Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Softball Checks in at Evansville Tourney

Shelby Long
By Shelby Long - Softball
Feb. 28, 2012

With our games this past weekend we ended up going 1-3 with our first win of the season. Karyn McCarty had the first Titans home run for the year followed shortly by Sara Cupp’s two run homer to get us back in the game against Evansville. We fought hard against Evansville both times we played them and in the second round came out with a “W”. Winning the game 4-3, it was a full team effort. Julia Maksym got her first win of the year, throwing a scattered seven-hitter. We also turned our first double play against Evansville in the sixth inning. A couple of us even collected our first hits of the season. I hit a double knocking in two runs and Alyssa Gietl had a single knocking in one run. Renee Zaccagni’s go-ahead hit in the top of the 7th pushed us ahead of the Purple Aces by one where we held them in the bottom of the 7th.

The English accents are still in full effect as well as our constant quoting of the movies, “A League of Their Own” and “Anchorman”. The 8 hour bus rides gave us the opportunity to watch movies that we have seen many times and quote them together. We even got to watch my all-time favorite baseball movie, “The Sandlot”.

Getting to play the Butler Bulldogs was a good experience. Even though it did not turn out in our favor, we now have more scouting on their new players as well as their returners and can better face them when it comes to Horizon League games. The weather was chilly, but a lot better than the last games in South Carolina. These games are doing well to prepare us for the Florida games and the soon to come first home games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MAC Bites - #4

Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his fourth blog.

Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #4

Building, building, building…we’re constantly building. We build off each week and every game. There’s as much to take from a loss, as there is to take from a win. Last Saturday was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the weather was just right as we went up against UNC. We started off well, but slowly they began to take over. We cycled through a lot of players and saw some good things from the younger kids. We used the experience to tie up some lose ends on defense and find the proper personnel.

Moving forward, we have Mercer on Saturday, which will be quite the drive, about 15 hours or so. We still haven’t forgotten what it was like to be a young struggling program and we will not take that for granted or over look it. We’ve been preparing well and are very excited for the next few road games coming up.

Monday’s practice went well, finishing up with our favorite drill, basketball. In basketball, the nets are brought up to the restraining lines in which the team is divided in half and we play out a fast paced three on two. The player who takes the shot must exit the drill allowing the next team a one-man advantage. After each shot it’s a quick break to the other net allowing anyone from D-Mid’s to Long Poles to score. Once the ball hits the turf the play is dead and the opposite team goes on offense. The drill’s fast pace allows for quick decision-making, good hands in tight, and calm under immediate pressure.

Tuesday followed up strong as well, where players received a bit more input in the practice plan. We went hard for two hours getting a lot accomplished. Each practice has been followed by a tough full body workout and conditioning session on Tuesdays.

We are ready for our scout and anxious to get on the bus. We know we have made improvements and are ready to progress and only move forward from here on out.

Friday, February 17, 2012

For Detroit Softball in South Carolina... I'm Ron Burgundy

Alyssa Gietl
By Alyssa Gietl - Softball
Feb. 17, 2012

This past weekend the Detroit Titan Softball team traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina to start out our season. Even though we did not get the outcome we had hoped for, we still had many positive events that came out of the weekend. This weekend was a weekend of many firsts for our Titan squad. Sophomore Hannah Klenk got the first hit of the season along with three other freshmen who also got their first base hits of the season: Dani Holmes, Alyssa Schaub, and Sam Henderson. Freshman Kat Hoffman got her first opportunity to pitch at the collegiate level for the Titans and freshman Vanessa Garcia led the team with a batting average over .500 and was named to the USC Upstate All- Tournament team.

Our team also had the opportunity to bond together on our 13 hour bus trip. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was probably the favored movie amongst our team and was even quoted during warm-ups and during the game. Most players knew it so well that they could quote the entire movie. On the way back some of the team decided it would be fun to talk in British accents. While we were talking in our British accents Kelsey Hylen told us all about Nebraska, and some of the interesting places to visit if we are ever in the area.

This season the Titans have 10 returners and have added nine newcomers. It was nice to finally put our cleats on and play outside on the dirt. We were disappointed that weather was not going to cooperate with us for our fourth game. An NCAA rule will not let us play if it is below 32 degrees outside and before the start of our game it was 22 degrees. We are looking forward to our next set of games, which are a week from this Saturday in Evansville, Indiana. We even get the opportunity to play our conference rivals, the Butler Bulldogs in a non-conference match-up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Cardio for a Cause"

It's almost time! The 2012 version of "Cardio for a Cause" will kick off at 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning.

