10 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 17, 2004
By Gabe Edelson
Daily Sports Writer
With roughly a quarter of the season in the books,
Eric Nystrom has captained the No. 2 Michigan hockey
team (5-1-0 CCHA, 7-2-1 overall) to a strong start. But
the senior recognizes that the team's toughest tests lie in
the immediate future.
"You can't ever be satisfied," Nystrom said: "There's
always a little more that you can do. I try my best to lead
by example and work as hard as I can every day. Hope-
fully that rubs off, but there's always more you can do."
The Wolverines will need to play their best hockey
during an upcoming stretch of games, as it may be the
toughest string of contests they will face for the rest of
the regular season. Michigan will play a home-and-
home series with No. 14 Michigan State (3-3-0, 5-4-1)
this week. The first game will be played in East Lansing
tomorrow night, followed by a match at Yost Ice Arena
on Saturday. If the challenging set against an in-state
rival isn't enough, the Wolverines will proceed to play
back-to-back away games at No. 3 Minnesota and No.
4 Wisconsin on Nov. 26 and 27, before returning to
conference play with a home-and-home against a feisty
Notre Dame squad (2-5-4, 1-4-3) the following week-
end. Nystrom realizes that his leadership and atten-
tion to detail will be necessary for his team to produce
results on the ice.
"I think the younger guys are going to look for some
leadership to step up and take charge," Nystrom said.
"This is where I need to emerge as a leader. We can't
have any lapses against good teams."
Selsky thrives on
beach and indoors
By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Writer
The California sun, sand and
Beach Boys tunes represented vol-
leyball for freshman Stesha Selsky
during her childhood. That's a far
different scene from the fluorescent
lighting, hardwood floors and Pat
Benatar music found at Cliff Keen
Arena in Ann Arbor.
When Selsky was a child, her
mother, a professional volleyball
player, formed a club team with her
daughter. Because it was difficult to
pay for practice time on a court, Sel-
sky practiced on the beach.
Her defensive capabilities can be
attributed to her years playing vol-
leyball on the beach. The heavier
ball, smaller court and the other
variables one cannot find indoors
- like wind and the sun - make
the game much more difficult than
the controlled six-on-six environ-
ment seen in high school gyms
"I didn't actually know people
played indoors," said Selsky of
indoor volleyball. "That was new
The rest of the Big Ten is wishing
she never found out.
Selsky is having an amazing fresh-
man year, having recorded 237 digs
so far this season - enough to place
Michigan's Al Montoya will be facing some stiff competition In the next few weeks, beginning with Michigan State.
That's not to say that Nystrom isn't optimistic and
proud of the team's play so far.
"We're taking strides," the forward said. "We've
had some good experiences. This is a great stretch of
the season. It's nothing to be nervous about, especially
with all the experience we have on this team. We've all
played in these big games. Obviously everyone's going
to be a little nervous because that's just human nature.
"I think we're definitely looking forward to seeing
how we fare against ranked teams."
But the team's mood will largely hinge on how the
Wolverines fare in East Lansing tomorrow. The team
hasn't won in Munn Ice Arena since Jan. 7, 2000. Not a
single player on the current roster has traveled to Michi-
gan State and emerged victorious.
"Thursday night will be a great challenge for us,"
Nystrom said. "(Munn) is a tough place to play. This
is the last chance (for the seniors to win at Michigan
State). They're going to be geeked up to play us, and
we're excited to go in there and hopefully steal a couple
points, so it should be great."
Nystrom realizes that Michigan has had some trouble
getting off to quick starts in games, a problem he has
been trying to fix by keeping himself and his team-
mates on task. The captain also feels his team must be
sharper in practice. But he can't wait to get back on the
ice in a game situation after having last weekend off.
"Last week was one of the best practice weeks
I've had in a long time," Nystrom said. "I'm anx-
ious to play."
her among the top-three in school
history for digs in a season among
But Michigan coach Mark Rosen
is happy with the way Selsky has
adjusted to the hardwood.
"She's done a great job adapt-
ing to the speed of the game at this
level," Rosen said. "She's adjusted
Selsky was recruited as a possible
setter or back-row player, but has
had to fill in at the libero position
for the injured senior Sarah Allen
- a tough spot for a freshman. Not
only is Allen one of the team cap-
tains, but the position itself is dif-
The libero is expected to be a sta-
bilizing force and the spark plug for
the defense, according to Rosen. A
big defensive play, like a dig, can be
all the momentum the team needs to
change the course of a game.
Selsky has been able to step in
flawlessly for the Wolverines. She
tallied career highs for digs in con-
secutive games, notching 24 against
Purdue on Nov. 6 and 30 against
No. 5 Minnesota last weekend. It
was the first time a Wolverine had
recorded at least 30 digs in a game
in four years.
"I didn't even know I had 30 digs,"
Selsky said. "No one really told me.
I was just playing defense."
As well as Selsky has done defen-
sively, she still has to work on the
offensive aspect of her game. To
be a stabilizing force for the team,
a libero must be able to control the
ball and pass the ball well.
"There are new passing tech-
niques that I've had to. learn,,=S.l4
sky said. "I'm still working on that
But as frustrating as it may get for
the freshman at times, Selsky's best
technique for dealing with the frus-
tration of learning something new is
to just ignore it.
"If I think too much about it,
then I'm absolutely horrible," Sel-
Michigan is glad Selsky isn't
doing much thinking these days
- the freshman is always focused
on the task at hand and not worried
about the technical aspects of her
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Freshman Stesha Steisky picked up her
defensive skills on the beach.
McGuire and Walter
named best in region
The Women's Intercollegiate
Cross Country Coaches Associa-
tion named junior Rebecca Walter
Athlete of the Region yesterday and
crowned Michigan's Mike McGuire
regional Coach of the Year.
Walter won the regional meet last
weekend and finished second at the
Big Ten Championship on Oct. 31.
Walter has won a postseason award
in three straight seasons. She was
awarded Big Ten Freshman of the
Year two years ago and was recog-
nized as anAll-Big Ten selection
This is McGuire's fourth regional
Coach of the Year award in his 13-
year career. He won the award three
straight times from 1992-94.
The Wolverines have won four
NCAA Great Lakes Regionals under
McGuire's tenure, the most recent
coming last weekend in Ypsilanti.
Michigan will travel to Terre
Haute, Ind, for the NCAA Champi-
onships on Monday.