The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 75   OLYMPIC SPORTS from her midfield position. She was named to NFHCA All-West Region second team. Athlete To Watch: Incoming freshman forward Bree Bednar- ski recorded 127 career goals at Wyoming (Pa.) Area High. As a senior, she set a new Penn- sylvania single-season record with 67 goals. She was a three- time all-state honoree, earn- ing first-team honors as a ju- nior and senior, and honorable mention as a sophomore. She's being looked at as a definite contributor during her rookie campaign. D o n't M i s s : M i c h i g a n at North Carolina Oct. 2. The Tar Heels eliminated M ichigan from the NCAA Tournament last year before losing to Syracuse in the national title game. VOLLEYBALL First Match: Aug. 26, vs. Saint Louis. Big Ten Predicted Finish: Top six. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Sweet 16. Coach's Exp ec tations: "I think we have a great group. We have a good combination of some veteran leadership, experience and some really young, athletic talent," head coach Mark Rosen said. "I think the combination that we have is exciting. There is some solid experience and some youthful exuberance. "If you play a sport at Michi- gan, I think the expectations are similar. We want to compete at the highest level. We want to compete to win our confer- ence, we want to compete na- tionally and go far in the NCAA Tournament. At this early point in the year, that's what we're shooting for." Top Player: Michigan's tallest player, standing 6-5, senior middle blocker/ outside/opposite hitter Abby Cole was an American Volleyball Coaches' Associ- ation second-team All-American and an All-Big Ten first-teamer a season ago af- ter leading Michigan with 382 kills and 123 blocks. She had 19 double-digit kill nights, including contests against top-ranked Penn State, Ohio State and Illinois. "She came back this season in a re- ally good place," Rosen said. "She had a great tour with the college national team in China. She was tournament MVP and a captain, so she's in a good place with her game and her mentality. I'm excited about where she's at. "She's very ready to compete at the highest level and she's been very fo- cused and very committed to this team as a senior." Athlete To Watch: Junior outside hit- ter Adeja Lambert started 17 games as a true freshman, but that num- ber dropped to 10 last year as a sophomore. She's expected to play an instrumental role this season. Incoming freshman Tiffany Clark was thought of as per- haps the best libero to ever come out of the state of Illinois and was named to the Under Armour All-America second team as a senior. Fellow rookie MacKenzi Welsh was a four- year letter winner and four- time captain at Plainfield East in Bolingbrook, Ohio, and was also named to the Under Ar- mour All-America second team as a senior. "Lambert played a lot as a freshman, but then last year not as much," Rosen said. "She's had a great offseason and looks to be ready to do some great things. "I think we also have two freshmen to keep an eye on. Tiffany is a libero coming in and she's really good. She was on the youth national team last summer. "MacKenzi is a setter for us and she's coming in as argu- ably one of the top two setters nationally in this last recruiting class. I think both of those two will be in the mix as we start putting the team together." Don't Miss: Michigan vs. de- fending national champion Ne- braska kicks off conference play Sept. 23. MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY First Event: Sept. 2, Michigan Open. Big Ten Predicted Finish: Top three. NCAA Best-Case Scenario: Top 15. Coach's Expectations: "I think we have high expectations and it will be an interesting season," head coach Kevin Sullivan said. "It's tough when you grad- uate a guy as good as Mason Ferlic. "We are young and need to develop, but we're a team that can win and finish top three in the conference." Top Runner: Senior Ben Flanagan is the best returning runner for the Wol- verines after five top-15 finishes last season during a strong junior cam- paign. Behind 2015 star and top-10 na- Senior middle blocker/outside/opposite hitter Abby Cole is a two- time All-Big Ten selection. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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