Feb. 13, 2014
Freshman Jamie Nolan is the second from her family to play water polo at Michigan, joining older sister Kelsey on the 2014 Wolverine squad. Nolan was a celebrated player at Leland High School in San Jose, Calif., earning NISCA All-American first team honors as a senior and several local Player of the Year nods over her prep career. She has played all seven games for U-M this season, registering three goals and three assists.
As the Wolverines prepare to resume competition at the Bison Invitational, Jamie took some time after practice to talk about her adjustment to collegiate water polo, the closeness of the freshman class and playing with her older sister again.
Q: How much do you feel like you've progressed since you arrived in Ann Arbor last fall?
A: I think I've progressed a lot. I've definitely gotten a lot stronger from all the weight and workouts. I feel more aware of the game plan. I know I still have a long ways to go. But I'd like to think I've made some good progress.
Q: What's the biggest adjustment from high school?
A: How fast the game goes. In high school, it's a lot slower and you get pretty comfortable at that speed. College is a whole different level. Adjusting to that is challenging. It's a weird feeling going from the senior back down to the freshman. That's another adjustment.
Q: You played several highly-ranked teams on the California trip. Was that a good opportunity to see the benchmark that we'd like to reach this season?
A: Yeah, I really think it was. That really felt like our first big tournament, and those teams we faced -- that's where we need to be. It's good to see that firsthand. We made great steps toward that goal over the weekend -- game-to-game and, even in some instances, quarter to quarter. We did a good job picking up on things and improving in areas. There is still a lot of work on, but we're getting better.
Q: It seems like the freshman class is particularly close. Has that been fun getting to know each other?
A: With our unique daily and weekly schedule, we don't get out and see a ton of other people that often. So, we kind of stick together. They're all great girls, and I like them all. We've grown really close, and it's been a lot of fun.
Q: How has it been playing with Kelsey again?
A: It's great. I love it. She'll tell me what to do when I need it. That communication is great. She can kind of direct me. Matt (Anderson) always talks about having one word and instantly having everyone know what you mean. I think I really have that with Kelsey. It's been a few years since we played together, but it's still there.
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