April 7, 2017
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Nearing the end of the team's spring season, the University of Michigan volleyball program and head coach Mark Rosen announced that returning seniors Claire Kieffer-Wright and Katherine Mahlke and junior Carly Skjodt have been named tri-captains for the 2017 season.
"I'm extremely excited about this group of leaders for the 2017 team," Rosen said. "They are very diverse in their leadership abilities and lots of different characteristics that will fill a really valuable lane in our leadership system."
A middle blocker, Kieffer-Wright started every match and played every set for the Wolverines in 2016 and recorded a .297 hitting percentage. The junior from Pasadena, California, led the Wolverines with 129 blocks and finished second on the team with 324 kills at 2.47 kills per set. Kieffer-Wright was named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament team and the Michigan/EMU Challenge All-Tournament team and led the team in kills seven times, recording double-digit kills in 11 straight matches to end the season.
Mahlke, an opposite hitter, appeared in 27 matches for Michigan last season, posting a .245 attack average. She averaged 1.80 kills per set and finished the year with 142 kills, and recorded double-figure kills in seven contests. A native of Downer's Grove, Illinois, Mahlke totaled a season-high 12 kills in Michigan's first victory over a top-25 team, a 3-1 win over Ohio State (Oct. 9).
Skjodt finished the 2016 season with 274 kills at 2.25 kills per set. An outside hitter from Indianapolis, Indiana, she posted a .204 attack average while also recording 2.05 digs per set. She was selected to the Academic All-Big Ten list and named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament team. The junior led all players with seven kill-dig double-doubles last season, including a double-double with a career-high 27 kills and 10 digs in a five-set win over No. 9 Penn State (Oct. 22).
"I think they'll do a great job, and I think it's a great honor for them to be named leaders for our team," added Rosen.
The University of Michigan volleyball program ended an impressive 2016 season with its sixth NCAA Tournament regional semifinal appearance and the highest NCAA Tournament seed in program history. Playing in arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the country, the Wolverines finished the 2016 season with multiple victories over top-ranked competition, including Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State and Oregon. All four of Michigan's victories over top-25 opponents came at the Wolverines' home court in Ann Arbor, with the victory over Oregon occurring during the NCAA Second Round.
Communications Contact: Katie Gwinn Hewitt