On Sunday, Michigan played four different games. They went on the road for a rivalry volleyball game, field hockey welcomed a ranked rival, there was a double header at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Michigan won all four, in dominating fashion. Volleyball swept, and field hockey and the two soccer teams combined to win 15-1. All in a day’s work for the Wolverines.
This Week’s One Thing
Rowing v. Ohio State, Sat Oct 12, 10a, Belleville Lake
The athletic department simply doesn’t have any on-campus events this week, with the rowing team’s tilt with the Buckeyes being the only home event of any kind. Belleville Lake is the permanent home of the Wolverines, and they will open their competitive season Saturday morning. This will be the only varsity dual meet of the fall season. It does not appear that Ohio State has participated in an exhibition this season, and this will be Michigan’s first look at a foe more formidable than EMU.
TV Schedule (All times ET)
Sun Oct 13:
Volleyball @ #5 Nebraska, 2p, ESPN2
Men’s Soccer @ #4 Indiana, 3p, ESPNU
Most other home and conference games are on BTN+.
A news break before I get to the action: Michigan had alums named to both the Olympic softball team and the first Olympic qualifying baseball team. Catcher Amanda Chidester attended Michigan from 2009-12, and most recently featured with the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch. She will be going to Tokyo after the US qualified earlier this summer.
Shortstop Jake Cronenworth is headed to Mexico to help the US qualify. Cronenworth attended Michigan from 2013-15, and played this season with the AAA Durham Bulls. He will be joined by Pitcher Clayton Richard, who spent 2004 as Chad Henne’s backup before having a solid 2005 baseball season and leaving school following the draft. He played a portion of this season with the Blue Jays and is currently a free agent. The baseball team is headed to the Premier12, which will start in Mexico before shifting to Japan. The top Americas and Asia finishers will each qualify directly to the Olympics, with other teams getting another chance in continental qualifiers.
#11 Field Hockey (8-3, 2-1 B1G)
Last Week: 1-0 W v. App St, 8-0 W v. #24 MSU
Upcoming: Fri Oct 11, 4p @ OSU, Sun Oct 13, 12p v. Ball St (Columbus, OH)
On Saturday, across the parking lot from the football game that was going on at the time, the field hockey team gritted out a 1-0 win over App St, the only goal coming when Guadalupe Fernandez Lacort scored off the rebound with under seven minutes to play. Given the narrow scoreline, I expected that the next day when I showed up to Ocker Field to watch them take on the #24 Spartans, it was going to be a tough game won or lost by a thin margin.
Instead the Wolverines beat the crap out of them. The match started slow. Michigan was dominating possession, but much of the first quarter had drained before Fay Keijer put one in off the rebound. The floodgates really opened in the second quarter. Five minutes into the quarter Sofia Southam scored to make it 2-0, and by the time the halftime whistle blew it was a 4-0 rout. Fay Keijer scored seconds into the third quarter to match Michigan’s season high for goals, Nina Apoola scored the first goal of her career, and Southam completed her hat trick with just 21 seconds left in the match. Not to be lost in all the scoring is the incredible defensive effort, with Michigan holding Michigan State to just one shot. For the effort Southam was named B1G Offensive player of the week. Normally here I’d post a goal that was cool, but you owe it to yourself and this team to watch all eight. Pay special attention to the no-look pass from Meg Dowthwaite that sets up Southam on the second goal:
Despite the win, Michigan dropped to #11. Michigan now heads to Columbus to take on another rival. Ohio State has begun its Big Ten season 1-2, with both losses coming to ranked teams. That will be on BTN+. Michigan will stay in Columbus for a non-conference neutral site match-up with 3-8 Ball State.
Women’s Soccer (9-3-1, 4-1-1 B1G)
Last Week: 2-0 L @ #13 Wisconsin, 4-1 W v. Nebraska
Upcoming: Fri Oct 11, 8p (ET) @ Illinois, Sun Oct 13, 2p (ET) @ Northwestern
Women’s soccer picked up it’s first loss of the Big Ten season last week, a road loss to top-15 Wisconsin. Wisconsin scored its first at 17 minutes and held possession for much of the match. Michigan got a couple of chances late, but when Wisconsin extended its lead with half an hour to play, it was clear the 2-0 was likely more than the Wolverines could overcome. As always Hillary Beall made some impressive saves, but ultimately the Wolverines were overmatched.
Michigan bounced back on Sunday, pounding Nebraska 4-1. Michigan held a 2-0 halftime lead, and when Nebraska scored five minutes into the second half, it looked the match might be headed for a tight finish. In the 75th minute, Sura Yekka gave the Wolverines some breathing room and two minutes later Kierra Krawec put in the dagger, each of them scoring their first of the season.
Michigan maintains second place in the Big Ten, but the loss knocked them out of the Top 25. Michigan has climbed up to 39th in RPI, putting them just inside the tournament cut line, as the 28th at large (if all current conference leaders also won their conference tourneys).
This weekend the women’s soccer team will head to Illinois for two matches. On Friday they’ll provide the warm-up for Saturday’s football game, looking to beat an Illinois team that is 7-5 overall but is last place in the Big Ten. On Sunday they’ll head north to take on Northwestern, who sits at 2-2-1 in B1G play. Both games are on BTN+.
