Aug. 26, 2011
Site: Morehead, Ky. (Wetherby Gymnasium)
Event: Morehead State Eagle Challenge
Score: #24 Michigan 3, Morehead State 1 (25-13, 22-25, 25-10, 25-17)
Records: U-M (2-0), Morehead State (0-1)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Aug. 27 -- at Morehead State (Morehead, Ky.), 5 p.m.
MOREHEAD, Ky. -- Senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) put down 13 kills and sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) notched 12, as the No. 24-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team defeated Morehead State, 3-1 (25-13, 22-25, 26-24, 25-17), on Saturday evening (Aug. 26) at Wetherby Gymnasium.
Fletcher also recorded four blocks and a service ace. Freshman Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 38 assists and senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) once again anchored the defense with 19 digs.
Up 10-8 in the first set, U-M scored five of the next six points to grab a 15-9 lead and force a Morehead State timeout. It was all Michigan after that point as U-M held the hosts to a -.034 attack percentage for the 25-13 win. Erwin led the way with four kills, while senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph)and Fletcher both chipped in three.
Michigan jumped out to a 14-10 lead in the second, but Morehead State slowly climbed back into the set. The teams traded points until a Michigan attack error put MSU on top at 20-19, giving the Eagles the lead for good. The Maize and Blue staved off one match point at 24-21 when the Eagles put a serve in the net, but MSU made good on the next point to tie the match at 1-1 with a 25-22 win.
Morehead State kept it rolling to start the third, taking a 4-1 lead early in the set. Michigan ripped off nine of the next 12 points to force an MSU stoppage at 10-7. The timeout did not stop the Wolverines' momentum as three kills each from Fletcher and Erwin keyed Michigan to a 25-10 victory.
The fourth set started just like the third as MSU grabbed an early 8-4 lead, before U-M began to rally. With Michigan clinging to an 11-10 advantage, U-M used kills from Hunt and sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) to go with three MSU errors for a decisive five-point spurt, propelling Michigan to a 25-17 win for the match.
Michigan will be back on the court tomorrow (Saturday, Aug. 27) against Morehead State at 5 p.m.
N O T E S
Courtney Fletcher tied her career high with 13 kills. She put down 13 against Toledo during the 2010 season (Aug. 28, 2010).
Michigan used the same starting lineup (Cross, Hunt, Dannemiller, Erwin, McElheny, Fletcher and Donhoff) for both matches.
Michigan moves to 3-0 all-time versus Morehead State.
Alex Hunt registered four aces, marking the eighth time she has had at least four in one match.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the day ... "I think it is a good starting point for this team. I thought we got tested a few times in match situations where the girls could have easily gotten frustrated, but they didn't. Game three against Marshall, we did a great job of finding a way to win. It was ugly, but it was a win. Against Morehead State, in game two, they punched us in the mouth. They got some momentum going. We are young in some areas and we looked like it. But we regrouped really well in games three and four and won it pretty convincingly. I am pleased with that, and it is good to respond when you are in those types of situations. Last year, I thought we had too weak of a preseason schedule, and I think there were times when we would have benefited from having matches like this early in the season."
On more offensive balance in the second match ... "We were trying to be balanced in the first match, but we were just struggling to find kills from anywhere other than on the outside. That is just coming. That is the young setting coupled with the hitters having to carry more of a load than they are used to. I thought in the second match, Courtney Fletcher did a really good job of getting going and so did (Lexi) Erwin. That was good to see for both of them. I think we are getting it. We have a pretty vanilla offense in right now without a lot of options just because we are still working on some things with a young setter. We need to get a lot more options so we can find ways to get kills from other places than just the outside."
On his senior leadership ... "I was proud of our upperclassmen. I have always said you go as far as your seniors will take you. I thought Fletcher, as a senior, did a great job. Same thing with Alex (Hunt), doing a great job carrying a big load both offensively and defensively for us. I thought Sloane (Donhoff) was huge for us, making some huge defensive plays at some critical times. I think those kids did a great job and you need your seniors to do that."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423