The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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42 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2018 BEST TEAM WINS Best Female Team Win — Women's Tennis, Big Ten Tournament Champi- onship vs. Northwestern: The wom- en's tennis team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament title match against top-seeded Northwestern, which was also ranked No. 11 nationally at the time. The Wildcats took two of the three doubles matches, earning a team point and taking a 1-0 lead into the singles competition. Michigan junior Brienne Minor tied it up, winning her match at No. 3 singles in straight sets. U-M freshman Alyvia Jones followed suit at No. 4 sin- gles, giving the Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Northwestern bounced back, win- ning at both No. 5 and No. 6 singles, giving it a 3-2 lead with only No. 1 and No. 2 singles remaining. Michigan needed to win both in order to take home the trophy. Junior Kate Fahey finished at No. 1 singles first for U-M. She took the first set 6-3, but set number two went to Northwestern (3-6), meaning a third and deciding set was on its way. Fahey held on to draw the Wolver- ines even, with a 6-4 third-set win. That meant it all came down to No. 2 singles, which would feature North- western fifth-year senior Maddie Lipp against Michigan sophomore CHIARA LOMMER. Lommer came out strong, taking the first set 6-3, but faltered in the second, losing 3-6. Another third and final set was coming, with the championship on the line. Lipp took control, winning each of the first three games and taking what appeared to be an insurmount- able 3-0 lead. Lommer, however, stormed back, winning the next four games. She held on to win the final set 6-4, capturing the match and giving Michigan the conference title and an NCAA Tournament berth. Best Male Team Win — Men's Basketball, Big Ten Tournament Semifinals vs. Michigan State: After beating Iowa in overtime and trounc- ing Nebraska to kick off the Big Ten Tournament, Michigan moved on to face in-state rival Michigan State, then ranked No. 2 nationally, in the tournament semifinals. It was the sec- ond meeting of the season for the two squads, and U-M was looking for an- other win. The Spartans took a three-point lead into the break, but that wouldn't last long. The Wolverines shot 67 percent from the field in the second half to roar back for a 75-64 win. Michigan had a balanced attack, with five different players scoring 12 or more points — junior center Moritz Wagner (15), senior guard Muham- mad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (15), sopho- more guard Zavier Simpson (15), se- nior forward Duncan Robinson (13) and redshirt sophomore forward Charles Matthews (12). MSU sophomore Miles Bridges poured in 17 and freshman Jaren Jack- son Jr. added 13, but it wasn't nearly enough. Michigan outrebounded Michigan State 36-33, limiting the Spartans to just 10 boards in the second half. The Wol- verines also made 15 more free throws and two more three-pointers. The win sent the Maize and Blue to the Big Ten Tournament title game, where they beat No. 8 Purdue, aveng- ing two losses earlier in the season. U-M won the tournament for the sec- ond straight year. MOST IMPROVED TEAMS Most Improved Female Team — Field Hockey: In 2016, the field hockey team went 12-8 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten, good enough for an NCAA Tournament berth. However, U-M was knocked out in the first round by Vir- ginia to end the season. The story was different in 2017. Michigan started the year with a 3-2 win over No. 1 North Carolina and raced through the rest of the regular season, posting a 21-3 overall mark and a perfect 8-0 ledger in Big Ten play. In the postseason, the Wolverines won the Big Ten Tournament and advanced all the way to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines didn't allow a single goal in three conference tournament games or in their first two NCAA con- tests — despite playing four top-13 foes in those five outings — before giv- ing up five goals against Maryland in the national semifinals. Senior midfielder and back Katie Trombetta was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, a Longstreth first- team All-American and the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player. The team also featured The Wolver- ine's Female Breakout Performer, soph- omore Meg Dowthwaite, and senior goalkeeper Saw Swenson, who was the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year and a Longstreth second-team All-American. Most Improved Male Team — Ice Hockey: When legendary coach Red Berenson retired after the 2016-17 sea- son, the hockey team was expected to take some time to rebuild — especially considering the team's final record of 13-19-3. Mel Pearson was hired to lead the program, and under his leadership he made sure the team not only im- proved, but took a giant leap forward. The Wolverines finished the 2017- 18 campaign 22-15-3 — a nine-win improvement over the prior year — placed third in the Big Ten after being picked to finish sixth and advanced to the Frozen Four, where the team fell to No. 2 Notre Dame. The team's first Frozen Four appear- ance since 2011 tied Michigan with Boston College for the most Frozen Four berths in NCAA hockey history, with 25. Junior forward Cooper Marody led the Big Ten in scoring and assists both PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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