Angela Cesere
Michigan finished a disappointing eighth at NCAA regionals this year. Without a the automatic bid, the Wolverines failed to qualify for nationals. (FILE PHOTO)

Summary: First-year coach Nancy Cox started off with three-straight losses, but the team won 10 of its final 12 games. In the end, Cox had a tremendously successful rookie season, coaching Michigan to a Big Ten Championship. Senior defenseman Lori Hillman controlled the middle of the field, and junior goalie Beth Riley anchored a strong defensive group. Freshman forward Erin Dallas led the team with 31 points

Biggest win: No. 6 Penn State (2-1): In the second round of the Big Ten Championship, Michigan upset the top-seeded Nittany Lions to advance in its quest for the title.

Biggest loss: No. 3 Old Dominion (3-2): The loss to No. 3 Old Dominion in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament ended the Wolverines’ season.

Team MVP: Senior defenseman Lori Hillman.

Grade: A-



Summary: The Wolverines never missed a beat this fall season. After opening the season with a win at the Great Meadows Invitational, the Michigan women’s cross country team went on to dominate its next seven races, eventually winning a second consecutive Big Ten title. During the postseason, the Wolverines claimed the NCAA Regionals in dominating fashion. But when it came time for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Michigan came up short, finishing in sixth place, just like the year before.

Biggest Place: NCAA Regionals (First place): Led by sophomore Alyson Kohlmeier, who finished fourth, Michigan won the Regionals for the second consecutive year.

Biggest Loss: NCAA Championships (Sixth place): Although the Wolverines ran well, the sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., was the only time the team failed to win a race this year.

Team MVP: Sophomore Alyson Kohlmeier

Grade: A



Summary: Coming into the season, expectations were high for the men’s soccer team, which featured a top-15 recruiting class. Winning six of its first eight games, Michigan initially looked like a young team eager to prove itself as a contender. But this streak of victories in the first half of the season turned out to be a tease. The Wolverines ended their season with a loss to Michigan State in the first round of the Big Ten Championships held in Evanston.

Biggest win: Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2-1, 2OT): On Oct. 20, the Wolverines kept with the 25th-ranked Panthers and tied the game 1-1 in the 82nd minute. In the second sudden-death overtime, forward Trai Blanks hit the game-winner, and Michigan prevailed with the upset.

Biggest loss: Michigan State (1-0): The loss to the intra-state rival Spartans in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament ended the Michigan season

Team MVP: Senior goalkeeper Peter Dzubay

Grade: C



Summary: Michigan earned a team title at the Wolverine Invitational, but the season ended on a disappointing note with consecutive 11th-place showings at the Tyson/Embassy Suites Invitational and The Landfall Tradition.

Best Finish: Wolverine Invitational: Michigan captured the team title at its home tournament, placing five golfers in the top-16.

Biggest Loss: The Landfall Tradition: In a field made up of many of the top teams in America, the Wolverines placed one golfer in the top-20.

Team MVP: Amy Schmucker

Grade: C



Summary: The volleyball team entered this season with hopes of going further in the NCAA Tournament than any volleyball team in Michigan history. But after losing eight out of 10 in the heart of the conference season and four straight to end the year, the Wolverines’ season ended without an NCAA Tournament bid.

Biggest win: No. 7 Wisconsin (3-2): The high point of the season occurred Oct. 22 at Cliff Keen Arena when Michigan upset the No. 7 Badgers 30-24, 18-30, 30-28, 25-30, 16-14. The only other time Michigan defeated a team ranked that high was when it defeated BYU in 1999.

Biggest loss: Northwestern (3-0): A day before the Wisconsin win, Northwestern swept Michigan at home (29-31, 27-30, 31-33).

Team MVP: Sophomore Stesha Selsky

Grade: C-



Summary: The men’s cross country team did not have a season to remember, but it was a season with growth. The Wolverines were forced to depend on young runners to step up and place well. Michigan finished fifth in the Big Ten and eighth in the Great Lakes Region, failing to qualify for the NCAA Championships as a team. Sophomore Mike Woods made nationals, where he finished 55th, 129 places better than last year. Expect a bright future for the underclassmen, who gained valuable experience this year.

