The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 9A
Selsky, Pflum lead 'M' revival
By Lindsey Ungar
Daily Sports Writer
Offense and defense can't stand alone in any sport. But especially in
volleyball, the two are inevitably intertwined. It's often the transition
between the two that propels a team to victory.
That's where sophomore libero Stesha Selsky comes in, using her
defensive prowess to make way for Michigan's outside hitters suchas
junior Danielle Pfium.
"(Stesha) gives us opportunities to do what we need to do to put the
ball away," Pflum said. "If we didn't have her defense, we wouldn't
have that transition to go into (offense). Her impact is huge. And no one
really sees that, except people on the court."
r sfs.As a freshman, Se.sky was a defensive specialist for the Wolverines
before taking over for injured senior Sarah Allen late in the season.
k > K;Now, Selsky is called on in each rotation to serve, receive, pass and play
-- - °- ---- - defense from the back row.
'. "She's amazing," Pflum said. "It's like having an angel over your
t shoulder. She's over my rigtht shoulder all the time. I never have any
hesitations with letting a ball go that's between us because I'm always
like, 'Stesha! Stesha!' ... I'd hate to have her on any other side but
Making the change from defensive specialist to libero wasn't easy
>E<5 for Selsky, who's had to work a lot on her passing and focus, playing
a six rotations instead of three. But lately, she seems to have everything
" together, recording double-digit digs in 16 consecutive matches. She
needs only 16 more digs to move into 10th place in all-time digs for
a~k "Stesha is the heart and soul of our defense," coach Mark Rosen said.
JUSTIN BASS/Daily "Systematically, we try and channel balls toward her. And she makes
Libero Stesha Selsky's outstanding play has benefited the Wolverines since her move from defense. your whole defense run. She's very good at it; there's no question she's
Seniors reflect on successfu fnal season
an elite-level libero who's making a great impact on our team."
Selsky's strong play from the back row has allowed Michigan's
offense to take control of recent games, especially in sweeps over
Michigan State and Indiana. Pflum is just one of the attackers that has
benefited from Selsky's digs. At Michigan State, Pflum had 14 kills and
just three errors in 37 swings.
"Dani's always up and ready to hit the ball, especially on transition
digs," Selsky said. "Digs aren't really going to be perfect; they're basi-
cally just to get it off the floor. The setter has to set it to someone - and
most of the time it's going to be her."
Pflum's also getting the moniker as Michigan's clutch player. Against
Michigan State, she had four kills in Michigan's last five points, and
against Indiana, she terminated seven balls in the third game.
"She will win the game for you when you need her to," Selsky said.
"It's like, 'Set the ball to Dani, and she'll put it away.' She's a phenom-
enal outside hitter."
Both Selsky and Pflum have been integral parts of Michigan's late
push to make the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines won three
straight matches against Iowa, Michigan State and Indiana.
Michigan (7-9 Big Ten, 13-12 overall) needs to win two of its next
four matches to clinch a spot in the Tournament, and it faces two tough
road tests against No. 15 Wisconsin on Friday and Northwestern on
Saturday. The Wolverines pulled out a huge upset earlier in the season
over the Badgers, knocking off the then-No. 7 ranked team.
The Wolverines will undoubtedly look to Selsky and Pflum to help
them make the final transition from an average team to a legitimate
NCAA Tournament squad
"We're playing our best volleyball now, which is what we've always
talked about - not playing our best volleyball in September or Octo-
ber, but more in November and December, so then we could go far in
the NCAA Tournament," Pflum said.
By Colt Rosensweig
Daily Sports Writer
Though the Michigan field hockey team didn't accom-
plish its ultimate goal of winning a national championship
this year, everyone involved can look back proudly on a
"Coming into (your senior season), it's your last year and
you want to put into this team everything that you have,"
senior forward Katie Morris said. "You don't want to have any
regrets. I think we walked away on Sunday sad that it was over,
but really proud of how far we've come."
The Wolverines began the season with three straight losses,
then reeled off five wins before losing to Ohio State. After that
6-1 drubbing by the Buckeyes, the team showed the resilience
that would be its trademark all season, gutting out a hard-won
4-3 victory against Kent State.
"We had a couple players who were out (due to injury)
and not available for the team (for the Kent State match), and
the other members of the team had to look around, really
look hard at themselves," coach Nancy Cox said. "I think by
looking hard at themselves at that point in the season, they
realized that they could do it. It doesn't matter who is on
the field - the leadership is always somewhere within the
fabric of the team."
The team went 10-4 after beating Kent State and went
on to win the Big Ten Tournament championship. Through-
out the year, the Wolverines never gave up on a game. They
went to penalty strokes for the first time in program history
to beat Connecticut and took three other games into overtime.
The Wolverines won two of those three games, including an
NCAA playoff victory over Boston University.
"We had to persevere a lot as a team, and we went through
a lot as a team," senior defender Lori Hillman said. "It brought
us so much closer together, and by the end of the season we
fought for every game we played with one another."
Often the leadership came from the seniors, like tri-captains
Lauren MacMillan, Hillman and Morris. Along with the other
upperclassmen, they created a positive environment in which
the freshmen could be both comfortable and productive.
"I felt like I developed as a player-teacher up there on the
forward line," Morris said. "I really took my role seriously
- that we had to execute certain plays right."
Cox used the story of freshman Erin Dallas, who led the
team in scoring with 13 goals and 31 points, as a prime exam-
ple of both the talent of the freshmen and the importance of
the senior leadership.
"Erin Dallas is empowered by those around her," Cox said.
"As a freshman, you're overwhelmed academically and ath-
letically. There are players who are better than you, and if (the
seniors) don't create a culture wherein younger people can step
into the program, then we've failed. That empowerment of
Erin Dallas happened through senior leadership."
