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September 04, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-04

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he Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
In rare chance to start,
Warner makes impact

Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 5A
Freshmen live up to billing

By MAX BULTMAN
Daily Sports Writer

Even early in her recruiting
process, Carly Warner's
on-court focus grabbed the
attention of Michigan volleyball
coach Mark Rosen.
Now a junior, Warner has
held Rosen's eye throughout
her career as a Wolverine.
There's only been one problem
- she shares a position with
the team's impact player, senior
setter Lexi Dannemiller, a
three-year starter.
But when Dannemiller
missed the team's season-
opening tournament last
weekend due to "internal
rules," Warner was thrust into
the spotlight and showed her
opponents what her coach
has known for years - even
without their senior captain,
the Wolverines have a leader in
their setter.
"She's someone who makes
other people better," . Rosen.
said. "And as a setter that's a
huge trait. ... Hitters love to hit
off her sets because she makes
them feel really good. Part of the
psychology of setting is being
that kind of teammate and she's
verygood atit.
"When it's game time, she
does a pretty good job of keeping
her emotions and any kind of
stressors out of the picture. She

stays calm and runs her team
really well."
Unwanted thoughts can
derail even the best athletes,
but Warner says blocking them
out has always come naturally
for her.
Even though she had a
month to prepare to start in
Dannemiller's place for the
Arkansas Invitational over
the weekend, she must have
used that gift to combat some
pregame nerves before the
Wolverines' opener against
Stephen F. Austin. While her
mind could have been any
number of places, Warner was
able to use a team mantra to
focus in.
"One quote that we've talked
about this year is, 'Be where
your feet are,' "Warner said.
"I always try to
compartmentalize what I'm
doing at the time."
Her feet may be on the court
even more the next three weeks.
Dannemiller could miss up to
a month with mononucleosis,
according to Warner, creating
more time on the floor for
Warner and redshirt freshman
Cindy Zhou.
And if Warner can produce
the way' she did in Arkansas,
it could be hard for Rosen to
sit her down much during that
stretch.
In three games over the

weekend, Warner tallied 126
assists, and of the Wolverines'
12.25 kills per set, she assisted
10.5 of them and committed
only one error on 17 total attack
attempts.
"I thought that she certainly
played at a very high level
and got our hitters in good
positions to compete," Rosen
said Saturday. "I really like what
she did, and that shows we have
depth at that position, which is a
great thing for us to see."
With Dannemiller's possible
extended absence, that depth
will face a tough test this
weekend when No. 19 Duke
and No. 20 North Carolina
visit Ann Arbor.
But Warner and Zhou won't
be left to their own devices
entirely. Rosen says the
setters do a great job sharing
informationtogive the teamthe
best edge it can get.
"We work together anyway
on who to set and how to
set," Warner said. "And then
definitefy when we figured
out that I was starting
(Dannemiller) really helped
me get prepared on how to run
the team."
Advice from an All-America
Honorable Mention never hurts,
but Warner has always had a
knack for directing traffic on the
court. She'll just finally be doing
it in the spotlight.

By KELLY HALL defense glued together. The back
Daily Sports Writer line had a shaky start after having
trouble adjusting to the new 4-3-3
Billy Stevens believes formation in the season opener,
everything his coach tells him. but Daley thought Stevens stood
For the freshman defender and out among the defense and the
his classmates, everything that entire team.
comes out of Michigan soccer His commanding personality
coach Chaka Daley's mouth carries helped the back line regain focus,
immense weight. and that's not common for a
"Coach Daley is a fantastic freshman in his first game.
coach, and that's one of the main Behind Stevens is Louro, who
reasons I'm here," Stevens said. played the entire first half in the
"I listen to everything he says, exhibition game against Louisville
and he's coaching me to become a and started his first official game
better player. Learning from him in net this past Sunday. For 90
helps me so much, and I respect minutes, he shut out Southern
everythinghe does." Methodist. Though he only faced
Stevens and the two other three shots on goal, the last proved
starting freshmen on the team - he had earned the job.
goalkeeper Evan Louro, who has As soon as SMU forward Colten
started one of the two games, and Habecker crossed the 18-yard line,
forward Ahinga Selemani - exude Louro charged him and stopped
confidence. That bravado partially the breakaway without hesitation.
comes from the trust their coach Bold moves like that prompt
has placed in them. Daley to say Louro plays more
The freshmen stole the spotlight like a junior than a true freshman,
in the offseason and announced which puts him in a good position
their immediate presence in the to compete with fifth-year senior
first two games. Adam Grinwis.
Michigan's 2014 class was Completing the trio of fresh-
ranked No. 2 in the nation by Top- man starters is Selemani. The
DrawerSoccer.com, but the num- forward has started every game
bers don't mean much to Stevens. so far and has flashed enough tal-
"There are a lot of ent already to prove why he was
hypotheticals," Stevens said. ranked the No. 1 player in the
"But we want to live up to those Great Lakes region.
expectations and be better than In the last exhibition game
what everyone thinks we are. We against then-No. 14 Louisville,
want to prove to everyone that we Selemani scored the only goal of
are a top school for soccer." the contest when he took a through
Stevens has proven himself ball from senior midfielder Marcos
already by not missing a minute Ugarte in the 27th minute and
of game time and keeping the finished it.

Sunday, Selemani repaid the
favor to Ugarte in the sixth minute
when he fed him the ball for
Michigan's first goal of the season.
After a confusing commitment
process that included breaking
verbal commitments to Michigan
State and UC Santa Barbara,
the Ann Arbor native ended up
at Michigan, where family and
friends can cheer him on.
Selemani and the other
freshmen now feel comfortable
with the rest of team after bonding
over the summer during a three-
week, captain-led camp. That
camaraderie off the pitch has
helped the freshmenon it as well.
"The captain practices really
helped me because we gained a
lot of chemistry between us and
we all became good friends after
practices," Stevens said. "We were
working hard for each other."
Players that build relationships
with their teammates tend to lead,
and in order to push his team,
Daley relies on the athletes that
are displaying outstanding perfor-
mances, not just the older players.
"We have to lean on the best
guys," Daley said. "If the best guys
are the old guys, then they are, and
if it's the young guys, it's the young
guys. We have to coach them on
the fly. Sometimes, regardless of
year, you have to perform. You
have to perform and you have
to lead. You can't be a freshman
anymore. Bad teams have a lot of
young freshmen."
Michigan soccer has mature
freshmen, and right now, that's a
key to the Wolverines' success.

FILE PHOTO/Daily
Without Lexi Dannemiller, Michigan coach Mark Rosen started Carly Warner last weekend and his decision paid off.

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