0 lead slip late. Amy Klippert lead Michigan in points with a goal and her first career assist.
- Women's tennis hosted a non-scoring invitational. senior Tania Mahtani and junior Denise Muresan both won their brackets in the singles, including Muresan's victory over the #29 player in the NCAA.
- Women's rowing scrimmaged Ohio State and swept all 5 first place finishes. Michigan ran 3 boats while OSU only ran two. Michigan placed (1,4,5), (1,4,5), (1,4,5), (1,3,T4), and (1,2,5). Editorial note: I'm still trying to figure out a better way of writing that out rather than listing the full results. For those of you who can't figure it out, each set of parenthesis is a race, and each number is one of Michigan's places.
- Men's golf played in Glencoe, IL over the weekend, and was in contention until the final day. Just 3 shots behind the leader (Illinois), they went stagnant in the last day to fall to 5th.
- Women's golf was in Chicago and posted a 6th place team finish. Ashley Bauer finished second overall with a –4 71-72-69/212.
- Baseball obliterated a lower level Canadian select team by the tune of 27-1.
Okay, now that we got all caught up, let's look at the weekend ahead. Updates may come periodically throughout the weekend depending on my schedule. Those of you who make it out to a game, drop a comment. Chronologically by start time (all pictures from MGoBlue.com):
- 5pm ET Michigan Intercollegiate @ Grand Rapids, MI
Eleven, including two unattached runners, are headed to Grand Rapids this weekend for an 8k. This will be the first scoring meet for the Wolverines this years. The runners for Michigan: Bobby Aprill, Brendon Blacklaws, Geoff Burns, Peter Christmas, Brandon Fellows, Derek Henning, Sean McNamara, Zach Ornelas, Dan Tyler, Craig Forys*, and Dallas Bowden*. Asterisks are unattached/non-scoring.
- 5pm ET Dennis Stark Relays @ Notre Dame
The men and women are both headed to Notre Dame this weekend for a dual meet. On the women's side, Notre Dame comes in as the 13 time defending BigEast champion. Michigan has it's share of returning players with 25, so we have plenty of veteran leaders this season. This opening match should be a good litmus test for the upcoming year.
On the men's side, Michigan is looking to continue its success from last year when it went 8-1 and 7-0 in the BigTen, placing 4th at the NCAA championships. The three captains for this year are seniors Chris Brady, Andre Schultz, and Shaun Weinberg.
"Sandler for 3", drop some info if you have time.
Record (Ranks): No Record (#3 USHCO/#4 USA Hockey)
- Friday 5:07pm AT(Alaska Time?) @Alaska (in Anchorage)
- Saturday 7:07 ATK (is there a difference?) @Alaska-Anchorage (in Anchorage)
I'm leaving hockey to the professionals. YostBuilt has his 10 Things to Know About the Alaska Schools. Him on Alaska:
Alaska was picked 6th and 7th in the two preseason polls. Coach Dallas Ferguson, in his second year, is 1-2-0 against Michigan. Despite a very solid record last season, the Nanooks were shut out on eleven occasions. They shut their opponents out eight times. Michigan leads the all-time series 37-7-0.
Sounds promising. MGoBlue has a CiL here. Both teams receive one vote in the USCHO poll, FWIW.
- Friday 7pm CT @Iowa
- Saturday 7pm CT @Wisconsin
Michigan takes on Iowa first, in what should be a fairly easy match, all things considered. Iowa is only 1-3 in the BigTen, with the lone win coming at Wisconsin. They were swept by Ohio State and Minnesota. The one high point for the Hawkeyes might not even be the win at Wisconsin, it might be that they handed Penn State their first set loss in over two years of regular season play. Iowa still lost that match 3-1.
Wisconsin should be a bit tougher of a test, if not just mentally for the Wolverines. Michigan has lost 16 straight matches at Wisconsin, including a 5 set come from behind victory for the Badgers last season. The Badgers aren't so tough looking this season, with a 6-7 record (1-3 in Big10).
Both of these games are very winnable, and Michigan needs to close out both opponents for Ws.
