December 2012 Archives

Women's Lacrosse Coaches Blog: There's No Place Like Home

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Ulehla Christmas tree

Happy Holidays everyone!

Right now I am with my family in Los Angeles, California, having a wonderful time. The verse below from "Home for the Holidays" sums up this time of year for me ...

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays,
'Cause no matter how far away you roam -
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays - you can't beat home, sweet home!

Wishing you all a memorable New Year's Eve -- be safe. I'll see you next year!

Coach Ulehla

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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This past weekend, our team played well in a neutral-site test vs. West Virginia. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn served as a great venue for us to compete in. We cannot thank the fans enough that showed up and were extremely vocal, rooting us on to a victory.

West Virginia is a good team and will compete every night in their new conference, the Big 12. Their team physicality and toughness forced us in our preparation to concentrate on winning the battles within the game, such as 50/50 balls, deflections and rebounds. Winning the rebounding battle 32-29 showed that our guys matched their toughness and brought the type of competitiveness to the table that will help us in Big Ten Conference play.

Our backcourt was tremendous in Brooklyn. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. certainly performed at a high level. Each player is seeing the game better this season, and each player is drawing worthy attention from our opponents each time we take the floor.

Final exams concluded on Thursday here at the University of Michigan. We are pleased with how our student-athletes are executing in the classroom and on the court.

Last night, our team performed well in front of a great crowd in Crisler Center against Eastern Michigan.

The balanced scoring and the 26 team assists that we compiled showed that our players executed the game plan vs. Eastern Michigan's 2-3 zone well. The 10 steals that we grabbed showed that the activity level on defense was high also.

Eastern Michigan challenges teams because the 2-3 zone greatly impacts the tempo of the game. Our staff thought that we combated this well by trying to beat the zone down the floor in transition.

This is a great time of year, and we certainly are happy to be 12-0. We are happy, but we are not satisfied. This team must maintain its humility and its hunger to learn from each outing.

Right now, our job is to continue to prepare diligently and to enjoy the holiday break with family and friends.

Happy Holidays and Go Blue!

-John

The holidays have arrived and everyone at Michigan has caught the holiday spirit bug. Campus has an added feeling of joyfulness outside of its usual warmth and happiness. Lights are strung generously throughout U-M's campus and Ann Arbor, casting a warm glow that envelops you while you walk along the busy streets of downtown. And people gather for celebrations of each other and life while sharing an optimistic anticipation for the New Year.

It's a great time of the year and a special time at Michigan.

Santa

This week we had our annual Michigan Athletic Department holiday party. It's a really fun event for all of the Athletic Department team members and their families and serves as a great way to celebrate the season with our own Michigan family. With the Big House as the host venue, you can't ask for a better back drop - it's always special to be up in the Jack Roth Club overlooking the majestic Michigan football field!

At this year's party, we had the opportunity to take special holiday themed photos on the "M" of the football field to remember the night, two of Santa's reindeer greeted us at the door (yes, live reindeer!), a photo booth inside captured some of the joyous moments of the night (keep an eye out for our Michigan women's lacrosse holiday card on Facebook!) and of course some energetic dancing capped off the evening just right. While a special appearance by Santa himself was a big hit for the kids, they also enjoyed the holiday face-painting and perhaps the biggest highlight of their night was the chocolate desert fountain (well, okay it was a big hit for us adults too!) What kid (or big kid like us) wouldn't want their favorite deserts smothered in chocolate?!

But while the heart of the holidays involves celebration and merriment, it also embraces the spirit of giving and benevolence and I am thrilled that Michigan Athletics recently announced a partnership with the Special Olympics. Service and charity is certainly something we focus on at U-M all year long, but this new relationship with the Special Olympics is a timely commitment to the spirit of giving. I'm looking forward to working with aspiring young athletes and getting involved with all of the wonderful events that come from this partnership. First up ... the "WOW!" experience of the Polar Plunge! (I think for this event I might just cheer on those very brave jumpers from the sidelines!)

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, cheer, laughter and love and I wish you and yours a very happy New Year. See you in 2013!

Coach Valore

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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The 2012 fall semester here at the University of Michigan has flown by. It is amazing that the last day of classes is today and final exams begin on Thursday.

When our players reported to school in September, we explained to them that the semester seems long but it flies by because of how packed their schedules are with academics and athletics. Since the season began, it seems as if the each week passes even quicker, especially when we play multiple games.

The game this past Saturday against Arkansas was a good game for us. We respect Arkansas and knew that they would challenge us in a number of ways.

Our staff was pleased with how our team stuck together during the course of Saturday's game. Unity is one of our five core values, and our staff felt we showed great unity, especially when Arkansas cut our lead to one point during the second half.

Our execution down the stretch allowed us to secure the 80-67 victory in front of our home crowd. The balanced scoring and positive contributions from our bench stood out as points to be proud of.

What is nice about going to practice every day with this team is their commitment to improving. We are still motivated every day in practice because we desire to put together 40 minutes of Michigan Basketball.

Today, we take the court again to battle Binghamton at 7 p.m. There is no place like home, and we look forward to seeing all our fans this evening in Crisler Center.

We want to wish all Michigan students the best of luck on their final exams. We always tell our players to "Play Hard and Play Smart," so I encourage all of our students to "Study Hard and Study Smart."

Go Blue!

-John

Inside Michigan: Beilein Weekly

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This past weekend we traveled to Peoria, Illinois, to face Bradley for our first official away game of the season. We were all eager to see how the team would perform under the pressures of an opponent's court.

Nik Stauskas and Glen Robinson III were key contributors to our win with 35 points between the two of them. Bradley's toughness helped them with a late run, but we were able to hold them off with our execution and free throw shooting down to the stretch.

It is always special in college basketball when a student-athlete gets to play in his hometown. Max Bielfeldt received that opportunity with our game in Peoria. His teammates and our staff were thrilled with Max's play last Saturday. With his family and many childhood friends watching from the stands, Max's activity on the court and on the glass in particular helped us tremendously.

Last night, we battled the Western Michigan Broncos in Crisler Center. With steady effort and execution, we were able to improve our overall record to 8-0.

Our point guard, Trey Burke, had a very solid performance last night. Our staff felt that he set the tone with his playmaking ability. He finished with 20 points, 7 assists, and 0 turnovers.

Our focus now shifts to Arkansas, which visits Ann Arbor on Saturday. We went down to Fayetteville last year and played a very entertaining, hard-fought game vs. the Razorbacks. We will take the next few days to prepare for Arkansas, which plays an up-tempo style with their very talented players.

We can't wait to see a packed and loud Crisler Center on Saturday at noon for tipoff.

Go Blue!

-John

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