Volleyball

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Driving through the cornfields of Nebraska, Michigan coach Mark Rosen raved about his newcomers set to take the court.

Michigan volleyball coach Mark Rosen is preparing his team for the 2021 season.

The Michigan volleyball team and the rest of the Big Ten are set to kick off their conference-only season on the weekend of Jan. 22.

After growing up as a ballgirl at Michigan games, Jess Mruzik is ready to take the floor as a player at Cliff Keen Arena.

At 10 years old, Jess Mruzik already knew she wanted to play for Michigan someday.

Several of Michigan's top volleyball players come from the nearby Legacy Volleyball program.

Touted by its own website as Michigan’s number one club volleyball program, Legacy has garnered a reputation around the collegiate volleyball community as a breeding ground for elite-level talent. And Michigan coach Mark Rosen’s program seems to be a common destination for many of the club’s top level recruits.

Volleyball coach Mark Rosen is learning to live with the possibilities of the fall semester.

As head coach Mark Rosen enters his 22nd year at the helm, a telling realization has set in.

“Coaches and athletic administrators, we’re planners,” Rosen said Thursday in an inerview with the Daily. “It’s what we do. We plan all the time. We plan for matches, we plan for practices, we plan everything. This is such a weird time because you plan, but you really don’t know what you’re planning for. So, as we’re going through this and we’re trying to create schedules and plans, we’ve kind of realized that there’s a lot of different pathways this could take.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about the fall being canceled potentially. So when those conferences did it, I don’t think I was surprised, but it certainly makes you realize this whole thing could be tumbling down pretty quickly. We just have to be understanding of that, we just have to know that’s a possibility.”

Michigan volleyball is learning to be flexible after 4 months apart from each other.

Volleyball coach Mark Rosen walks through the day he had to send his team home, and the ensuing planning period of the next four months.

Janine and Natalie with University of Texas Arlington athletes

Janine Smith's journey with volleyball, from Iowa to Texas and her volleyball family.

Middle blocker Jess Robinson, who earned an All-Big Ten Freshman Team nomination this past season, was one of three Wolverines invited to the USA College National Team tryouts.

Three players from the 2019 Michigan volleyball roster were invited to the USA College National Team tryouts. In the fall, they accounted for a combined 56.8 percent of the Wolverines’ kills, 48.4 percent of their blocks and 44.6 percent of their serving aces.

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For the No. 22 Michigan women’s volleyball team, the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship was a tale of two games — one in which the Wolverines were dominant and one in which they got dominated.

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Out of the 16 games in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, only three were won by lower seeded teams — and Michigan was not one of them.