There will be Michigan audio available on Friday and a CiL on Saturday, for those looking for coverage. Radio will feature former player Erin Moore as the color analyst. I believe it's her Michigan radio debut.
- Saturday 12pm @Harvard
- Sunday 1pm vs New Hampshire (@Harvard)
Meredith Wey continues to carry Michigan this season, earning BigTen offensive player of the week this last weekend with 3 goals. Michigan should be able to beat both these opponents, who are both coming in around .500 on the season. Do I smell a potential 5-game winning streak?
Men's Record (Ranks): 8-2-1 Overall, 1-1-0 BigTen (#34 in other receiving votes, #9 RPI)
- Saturday 3:30pm vs #14 Indiana (BTN tape delay at 7:30pm Saturday)
Women's Record (Ranks): 5-6-1, 0-1-1 Big Ten (#101 RPI)
- Sunday 1pm @ Michigan State
The men are the featured game this weekend on the BigTenNetwork as they take on Indiana, in what is starting to become a rather competitive series in the short term. While IU holds a 11-1-1 record against Michigan, the last three years has seen Michigan go 1-1-1 against the Hoosiers. Indiana comes in 5-3-1 and 1-0-0 in the BigTen, but they are on a 2 game slide with losses to UC Santa Barbara and Butler (double overtime). This will be the highest ranked team Michigan will have faced so far this season, and a great chance to move up in the polls.
The women are in for a tough battle as well as they take on a Michigan State team that just dropped out of the coaches' poll this week. The Spartans are 7-1-3, but are 6-0-0 in East Lansing. Michigan has hung tough with the Spartans every year of late. No team has scored more than one goal as the series has gone 1-0-3 in the Spartans favor. In the series, since 1999, the home team has never lost. MSU holds a 3-0-2 record in that time.
On that note, Megan Bowery is the only Wolverine to score in this series since 2004, netting one in each of the last two seasons.
Ranks: #16 (Golf Week) #29 (Golf World)
- Brickyard Collegiate @Macon, GA, Saturday-Monday
The men's tournament at the Brickyard at Riverdale is a 15 team par 72 at 7,128 yards, each day being 18 holes. Michigan's team of 5 (lowest four scores count) are Matt Thompson, Lion Kim, Jack Schultz, Rahul Bakshi, and Alex Frankel. Freshman Miguel Echavarria will also make the trip as "the individual."
Both men's and women's are in action this weekend, but I'm not finding much out there to report to you guys.
At the Dennis Stark relays, the women's swim team dominated to the tune of 9 wins in 10 races. Michigan won the 200-yard Freestyle, 400-yard Medley Relay, 800-yard Freestyle, 400-yard Butterfly, 400-yard Backstroke, 400-yard Breaststroke, and 1000-yard Freestyle. The single non-1st place finish was 2nd in the 400-yard Freestyle by only .94 seconds. Michigan won the 5 team match handily, and will face off against Notre Dame again tomorrow.
The men's swim team, also at Notre Dame, out did the women, registering the top time in all 10 events. The men are off until October 23 when they take on U of Ontario at Canham.
On the cross country paths, the men were back at full strength this week, and boy did it show. Michigan finished first out of 25 teams with 4 top ten (three of top 4) finishers this week in Grand Rapids. Peter Christmas was the top overall finisher with a 25:07.8 time. Sean McNamara (3, 25:13.4), Brendon Blacklaws (4, 25:16.0), Bobby Aprill (9, 25:39.7) all finish in the top ten.
Volleyball was pushed to the limit tonight in Iowa City as the Hawkeyes took games 1 and 3. Michigan played particularly sloppy in those games, giving away point after point. So after going down 2 sets to 1, Michigan came alive. Veronica Rood took over the game, and Michigan took set 4 by a score of 25-13. That momentum carried over to the 5th and decisive set, seeing Michigan win 15-11.
Going to 5 with Iowa isn't where this team should be this season, but it's encouraging to see the girls fight to stay in the game is more than encouraging. Rood taking over a game is also a good sign as Michigan tries to balance their attack.