Best finish: Pre-Nationals (Sixth place): The biggest triumph of the year for the Wolverines was in mid-October at the NCAA Pre-Nationals. They finished sixth in the 34-team field, placing four runners in the top-50. Seven Wolverine runners ran personal bests.

Worst finish: Regionals (Eighth place): With its eighth place finish, Michigan failed to automatically qualify for nationals, before it fell short of an at-large bid.

Team MVP: Sophomore Mike Woods

Grade: B-



Summary: The team tied the Michigan record for low round of 275 multiple times. Michigan also hoisted a team title trophy for the first time since the 2000-01 season. 

Best finish: Michigan Intercollegiate (First place): Michigan’s best tournament was its victory at the Wolverine Intercollegiate in September’s final weekend.  It was the Wolverines’ first team title since the 2000-01 season, and Vozza’s first-place finish was the first individual title since that season.

Worst finish: Memphis Intercollegiate (Ninth place): A week following the Michigan Intercollegiate, the Wolverines posted a disappointing ninth-place performance in a 15-team tournament.

Team MVPs: Christian Vozza and Brian Ottenweller

Grade: B-



Summary: Following defeats at the 2005 Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Championships, the team improved significantly at the 2005 Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships, claiming three doubles victories in the qualifying round. At the Big Ten Singles Championships, freshman Andrew Mazlin moved onto the semifinal round of the consolation bracket.

Best finish: Midwest Regionals: The classic saying that good things come in three’s played out at the 2005 Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships, where three of Michigan’s double teams snatched victories.

Biggest Loss: Big Ten Championships: Fifth-seeded junior Brian Hung lost to Ohio State’s 10th-ranked Dennis Mertens at the Big Ten Conference Singles Championship in the third round.

Team MVPs: Freshman Andrew Mazlin and junior Ryan Heller

Grade: B-



Summary: After a disappointing seventh place finish at Nationals last year, the rowing team came back this year with a young crew, a brand new training plan and a fresh attitude. Their performances this fall, although very preliminary, have proven that these women are capable competitors.

Best finish: Head of the Charles: The Wolverines had a successful trip to Boston, where the Varsity eight finished in seventh, and the Varsity four claimed ninth.

Worst loss: Notre Dame: Michigan State dominated a head race at Notre Dame, while the Michigan boats turned in a lackluster performance to end their fall season.

Grade: C



Summary: The season started off bright, as the Wolverines began the season by tying two top-25 teams and defeating Texas. But the campaign took a turn for the worst and a 3-6-1 record in the Big Ten left the team with a sub-.500 record. A miracle run during the Big Ten tournament was not enough to get the Wolverines over the .500 mark and into the NCAA Tournament.

Biggest Win: No. 1 Penn State (4-3): Michigan beat undefeated Penn State in the opening round of the Big Ten Championship with a 4-2 victory in a shootout after the teams battled to a 3-3 tie in regulation.

Biggest Loss: Wisconsin (3-1): Facing windy conditions, the Wolverines could not overcome the Badgers. The loss ended a spectacular run in the Big Ten tournament, which included the win over No. 1 Penn State, and crushed Michigan’s hope for an NCAA bid.

Team MVP: Sophomore forward Melissa Dobbyn

Grade: C-



Summary: The women’s tennis team started off the season strong with freshman Chisako Sugiyamo capturing the singles title at the Wolverine Invitational. That fast start could not be duplicated a week later at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in Los Angeles, as the doubles pairing of Kara Delicata and Nina Yaftali could not escape the first round. A bright spot for Michigan came in the ITA Midwest Regional with several doubles pairings advancing deep into the tournament.

Best Finish: Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Championships: Debra Streifler led the way for the Wolverines, advancing to the third round in the main singles draw.

Biggest Loss: Riviera/ITA All-American Championships: With their lone doubles team losing in the first round, the Wolverines were unable to impress on a national stage

Team MVP: Debra Streifler

Grade: D+

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