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What Else Is Blue Cures Your Bye Week Blues

Volleyball, Field Hockey, Soccer all have mixed results last weekend, Golf, Men’s Tennis, and Rowing get started.

U-M Athletics

It’s a bye week. And if you, like many others, are at a loss for how to get your Michigan fix, boy do I have some great news for you. Your best opportunities to catch the Wolverines in-person are volleyball and field hockey, so we’ll start there before working our way to soccer and the newcomers.

Tuesday we ran an all-previews special edition for all the sports that are about to start over the next month or so, all of which run until at least late March. We won’t add any new sports until Women’s Basketball (which I promise, I will get you very hype for women’s basketball), but October is maybe the most packed month in the non-revenue calendar. With previews out of the way, let’s focus on the games.

#24 Volleyball (4-2)

Last Week: 0-3 L v. Missouri, 3-0 W v. NIU, 2-3 L @ Dayton (all matches @ Dayton)

Upcoming: Fri Sep 13, 7p v. Navy, Sun Sep 15, 1p v. EMU (both at Crisler), Wed Sep 18, 7p v. Notre Dame

Michigan volleyball had an uneven weekend. At the Dayton Invitational, Michigan opened against Missouri, who simply crushed them in the morning match-up. Michigan did not score more than 14 in a set until the third (which they lost 23-25). The announcer during the Dayton/Michigan game called it the most uncharacteristic performance he’s ever seen by a Michigan team. They were able to put that behind them and dominate NIU, beating them by at least six points in each game including a 25-9 win in the final set. Michigan built a 14-2 lead with ten straight points and NIU just couldn’t come back.

I was able to watch the Saturday night match against Dayton on ESPN+ and it was some very exciting volleyball. Michigan opened the first set with a 14-9 lead but Dayton fought back, chipping away at the Wolverine lead until they won four of the last five points, for a 28-26 victory. The two teams traded 25-23 sets to make it 2-1 Dayton. In the third Natalie Smith served for a six point run that saw Michigan go up 12-7, a lead they would never relinquish to force a fifth set. This time it was Michigan trailing early and fighting back, shrinking an 11-2 gap to 13-12, before Dayton won the next two points and the whole match. For their 1-2 weekend, voters knocked Michigan from #14 to #24.

Michigan has a three match schedule this weekend, opening their seven-game Crisler Arena series this weekend. 3-3 Navy will be their opponent for the first game of the Michigan Challenge, followed by Eastern Michigan on Sunday, also 3-3. Navy will also play @EMU on Saturday, and both Crisler games will be on BTN+. Michigan will travel to South Bend to take on 4-1 Notre Dame, the first match of a true home-and-home. The Notre Dame match will be on ACC Network. I will remark with some lament that a Michigan non-rev team will make it onto ACC Network this season before any have managed BTN.

#11 Field Hockey (2-2)

Last week: 2-3 (SO) L @ #21 Stanford, 2-1 W @ Cal

Upcoming: Fri Sep 13, 6p v. #3 Connecticut, Sun Sep 15, 1p @ CMU

Michigan field hockey went 1-1 on their West Coast trip last weekend, with both matches decided late. In a trip to #21 Stanford the Wolverines looked good with a goal from Kathryn Peterson a minute before the half and Tina D’anjolell a minute after. Over the course of the next 7 minutes Cardinal star Corinne Zanolli single-handedly tied it up, and that 2-2 margin still held when the final whistle blew. While the Wolverines got the better of the shots in overtime no goals came, and Stanford won a 3-2 shootout. Two nights later at Cal the sophomore D’anjolell added her second of the season, tying the game at 1-1 going into the fourth quarter. With just 8 minutes left, freshman Sarah Pyrtek buried a goal and Michigan flew back to Ann Arbor with a 2-1 win. Though the game was broadcast, it appears Cal has buried footage of the goal. With its .500 start to the season Michigan dropped from #7 to #11 in the Coaches Poll.

Michigan will remain in-state all weekend, though they will play on the road once. The Wolverines will first welcome #3 UConn to Ocker Field. UConn is dangerous, a 4-0 team whose wins have all come against other ranked teams, including Wolverine conference-mates Northwestern and Rutgers. Michigan will take a quick drive up to Mount Pleasant on Sunday, to face off in a matinee against 2-3 CMU. The Chips have lost 3 straight including an 11-0 drubbing by Iowa, and will broadcast the match on their website.

