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Thursday Morning Brews: Hello


NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. We have a four-pack of non-rev. news to help ease your way into the Easter Weekend. This morning we’re checking in with swimming & diving, women’s gymnastics, men’s lacrosse, and hockey.

As usual, there is a song referenced in this morning’s article. There are at least two clues. They may be words, phrases, or photos, and may reference lyrics, the artist, or the album. If you think you know this morning’s song, fire away down in the comments.

Come on now, let’s get to it:

I don’t think I’ve written about swimming and diving this season, but both the women’s and men’s teams had solid years. The women won the Big Ten, while the men finished runner-up. The women placed 4th at the NCAA Championships, while the men finished 8th out of 38 teams. There were 18 All-Americans between the men’s and women’s programs and 10 individual or relay conference champions. Outside of the pool, 32 swimmers and divers received Academic All-Big Ten honors. Part of the reason why I cover non-rev. sports during the football offseason in the Brews is that Michigan’s athletics programs are so solid. They don’t get the TV time or the coverage that football does, but programs like swimming & diving go out and compete and bring home hardware nearly every year.

Have you ever heard of Bev Plocki? Well, you should. Plocki is the head of the Michigan women’s gymnastics program, and it seems like all she does is coach teams to Big Ten Championships. How many have her teams won? 23. Plocki has won more Big Ten Championships than, what I assume is, the average graduation age of a student at Michigan. Think about that. If you’re in undergrad right now, Bev Plocki has won Big Ten titles in more years than you have been alive. The women’s most recent Big Ten title has tied Plocki with former Indiana men’s swimming coach James Counsilman for the most conference championships in Big Ten history. Plocki’s teams have won at least five-straight Big Ten titles three times in her 29-year tenure at Michigan.

Men’s lacrosse may be on the verge their best season ever under first-year head coach Kevin Conry. The Michigan men are 7-2 on the season, and have won their last five games. The Wolverines two losses on the year have come against No. 18 Penn and No. 11 Yale, however Michigan has recorded a win over a ranked team - a 13-12, back-and-forth affair, over No. 4 Notre Dame. The 7-2 mark is good enough to see the Wolverines ranked, at No. 15 or No. 17, depending on which poll you consult. Michigan next opens its Big Ten schedule, where the Wolverines have struggled since becoming a varsity program in 2012. If Michigan can win just two games in Big Ten play, the Wolverines will secure their most wins in a single season in Conry’s inaugural campaign.

I’m going to close out this morning’s Brews with a video made using footage from hockey’s win over Boston University. As someone pointed out in the comments on Tuesday’s Brews, Michigan’s Frozen Four matchup against Notre Dame is a week from Thursday (April 5th) and not today as I had said. So until then, watch this video to get your hockey fix.