The stage has been set
The start time is scheduled so that the 36-hour ending point coincides with halftime of the 2:00 p.m. men's basketball game on Sat. Feb. 18. The Sears BracketBuster game will pit the Titans against James Madison. The majority of riding will take place in the Larry Bleach Weight Room in the second floor of Calihan Hall with the final three hours of riding set to take place on Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall.

Student-athletes, staff, coaches and faculty will all raise money by seeking sponsors for their 10-minute ride with a portion of the proceeds set to go to the American Cancer Society. The event will also support Detroit Titan Athletics and the Strength and Conditioning department.

Keep checking back for videos, blogs and updates throughout the event!

We're underway! It's 3am and we're in Calihan Hall kicking off the 2012 version of "Cardio for a Cause!"

Our first rider was Julia Fernandes.

Julia Fernandes - 3:00 a.m.
Given the time I got here, 20 minutes felt insignificant. With a little joking around with track runner Derek Baker, biking a couple miles at 3am was fun. It's great to kick off a cause that involves all of our athletes here. The sense of community that Calihan holds makes it all the more special to parttake in something I'm sure all of our athletes here are passionate about. Hope the other athletes will get some smiles out of their rides!

Beka Dornbos - 5:40 a.m.
Although it's before 6 o'clock in the morning, Mary Leone and I made our way over to Calihan Hall to ride the bike for a cause. In ten minute increments we are helping our school build together as a community and put something towards a good cause.

Oliver Walther - 6:10 a.m.
What are ten minutes in the big spectrum of it all and when helping a great cause?! Riding the bike this early was a great way to start a very eventful day. I am glad that I could support "Cardio for a Cause" and I am proud of the program to show its support and help others. Keep on riding the bike! #GoTitans

Alyssia Recchia - 6:20 a.m.
Waking up early to support a great cause was almost a no-brainer.  It's amazing to see all the people who signed up to help and who are following through with their goals to ride the bike for 10 minutes in order to help those in need.  This is a fantastic way to get all of the UDM athletes and students involved with the community. #GoTitans

Jillian Terry - 6:30 a.m.
Arriving only 30 seconds before my roommate (Alyssia Recchia) and I were suppose to bike, the adrenaline was definitely pumping. The ten minutes felt like a breeze. I'm glad that I could contribute to such a good cause, and is nice to see all of UDM's athletic teams, staff, and students come together to support the community. #GoTitans

Katelynn Hutnick - 6:40 a.m.
I think Cardio for a Cause is a great way to get student athletes involved and doing something all together to help raise funds for cancer.  It felt good knowing that because I am doing something so simple and small that I will impact someones life in a big way.  I am glad to say that I could participate in this.

Rebecca Mallender - 9:10 a.m.
Waking up a little earlier than usual was an easy decision to make, as I knew the extra ten minutes was supporting Cardio for a Cause. Cardio for a Cause is a great way to keep the student athletes here at UDM involved and active in charity, as well as a great way to give back to the community with my golf teammates. Go Titans!!

Daniel Morris - 10:10 a.m.
I have relatives that have had lung cancer, and relatives that have been taken by cancer. It feels extraordinary to be doing something to help them fight their illness and honor the memory of those that have lost the battle.  Cardio for a Cause is a great way to help show that you care.  It only takes 10 minutes of your time, and it goes by very fast.  It was 110 % worth my time and I'm glad I could participate.

Nathan Steinwascher - 10:20 a.m.
I think this is a great and easy way for all of us athletes to be involved in a charity event. I have also had relatives and many people I know with not only lung cancer, but all types of cancer. I feel great about helping out in this event, especially that it only took a quick 10 minutes out of my time, and I think many more people should continue to get involved in this event in the future.

Adam Bedell of men's soccer
Adam Bedell of the men's soccer team just after 11:00 a.m. We are past the first eight hours and 28 left to go! Did you see the LIVE WEBSTREAM of the event?? Barring technical difficulties, the camera will be running throughout the entire event so check in and see who is riding. You can also check it on your mobile device so check on your friends and favorite Titan athletes throughout the event.

