A new year has brought a new practice schedule for the University of Toledo men's basketball team.
With the start of the spring semester Monday, the Rockets shifted from afternoon to morning workouts.
Although it may seem trivial, UT coach Tod Kowalczyk believes the change could have a positive impact on his team.
“I think it makes a difference,” Kowalczyk said. “It gives our players a lot more free time in the afternoon for study time and to take some extra shots. And selfishly for the coaches, it allows us to go recruiting and drive a longer distance to go watch players.”
For a team that suffered a 23-point defeat in its first Mid-American Conference game last weekend and has just three victories, anything can help at this point.
The Rockets (3-12, 0-1 MAC) will look to bounce back Wednesday night at Central Michigan (3-11, 0-1) after taking it on the chin from Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
The Eagles dominated UT in nearly every facet of the game en route to picking up their first win of the season over a Division I opponent.
“I'm very discouraged with how we played,” Kowalczyk said. “I don't think we played anywhere close to what we're capable of.”
Several items from the loss concerned Kowalczyk, especially the 45-31 disparity in rebounding totals.
“I don't think we played nearly tough enough on the rebounding end of it,” he said. “But at the same time, we're still playing with a lot of freshmen in a lot of important roles, so we had a moment where we took a step back.
“But I tell you what, they are a team that is resilient. We'll learn from it and get better for it.”
WOMEN'S TRACK: Senior Amanda Kaverman took first in both the 60-meter dash (7.66) and 200-meter dash (24.84), but the Rockets were unable to defeat Western Michigan in the annual “Ice Breaker” dual meet in Kalamazoo, Mich., falling 75-63 last weekend.
Kaverman, a Southview graduate and the defending MAC champion in the 200, broke the track record of 25.15, formerly held by Toledo's LaShawn Vaughns. She improved on her time from last year's first-place effort in this meet by .60 seconds and her time in the 60 meter dash was just .01 off her personal best.
“Amanda has been training very hard and is incredibly strong right now,” UT coach Kevin Hadsell said. “She knows that people are gunning for her, and she wants to make it very difficult for someone to beat her. Her philosophy is total ‘Toledo-style' in that if someone is going to beat her, they are going to have to run incredibly fast and work incredibly hard.”
Other first-place finishers for the Rockets were junior Ari Fisher in the mile run (4:55.22), sophomore Katie Bollin, a Bedford graduate, in the long jump (18-8), and senior Alexandra Afloari in the triple jump (37-7.75)
“In order for us to have a great MAC Championship performance next month, we have to continue to improve in our areas of strength,” Hadsell said. “Our distance, jumps, and sprints are doing really well, and I think we are well ahead of where we were at this point last year.”
WOMEN'S SWIMMING: At its first meet in more than a month, the UT swimming and diving team fell to 19th-ranked Ohio State in a dual meet in Columbus last weekend.
Four Rockets totaled five first-place finishes, but the Buckeyes prevailed 177-117.
UT junior Laura Lindsay took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.74) and 200 breaststroke (2:17.74), senior captain Jacy Dyer was first in the 1000 freestyle (10:01.83), sophomore Carly Harter won the 200 individual medley (2:04.97) and freshman Christina Noens earned first in the 200 backstroke (2:02.74).
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