Last Week: 3-0 W v. Northwestern, 1-0 W v. Detroit
Upcoming: Sun Oct 13, 3p @ #4 Indiana, ESPNU
Men’s soccer had the last of Sunday’s four games that was in doubt. It was 0-0 early in the second half, well after the volleyball and women’s soccer games had ended, and with field hockey already a rout. Just when Michigan’s perfect Sunday looked to be in some jeopardy, Carlos Telez scored his first of the season 53 minutes into the game. Five minutes later Nebojsa Popovic added a second, and what had been a nervous match became an exclamation point on Wolverine athletics’ 4-0 day. Michigan then hosted a non-conference match-up against in-state rival Detroit. Michigan ended the first half with a 6-3 shot advantage but no goals to show for it, and the match remained tense and scoreless until Derek Broche did this:
I wasn’t really planning on embedding a second highlight this week but come on. The men’s team also remains un-ranked and just inside the tournament cut line, holding on to the 22nd at-large spot in RPI with 24 at-large berths to the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan has a big one this weekend, a road trip to #4 Indiana. The Hoosiers have just one loss this season, and even a draw would be considered an upset by the Wolverines. This is an opportunity for Shaka Smart’s program to pick up a signature win, and you can watch the action on ESPNU.
Volleyball (11-3, 4-0 B1G)
Last Week: 3-0 W v. Maryland, 3-0 W v. OSU
Upcoming: Fri Oct 11, 8p ET @ Iowa, Sun Oct 13, 2p ET @ #5 Nebraska, ESPN2
Michigan volleyball went on the road for a pair of games and in those games did not give up a single set. First the Wolverines traveled to Maryland, where they won three close sets to sweep the Terrapins. Paige Jones again led the team in kills at 16. The Wolverines then headed to Ohio State where they dominated the rivalry match-up. They put together a dominant performance, with Ohio State getting about 20 points in each set. Despite playing three of their four Big Ten match-ups on the road, the Wolverines have not lost a set in conference play, sweeping each of their games. For the second time this season, May Pertofsky was awarded B1G Freshman of the Week, after her 21 kills on the weekend.
Michigan stays on the road this weekend, first travelling to Iowa on Friday night. Iowa has struggled early in conference play, with a 1-3 start and only one win in their last 10 sets. Michigan will travel to Lincoln for a huge match-up with #5 Nebraska. Nebraska will be looking to bounce back after being swept at home by Wisconsin, while a Michigan win likely lands them back in the Top 25. This one is on ESPN2, which means on Sunday afternoon you will have to choose whether to watch Michigan volleyball or Michigan men’s soccer, both on ESPN networks. What a time to be alive. (The volleyball will end first and then you can watch the second half of the soccer. Lions play Monday night! Come watch the Wolverines!)
#18 Men’s Cross Country
Last Week: 7th of 22, Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, South Bend, IN
Michigan men’s cross country traveled to Notre Dame to take on a field that included a boatload of ranked teams, including five Big Ten teams. Relative to their rank, they landed right where you’d expect them to, between #15 Indiana and #19 Wisconsin. Michigan’s top performer was Devin Myrer, a Baylor transfer in his first race at Michigan against top competition. He came in 21st, almost exactly 40 seconds behind the winner.
Both men’s and women’s cross country are off this week.
Last Week: ITA All-American, Ondrej Styler eliminated in qualifying
Upcoming: Fri-Sun Oct 11-13, Michigan State Invitational
Ondrej Styler traveled to Tulsa, OK to participate in qualifying for the ITA All-American Championships. Styler defeated an athlete from Stanford in straight sets, before losing to Arizona State’s Makey Rakotomalala. Styler won the first set before surrendering the next two.
Nick Beaty, Andrew Fenty, and Mattias Siimar will now head to East Lansing to participate in the Michigan State Invitational.
Last Week: Women’s Collegiate Classic, Malibu, CA
In progress/upcoming: Wed Oct 9-Sun Oct 13, ITA All-American, Tulsa, OK
Last week Michigan went to Malibu to participate in the Collegiate Classic on the campus of Pepperdine. Michigan had a somewhat rough weekend, with no athletes advancing past the second round, and only Giulia Pairone compiling a winning record. Overall the Wolverines went 6-12 in singles play.
Pairone and Chiara Lommer qualified directly to the main draw of the ITA All-American, and picked up wins on the first day of the tournament. The second round faced a series of weather delays, and playing their matches late both athletes lost and will head to the consolation bracket. Pairone lost a particularly close one, winning the second set in a tiebreaker and losing the final set 7-5. Pairone and Lommer also competed in doubles, but did not make it out of qualification.
Last Week: 12th of 14 at Fighting Irish Classic, South Bend, IN
Upcoming: Mon-Tue Oct 14-15, Crooked Stick Invitational, Carmel, IN
Michigan placed 12th on the campus of Notre Dame in the Fighting Irish Classic last week. The Wolverines were just one stroke behind Michigan State. Highlight individual performances include Brent Ito and Charlie Pilon, who finished 23rd and 29th, respectively. Ito has led the Wolverines at every tournament this year. Henry Spring also recovered from an opening 81 to post a final round 69.
Michigan will stay in Indiana as the Hoosiers host the Crooked Stick Invitational. The tournament will also include Purdue, Georgia, and Vanderbilt.
Upcoming: Fri-Sun Oct 11-13, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Women’s golf will play in the penultimate event of their fall season, spending a weekend in North Carolina. Freshman Mikela Schultz will appear at a team tournament for the first time this season, after she won B1G Golfer of the Week for winning the Shirley Spork Invitational at Eastern Michigan, competing as an individual. Michigan State and Ohio State will both attend the tournament, along with a number of southern teams.
Upcoming: Sat Oct 12, 1p, Golden Grizzly Relays @ Oakland University
Men’s Swimming will travel to Oakland University to participate in a series of relays. There will be no team scoring or individual events. All of the competitors will be Michigan colleges, featuring Oakland, Wayne State, Calvin, and Hope.
Last Week: 2-1 L @ MSU, 9-1 W v. MSU
Michigan closed its fall exhibition season by splitting the home-and-home with MSU, each side winning its home game.