Volleyball: Plainfield East graduate Welsh sets for Michigan, Team USA

Plainfield East graduate MacKenzi Welsh, playing for the United States, sets the ball in the U20 World Championships.

Twelve years of hard work will set up anyone for success.

After being a standout volleyball player at Plainfield East, MacKenzi Welsh already has made a name for herself at the collegiate level.

Welsh was named an AVCA honorable mention All-American, was an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection and made the All-Big Ten Freshman Team in her debut season at the University of Michigan. She dished out 10.61 assists a set and played in all 35 matches.

The summer did not slow her down at all.

The sophomore setter represented Team USA in the Pan American Cup and the U20 World Championships. The U.S. took first at the Pan American Cup in Costa Rica and seventh at the World Championships in Mexico.

“Being a part of the USA team is an experience unlike any other,” Welsh said. “You get to travel the world with girls from across the country and form lifelong friendships. It’s awesome because these are the girls that I will play against throughout the next few years. I’m in a really good spot right now. I have loved every minute of this summer and cannot wait for Michigan to start again.”

Representing Team USA was an invaluable experience for numerous reasons.

More important than winning the Pan American Cup was losing in the World Championships. Welsh cites losing as a way to identify who you are as a player and how you can react and rebound from certain situations.

As an athlete, learning that is vital, especially since Welsh is a part of a team that wants to take her program to the next level. In 2012, Michigan reached the Final Four and last season, the Wolverines made the tournament and finished 14th, losing to Creighton, 3-2.

Welsh was a big part in her team’s success.

Being a freshman starting setter is difficult because that position touches the ball every point. Even with that pressure, Welsh had 1,390…

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