Radio color analyst and former M volleyball player Erin Moore talked a bit about Rood working in a middle slide into her attack over the last week, and it came out quite a bit tonight. The idea is that instead of taking a quick set or a normal set, she takes a quick step right to get around blocks. It really seemed to catch the Hawkeyes by surprise.
Hockey is still going, but they are down 0-2 with 16 minutes to go. They outshot Alaska 12-3 in the first period, but it's evened closer to 20-11. I'll update the final later. That update is a 0-2 loss for Michigan.
It's BigTen season opener weekend across the Michigan sports world this weekend. Not only is football opening conference play, but volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, and field hockey do as well. Men's and Women's golf are also in action, with the men hosting and the Women on the road at Wisconsin.
Chronologically by first game:
Record: 2-6 (33rd in Coaches Poll as other receiving votes, 18 out of 79 in RPI)
- Friday 3pm – vs. Iowa (tape delay on BTN*)
- Sunday 1pm – vs. Penn State
After suffering two heartbreaking losses in overtime last weekend, Michigan faces an 24th ranked (others receiving vote section, 23rd in RPI) Iowa team that is performing well under their expected level. At 2-5, the BigTen Champions of the last three years in a row are struggling this season. The Hawkeyes are coming off an impressive 12-0 victory over Saint Louis, but they have been less than impressive during the rest of the year, going just 2-1 against unranked teams.
As for Michigan against Iowa, if they want to compare common opponents to the Hawkeyes, this weekend could end up going well. Michigan lost 1-2 to UNC and Wake Forest in the ACC/Big10 challenge while Iowa lost 2-3 and 0-5 respectively.
Penn State enters the weekend at 2-7. The Nittany Lions are winless away from State College, but they come in at 28th in the RPI and 29th in the Coaches poll. Penn State isn't a big goal scoring team, with just 10 goals in 9 games, five of which came in a rout of West Chester.
*The game will be broadcast on Sunday 9/27 at 6pm ET. I'm not sure if I can catch it, so if anyone wants to MGoVideo it for me, many praises to you
Record: 12-1 (#8 in Coaches Poll)
- Friday 7pm @ Indiana
- Saturday 7pm @ Purdue (#30 in Coaches Poll in other receiving votes)
After suffering the first loss of the season last weekend, Michigan looks to get back on another winning streak as they open BigTen play with Indiana and Purdue. Indiana is pretty weak again this year. Michigan has taken 5 straight matches from the Hoosiers and looks to make it 6.
Purdue is right on the edge of making the top 25. Michigan hasn't had too much recent success with the Boilermakers over the last few years, including a split last year, each team winning the home game. Michigan lost at West Lafayette last year despite a 2-0 set lead. Dare I say vintage Michigan over the last few years; so close to winning, but couldn't put it away.
This weekend is the last trip through Indiana for senior captain Megan Bower. The Indianapolis native hopes this trip will be a special one. She was on mgoblue.com this week for a player live chat, and while there she confirmed that the team has rebounded from the loss:
I think we were really looking forward to getting back into the gym and improving... we are really excited to get back out there this weekend. […]
You learn from every match ... obviously we would love to learn from wins rather than losses, but we definitely are fired up to start Big Ten play this weekend. We have been waiting for the start of conference play and we are focused on Indiana and Purdue
She also touched on quite a few other topics of interest, such as her thoughts on the Zone, the coaches, and her future as a coach. All interesting and worth the read through.
- 2009 Wolverine at Radick Farms, Ann Arbor, MI (Sat-Sun)
Along with Michigan, thirteen other teams (alphabetically: Arkansas, Baylor, Eastern Michigan, Iowa State, Louisville, Marshall, Miami (NTM), Minnesota, Purdue, St. John's, Toledo, Wisconsin and Xavier) descend on Ann Arbor this weekend. The course at Radick Farms is a par 72 at 6,979 yards.
This will be Michigan's only hosted tournament of the year, and sadly, it won't be at their true home course. With the football game against Indiana this year, the game was moved to Radick Farms. Michigan will be in group one with Arkansas and Baylor for the first 36 holes.
