Despite Michigan’s 3-1 loss to Northwestern on Saturday, history was made last night when Stesha Selsky notched a career high of 39 digs. It gave her the second-most single-match digs in program history, just four short of Jayne Hickman’s 43 digs in a match against Wisconsin in 1985. Selsky now totals 954 digs in her career, and she could become the fastest Wolverine to reach 1,000.
“I had a lot of fun being there with my teammates tonight, and we all tried to do our best,” Selsky said.
This weekend’s game got off to an exciting start with an edge-of-your-seat 10 ties and 10 lead changes, finally leading to a 23-23 deadlock before Northwestern caught fire with a 7-1 run to finish off the first game, 30-24.
Game two was also a tight match, and the Wolverines successfully overcame a 20-11 deficit to take a late 28-27 lead. But the Wildcats managed to tie the score and then go on to win 30-28.
The Wolverines fought back and dominated the Wildcats in game three, taking a 19-9 lead and finishing with a 30-22 victory. Coming off the bench, sophomore Sarah Draves led the way with four kills and Erin Cobler and Lyndsay Miller earned two each.
“Because we won this game, we thought we would be successful in the next one,” captain Cobler said. “We just played inconsistently and broke down in some areas.”
Northwestern took a 27-17 lead late in the final game but had to fight off a strong rally from the Wolverines. Despite Michigan’s efforts, Northwestern maintained control and won 30-24, giving the Wildcats the match, 3-1.
“Northwestern played good defense, and it was hard to get a kill on them,” Selsky said.
“Northwestern served aggressively, and we had difficulty passing tonight even though they have been passing great all week long,” Michigan coach Mark Rosen said.
The Wolverines now have to win the last two games of the season to qualify for the NCAA Championships. With the pressure turned on high to win the next two games, Michigan knows it has a lot of work to do.
“Our No. 1 focus will be on playing better, but we took a step backwards tonight,” Rosen said.
Their opponents for the next two games will be No. 17 Ohio State on Nov. 25 and No. 2 Penn State on Nov. 26. The team has just four days to work on their blocking and passing. They will both be home games and the last one will take place during Senior Night, so there is plenty of potential to succeed. But the waters will be rough. Despite today’s loss, Rosen said he remained proud of his team and added that he is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.