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Published: Thursday, 10/25/2007

Bedford grad tastes victory on UM volleyball court

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rood Rood
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Bedford graduate Veronica Rood recently got a firsthand taste of the bitter rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University.

Rood, a sophomore outside hitter for the Michigan volleyball team, enjoyed the sweet taste of victory with a 3-0 sweep of the Buckeyes on Oct. 13.

"It was really exciting to walk out of the locker room on a high note like that," said Rood, a 2006 graduate of the powerful Bedford Mules program.

"Of course, beating Ohio State is always exciting but it was the first time the seniors had beaten Ohio State," Rood said.

The Temperance native had 10 kills in the win, giving her 10 double-digit kill performances this season for the 15th ranked Wolverines.

Rood, who has played in all 20 of the team's matches this year, has surpassed 200 kills for the season and by the end of the conference slate, she likely will have played in 50 matches in two seasons. Rood has already eclipsed her freshman campaign numbers in blocks, kills and digs.

"It's been a good experience. I'm having a lot of fun," Rood said. "Volleyball is going well."

Rood, who is 6-1, is ranked third on the team with 211 kills and is fourth in points (229). She also has 53 digs and 35 blocks.

Rood said it was a difficult transition when she switched from her high school position of middle hitter to outside hitter at Michigan.

"The approaches and arm swings are different," Rood said. "It took some time to get in a groove."

But Rood played in half of UM's games her freshman season and she said that has been a tremendous help. She had 10 kills in her first NCAA tournament match as a freshman.

"It really got me ready for this because I knew what to expect," Rood said. "It's so much more competitive in college. You're playing against extremely good athletes every match."

Rood helped Michigan improve to 16-4 on the season and 4-4 in the Big Ten with the 30-27, 30-27, 30-28 blanking of Ohio State.

Rood said the most difficult adjustment has been academically.

"The load of school work is so much different than high school. It's been a lot of hard work," Rood said. "You have to be very dedicated and you can't fall behind."

But Rood is convinced she made the right decision to play for the Wolverines.

"I would not make any changes if I could go back and do it over again," Rood said.

CROSS COUNTRY CONNECTION: Four runners from area high schools led the Ohio Northern University cross country team to a third place finish at the Falcon Invitational on Oct. 13.

Eastwood graduate Jimmy O'Brien took 11th place, tying his season-best time of 25:40 at the meet that was held at Bowling Green State University.

O'Brien, a junior, tied his personal record to help the Polar Bears finish just behind Kent State and Lansing Community College. Ohio Northern, a Division III school, topped several Division I foes, including Toledo, Bowling Green, Buffalo, and Detroit.

Sophomore Alan Bowsher, an Elmwood grad, established a personal record, finishing in 15th place (25:50). Junior Eric Porter from Wauseon was 18th in 25:55, while sophomore Brent Hiser of Gibsonburg finished 43rd (26:47).

The foursome will lead the Polar Bears on Saturday in the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships at John Carroll University in suburban Cleveland.

Kelly Grieve, a freshman at John Carroll and a cross country competitor from Sylvania Southview, was among the top 20 finishers at the Earlham College Invitational.

VOLLEYBALL: Kate Schafer, a Norwalk St. Paul graduate, is starting an impressive career as a freshman for the John Carroll volleyball team. She was one of six players with at least six kills in a match against Case Western Reserve.

FIELD HOCKEY: Gabby Hajjar, a sophomore at Boston University, is a key contributor to the success of the Boston University field hockey program. In early team statistics, the Ottawa Hills graduate was third in scoring with five goals and 10 points.

Send information to: sports@theblade.com Attn: Campus Notes. Or you can mail it to us at: The Blade Sports Dept., 541 North Superior St., Toledo, OH, 43660, Attn: Campus Notes.



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