Final Four Notebook: Meet the Media, Practice at KFC Yum! Center
KFC Yum! Center

Dec. 12, 2012

Photo Gallery | Game Central

The University of Michigan volleyball, after a police escort from the airport to the hotel, arrived in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday night (Dec. 11). After a good night's sleep in the hotel, the Maize and Blue walked over to the KFC Yum! Center to start a full day of activities in advance of Thursday night's (Dec. 13) national semifinal match against No. 3 Texas. That match starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

Michigan's day began with photo shoots and interviews with ESPN. The production crew had each player say their name and hometown, which will be used to introduced the viewers to the starting lineups (Keep an eye out for Lexi Dannemiller's wink!). Jennifer Cross, Lexi Dannemiller and Lexi Erwin then did a photo shoot for the network, taking some serious and fun photos individually and as a group. Most of the team then met with ESPN's announcing crew of Beth Mowins, Karch Kiraly and Maria Taylor, talking about the team and its run to the national semifinal.

In addition to the ESPN photo shoots, the Wolverines had stand ups for the Big Screen Network, which will produce the material on the video screens in the KFC Yum! Center. Fans at the match tomorrow can check these out during the starting lineups and in between sets.

After the interviews, the Maize and Blue had a 90-minute practice, working on serve-receive, blocking, defense and attacking. The practices were open to the public and many of the fans were also in town for the AVCA Convention. Among the Wolverine fans in attendance was Sandy Vong, who received an honorary M letter this fall and was the head coach for the Wolverines from 1973-83.

Head coach Mark Rosen, Claire McElheny and Lexi Erwin went to the pre-tournament press conference after practice.
[ Pre-Tournament Press Conference ]

All four teams as well as representatives from Louisville and the NCAA convened at the KFC Yum! Center for the NCAA Volleyball Championships banquet. The players took funny photos in the photo booth, while a bluegrass band was playing in the background. After the meal, a representative from each team answered two questions. Claire McElheny was Michigan's rep and talked about the freshmen's improvement from August until now. She then was asked to tell the crowd something about Mark Rosen that no one else knew. Her answer? Mark and Leisa met at a Final Four.

It was a long and fun for the team, but Thursday will be much like a normal gameday with a closed practice in the morning. For continuing coverage of the Wolverines at the NCAA Volleyball Championships, keep checking back to

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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