Lindsey Lammers - 12:10 pm
This is my second year participating in Cardio for a Cause and I think it's a great event that allows the whole Titan Athletic community to get involved for a good cause. Hopping on the bike for 10 minutes is an easy way for us athletes to give back, and help make a difference. Being a Titan is all about the red, white and blue attitude through & through and I can't wait to help out again next year. GO TITANS!

Rachel Copple- 1:00 pm
I think this is a great opportunity for all of the Titan athletes and the Athletic staff to come together. It is a great opportunity for the entire Titan community to come together and raise money for a good cause, as well as our athletic program. I have several relatives that have battled cancer, and it feels great to contribute my time to help others who are battling cancer.I have participated in this event for three years now, and I hope to come back after I have graduated to participate.

VIDEO: We will have a couple videos to post throughout the next 24 hours that remain. Susan Kalkstein of the women's track and field team relays the bike to Chanahl Putnam of the women's basketball team.

We have video of our men's basketball head coach Ray McCallum who puts in a little "Cardio for a Cause." Women's basketball head coach Autumn Rademacher is scheduled to ride Saturday when the riding is done courtside on Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall.

Jesus Ginez (Mens Soccer) 6:50-7:10pm
This is my first year participating in the Cardio for a Cause event and I am really excited to take part in it. After chicken nugget day at TDR this is a great opportunity for me to burn off those extra calories. I arrived ten minutes early to support my teamate Joey K and I will be riding an extra ten minutes to fill in for my other teamate Patrick Soltys. Regardless this is a great event for a great cause that allows the athletes here at UDM to participate and contribute.

Abbey Troy and Victoria Sollestre (Women's Soccer) 8:38pm
So it's a beautiful Friday night in Detroit and Abbey Troy and I are experiencing our first Cardio for a Cause. The experience has been super rewarding to say the least. In total, all of the UDM athletes, faculty, and staff will bike about the distance from here to New Orleans. Being able to take part in such an experience has been rewarding for the both of us to help out with cancer research. Much love to everyone who has participated or will be participating. Peace and blessings.

What do you normally do between the hours of 10pm and 1am on a Friday night, members of the women's lacrosse team took over the weight room. What happened was... well the video will tell the story.

Alyssa Riley and Alyssa Lotito (Womens Soccer) 1:21am
It's now Saturday morning and snowing... Not impressed. Bonding with the team is always a good experience cause they is funny and stuff. Burning Calories, yet gaining a million more from all the food we're eating is fun. I'm really excited to be doing this and i think everyone should get the chance to bike sometimes.

The countdown is on! We are approaching 3pm and have moved the bike courtside. James Madison will take on the Detroit Titans at 2pm with 3pm to come as the game approaches halftime. Breanne Meyer of the cheer team was the first rider outside of the weight room.

Breanne Meyer from the cheerleading squad was the first rider courtside on Dick Vitale Court
Breanne Meyer - Cheerleading - 11:40 am
I'm a sophomore Cheerleader and this is my first time participating in Cardio For a Cause. It is a great experience to be raising money for such a great thing. Being the first rider outside of the weight room was a experience and I got to watch some of the local middle school basketball teams play.

Rachel Hofsess - Women's Cross Country - 11:50 am
This is my first time participating in Cardio For a Cause. I believe this is a great opportunity to bring all of our athletic teams together to support a great cause. Having the bike downstairs on the court during the basketball game is a great way to get publicity and grab a few donations for the event. I enjoyed breaking the seat of the bike, Eli (Holman the next rider) I'm sure will have a great time biking with the seat on the lowest setting.

Katie Weishaar - Women's Cross Country/Track - 12:45 pm
I'm a junior at UDM and this is my third time participating in Cardio for a Cause. I've signed up every year with my teammates. We had fun dancing and singing with the music playing on the court.

Brie Wilcox - Women's Basketball - 1:30 pm
Being a part of Cardio for a Cause, is an amazing opportunity, riding to raise cancer awareness. Along with my other teammates, I believe riding the bike for ten minutes is a small contribution we can make to support the cause. Being courtside the men's basketball game creates a great atmosphere allowing the fans the opportunity to see the dedication of the many student athletes.

1:45 pm - It's almost game time and the seniors from the men's basketball team were just honored. We're set to finish riding at 3pm so there are only a few riders left. Our last rider of the day is scheduled to be none other then the President of the University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Antoine Garibaldi.

