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September 06, 2006 - Image 17

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-09-06

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - The Michigan Daily -17

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Class of'08 coming into its own

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Editor

I
V

Junior Lyndsay Miller is not an e-mail person.
But no one told that to Michigan coach
Mark Rosen when he recruited her two years
ago.
"(The coaches) would get nervous at first
because I wouldn't e-mail back right away,"
Miller said. "But then Lisa (Rosen's wife and
assistant coach) figured out, 'She doesn't like
the e-mail, so it's OK, it's not a big deal.' "
Still, Miller hesitated slightly when Rosen
finally offered her a scholarship to play for
the Wolverines. And even though she even-
tually signed, the entire experience put the
coach - not typically a symbol of anxiety,
even during a match - on edge.
"She made us sweat a little bit, which I
respect," Rosen said.
Miller was just one of four recruits lead-
ing up to the 2004 season, bringing Rosen
the most talented recruiting class Michigan
had seen to that point. Along with Miller, the
Wolverines welcomed Sarah Draves, Stesha
Selsky and Katie Bruzdzinski. Together, the
class was considered one of the best in the
nation.
They were highly regarded, but the fresh-
men still felt like freshmen. And whether you're
a walk-on or your state's high school player of
the year, life isn't easy when you have to adjust
from being the best player on the court to being
just one of many good players.
"When you come into college, it's a dif-
ferent game," Bruzdzinski said. "It's a lot
faster, and one of the biggest things is that
people just come at you harder. With serv-
ing, they hit a lot harder, and you have to
get used to it fast. So I think my freshman

year than was the big thing, getting used to
the level of play."
Now juniors, the group held their own in
their first full collegiate season and provided
a glimpse into a promising future for the vol-
leyball program.
"Katie started as a freshman, Stesha
started as a freshman, Lyndsay started as a
freshman, so you have three of them starting
as freshmen and that's always good to have
three freshmen starting in one year," Rosen
said. "And we had a pretty good year, going
to the second round of the NCAA Tourna-
ment. I wouldn't say they exceeded expecta-
tions, but we were certainly pleased with that
initial year with them."
But last season didn't go as well for the
Wolverines. The team finished the year 13-
16, dropped its final four games and failed to
make the NCAA Tournament. Statistically,
the group improved from the year before, but
it was a far cry from its collegiate debut.
This year, the four juniors - upperclassman
for the first time - are confident this will be the
season they can push Michigan volleyballbeyond
a middle-of-the pack finish in the Big Ten.
"I think we have a lot of experience, and
we've played with a lot of great players,"
Miller said. "So I think that we have the tools
to push Michigan to better places - to get it
to where we all want to be. We have the abil-
ity to get that done."
In addition to improving on the court since
their inaugural season, several of the players
believe their maturation off the court will
also help the team.
"Your emotions and personality are a little
bit more reserved (freshman year)," Selsky
said. "But this year it's almost like we're
veterans, and we know how it feels, and we

know how everything works. I feel like I'm
less shy, and I feel that when you're a junior
you're definitely less shy, and you're definite-
ly more comfortable playing."
Draves also grew from being a reserved
first-year player to being a gregarious vet-
eran. The Ypsilanti native said her newfound
passion for the things she loves (people and
God) has allowed her to be more outgoing,
which helped foster a more welcoming atmo-
sphere for the incoming freshman and elimi-
nated class divisions.
"This team and the upperclassmen have
done a great job of taking the freshmen,"
freshman Megan Bower said. "We do not
actually feel like freshmen (because) they
made us feel like we're supposed to be here.
They never made me or the other freshmen
feel like we had to sit back and watch."
The four juniors know what it was like to
be freshman and now laugh to themselves
about what it was like when they first came
to Ann Arbor. Selsky described her expe-
rience as "awkward" meeting everyone for
the first time. But they all agree that they
were welcomed by their teammates and will
make sure to do the same for this season's
rookies.
Much has changed in the two short years since
the class of 2008 first donned the block 'M.' Each
player has gone from supporting the team in the
shadows to stepping into the forefront.
"I feel you have to work extremely hard to
represent the 'M' that you wear," said Sel-
sky her freshman season. "You work hard,
and you will strive to make sure that Michi-
gan gets recognized as a great academic and
athletic school."
"We've figured it out," Selsky says, two
years wiser. "We just have to go execute it."

Lyndsay Miller and the rest of the class of 2008 are poised to carry
Michigan to new heights.

Icers' Hunwick calls on students
to buy tickets for '06-'07 season

By H. Jose Bosch
Daily Sports Editor
Longing for the months of par-
kas and sweaters?
Earmuffs and mittens?
Rocky and Bullwinkle?
Even though the leaves have yet to
fall, Michigan hockey season tickets
will go on sale beginning Thursday,
Sept. 7. The tickets can only be pur-
chased at www.mgoblue.com/tickets
and will remain on sale until Sept. 15
for priority seating. Tickets will cost
$247 ($10 service charge included).
This season's captain, Matt
Hunwick, took it upon himself,
to hype the upcoming hockey

season in an e-mail sent to the
entire student body.
"Hockey's student season ticket
holders are different from any
other student group here on cam-
pus," the e-mail said. "You are a
group of individuals who come
together as one every Friday and
Saturday night to create the great-
est home-ice advantage at any rink
across the country. You are what
makes hockey games so much fun
to attend and for us to play in.
"Many of us players decided
to become Wolverines during our
recruiting visits because of the tra-
dition of the program, the academ-
ics, the arena, the fans, and most

of all, you, our biggest supporters.
You were awesome then, and I
know you will keep that great tra-
dition going," it went on.
The Wolverines are coming off
of one of their least productive years
during coach Red Berenson's 26-
year tenure. Breaking in a freshman
class of 11, Michigan struggled to a
third-place finish in the CCHA and
performed poorly in the postseason.
This season, Hunwick returns
to lead a team that will be more
mature and should contend for the
CCHA crown. Despite losing Trev-
or Lewis to the professional ranks,
Michigan's other big recruits, Chris
Summers and Steve Jakiel, could

snake an immediate impact on the
team this season. Summers will
help bolstera defense that, at times,
played lackadaisically last year,
and Jakiel is expected to compete
with sophomore Billy Sauer for the
starting goalkeeper position.
The hockey team will begin
its exhibition season on Sat-
urday, Sept. 30 with the Blue/
White Intrasquad scrimmage at
Yost Ice Arena. The start of the
regular season is on Friday, Oct.
13, when the Wolverines face
off against Alabama-Hunts-
ville. The CCHA home opener
is on Thursday, Oct. 19 against
Miami (OH).

Senior captain Matt Hunwick wants to play before a rowdy crowd this season.

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