Question of the Week: Why did you choose Michigan?

Feb. 6, 2012

Each week during the 2012 season, will ask each member of the University of Michigan softball team the same question as the "Question of the Week."

Week 1: Why did you choose to attend the University of Michigan?

Sara Driesenga -- I chose the University of Michigan because it felt like home. Growing up, my Dad's mood on Saturday's depended on whether the football team won or lost, and I soon developed that same passion. I knew I wanted to be a part of the tradition. I also knew once I graduated I would have an elite education and a successful softball experience.

Brandi Virgil -- I chose to come to Michigan because I wanted to have the opportunity to play for a school with tradition, a shot to win the World Series, a great degree and, of course, to experience a real winter. (Okay, maybe not the last one!)

Stephanie Speierman -- I chose the University of Michigan because it is a great school and widely recognized for both academics and softball. I also love the weather (mostly during the summer) and wanted to go somewhere that had seasons.

Katie Luetkens -- The reason I chose the University of Michigan was not only because of its academic excellence and rich tradition but also because of the way that I felt when I was on campus! I felt as if I was part of something bigger than myself and had the ability to make a difference. Also, I loved the way the coaches preached about the team being a family, and when I hung out with the team, I felt like it was something that they meant and not just said. I knew that I would be making lifelong friends within the program.

Taylor Hasselbach -- I chose Michigan because of the feeling of success and family I got from walking on campus; I knew it was a special place. And plus, I've always been a Wolverine at heart after growing up in the state of Michigan.

Amanda Chidester -- Since I was a little kid, I grew up dreaming about playing for the University of Michigan softball team! All I wanted was to be able to wear the Michigan uniform and play on our amazing field in front of all of the fans!

Lyndsay Doyle -- The reason why I choose Michigan was because of the awesome and successful softball program that is coached by the best coaches in the nation!

Bree Evans -- The reason why I choose Michigan is because of the top softball program Michigan is known for, and I knew I did not want to go to school in California.

Caitlin Blanchard -- I chose to come to the University of Michigan because my parents and relatives attended the university. I grew up singing Hail to the Victors, I bleed blue and I can't imagine wearing anything but the 'Block M.' It's truly a dream come true.

Becca Garfinkel -- I chose the University of Michigan because of its academic opportunities for me. In my mind, it was a university with plenty of opportunities because of its size, but programs small enough that I could be comfortable with. Its students are motivated and passionate about their work, which is something I consider myself to be. I was also a huge softball fan, and hopeful for a chance that I could try out for this team!

Nicole Sappingfield -- I chose to go to Michigan because of the tradition of excellence on and off the field. The second I walked on campus and saw the softball team's chemistry and talent, I knew that I wanted to be a part of teams to come and help leave my own mark on the University of Michigan.

Hilary Payne -- I choose Michigan because both of my parents graduated from Michigan, and I grew up knowing the traditions of excellence, success and being the 'Leaders and Best.' I wanted to be a part of this tradition both academically and athletically. I know that being a part Michigan will allow me to pursue as well as achieve my goals in life.

Mandy Gardner -- I chose the University of Michigan because it is the greatest university in the world! The second I stepped on campus, I knew it was right where I belonged. The family-like environment and support system is amazing, and the academics push me to do my best inside and outside the classroom.

Amy Knapp -- I came to Michigan because as soon as I stepped on campus, I knew this was the place for me. I also wanted to be part of the great Michigan tradition and represent one of the best schools in the country!

Jaclyn Crummey -- I chose Michigan because it was my best opportunity academically and athletically, and I loved the campus!

Haylie Wagner -- I choose the University of Michigan because when I came for my visits I felt welcomed and loved, and the atmosphere was amazing. I fell in love with Michigan softball because the team was a family, and the coaches and players got along so well.

Ashley Lane -- I came to Michigan for a few reasons. When I came here on my visits, it was just a feeling I had when I stepped on campus. I met the girls and liked their vibe and the chemistry they had between them. My aunt and uncle on my mother's side live about 40 minutes from campus. Having family close by when moving from California was reassuring and helpful. They are huge Michigan fans as well, so that helped aid my decision to come here. I also came to Michigan because of the great education it provides, as well as the fact that it is dominant in athletics.

Stephanie Kirkpatrick -- I looked at a lot of schools but for some reason always had a soft spot for the Maize and Blue. I had met (associate head coach) Bonnie (Tholl) at an early age through fielding camps in the Chicagoland area and ventured up to the annual hitting camps offered by the team. At the time Sam Findlay, a close family friend (and her father was my travel coach), was playing here at the U-M, which made the bond even stronger. I enjoyed the large campus, town and the football games. The girls were awesome, crazy and very welcoming. My official visit with Chiddy (Amanda Chidester) and Bree (Evans) did me in. We had a remarkable night full of countless adventures. Also, Maggie (Viefhaus) had played for my travel team and talked so highly of the program and school. She absolutely loved Ann Arbor and I was excited to feel the same. When it came down to decision time, the coaching staff, girls and tradition were the three aspects that formed my decision. I have now been here for four years and love everything about it. Sad to imagine I will not be here much longer!

Lauren Sweet -- I chose Michigan because when I came on my visit, I could not have felt more at home. The girls and coaches were all so welcoming and the school is beautiful. I also chose to come here because I wanted to play softball at the highest level and get an education from a great school!

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