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What Else Is Blue Does Not Take Spring Break Off

Men’s swimming added to Michigan’s Big Ten Championship total, while wrestling gears up for their own championship. Meanwhile, many spring sports headed somewhere warm.

Walt Middleton Photography 2020

Students were on Spring Break this week and many headed to warmer climates. Your non-rev teams are no different, with several dispatching to Florida, California, or elsewhere in the south. Those that could not find sun are those that stayed in the midwest for the Big Ten Championships. There are no home events this week, so we’ll get right to the recaps and previews.

Women’s Basketball (19-10, 10-8 B1G)

Last week: 78-60 L v. #20 Indiana

Upcoming: Big Ten Tournament, Indianapolis, IN: Thu Mar. 5, 6:30p v. Nebraska, BTN

The Wolverines took a frustrating loss on Senior Day in their last chance to make a statement before the Big Ten Tournament. The game was close for much of the first half, with the Hoosiers taking a 3 point lead to halftime. Maddie Nolan was having a breakout game, with 9 first half points, just one away from her career high. The game unravelled early in the third, with the Hoosiers scoring the first six points. Indiana would outscore the Wolverines 22-12 in the third, and Michigan was never quite able to chip into that lead. Nolan would finish with a career high 13, and Akienreh Johnson scored 16 to lead the Wolverines on her Senior Day.

Michigan heads to the Big Ten Tournament Indianapolis on the right side of the bubble. Despite the loss, Michigan just needs a first round BTT win to completely punch their ticket to the Big Dance, and even a loss might not knock them out. The 7-seed Wolverines play 10-seed Nebraska in the quarterfinals. Michigan previously lost to Nebraska in Lincoln. A win over Nebraska will see them play #2 Northwestern on Friday evening.

Wrestling (7-6, 5-4 B1G)

Upcoming: Big Ten Championshps, Sat Mar. 7, 10a, Sun Mar. 8, Noon

Wrestling will head to the Big Ten Championship in Piscataway, NJ. As always the wrestler to watch will be Mason Parris, who went undefeated in the regular season and is the #1 seed in the heavyweight tournament. Other wrestlers with high seeds include Jack Medley as the 5-seed at 125 pounds, Kanen Storr as the 4-seed at 149 pounds, and Will Lewan, #4 in the 157 pound bracket. As the 1-seed Parris will get a bye before taking on the winner of the 8/9 match between Purdue’s Thomas Penola and Illinois’ Luke Luffman. Medley will open against MSU’s Logan Griffin, Storr against Illinois’ Mousa Jodeh, and Lewan against Penn State’s Joe Pipher.

Men’s Swimming and Diving (6-1, 4-1 B1G)

Last week: 1st of 10, Big Ten Championships

Upcoming: Sun Mar. 8, Noon, Boiler-Make-It Last Chance

Michigan men’s swimming won the Big Ten Championship last weekend, the 41st in program history. They led the championship wire-to-wire, ending each day in 1st before taking the trophy. The Wolverines won seven event championships, including two for Felix Auböck in the 500 and 1650-yard freestyle events. The 1650 free had four Wolverines in the top six, with Ricardo Vargas trailing Auböck for second, and Danny Berlitz and Will Roberts getting fourth and sixth, respectively. Tommy Cope, Miles Smachlo, and Charlie Swanson all added swimming titles of their own, while Ross Todd won the one-meter dive. A team of Patrick Callan, Auböck, Swanson, and Cope won the 800 free relay as well.

While many Wolverines will simply prepare for the NCAA Championships, some will take one last shot at shaving a few seconds off their time at the Boiler-Make-It Last Chance meet at Purdue. (It’s a pun.)

Women’s Swimming and Diving (6-0, 4-0 B1G)

Women’s swimming did not compete last week but the qualifiers for the NCAA Championships were announced. Maggie MacNeil leads the way as the 1st national seed in the 100-yard butterfly. She is also 4th in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. Daria Pyshneko will join her in both freestyle races. Miranda Tucker’s 3rd seed in the 100-yard breaststroke is the Wolverines’ next best seed; Tucker will also participate in the 200 breaststroke. Rounding out the top five seeds is Sierra Schmidt’s 4-seed in the 1650 free. Schmidt will also compete in the 500 free, with Kaitlynn Simms joining her in both races. Olivia Carter and Vanessa Krause will both compete in the 100 and 200 butterfly, with Carter adding the 200-yard individual medley. Chloe Hicks and Victoria Kwan will participate in one race each, the 200-yard backstroke and 400-yard IM, respectively. Additionally, all five relay teams qualified.