Women’s Soccer (4-2):

Last Week: 0-1 L v. Notre Dame, 2-0 W v. Bowling Green

Upcoming: Fri Sep 13, 10p (ET) @ Washington State

The Wolverines split last week, starting with an absolute heartbreaker Friday night against Notre Dame. The Irish are almost certainly the best team the Wolverines have played so far, and the game was scoreless going into the 87th minute. Just when it looked like overtime was coming, Notre Dame made a perfect pass from near the corner flag into the box, where it was headed home. Michigan redeemed the weekend on Sunday, beating Notre Dame. This game was again scoreless late, when Raleigh Loughman found the ball at her feet after rebounding off the keeper, and put it home to break the tie after 80 minutes. For good measure, she added an assist two minutes later with Skyler Anderson making the finish. The sophomore Loughman has three goals and two assists already, doubling her points output from last season and leading the team with 8.

The Wolverines head out to Pullman, WA to take on #13 Washington State on Friday. Wazzu is 4-0 on the season, and the game is on Pac-12 Network if you miraculously get the right version of Pac-12 Network.

Men’s Soccer (2-2):

Last Week: 3-0 W v. Cornell, 0-1 L v. Washington

Upcoming: Fri Sep 13, 8p (ET) @ Omaha, Tue Sep 17, 7:30p v. Oakland

The men’s soccer team also split last week, participating in yet another high scoring contest against Cornell, their third straight three-goal match. Michigan opened the scoring 34 minutes into the match as Nebojsa Popovic found Mohammed Zakyi in front of two Big Red defenders just outside the goal box. Jackson Ragen added the second goal, after Marc Ybarra found him near the left post off of a long free kick three minutes into the 2nd half. Popovic added a goal of his own late, and leads the team with 3. Unfortunately, after all the scoring in their first three games the Wolverines could not find the back of the net against Washington, when the presence of Pups at the Pitch propelled the namesake Huskies to a 1-0 win. Michigan soccer has gone 1-1 at all three men’s and women’s doubleheaders.

The Wolverines will go on the road for the first time this Friday, travelling to Omaha. The Mavericks are looking for their first win of the season, having started 0-3-1 (W-L-D). That match will stream on Omaha’s website. Nebojsa Popovic, a grad transfer, will then welcome his old club to U-M Soccer Stadium, when the 2-1-1 Oakland comes to town. Popovic scored for the Grizzlies in their match-up last season, a 2-1 Michigan win.

Men’s Golf

Upcoming: Mon-Tue Sep 16-17, Windon Memorial Classic in Lake Forest, IL, hosted by Northwestern

In Tuesday’s edition I wrote a preview of the rest of the teams I’ll feature today, and I encourage you to check it out. Men’s Golf will open their season in the suburbs of Chicago, visiting the Conway Farms Golf Club for the Windon Memorial Classic. Michigan came in fifth of 16 at the same event last year, while the hosts fell six strokes back in 9th. In that tournament Michigan was led by the now-graduated Nick Carlson, who came in sixth as an individual, at -4.

Women’s Golf

Upcoming: Mon-Tue Sep 16-17, Glass City Invitational in Toledo, OH, hosted by Toledo

Women’s golf will head to Ohio, to play in either the Inverness Women’s Intercollegiate or the Glass City Invitational, depending on whether you believe the Michigan Athletics website or the Toledo Athletics website. Either way the event will take place at Toledo’s Inverness Club, where Rockets men’s golf host an annual tournament but the women will compete for the first time. Joining them will be a slew of ranked teams, including Big Ten rivals No. 15 Northwestern, No. 16 Illinois and No. 19 Michigan State.

Men’s Tennis

Upcoming: Fri-Sun Sep 13-15, Napa Valley Tennis Classic, Napa, CA

Men’s Tennis will begin it’s season out in California at the Napa Valley Tennis Classic, where four athletes will represent the Wolverines. Leading the pack will be sophomore and reigning Big Ten and national Rookie of the Year Andrew Fenty, who compiled a 27-6 record last season. Joining him will be junior Mattias Siimar (17-19 in singles in 2018-19), senior Connor Johnston (13-15), and senior Nick Beaty (1-2). It will be a singles tournament, with no team scoring. Other competitors include Baylor, Cal, Harvard, Pacific, and a team of juniors competing under the USTA banner.

Rowing

Upcoming: Sun Sep 15, 9am, Eastern Michigan (scrimmage)

Rowing opens its season with its annual scrimmage against the Eagles, before taking a month off. Results from last year are hard to parse, but it appears this is as much an intersquad scrimmage as it is one with EMU.