Now in his 20th season at the helm of the women’s volleyball program, the Michigan head coach sees things through a lens fundamentally different than many others. To Rosen, effort and growth are equally important to scores and his team’s record.
There was almost as much red as maize and blue in the stands at Cliff Keen Arena on Saturday night, which made for an intense — and loud — match. The No.15 Michigan women's volleyball took on No. 6 Nebraksa in front of a sold-out crowd.
The collective look of surprise from everyone except the Wolverines could be seen when Michigan volleyball coach Mark Rosen opted to pull career starter Mackenzi Welsh for freshman Erin O’Leary against Maryland during a 3-0 loss on Wednesday night.
Just over a week after the No. 14 Michigan volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker at home to Wisconsin — beginning a three-match losing streak — the Wolverines came through with their biggest win of the season.
What the audience might not have seen coming, however, was freshman Paige Jones’ 18-kill performance at a .349 clip while almost single-handedly winning the first set for the No. 12 Michigan volleyball team.
No. 7 Wisconsin’s 6-foot-8 sophomore middle blocker challenged No. 12 Michigan (18-4 overall, 7-4 Big Ten) all night, and the injury-hampered Wolverines were unable to answer in a 25-18, 16-25, 22-25, 25-21, 11-15 loss at Crisler Center on Friday night.
With a trio of starters sidelined due to injury, the No. 12 Michigan volleyball team (18-5 overall, 7-5 Big Ten) struggled to find consistency in a 25-27, 10-25, 20-25 loss to No. 3 Minnesota (18-2, 12-0) on Saturday night.
Facing a top-10 team with injuries to two key members of the starting lineup, junior outside hitter Sydney Wetterstrom and redshirt junior middle blocker Cori Crocker, there was a feeling this one could get away from Michigan early. Then, senior outside hitter Carly Skjodt happened.