The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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66 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2019   OLYMPIC SPORTS PREVIEW Big Ten Predicted Finish: Third. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Two individual champions. Coach's Expectations: "Our goal every year is to try to be competitive and be in the top three in our confer- ence," head coach James Henry said. Top Athlete: Sixth-year senior Erin Finn, a 10-time Big Ten champion and nine-time All-American, is back for her final season and looks to improve on her already impressive career. At the NCAA Indoor Champion- ships, Finn was the runner-up at 3,000 and 5,000 meters in 2016 and at 5,000 meters in 2017. She is the only woman in college history to have run 15:30 or faster in consecutive NCAA 5,000-meter indoor finals. "She just brings a lot of stability and a lot of experience," Henry said. "She's an athlete we can count on if she's healthy. She's going to do a great job for us." Athletes To Watch: Junior Micaela DeGenero finished sixth in the 800 meters at the Big Ten Championships in 2018, while redshirt senior Han- nah Meier placed seventh in the mile at the meet. Don't Miss: Feb. 22-23 Big Ten In- door Championships in Ann Arbor. MEN'S TENNIS First Event: Jan. 19 at No. 22 Ala- bama (lost, 4-3). Big Ten Predicted Finish: Top three. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: NCAA quarterfinals. Coach's Expectations: "We just want to continue the improvement we had over the last four years," head coach Adam Steinberg said. "Our ranking, our team culture, ev- erything has gotten better. We're just trying to keep going forward." Top Athlete: Freshman Andrew Fenty went 7-3 in singles play and 5-2 in doubles play during the fall sea- son. Fenty was rated as a five-star re- cruit by and was ranked as the No. 4 junior in the world heading into his freshman campaign. "He has great intangibles," Stein- berg said. "He's a great athlete. He has played all over the world. He has a lot of experience. He's a confident guy. He can do a lot of things on the court that a lot of players can't." Athlete To Watch: Sophomore Har- rison Brown had a 5-2 singles record and a 3-2 doubles mark in the fall season. As a freshman, he went 13-5 in doubles play and was the 2017 Big Ten Indoor Doubles champion. Don't Miss: Indian Wells Champi- onship March 15-17. WOMEN'S TENNIS First Event: Jan. 19-21 at the Michi- gan Invitational (non-scoring event). Big Ten Predicted Finish: First. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Third round. Coach's Expectations: "The biggest thing for this team is to just keep get- ting better all season so that we are peaking in May," head coach Ronni Bernstein said. "I want us to be play- ing our best tennis when the postsea- son comes around. "We have a lot of good opportuni- ties to play some strong teams during the non-conference season and a lot of those are at home. We need to take advantage of some of these early op- portunities to get some quality wins." Top Athlete: Senior Kate Fahey fin- ished as the runner-up at the ITA Fall National Championships, and won the ITA Midwest Regional singles and doubles titles. In her junior season, she was the 2018 Big Ten Women's Tennis Athlete of the Year and a unan- imous All-Big Ten selection after go- ing 18-3 at the No. 1 singles position. "Kate is just such a fierce competi- tor," Bernstein said. "She is someone who doesn't want to lose a point or give anything away. She works so hard for our team and just competes so hard when she is out there." Athlete To Watch: Senior Brienne Minor went 7-2 in singles action dur- ing the fall tournament season and reached the semifinals of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships. She and Fahey won the doubles title at the ITA Midwest Regional. Last season, she was named to the All Big- Ten team and finished with an 11-7 record in singles play, going 8-1 in Big Ten action. "Bri just brings so much experience to our team," Bernstein said. "She and Kate are both great leaders for us, and they do it in different ways. Bri is really competitive and doesn't like to lose. Just having those two at the top of our lineup really sets the tone for us." Don't Miss: ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 8-11 in Seattle. WATER POLO First Event: Went 2-2 Jan. 19-20 at the UCSB Tournament, losing 9-2 to No. 1 USC and 9-7 to No. 3 UCLA. Collegiate Water Polo Association Predicted Finish: First. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: NCAA semifinals. Coach's Expectations: "Our expec- tations for the season are to win a conference championship and push for a final four," head coach Dr. Mar- celo Leonardi said. Top Athlete: Senior attacker Julia Sellers returns after earning WPA Championship MVP honors last sea- son. In 41 games during the 2018 sea- son, she had 114 points (81 goals and 33 assists). "She is an alpha scorer," Leonardi said. "She has been through every scenario as an attacker, and under- stands how to create and finish her shots. She puts a lot of pressure on the other team to match up defen- sively on her and also to worry about her on the counter attack." Athlete To Watch: Junior utility player Maddy Steere was named All- CWPA first team and a third-team All-American last year after tallying 108 points (74 goals and 34 assists). "Maddy is the glue that holds ev- erything together in big-pressure situ- ations," Leonardi said. "If you need a pass or a shot, we run a lot of our stuff through Maddy. A lot of that has to do with her maturity and her overall experience playing internationally." Don't Miss: CWPA Championship April 26-28 in Providence, R.I. ❑ Senior Brienne Minor won the 2017 NCAA Singles championship, becoming the first in Big Ten history to claim the crown, but was slowed by a pair of knee procedures last season. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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