I'm hoping to see another great round by Matt Thompson who posted three sub-70 rounds in a row last tournament. His eight under 205 on the weekend was Michigan's second best round of 54 holes ever.
Women Lady's Golf
Rank: T-46 (others receiving votes)
- 2009 Lady Northern Invitational at University Ridge,Madison, WI (Sun-Mon)
The Lady Northern Invitational a par 72, 6,246 yard tournament featuring all 11 BigTen teams and four non-conference opponents (College of Charleston, Iowa State, Georgia and SMU).
Senior Ashley Bauer is the leader for the Wolverines. In her 37 consecutive tournaments played, she's finished in the top 20 a total of 21 times, including 14 in the top 10.
Record: 5-5-0 (unranked)
- Sunday 1pm @ #21 Ohio State
This game should be interesting to say the least. Last year, Michigan gave the Buckeyes their only conference defeat on the season in a 2-0 shut out. That was one of only 4 Michigan victories on the year. The Buckeyes will be looking to get revenge at home this year.
Speaking of that win total from last year, the team has already surpassed that total this year, huzzah!
Other things to keep your eye on include
- Haley Kopemeyer is riding a 188 minute, 15 second shut out streak.
- Holly Hein, who's three goals this season are all game winners
- Jackie Carron, who has more assists already this season than any one has had since 2006. Let me repeat that for clarity: Carron has 6 assists in 10 games this season. No one's had that many in a whole season (19-22 games) since 2006. Wow. One more will tie her for 8th on the Michigan single season assist lead.
Record: 7-1-0 (#21 in Coaches Poll)
- Sunday 2pm @ Penn State
After a break out second half to down
Oakland Bowling Green, including the final two goals in a natural hat trick by Justin Meram, by a score 5-1, Michigan will look to open BigTen play with a win on the road.
Penn State is having a tough season at just 4-3-1, and their goalie played despite having a minor injury last week. The way Michigan has been playing on this 7 game win streak, a win looks very possible.
Michigan split the
season series last year last two meetings with the Nittany Lions, each team winning their home match. PSU is 3-0-1 at home this season.
As per usual, I'll be updating the action in this space throughout the weekend.
Update I (Friday 9:55pm):
Field hockey lost 2-3 in their opener. Meredith Way and Bryn Bain each netted a goal in the first half to stay tied with 5 goals a piece on the season. Michigan took those two goals and a first half shut out all the way to the half. Early in the second half, Iowa struck back with a pair of goals on the power play (Michigan was down 2 players due to yellow cards). Iowa took the lead with just 5 minutes remaining, and junior Alicia Mayer had a chance to tie in the final two minutes on a one-on-one break away that sailed wide right.
When asked about dropping the third straight one goal game, Meredith Way told MGoBlue.com:
We've got to take something away from every game and this one is no different. We were down [a player] most of the game, but we played hard. We can't get down about it. We've got to come out fired up when Penn State comes to town Sunday.
The game will be on BTN on Sunday at 6pm ET. Give it a watch.
In Bloomington, the volleyball team got their biggest road test yet this season. Michigan prevailed pretty easily, winning 26-17, 25-16, and 25-23. First place in the BigTen, baby! 1-0.
While listening to the game you could definitely tell Michigan had a philosophy of spreading the attacks. After last week where the team wasn't balanced against Oregon State, today was exactly opposite. Courtney Fletcher set a new high of 11 kills out of the middle. Her play opened up the sides for Juliana and Alex, who both ended with double digits as well. Fletcher also posted a team high 2 aces on the night.
Michigan was blocked a total of 7 times, which is a bit concerning, but that's going to happen with our lack of size. I'm hoping if our middles can keep up the great play, that number will go down.
What was encouraging though is that Michigan was being pressured in that third set, coming from behind to take it and then following through. Last year, this was the type of set Michigan would have dropped, ultimately leading to a 5 set loss (see @Purdue and @Wisconsin last year). Tonight, they finished the game. That's a big step forward as we hit the toughest part of the season. On to Purdue on Sunday.