But in order to answer that question this season, the Wolverines will need a leader.
It’s clear what Michigan’s goals are. Ask any player on the team and they’ll say they want to win a Big Ten championship and an NCAA Tournament. “The hardest working team in America” is a common phrase to hear from any member of the program.
In every aspect of the recruiting process, Michigan excels, but its specialty lies in Barnes Arico’s East Coast roots, ability to win Midwest recruits over regional competitors and excellent coaching staff.
Last season, Akienreh Johnson dominated the floor, securing her spot as a starter for Michigan. As one of two seniors last year, the Wolverines counted on her to lead the team both on and off the court as the captain.
This year, the Wolverines will continue to rely on Johnson’s leadership and versatility on the court. To better understand Johnson’s best assets, The Daily breaks down some film:
Take one look at Alumni Field, the home of Michigan softball, and you’ll be reminded of the program’s success. Hanging directly behind the first base seats is a giant poster of the 2005 National Championship team holding their trophy.
Walk inside the Donald R. Shepherd Softball Center clubhouse and take a stroll up the stairs to the conference room. You’re immediately greeted with a life-sized painting of a past team with the famous quote from Bo Schembechler — “The team, the team, the team.”
In a weekend with little offensive production, the Michigan softball team looked toward its defense to hold games together, and scrape by with wins. For Michigan coach Carol Hutchins, it didn’t do the job.
“Defense is led by the pitching,” Hutchins said. “When the pitchers are on, it makes our defense a lot easier. But I think in general we had opportunities a lot of times for outs that we didn't make. Very passive and very tentative. Very unsure on the field.”
The party got started early at the No. 7 Michigan women’s gymnastics Spring Break Party meet against New Hampshire.
The Wolverines were coming off of a team-high score of 197.950 points at the Elevate the Stage meet last weekend. They also secured the Big Ten regular-season title with a 9-0 record in the conference — for the second year in a row. With its growing collection of banners, Michigan now has an even higher standard of competition than it did before.