The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 91   OLYMPIC SPORTS UPDATE us to get better every week. I never know how we're going to do, I just know we have to work really hard," said head coach Carol Hutchins, whose team was ranked No. 20 nationally in mid-February. "We want to be Big Ten champions and go to the World Series. "That's what we're working to- wards; that's our benchmark." Top Athlete: Junior second base- man Faith Canfield started all 57 games last season and hit .398 with nine home runs and 40 RBI. She was a third-team All-American last year and first-team All-Big Ten in both 2016 and 2017. Athlete To Watch: Freshman pitcher Meghan Beaubien threw a no-hitter in her first career start. "She's an elite player," Hutchins said. "She can keep us in any game. … It's most important to keep her grounded. She can only do her part and her role, and not try to do too much. "She seems to have her head on pretty good, I think she can handle this big stage." Don't Miss: May 4-6 vs. Ohio State in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes are the fi- nal conference foe on the regular sea- son schedule for the Wolverines. OSU finished third in the Big Ten last year. "Our first benchmark will be if we are consistent in the things that we control," Hutchins said. MEN'S TENNIS First Event: Jan. 20 at Washington (Won 4-3) Big Ten Predicted Finish: Second NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Final Four Coach's Expectations: "We want to have our four seniors go out on top," said head coach Adam Stein- berg, whose team was 5-2 overall and ranked No. 13 in the country as of Feb. 14. "I came to Michigan to bring a national championship here, so that's the goal. "We've had a good start … we've beaten a couple of very good teams." Top Athlete: Senior Alex Knight is up to No. 3 overall in the country as a singles player. He was first-team All-Big Ten last season. "He's seen the bottom and now he's climbed all the way to the top of col- lege tennis," Steinberg said. "I've never had a player that embraces the team aspect of our sport more than he has. "Tennis is an individual sport, but when you buy in on the team side like he has, your tennis will explode — and that's what's happened with him. He may be the best dual match player I've ever coached." Athlete To Watch: Senior Carter Lin was 21-10 in singles matches and 19-3 in dual match play last year. "He's playing the five position, but he's been that steady hand, the rock that we lean on over the years," Steinberg said. "I can't imagine a guy having a much better record than he's had. He doesn't get the fanfare, but he's pretty amazing when it comes to the team." Don't Miss: March 25 at Ohio State. The Buckeyes were No. 2 in the country in mid-February and won the Big Ten last year on their way to the Final Four. WOMEN'S TENNIS First Event: Jan. 21 vs. Kansas (Won 6-1) Big Ten Predicted Finish: First NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Final Four Coach's Expectations: "Win- ning the Big Ten is always a goal of ours and competing well in May, which is when NCAAs are," associ- ate head coach Teryn Ashley-Fitch said of U-M, which was 4-3 overall and ranked No. 14 nationally as of Feb. 14. "Everything builds towards that. "Things have been going okay, bur unfortunately we've had a few people struggle with injuries, which is always a tough thing to deal with." Top Athlete: Junior Kate Fahey was an All-American last season, along with being named All-Big Ten. She had a singles record of 36-7 as a sophomore, and was ranked No. 29 in the country as of mid-February. "She loves to battle and is a very emotional player on court," Ashley- Fitch said. "I think our fans probably know her well." Athlete To Watch: Junior Brienne Minor is the reigning NCAA singles champion and the first Wolverine to win a national title. She is a two-time All-American and two-time All-Big Ten selection, and was named the 2016-18 Michigan Athlete of the Year. However, she did not play during the fall while recovering from an injury. Don't Miss: March 30 at Ohio State. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 18 in the country as of mid-February, won the Big Ten last year and made the Fi- nal Four, just like the men's team. ❏ Senior Alex Knight was the country's No. 3 singles player in the Feb.7 national rankings released by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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