Autumn Rademacher with Tom Ledyen
Associate V.P. & Athletic Director Keri Gaither took her turn supporting the cause. We have had Tom Leyden from Channel 7, head coach of the women's basketball team Autumn Rademacher and Yar Shayok of the women's basketball team all ride in preparation for the final rider of the 36-hour marathon. Leyden and Rademacher took time to pose for a picture during the men's game. LaMarcus Lowe and Doug Anderson have thrown down a couple of nasty slams early for the Titans!

President Garibaldi was the final rider of the day
The final rider is on! We're in the final 10 minutes after 35 hours and 50 minutes of continuous riding, President Garibaldi is about to close the book on a couple of long days for the folks in Titan Strength and Conditioning and early nights for Titan student-athletes. Money was raised to benefit and create awareness for the American Cancer Society and its causes while money also benefited Detroit Titan athletics.

A big thank you to all of the riders in this year's event. Without the help of the student athletes, staff, faculty and everyone who participated, this event cannot happen. We'll continue to grow the event and try to raise even more money to support the cause.

Go Titans!

MAC Bites - #3

Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his third blog.

Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #3

Sunday’s game was quite the experience. A lot of hard work behind the scenes was put into it and I would like to thank coach Kolon for his contributions. It was quite the turn around after a tough loss to Ohio State, having to play one of the most hyped games of our season two days later.

The first Division I game of our program’s career was extremely nerve racking and to play the “rival” team in your state adds to it tenfold. We appeared a bit sluggish at first coming off a tough week and really were not clicking, but began to pick it up as the game progressed. We began to take over scoring throughout the second half. It was the biggest crowd we’ve played in front of yet, announced as a sell out with 1,800 fans in the building.

Most of us got the chills as we waited and listened to the start of our warm up as the smoke rolled in, which was quite the experience and I recommend all teams try it at least once. We continue however to search for an identity on offense trying new players in different spots and continuously working on both our man up and man down.

Defensively, we are focusing this week on playing sound team defense as one unit. Our slides must improve as well as our positioning. Saturday begins our five-week road trip starting with 4th ranked University of North Carolina and ending with our first conference game in Buffalo, NY, vs. Canisius.

We were off on Monday, but were right back it on Tuesday and had a promising practice today as we finish up the week at our practice facility. Today pitted the offense against the defense, where we battled for points at the end of the practice. For each goal, the offense received one point as each successful clear provided the defense one as well. Healthy competition seems to bring out the best in our players and everyone left the field feeling good. Our scout meeting has been moved to Thursday evening where we will meet and receive any last minute adjustments to prepare for UNC. It is much nicer playing one game a week and not having to cram and switch gears to adjust for different teams.

Friday we will be leaving in the morning and it will be a pretty significant ride. I always enjoyed the bus rides though, and considering I’m a senior, I won’t have many more. The bus rides seem to help bring the team closer and on this trip we’ll have plenty of time for that. You can feel the excitement at practice as everyone waits for their shot against one of the top 10 teams in the country. “If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best”, which is exactly what we will try to do come Saturday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fencer Johnson Spent Her Winter Break Helping Others

Freshman Jill Johnson of the women's fencing team spent part of her winter break in Tuscaloosa, AL as part of the University of Detroit Mercy's University Ministry Alternative Winter Break (AWB) Program. From Jan. 1-8, Johnson was with eight individuals, including six students, who helped provide tornado relief over the break. Johnson was able to recap her time in Alabama and shared it with the Detroit Titans Blog. For more information, including the background story on the Alternative Winter Break Program at Detroit, read the ORIGINAL STORY from DetroitTitans.com.

Jan. 1, 2012

Day 1:

Johnson (right) helping out
Our flight departed from Detroit at approximately 12:20 p.m. and we arrived, after a flight assisted by an incredibly unusual flight attendant, at approximately 2:10 p.m. Eastern time. The time is an hour behind here so I had to stay up an entire hour longer! We went directly from the airport to an AMAZING barbecue restaurant in Birmingham called Jim ‘N Nick’s Barbeque.  I have never experienced a barbecue meal like this one! The sweet tea was incredible not to mention the cheesy cornbread muffins to start off the large meal. After we ate lunch we departed from Birmingham and travelled directly through Tuscaloosa to find our destination. Camp Coker was a pleasant surprise. We were greeted at the housing facility by Virginia, her husband, their daughter Greta, and Josh. Josh will be our leader throughout this entire trip and will be our guide as we work in the city. The facilities are AMAZING! Three wonderful rooms full of bunk beds and a huge storage room that is used as a housing place for water and any type of tool or equipment used to build a house imaginable.  The kitchen was already fully stocked with tons of food and ingredients, making the Wal-Mart trip for our group ten times easier. Tomorrow we are heading off to help move debris from an elderly man’s lawn that has remained a part of his property since the tornado hit.  I am incredibly excited for tomorrow yet am terribly exhausted by this busy day. Can’t wait to see what Tuscaloosa has to offer. P.S… THE CITY IS GORGEOUS!!!! It is truly a perfect, college football town. The people are so friendly and nice. I could get used to this kind of treatment by strangers as well as friends.

