April 17, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Following the completion of the University of Michigan volleyball team's spring season, head coach Mark Rosen announced that fifth-year senior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) and senior/junior Brittany Lee (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) will serve as captains for the 2012 season.
"I am really excited about the opportunity Claire and Brittany have to be our captains," Rosen said. "They did a great job of earning the respect of their teammates and our coaching staff during the spring. I look forward to seeing them take that next step as leaders in our program. I think they each bring something different in terms of their leadership style and that will be a good thing. Like I told the team, however, the responsibility to lead is not just on them. Everyone has a responsibility to step up and help this team."
McElheny, the team's lone senior, played in all 35 matches on the right side in 2011, averaging 2.54 kills per set on a .277 attack percentage. Lee was limited to three matches in 2011 after a shoulder injury sidelined her for the majority of the year.
The Wolverines just completed their spring season, going 8-1 in nine matches. U-M kicked off the season with three 2-0 wins at Oakland on March 17, knocking off Saginaw Valley State (25-15, 25-14), Oakland (25-15, 15-12) and Lake Superior State (25-12, 25-10). The Maize and Blue swept Notre Dame in Grand Rapids, Mich., in a best-of-five match (25-16, 25-11, 25-17) on March 24. The Wolverines then traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to take on the Flyers in two three-set matches. The teams split the two matches as Dayton came away with a 2-1 win (25-22, 19-25, 16-14), before the Maize and Blue took the second by a 2-1 margin (21-25, 25-15, 16-14).
Michigan wrapped up the slate of matches with a 3-0 mark at its home tournament on April 14. U-M did not drop a set in a trio of 2-0 wins over Toledo (25-14, 25-15), Western Michigan (25-21, 26-24) and Northwestern (25-16, 25-22).
"I thought that in all our years at Michigan, this was our biggest spring of growth," Rosen said of the spring season. "I thought that we developed both collectively as a group and as individuals. I really like the dynamic of this team and even though we had a small number all spring, everyone worked hard to get better every day. Everyone had a significant role all spring and that allowed us to take some major steps. You always want to leave the spring season and feel prepared for the fall; I think this group is ready for that."
The Wolverines return seven letterwinners from last year's 22-13 team that reached the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in the past five years.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423