Blogs > On Campus with ross maghielse

A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Clarkston grad Jenna Coates helps CMU volleyball turn in play of week nominee

When a spike glanced off the leg of Central Michigan libero Lisa Johnson in a recent match, right at the feet of freshman defensive specialist Jenna Coates, the Clarkston grad's reflexes took over, and she did what any recreational player would: She punted the ball over the net.

The play, from CMU's match over Bowling Green on Oct. 15, is a nominee for the American Volleyball Coaches' Association play of the week. To watch it, and vote, go here.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Milford's Schultz earns MAC Offensive POW honors in volleyball for CMU

Central Michigan junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Schultz was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week this week.

The Milford grad — two seasons removed from being the second Chippewa ever to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors — recorded a 22-kill, six-block weekend as the Chippewas swept a pair of MAC matches against Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio).

Schultz ranks second in kills (180) and first in blocks (62) for CMU (9-11, 3-5 MAC), ranking among the conference leaders in both hitting and blocking.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

The No. 13-ranked Michigan State Spartans (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) are looking to go to 7-0 for the first time since the national championship year in 1966 when they host Illinois for a homecoming game on Saturday. The Illini (3-2, 1-1) are coming off their first-ever win in Happy Valley last week, knocking off Penn State to turn down the hot seat for coach Ron Zook. Can they ruin Michigan State's homecoming and end the dream of a Rose Bowl appearance? Tune in 15 minutes before kickoff at 11:45 a.m. to find out my thoughts.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Showdown for state supremacy: live chat from MSU/U-M game

Join me for a live chat from Saturday's showdown for state supremacy, as No. 17 Michigan State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) visits No. 18 Michigan (5-0, 1-0), featuring the one-man gang, Denny (Denard Robinson) and his jets, against the ground green rushing attack of Edwin Baker, Le'Veon Bell and Larry Caper. If you don't want to listen to former Lions president/GM Matt Millen call the game on ABC, and aren't partisan enough to enjoy either radio broadcast — MSU's Jim Miller and George Blaha on WJR-AM (760), or U-M's Jim Brandstatter and Frank Beckmann on WOMC-FM (104.3) — then feel free to log on here for unbiased analysis. Or if you're a bit more partisan, and want to stop by with some trash talking, feel free to do that, as well.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WEEK FIVE ROUNDUP: Fisher moves into starting role at RT for CMU

The new Central Michigan coaching staff went into the season with the knowledge that it had seven starter-ready offensive linemen to man the five positions — four returning starters, and three more backups who were ready to contribute whenever needed.

Now, the Chippewas (2-3, 1-2 MAC) are down to just six. The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun is reporting that left tackle Jake Olson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury he suffered during the Eastern Michigan game. He's missed the last two losses, forcing starting right tackle Rocky Weaver to flip to the other end of the line, and pushing Stoney Creek sophomore Eric Fisher into the starting lineup in Weaver's old spot. It appears that reshuffling will be permanent.

Fisher appeared headed for a redshirt as a true freshman, but blew that chance when he was needed as an injury replacement for Olson last year. The 6-foot-7, 295-pound Fisher has played in every game but one this season.

It will be paramount for CMU to quickly figure out the pass protection schemes with the new alignment, if first-year starter Ryan Radcliff is going to survive, especially with the Chippewas going on the road to Virginia Tech this week. In last week's 31-17 loss to Ball State, the Cardinals — who'd had just three sacks in their first three games — had six sacks of Radcliff, including 4.5 by end Robert Eddins, who was the MAC West Defensive Player of the Week for the performance.

Radcliff still threw for 295 yards and two TDs — one each to tight end David Blackburn (7 catches, 89 yards) and wideout Cody Wilson (5-84), a Rochester Adams grad — keeping himself and Wilson among the MAC and NCAA leaders in at their respective positions.

It was the CMU defense, though, that may have let the Chippewas down in their first home loss and first loss to a MAC West team since 2008. The Cardinals racked up 306 yards on the ground against what had been a top-20 rush defense, doubling the total of yards the Chippewas had given up on the ground. Backup linebacker Mike Petrucci (Milford) had a career-high 10 tackles and a sack for CMU.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Siller's versatility may pay off for Purdue — it may have to

When Orchard Lake St. Mary's grad Justin Siller was reinstated to the Purdue football team last spring, the former quarterback was going to have to switch positions in order to contribute, considering the Boilermakers had Miami (Fla.) transfer Robert Marve tabbed as the next signalcaller to come through the 'Cradle of Quarterbacks.'

Siller did that willingly, joining what looked like a stacked wide receiver corps.

Four weeks into the season, and injuries may force the 6-foot-4, 223-pound Siller — who'd been flip-flopped from QB to RB and back to QB as a reshirt freshman, because of injuries — to have to change positions again.

Only question? Which position.

Marve is out after an MRI Monday revealed a torn ACL. One of his two backups, Caleb TerBush, fell victim to academics, leaving just redshirt freshman Rob Henry. The running back situation is no better, as last year's leading rusher, Ralph Bolden, tore an ACL in spring practice. At one point, the Boilermakers were down to just one healthy tailback, Dan Dierking.

Shoot, Purdue probably could use him still at the wideout position, which is without one of the Big Ten's best receivers, Keith Smith, who tore up both major ligaments in his knee two weeks ago.

"We can go further down the depth chart or go to an older player that's played some," Purdue coach Danny Hope was quoted by the West Lafayette Journal and Courier as saying about the quarterback position. "We might have to from a necessity standpoint."

Earlier this week, the Journal and Courier reported that Siller hadn't been approached about making a switch. It may just be a matter of time.

"If the coaches feel like me going to quarterback is the best thing for our team, then yes," Siller said. "Right now, I'm still focused on receiver. Rob Henry and (freshman) Sean Robinson are fully capable of leading the team."

UPDATE: Siller won't be contributing at any position anytime soon, according to Hope. On the Big Ten conference call on Tuesday (Oct. 5), Hope said that Siller would likely be out 3-6 weeks with a sprained foot.

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