A team project
Johnson taking care of business

Day 2-6:
We have met a ton of people from all around the city of Tuscaloosa. We followed the path of the tornado and met a group of people from each different neighborhood. It was super interesting learning about the different experiences through the same catastrophe. We also met the city planner and the mayor. I am so inspired by the strength of the mayor through this period in the city. His city has been torn from its roots and he has worked relentlessly to put it back together in a better way than before. He and the city planner have made intricate plans to build the city back into a more eco-friendly and economically efficient way to improve the city from what it used to be. I think that as a whole, the leading people in Tuscaloosa have taken this disaster and come back from it stronger and are now ready for anything. Over this week we have worked on a single house for a woman named Ms. Mack. She has visited the work site and it has been truly an honor to meet the woman for whom we are working so hard. We came to this work site with literally the concrete blocks laid on the floor and we are leaving with the rafters being prepared to be put up. We worked to lay the interior and exterior framework on the house and sheathed the entire house as well. I have loved serving the people of Tuscaloosa and Ms. Mack. They have been so grateful when in reality we are the ones that should be saying thank you. They are truly such an inspiration. They have returned from the ashes and have learned to become stronger.  I have felt like I should be saying thank you to the city of Tuscaloosa for this amazing experience. This trip has helped me to see that there is a purpose for me in this world and that I can help others in a meaningful way.

The group

Day 7:
Well we are leaving today. I am sad that I cannot stay for longer. This is the first trip, including vacation, where I have not wanted to go home at all. I have enjoyed every minute of this experience and know for a fact that I will be attending many more service trips to come. I have learned how to serve others and feel that I can take this feeling of service to the city of Detroit. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MAC Bites - #2

Senior captain Jason McDonald will part of a number of collegiate laxers to blog all season for LacrossePlayground.com. Here is his second blog.
Jason McDonald - Sr. - #33 - Defense

Lacrosse Blog #2

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you decide to get back up” - Vince Lombardi

I believe the true test of a great team is how they respond to adversity. It is not until the chips are down and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel, do you see the true colors of a team come out. Obviously last Saturday was a bit of a setback when considering the end result. We had an exciting first half entering the locker room tied at 4-4, but found ourselves up against a wall for the third quarter and ultimately the rest of the game. Unfortunately like in life, it did not end in our favor, but we as a team must move forward. Congratulations to Delaware’s Head Coach Shillinglaw on the 300th win of his career.

Moving forward, we came back on Monday and had a great practice. We all met like usual and waited for the vans to arrive to take us to our indoor practice facility in Pontiac, where we will practice for the remainder of the week. Practice began with the dynamic warm up and then we got right into tight spaces ground balls. The intensity lacked a bit at first due to shaking off all of the traveling this weekend, but quickly picked up as the day went on.

Overall after today’s performance and talking to most of my teammates we are all excited and ready for the short week ahead. We take the field Thursday at Ohio State, who we fought a hard defensive battle with last season. Every year though comes with new challenges as personnel and schemes change, so a continuously changing game plan must be refined and polished as we implement it throughout the rest of the week. We changed some schemes defensively today, which we will continue to adjust and work on and come Thursday, we will be more than ready to execute.

As I mentioned earlier, the week is short so the learning curve and scout must be adjusted as well. We will implement the scout team by Tuesday and go over any adjustments in our meetings that night. We will leave Wednesday night around 7 p.m., for Columbus, where we will spend the night and prepare in the hotel for the showdown the following evening. Things will start to get interesting immediately following the game due to another scheduled match up with a team not needing of mentioning on Sunday in which yet another scout and game plan must be created. It will be quite an exciting few days leading up to next week after which, we embark on a five-week bender on the road coming into conference play.

We’ve approached this season one game at a time and will continue to do so. We’ve learned from our mistakes and improved on what we do best. Thursday is shaping up to be quite an exiting game and we are ready to win.