The team's undisputed leader was Hillman, who notched
a team-high 13 assists and provided a role model for all the
younger players to look up to.
"Lori Hillman for sure (was one of the MVPs)," Morris
said. "Our whole backfield centered around her, and she dis-
tributes really well. She brought (a great presence) every day to
practice and to the team. I can't applaud her enough."
Hillman and Morris can look back on a rich store of Michi-
gan memories, from the fun and bonding of team road trips to
winning their first Big Ten Championship as juniors in 2004.
"That was a goal that we had set, and it just felt so great,"
Morris said. "I think both Big Ten titles are memories that I'll
take with me wherever I go."
Though they'll always have the memories, the seniors are
finding that being finished with their collegiate careers is a dif-
"The hardest thing about having played your last game is
that you will never ever be able to represent the block 'M'
like you have on that athletic field," Hillman said. "You'll
always be a Michigan Wolverine, and you'll always have the
experiences, but you'll never be able to step on the field like
Players like Hillman and Morris will be impossible to
replace. But the younger players they mentored will undoubt-
edly carry on their legacy of dedication and determination.
"You never replace (players like that) because they all leave
their unique stamp on the program," Cox said. "I think when
we look to the future, we have great leadership coming in
through the next class. Now it's time for these younger players
to step up. They know the right way to do it (because of this
EMMA NOLAN-ABRAHAM IAN/Daily
Senior tri-captain Lori Hillman paced Michigan with 13 assists this
season while acting as the field hockey team's most visible leader.
MEN'S SWIMMING &DIVING
GOING TO LANSING
IN SPORTS ISN'T
FOR LEE CORSO.
To be with the best, Savulich came to Ann Arbor
By Anne Uible
Daily Sports Writer
Michigan swimmer Bobby Savu-
lich picked the right school to attend
if he wants to become the best. In a
swimming program filled with Big
Ten Champions, NCAA Champions
and Olympians, his competition is
"I get to train with the best swim-
mers in the nation every day," Savulich
said. "I want to get to their level, so
there's no better people to train with.
To be the best, you have to train with
Growing up in Edison, N.J., Savu-
lich began swimming when he was
five years old, following his older
brother and sister's leads. After sev-
eral years of swimming recreation-
ally, Savulich decided to get serious
and join a club team.
"I dropped some serious time when
I was in eighth grade," Savulich said.
"That's when I knew that I wanted to
keep swimming beyond high school,
and I realized that I had to put some
more effort into what I was doing."
Savulich's older brother, George -
who currently swims for the College of
New Jersey - was a major influence in
pushing Bobby to excel in swimming
while he was in high school.
"My brother set a good example for
me," Savulich said. "He was always
making sure I was at practice on time
and staying on top of everything."
Savulich heeded the advice of his older
brother and developed his work ethic in
the pool. By his sophomore year, he had
emerged as one of the nation's elite high
But Savulich wanted to go beyond
just conquering the high school scene.
The next step was the Olympic trials.
He tried for a year and a half to qualify
in the 200-yard freestyle.
"I thought about qualifying every day
straight until I did it," Savulich said. "I
knew I wouldn't make the actual Olympic
team, but I knew that just making the tri-
als would feel like the equivalent."
After 10 attempts at swimming the
200-yard freestyle in 2003, Savulich
"It was a major accomplishment
for me," Savulich said. "It's named
the fastest meet in the world, and that
couldn't be more true."
Though Savulich didn't qualify for
the 2004 Olympics in Athens, he did
catch the eye of Wolverines coach Bob
Bowman, who knew that Michigan
was the right place for the promising
By the time graduation rolled
around, Michigan was Savulich's obvi-
"The team really made my decision
to come here," Savulich said. "Their
bond was something I wanted to be a
part of. I felt like this would be the best
place for me to be."
The team atmosphere wasn't the
only reason Savulich decided to attend
Michigan. He also knew that he could
thrive under Bowman.
"Coach Bowman has developed some
of the best swimmers in the world,"
Savulich said. "I thought he could help
me improve to another level."
Now, just two meets into the season,
Savulich has proven to be a significant
addition to the Wolverines. In his first
collegiate race against Eastern Michi-
gan, Savulich earned a victory in the
200-yard freestyle. Two weeks ago,
Savulich came second in the 50-yard
freestyle against Georgia.
"Bobby proves himself in his races,"
senior co-captain Peter Vanderkaay
said. "For a freshman to come and do
what he's already done this season is
impressive. I think the other freshmen
look up to him, so he's a huge asset for
the team. You can't have enough guys
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
It sets us apart.
School of Information master's students
accept internships that closely supplement
their in-class instruction. In Ann Arbor. In
other states. For that matter, on other
continents, too. The valuable training SI
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area gives them valuable experience - the
kind that employers look for when hiring
gradates in the information professions.
Be part of it. Connect with SL
Eli Ully and Company
We are looking forward to a "REBOUND" year, and we need you!! As we begin another
basketball season, I want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for all of your past support and
to ask that you once again this year make CRISLER ARENA A MAJOR HOME COURT
ADVANTAGE FOR OUR TEAM.
We are very proud that each year the Maize Rage and our basketball fans have helped to make
Crisler a loud, intimidating plaCe for opponents to play-and more importantly, a place where our
players feed off the tremendous support and energy from our fans. We especially appreciate your
loyalty during a very trying season last year.
Now, we are excited and energized for a new season. Our players have been working hard, and we
are very EXCITED, ENTHUSIASTIC and HOPEFUL for a terrific season-and we need you on
our team. We open with a home game against Central Michigan at Crisler Arena
TOMORROW at 7:00p.m., and we hope to see you there.
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