Diving will qualify later, in the Zone C Diving Championships next week.

#5 Women’s Gymnastics (12-0, 9-0 B1G)

Last week: 197.900-195.050 W v. New Hampshire

Upcoming: Fri Mar. 6, 8:30p ET @ #1 Oklahoma

Women’s gymnastics continued its hot streak. Just one week after setting a program record, the Wolverines came just 0.050 short of matching it in a home meet against New Hampshire. Gabby Wilson led the way on vault, with a 9.925 performance being one of three 9.9’s Michigan got in the event. Natalie Wojcik’s 9.95 on bars led the way. Lexi Funk won beam at 9.925, and Wojcik closed with a second win with a 9.95 floor routine. Wojcik won the all-around, though Sierra Brooks also put up 9.9’s in all four events to finish just 0.025 behind Wojcik.

Michigan will now test these gaudy scores against a team that is more than capable of matching them: #1 Oklahoma. Michigan will travel to Norman and attempt to compete directly with the best in the country. While Michigan’s 197.950 at Elevate the Stage is a program record, Oklahoma has eclipsed 198 five times this weekend. Michigan might need another program record to win. This will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma Plus, and it might be available through the Fox Sports Go app in the Fox Sports Detroit coverage area as well.

#2 Men’s Gymnastics

Last week: 408.9-396.3 W @ #10 Minnesota

Upcoming: Sat Mar. 7, 3p ET @ #6 Illinois, #8 Penn St

Men’s gymnastics came away with the top 10 win, beating Minnesota last week. Fresh off his qualification for the national team, Paul Juda opened the day with a 14.5 win on the floor. Michigan won four events as a team, with Mark Lasker taking the pommel individual win, and Jonathan Liu taking the individual win on horizontal bar.

Michigan will have to fend off two top-10 opponents this week as it heads to #6 Illinois. #8 Penn St. will also be in attendance. Michigan did already beat out Illinois earlier this season at the Windy City Invitational.

Track and Field

Men: Big Ten Championships, 8th of 12

Women: Big Ten Championships, 5th of 12

Track and field participated in the Big Ten indoor Championships last week, with the women taking fifth and the men taking 8th. On each side, the Wolverines won one individual championships. Aurora Rynda ran a school record 1:28.16 in the women’s 600 meter prelims, and followed it up win a win in that event the next day. Andrew Liskowitz won men’s shot put with a throw of 21.02m.

The NCAA Championships are in two weeks, and Michigan will compete in three events. On the women’s side the distance medley relay of Alice Hill, Chloe Foster, Rynda and Meg Darmofal qualified, and on the men’s side Liskowitz will compete in the shot put and Manning Plater will participate in the weight throw.

Women’s Golf

Last week: 4th of 12, Hurricane Invitational

Upcoming: Sat-Sun Mar. 7-8, Gator Invitational, Gainesville, FL

Women’s golf had its best performance of the season, finishing fourth at the Hurricane Invitational. The Wolverines were led by Ashley Kim, who picked up the program’s first individual win since 2017, shooting a one-under-par 215 on the tournament. She shared first place with Oklahoma State’s Maja Stark. Michigan’s next best performance came from Ashley Lau, who tied for 21st, with her 223 score anchored by an even-par 72 in the second round.

Michigan will remain in Florida, closing Spring Break with the Gator Invitational. The Wolverines and Gators met earlier this season, when Florida took first in Toledo’s Glass City Invitational and Michigan took second.

Men’s Golf

Upcoming: Sat-Sun Mar. 7-8, Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, Scottsdale, AZ

Men’s golf will host the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, their annual tournament in Scottsdale, AZ. They’ll be joined by conference-mates Nebraska, Northwestern, and Purdue. For junior Charlie Pilon it will be a return to the site of a previous win, after he shared the title with teammate Kyle Mueller in 2018.

