May 3, 2010
[ONE // buckeyes remain on top in men’s tennis]
In a week full of Big Ten Tournaments and Championships, we first honor the Ohio State men’s tennis team on its fifth straight and ninth overall Big Ten Tournament title. The Buckeyes defeated No. 2 Illinois, 4-1, at Indiana University on Sunday and clinched the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. After Ohio State took a 1-0 lead after doubles, Illinois tied the match with a win at No. 3 singles. The Buckeyes then won three straight matches at Nos. 1, 4 and 6 singles to clinch the tournament crown. For a complete breakdown of this past weekend’s Big Ten Tournament action, click here.
[TWO // postseason honors awarded in men’s tennis]
The Big Ten office announced Thursday the All-Conference Team and individual award winners from the 2010 men’s tennis season. Ohio State’s Chase Buchanan was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year – the third straight season a Buckeye has won the honor, as Bryan Koniecko won the honor in 2008 and 2009. Freshman of the Year honors went to Michigan’s Evan King, becoming the first Wolverine to earn the honor since Dan Brakus did so in 1991. Ohio State’s Ty Tucker was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the fifth consecutive year. In addition, a 12-member All-Conference squad and 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees were also named. Click here to see the complete list of winners.
[THREE // a dirty dozen]
On the women’s tennis side of things, congratulations to the No. 2 Northwestern Wildcats on winning their 12th-straight Big Ten Tournament title on Sunday with a 4-0 win over top-seeded Michigan. Competing on the University of Iowa campus, the Wildcats jumped to a 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point against the Wolverines – the conference’s regular-season champions. Then wins at Nos. 1, 4 and 5 singles clinched the tournament title for Northwestern, which earned the Big Ten's automatic berth into the NCAA Championships. For complete tournament coverage, follow this link.
[FOUR // wolverines gone wild]
The Big Ten announced the members of the 2010 All-Big Ten Women's Tennis Team and the sport's individual award winners on Thursday night, and for the Michigan Wolverines, it was all smiles. Michigan swept the individual honors as Denise Muresan was named Athlete of the Year, Mimi Nguyen earned Freshman of the Year honors, and Ronni Bernstein was voted Coach of the Year. It is the first time since 1997, when Sarah Cyganiak and Elizabeth Ritt were named Athlete and Coach of the Year, respectively, that Michigan won an individual honor. In addition to the individual accolades, a 12-member All-Conference squad and 11 Sportsmanship Award honorees were also selected. Click here to full the complete release.
[FIVE // boating badgers]
At the 2010 Big Ten Rowing Championships Saturday on Lake Ovid at Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg, Mich., Wisconsin won its first Big Ten title on the strength of four first-place efforts. With wins in the second varsity eight, first varsity four, first novice eight and second novice eight, the Badgers totaled 148 points, ahead of second-place Michigan State (132) and third-place Michigan (111). Ohio State was fourth with 105 points followed by Minnesota (66), Iowa (51) and Indiana (30). Click here for a complete recap and a look at both the First Team and Second Team All-Big Ten honorees.
[SIX // indianapolis home to another big ten championship?]
So Indianapolis is in the midst of a multi-year contract of hosting both the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. Now for the next three years, the Circle City will focus its efforts on hosting another conference championship in the spring. The Big Ten and Indianapolis Rowing Center announced this past Thursday that Eagle Creek Park will serve as the host site for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Rowing Championships. The 2011 event will mark the Big Ten’s first-ever neutral-site rowing championships. In addition to the location, other changes have been made for future championships. The 2011-13 events will be held on the Sunday that falls two weekends prior to the NCAA Championships. The 2011 Big Ten Championships will be held May 15. The format of the event will be altered to a seven-lane finals-only regatta.
[SEVEN // illini fight for win on the links]
In our final Big Ten Championship this week, the Illinois Fighting Illini captured their second straight conference crown in men’s golf by leading wire-to-wire at the Windsong Farm Golf Club in Maple Plain, Minn. The Illini, who led by 12 strokes following Saturday's third round, finished with a 21-over par 1157, three strokes ahead of second-place Iowa (1160). Northwestern finished third with a team total of 1163 and Michigan was fourth with 1173. Northwestern’s David Lipsky won medalist honors, firing a three-under 281. It is the second-straight year a Wildcat golfer finished at the top of the individual standings as Eric Chun won 2009 medalist honors. Lipsky placed two strokes ahead of Michigan’s Matt Thompson, who finished with a one-under 283. Taking home the Les Bolstad Award was Illinois’ Chris DeForest, honored for having the lowest stroke average to par this season.
[EIGHT // handful of lady linksters off to ncaa play]
This past Monday five Big Ten women’s golf teams and two individuals were invited by the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Committee to compete in NCAA Regional competition, scheduled to take place May 6-8. Four squads were selected into the Central Region, to be played at the Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, Ind., while the fifth was selected into the West Regional, which will be held at the Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. Big Ten Champion and NCAA Regional automatic qualifier Purdue is the No. 3 seed in the Central Regional and is joined by Big Ten runner-up and fourth-seeded Michigan State, No. 13 Northwestern and No. 20 Indiana. Ohio State, which finished third in the Big Ten Championships, is the No. 4 seed and the lone conference team in the West Regional. Additionally, Michigan’s Ashley Bauer was selected as an individual into the Central Regional, and Minnesota’s Teresa Puga will compete in the West Regional.
[NINE // always talking football]
We can’t go a week without thinking about football, right? Well, this past week 10 Big Ten standouts were named to the preliminary watch list for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award by the Rotary Lombardi Award Committee. Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference first team as selected by the conference’s head coaches. Congrats to Iowa defensive ends Broderick Binns and Adrian Clayborn – the 2010 Orange Bowl Defensive MVP, Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones, who ranked third in the nation last year with 154 tackles, and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, on highlighting the list. Among the others named were Ohio State guard Justin Boren, defensive tackle and end Cameron Heyward and linebacker Ross Homan, Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, and Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and tight end Lance Kendricks.
[TEN // big ten rivals battle for ncaa water polo bid]
Just like we see in other Big Ten non-sponsored sports like hockey, fencing and men’s volleyball, conference schools tend to square off against one another with coveted NCAA bids on the line. That was the case this weekend in Maryland in the sport of women’s water polo as Indiana and Michigan, the only two varsity programs in the conference and the Midwest for that matter, renewed their rivalry at the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s Eastern Championships. For the third consecutive season, the No. 7-ranked Wolverines claimed the CWPA Eastern Championship title, defeating No. 14 Indiana, 7-5, inside Maryland's Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium. The Wolverines' fifth Eastern title gives them an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, which will be played May 14-16 in San Diego, Calif.
[ELEVEN // spartan green going greener]
Finally this week, going green is simply the right thing and also the cool thing to do these days. In East Lansing, Michigan State and athletic director Mark Hollis have taken a new approach to going green as the Spartans recently unveiled a new department-wide branding initiative. Hollis noted the reasoning for the identity program is due to years of different greens, logos, word-marks and uniform quality among the Spartans’ 25 teams. Now all Michigan State uniforms and jerseys will consist of a consistent use of colors, logos, lettering and numerals.