Michigan, ranked seventh in the country, is now one of the eight teams that performed at the caliber that allowed them to advance from their regional competitions to compete on the biggest stage. The Wolverines are ready. And they know it.
“I think it’s a mentality thing,” Shane said. “I think I stay busy in my mind, even though I may not be running around. I always try to stay connected with our offense. You might see me doing some sprints as (the offensive players) score. But that’s only for me – I kind of get energized by them scoring and us having these great opportunities. I think that’s how we stay in the zone as a defensive unit.”
Saturday, Michigan blanked Rutgers (9-9, 1-7), 5-0, with dominant play from doubles pairs No. 1, seniors Kate Fahey and Brienne Minor, and No. 2, junior Giulia Pairone and freshman Anca Craciun, who have acted as doubles-point closers throughout the season. Along with strong doubles play were convincing singles victories from Fahey, Minor and sophomore Alyvia Jones to clinch the win.
Right off the bat, the two became immensely close. Like, finishing-each-other’s-sentences close, so it’s no surprise that McLean and Karas spent all of their time together trying to figure out the game called life. There were times when they would miss the bus and chase after it so they wouldn’t be late to practice, or would miss dinner and would eat dry cereal on McLean’s dorm room floor.
The packed arena, reduced to standing-room-only during the doubles matches, erupted into applause as the final serve came from Ohio State. All eyes were on the No. 2 doubles pair Giulia Pairone and Anca Craciun as they delivered the emphatic slam that secured the doubles point for Michigan.
With the help of Cullinan’s goal — in addition to goals from senior Adriana Pendino, freshman Erin Garvey, juniors Catherine Granito, Molly Garrett, Lilly Grass and Nadine Stewart and hat tricks from sophomores Erin Daly and Maggie Kane — Michigan topped Niagara (3-6), 16-5.
In observance of Women’s History Month, The Daily’s sports section is launching its second annual series aimed at telling the stories of female athletes, coaches and teams at the University from the perspective of the female sports writers on staff. We continue the series with this story from Shira Zisholtz.