May 30, 2010
[ONE // gophers golden in big ten baseball tourney]
Minnesota won the 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament Championship Saturday night, defeating Iowa, 15-5. The tournament title is the Gophers' ninth overall and first since 2004. With the victory, Minnesota earns the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. At the conclusion of the championship contest, the Big Ten announced the All-Tournament Team, which included pitchers Jarred Hippen (IOWA), Bobby Brosnahan (MICH), Phil Isaksson (MINN), Scott Matyas (MINN), Matt Bischoff (PUR); catcher Kyle Knudson (MINN); first baseman Mike Dufek (MICH); second baseman Anthony Toth (MICH); shortstop AJ Pettersen (MINN); third baseman John Lorenz (MICH); outfielders Alex Dickerson (IND), Kurtis Muller (IOWA) and Ryan LaMarre (MICH) and designated hitter Drew Madia (PUR). Minnesota’s Knudson was named the Most Outstanding Player.
[TWO // diamond studs]
On Tuesday evening, prior to the start of the 2010 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, the Big Ten announced the season’s All-Big Ten teams and individual honors, recognizing Indiana’s Alex Dickerson as the Player of the Year, Ohio State’s Alex Wimmers as Pitcher of the Year, Michigan State’s Ryan Jones as Freshman of the Year and Minnesota’s John Anderson as Coach of the Year. The conference office also announced first-, second- and third-team All-Big Ten selections, an All-Freshman squad, and honorees from each of the 10 baseball teams for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
[THREE // wolverines conclude ncaa softball play]
The Big Ten softball season concluded this past week as Michigan fell twice to Tennessee in NCAA Super Regional action. On Thursday, the No. 2-ranked Wolverines suffered a 5-0 loss to No. 15 Tennessee in front of 2,116 fans on their home turf at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor. The loss marked the first shutout loss of the season for Michigan and snapped its 36-game home winning streak. On Friday, a record crowd of 2,479 fans watched U-M drop a 4-3 heartbreaker to Tennessee, which gave the Lady Vols the best-of-three series win and an invitation to the Women’s College World Series.
[FOUR // back to the dock]
Two Big Ten teams earned top 10 finishes, while the other two finished in the top 15 when the final team standings were announced following the last day of competition on Sunday at the 2010 NCAA Rowing Championships at Lake Natoma in Gold River, Calif. Big Ten and Central Region Champion Wisconsin finished seventh overall with 55 points, while Michigan State was ninth with 51 points. Michigan was 11th with 43 points and Ohio State was 14th overall with 22 points. Virginia won the team championship with 87 points, followed by Cal (82) and Princeton (76).
[FIVE // big ten on track]
During the final day of competition at the 2010 NCAA East and West Preliminary Rounds on Saturday, 30 Big Ten student-athletes and eight relay teams finished in the top 12 of their respective events to earn a spot at the NCAA Championships, which will be held June 9-12 in Eugene, Ore. A complete list of those who qualified during Saturday's competition can be found by clicking here. The complete list of NCAA Championships qualifiers will be available on Wednesday.
[SIX // men’s tennis closes out season]
This past week six men’s tennis players took part in the NCAA Singles Championship while four doubles pairs made the NCAA Doubles Championships field. On Wednesday, four of the six standouts advanced, while Ohio State’s Chase Buchanan was the lone singles player to make it past Thursday. Also on Thursday, three of the four doubles pairs captured victories, but all three tandems, including OSU’s Buchanan, suffered defeats on Friday to conclude the Big Ten men’s tennis season.
[SEVEN // women’s tennis finishes up as well]
On the women’s side, three Big Ten singles student-athletes competed in the 64-woman NCAA Singles Championships this week, while a trio of conference doubles teams took part in the 32-team NCAA Doubles Championships field. In the opening round of singles play Wednesday, Northwestern’s No. 13 Maria Mosolova and No. 41 Samantha Murray advanced while Michigan’s No. 19 Denise Muresan fell in straight sets. Mosolova captured a win and advanced on Thursday, but all three doubles pairs suffered setbacks on the court. The women’s tennis season officially concluded Friday, when Mosolova dropped a 6-3, 7-6(8) decision to California’s Jana Juricova.
[EIGHT // wildcats wild again]
Congratulations to the Northwestern women’s lacrosse team, which once again found itself vying for the NCAA Championship this Memorial Day weekend. With a 15-10 victory over North Carolina in the semifinals, Northwestern continued to solidify its place in history as the win was the 23rd-consecutive in NCAA action. The Wildcats, however, dropped a 13-11 heartbreaker to No. 1 Maryland on Sunday to finish as the 2010 NCAA runner-up. The second-ranked Wildcats finished the campaign 20-2 and dropped their 12-year NCAA record to 25-7, which is still an NCAA all-time best winning percentage of .781.
[NINE // conference’s finest of football earn hall of fame nod]
The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced on Thursday the 2010 College Football Hall of Fame Class with three members of this year's class tied to Big Ten universities. Former Purdue quarterback Mark Herrmann, former Michigan wide receiver Desmond Howard and former Wisconsin coach and current Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez will be inducted at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2010, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and will officially be enshrined in 2011.
[TEN // yet another hoops challenge]
The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten Conference announced on Monday the pairings for the annual ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge, which is in its fourth year of what began as a four-year agreement and has been extended until 2012. The 2010 Challenge will take on a two-day format again this year and is slated to open on Wednesday, Dec. 1, as Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota host ACC opponents, and Michigan State and Northwestern go on the road for their Challenge contests. On Thursday, Dec. 2, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin will host Challenge games, while Indiana, Iowa and Penn State will be on the road. The ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge matches 11 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition traditionally on the first Wednesday and Thursday after Thanksgiving, following the ACC/Big Ten Men’s Basketball Challenge.
[ELEVEN // writing for reed]
Finally this week, University of Michigan recent graduate Courtney Ratkowiak was named Friday as this year’s recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of former Big Ten Commissioner William R. Reed who served the conference for more than 20 years. The conference annually honors the former commissioner by presenting this award to a student journalist from one of the 11 Big Ten campuses who, through his or her writing during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of William R. Reed. A 2010 graduate of the Ross School of Business, Ratkowiak was a two-year football beat writer for the Michigan Daily. Since January, Ratkowiak has been a freelance reporter for MGoBlue.com, Sports Illustrated.com and ESPNBoston.com.