#7 Water Polo (11-8)

Last week: 15-3 W v. Santa Clara, 12-9 W v. #15 Long Beach State, 14-6 W v. Iona, 15-6 W v. #22 Bucknell

Water polo hosted the Wolverine Invitational and put up four wins, including ranked wins over Long Beach State and Bucknell. Maddie O’Reilly led the Wolverines with 10 goals, adding to her team-high 36.

Michigan will now take two weeks off.

#4 Men’s Tennis (14-3, 1-0 B1G)

Last week: 5-0 W v. Penn State, 4-0 W v. Brown, 7-0 W v. Boston University

Upcoming: Fri-Sun Mar. 6-8, Pacific Coast Doubles

Men’s tennis put in three dominant performances over two days last weekend, not dropping a single match. Michigan opened up Big Ten play against Penn State, and after a doubles point win Michigan won five out of the six first sets. Connor Johnston, Mattias Siimar, Patrick Malone, and Nick Beaty finished their straight-set wins first to get the Wolverines the victory. The next day’s morning match against Brown went even quicker with straight set wins from Maloney, Andrew Fenty, and Harrison Brown, while the afternoon match against BU was one of Michigan’s most dominant performances of all time, not losing a single set. They decided to play out every match and Michigan came out on top in every single one.

Michigan will now head to the Pacific Coast Doubles Championship in La Jolla, CA. Ryan Fu and Patrick Maloney have received a bye to the second round.

#15 Women’s Tennis (5-5)

Last week: 4-2 W v. #13 Princeton, 4-2 L @ #6 Texas

Upcoming: Sat Mar. 7, 3p ET @ #16 Pepperdine

The women’s tennis team picked up a good win over Princeton in a top 15 affair. Michigan won the doubles point but Princeton countered by defeating Nicole Hammond and tying the score at 1-1. Andrea Cerdan and Chiara Lommer both took straight set wins to go up 3-1, meaning Michigan only needed one more win. Bella Lorenzini got that win at #6 with a second set tiebreaker and Michigan had a tidy win over a ranked team. They then travelled to #6 Texas for a weekday afternoon match, and while they put up a good fight their road woes continued. Cerdan and Alyvia Jones took Michigan’s two points, while Chiara Lommer was up in the final match when it was abandoned.

Michigan will now travel to Pepperdine, still looking for their first true road win.

#14 Women’s Lacrosse (5-1)

Last week: 12-11 W v. Albany, 20-13 W @ Vanderbilt

Women’s lacrosse won two games this week, sneaking by Albany at home before travelling to Nashville to beat Vanderbilt. Against Albany Michigan opened with a 6-0 scoring run, including two from Kaley Thompson. Albany scored six of the next seven goals to thighten the match at 7-6, before Thompson stopped the bleeding to regain a two-goal lead and take her hat trick. Caitlin Muir scored the Wolverines final three goals, and while Albany got back within a goal with 2:30 to play, Michigan held on for the win.

The Vanderbilt match was a more dominant affair, with Michigan sprinting out to a 5-1 lead and the game never really tightening. Kirby Chandler scored five goals, and Muir, Molly Garrett, and Kaitlyn Mead had four each. Muir now leads the team with 16.

Women’s lacrosse is off this week.

Men’s Lacrosse (3-2)

Last week: 16-11 W v. St. Johns

Upcoming: Sat Mar. 7, 10p ET v. #5 Yale, Costa Mesa, CA

Wolverine men’s lacrosse bounced back from a loss to Merrimack with a win over St. Johns. A 5-2 first quarter set the tone for the match, with Kevin Mack and Bryce Clay scoring two each in the opening frame. Clay completed his hat trick shortly into the second and Michigan took an 11-4 lead to halftime. While St. Johns chipped at the lead throughout the second, Michigan maintained a comfortable margin, with St. Johns only getting it down to five twice.

Michigan will now head out to California to participate in a neutral site matchup with #5 Yale. The Pacific Coast Shootout is an annual meeting of two quality lacrosse programs, and Michigan will try to take the upset.