Maize & Blue Holds Off Virginia Tech in Five Sets
Jennifer Cross

Aug. 25, 2012

Box Score | Notes

Site: Columbia, Mo. (Hearnes Center)
Event: Tiger Invitational
Score: #23 Michigan 3, Virginia Tech 2 (23-25, 25-16, 20-25, 29-27, 15-12)
Records: U-M (3-0), VT (1-2)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Aug. 25 -- at Missouri (Columbia, Mo.), 7 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The 23rd-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team rallied to win a five-set match over Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 25) on day two of the Tiger Invitational at the Hearnes Center. Game scores in Michigan's first five-set match of the season were 23-25, 25-16, 20-25, 29-27 and 15-12.

One night after tying her career high in kills, junior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) set a new career high with 29 terminations. She also was one of three Wolverines with double-doubles as she had 13 digs. Erwin was joined in the double-digit kill club by freshman Kelly Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Walton) and junior Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate), who had 13 and 11, respectively. Murphy also had a double-double with 11 digs. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had 57 assists, her second straight 50-plus assist match, and 14 digs. Four Wolverines had double-digit digs, led by 15 from freshman Tiffany Morales(Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union). Cross also added eight total blocks (one solo, seven assisted).

Michigan hit .333 in the deciding fifth set, with four of those kills coming from Cross. There were seven ties in the set, the last one coming at 10-all on an assisted block from Cross and fifth-year senior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf). Cross joined Erwin on a block to give Michigan a one-point lead and Cross' kill gave the Maize and Blue a two-point cushion. Erwin's kill made it 13-11 Michigan. Virginia Tech answered with a kill of its own, but Dannemiller had a kill to force match point. Erwin ended the match with a service ace, improving U-M to 3-0 on the year.

Michigan raced out to a 5-1 lead in the first set and led 9-4 after an Erwin kill. Virginia Tech came back to tie the match at 12. Michigan led 16-15 on a Cross termination, but the Hokies went on a 4-0 run and never trailed again in that set. A McElheny kill cut Tech's lead to 24-23, but a U-M service error ended the set.

U-M came back in the second set, hitting .290 compared to .042 for Virginia Tech to tie the match. Consecutive attack errors by the Hokies gave the Wolverines an 8-5 lead. Michigan went on a 6-0 run in the middle of the set, as freshman Krystalyn Goode's (River Falls, Wis./Nicolet) kill gave the Maize and Blue a 14-7 lead. A Wiker attack error gave Michigan a double-digit advantage (19-9) and U-M closed out the set on a McElheny kill.

Virginia Tech got out to an 8-5 lead in the third set, but Michigan forced 10 ties in the game, the latest at 16-all on block assists from McElheny and Goode. Tech rattled off four straight points after that tie, capped by a Hokie block at 20-16. Virginia Tech scored the last three points of the set off kills to take it 25-20.

The fourth set was even closer with 12 ties and four lead changes, before U-M broke through and set up the fifth game. Michigan led 14-8 on a Murphy termination, but Virginia Tech went on a 9-3 run to tie it at 17. Michigan went up 21-19 as Tech had an attack error. The Hokies called a timeout and scored three straight points to take the one-point lead. Michigan then scored three straight points, the last on a service ace from freshman Lindsey Lerg (Farmington Hills, Mich./Mercy), but Virginia Tech scored two in a row to tie it. The two teams traded points until kills from Cross and Erwin gave U-M the 29-27 set win.

Michigan had 13 total blocks and eight service aces in the five-set match. U-M hit .276, compared to .223 for Virginia Tech.

The Wolverines will conclude play in the Tiger Invitational tonight against host Missouri at 7 p.m. CDT.

»  Learn about Michigan volleyball ticket opportunities for the 2017 season.