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September 28, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-28

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 -11
"~
Former high school teammates
reunite to help spikers' defense

By Bridget O'Donnell
For the Daily
It sounds like a dream almost too good to
be true - two former high school teammates
getting the chance to team up and play together
again - this time at the college level. And for
freshman Kerry Hance and sophomore Stesha
Selsky, that dream has become a reality.
Both Hance and Selsky - who played vol-
leyball together at Marymount High School in
California and have known each other for well
over four years - now specialize in defense
for Michigan (1-1 Big Ten, 7-4 overall). And so
far, it seems to be working to the Wolverines'
advantage. Selsky - who recorded Michigan's
third-highest number of digs in a single game at
33 - was recently named the Big Ten Defen-
sive Player of the Week. And in just 11 games,
Hance has already recorded a total of 66 digs.
"They play really well together," coach Mark
Rosen said. "While most colleges recruit the
big 6-foot-5 players or the powerful centers,
we were looking for more defensive players.
Andthe morelI watched them play, the more
I noticed their good defense. Both started as
freshmen, which is really hard to do, especially
in this conference."

Hance believes that going to the same school
helped contribute to their defensive success.
"We learned similar techniques in high
school," Hance said. "We work really well in
the same position. I'll know when she's getting
the ball."
Out on the court, Selsky started out as a
defensive specialist her freshman year but was
later asked to take over as the libero when the
team lost former starter Sarah Allen to injury.
Now just a year later, Hance has filled in for
Selsky's previous role as defensive specialist.
Together, they complement each other on the
court.
"During games when I mess up, she'll cover
for me, and I'll just turn around and say 'Thank
You,' " Selsky said. "If we were one person,
we'd be really good."
Hance said she believes that Selsky has
helped in her transition to college-level volley-
ball. On the court, she even asks Selsky ques-
tions about defensive strategies.
"The college level really has a much faster
game," Rosen said. "Kerry's transition has hap-
pened quickly - about two weeks - and she
has adapted well."
Even though Rosen thinks that their person-
alities differ, he believes that it ultimately may

be helpful for the team.
"They are very different, but I think that
different components make the whole team
dynamic," he said.
Though their relationship on the court has
gradually grown stronger, Hance and Sel-
sky believe that their personal friendship has
improved even more.
"When I found out that she had committed to
Michigan, I was excited," Selsky said.
"It's comforting on and off the court to know
that I can turn to someone that I can rely on,
gossip with and share past memories and future
experiences with."
Off the court, Selsky has become somewhat
of a mentor to Hance. In fact, Hance says that
Selsky not only showed her around campus, but
also helped her choose classes also.
"When I came to visit Michigan last winter,
she took me around town, and we went sled-
ding," said Hance. "There's no snow in Califor-
nia, so I liked walking through it."
Both girls have also been able to bond over
the fact that they now live so far away from
home.
"I don't get homesick," Selsky said. "I just try
to go with the flow. But I consider Kerry family.
I visit her whenever I'm feeling upset."

MIKE HULSEBUS/Daily
Sophomore Stesha Selsky - reaching for a dig - has been a calming influence on freshman Kerry Hance
during her introduction to Michigan volleyball.

ยง, NOTES
Today is last day
to buy season tickets
When the Michigan men's basketball
team storms onto the court in Crisler
Arena this season, the student section -
featuring the Maize Rage - will be ready
to cheer, but the real question is: How big
will it be?
Changing slightly from last season, the
bleacher seats will no longer be free. As
a result of the switch, numbers have been
low for students signing up for season tick-
ets. Just 470 students have registered as of
last night.
Season ticket prices have be set at $130
including a Maize Rage T-shirt.
DAILY SPORTS.
THE NERD NEXT
DOOR - BECAUSE
WE HAVE A

Wolverines benefit from
international tournament

By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer
The USA Field Hockey Under-21 team
had just two days together, and only one
chance to practice as a team, before begin-
ning competition at the Junior World Cup
in Santiago, Chile.
"(We wanted) a top-10 to-12 finish,"
said Tracey Fuchs, assistant coach of the
Michigan field hockey team and head
coach of the U.S. team.
The team exceeded its hopes more
than anyone imagined, finishing seventh.
Previously, no U.S. Junior team had ever
finished higher than 12th.
The U.S. team compiled a 4-2-2 record,
losing to a tough Australian team 1-0 in
the final minute. The point the U.S. team
would have earned for a 0-0 tie would
have sent it into the semifinals. The team
also played to a 2-2 draw with perennial
power Holland, which entered the tourna-
ment with a No. 1 ranking.
"We played really well on defense, and
our attackers were really consistent as

well," Fuchs said. "Things happen when
you can play together like that. We were
in every game, which is all you can ask."
Despite coming from such varied
schools as Duke, Virginia, Michigan and
Wake Forest, all the players set aside col-
lege rivalries for the duration of the tour-
nament, immediately bonding as a team.
"(The team chemistry) was unbeliev-
able. I have coached few teams that really
clicked the way they did," Fuchs said.
"That chemistry helped us be really suc-
cessful. (At the end) they didn't want to
leave each other."
Another reason the United States fared
so well was the players' intelligence.
"We only had one practice as a team
before the tournament started and they
were able to see something on a board
or video and carry it onto the field," said
Fuchs, considered by many to be the best
women's field hockey player ever. "That's
the sign of not only a good player but a
smart player."
Going to the World Cup was a valuable
experience for everyone involved, expos-

ing them to different styles of play and
allowing them to compete at the highest
possible level in their sport.
"Just listening to the anthem means
something different now," said Lori Hill-
man, tri-captain of Michigan's team and a
member of the U.S. squad. "Being a part
of the team was so special."
Hillman played well throughout the
tournament, improving and becoming
more comfortable with each game. She
and her fellow defenders allowed an aver-
age of just 1.75 goals per game.
Unlike in the previous Junior World
Cup, this year coaches committed to send-
ing their best players to represent their
country, even though it meant losing their
services for part of the season. Despite
losing Hillman, Michigan won three of
four games while she was in Chile.
"Going down there during our season
was mentally a very uncomfortable situ-
ation," Hillman said. "It was very hard to
leave this team behind and try to represent
the country. But I think it really helped
me grow mentally as a player."

BLOG TOO.

Senior tri-captain Lori Hillman helped propel the USA Field Hockey Under-21 team
to a seventh-place finish

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