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September 14, 2006 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-14

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 14, 2006

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Hance helps solidify Spikers

4

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Editor
Players are usually threatened
with punishments for missing
practice or lacking hustle.
Sophomore Kerry Hance of
the Michigan volleyball team
was chastised for losing her
shoe.
"It happened twice in one
conditioning session (last
spring)," Hance said. "The first
time, I just put it back on and
kept sprinting. The second time
it happened, my coach screamed
at me, 'Kerry, either tie your
shoes tight or we are all going
to run.' "
But while Hance is known for
her susceptibility for falling out
of her shoes, more important-
ly, she's recognized as a hard
worker and a good teammate.
Former high school teammate
and current Wolverine Stesha
Selsky said Hance is a fun and
exciting person to be around.
Coach Mark Rosen also speaks
glowingly about Hance as a
person.
"She's a great kid and a very
good teammate," Rosen said.
"She makes people enjoy being
around her."
In high school, Hance was
voted most inspirational player
of the year twice (2002 and
2004) - once for softball and
once for volleyball. But don't
expect to hear her rah-rahing
her teammates during a game.
The Los Angeles native inspires
her teammates with her play on
the court. It's what Rosen calls
"inspiration by example." And
as Hance's teammate, Selsky
knows what Rosen means.
"To her teammates she's very
positive, and if we're down in
a game, she (stays) extremely
positive and will always think
we can still win the game," Sel-
sky said. "Through her actions
and her hard work she inspires
other people to do the same."
Hance took over as the start-
ing libero this season, a spot
formerly held by Selsky, and has
been an everyday starter during
Michigan's 10-game winning
streak to start the season. But it
wasn't a given at the beginning
of the year that Hance would

good on defense. Most people
thought, 'Wow, this is awe-
some, our team is going to get
better.' "
Things couldn't be working
out any better for Hance and
the Wolverines. She has slowly
increased her digs-per-game
average since the beginning of
the year, and Rosen said that
eventually he wants Hance to
average more than five digs per
game (currently she's at 4.53).
And the Big Ten recognized her
hard work by naming her the
Big Ten Defensive Player of the
Week.
"It's so awesome just to know
my work has paid off," Hance
said. "I still have a lot to do to
improve and get better, but it's
just nice to know that I'm going
in the right direction."
Hance said she. found out
about the honor when her father
was perusing www.mgoblue.
com and called her to give
her the good news. The award
came just two weeks after Sel-
sky received Big Ten Defensive
Player of the Week accolades.
Michigan has one more week-
end of nonconference opponents
before the Big Ten season starts.
Hance's ability to pass well off
a serve will be critical against
teams who hit harder and serve
stronger. But her solid play and
the Wolverines' 10-game win-
ning streak have given her all
the confidence she needs to
square off against some of the
best teams in the nation.
"I can't wait (for the Big Ten
season)," Hance said. "I think
I'm ready for it."
As for Rosen, he's expecting
a lot from the sophomore.
"She's done well at this point,
but we know (that) in the Big
Ten, teams are going to attack
us more, and she needs to rise
to that challenge, which I think
she can," Rosen said. "I think
she's going to be an outstanding
libero."
Hance managed to keep her
shoes on the rest of the day
during that spring conditioning
session.
But if you're sitting in Cliff
Keen Arena this weekend,
watch out. She may knock your
socks off.

4

Sophomore Kerry Hance has worked hard to Improve her defense in order
to become Michigan's starting libero.

start at this position.
In the offseason, Rosen grap-
pled with the enticing idea of
moving Selsky from libero to
setter. The coach was impressed
with Selsky's ability as a setter
during the team's spring games.
But the move couldn't be made
unless Rosen was confident in
Hance's ability to start.
Hance was a great passer and
an average defender - the com-
plete opposite of Selsky's game.
The sophomore spent the entire
spring and summer working on

her defensive game in order to
gain Rosen's trust.
Hance is still developing her
defense, Rosen said, but by the
time the season began he had
enough faith in Hance to start
her at libero and Selsky at set-
ter. For the team, the switch
was seamless.
"We were very comfortable
with Kerry being the libero
because she is by far our best
serve-receive passer, and that's
a big thing in the Big Ten,"
Selsky said. "And she's very

Fl shbow

POLLOCK
Continued from page SA
"I feel inspired by him."
Thanks to his score in the Cen-
tral Michigan game, Pollock is
now an inspiration for an entirely
different reason - he is currently
the only Wolverine linebacker
with a collegiate touchdown to his
name. And Pollock, who jokingly
suggested he's working on a new
touchdown dance, still feels he has
more big plays in him.
"You can look at (the touch-
down) as a reward;' Pollock said.
"But I still have all these goals, I
want to start playing more, and
the only way to do that is just keep
doing what I've been doing the
past four years. Keep plugging.
It's definitely a great thing to hap-
pen. But I don't want to look at it
as I did that, so now I'm done. I
just want to keep on making more
plays."
If another golden opportunity
presents itself, Pollock will be
ready. But until then, you'll find
him doing exactly what he was
before his big break - making
the Wolverines better with his
effort behind the scenes.
WILDCATS
Continued from page SA
side of Michigan's goal. O'Neill
ripped a good volley, but Sperry
deflected it wide.
"It was a great reaction save,"
Burns said. "He's a good reac-
tionary keeper, making saves
on the line. He has also been
making good decisions on balls
that are played in the air in front
of him, boxing balls with both
hands when he flies into traf-
fic."
When neither team could find
the back of the net by the end of
regulation, the game went into
overtime. Burns's heavy empha-
sis on fitness paid off, as Michi-
gan proved that it had plenty of
fight left to stain the Wildcats'
perfect record and complete its
third consecutive victory.
"Going into overtime, I told
the guys to spend a couple of
moments visualizing their cel-
ebrations when we beat this
team in overtime," Burns said.
"We were going to have to dig
deep and find that reserve and
go after this team. ... We were
able to stay focused, put it
together in overtime and get a
great win."

I
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