Aug. 28, 2010
Site: Toledo, Ohio (Savage Arena)
Event: Rocket Classic
Score: Toledo 3, #12 Michigan 2 (18-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 17-15)
Records: U-M (2-1), Toledo (3-0)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 3 -- vs. UNLV - Active Ankle Challenge (Corvallis, Ore.), 4:30 p.m. PDT
TOLEDO, Ohio -- After battling back from a 14-11 fifth-set deficit to take a 15-14 lead, the No. 12-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team dropped the final set, 17-15, to give Toledo a 3-2 victory (18-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 17-15) in the finale of the Rocket Classic on Saturday night (Aug. 28) at Savage Arena.
The Wolverines had three players record double-doubles, led by senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington), who had 56 assists, 20 digs, six kills and two service aces on the evening. Junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) recorded 24 kills and 13 digs, while junior middle blocker Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) had 13 kills and 10 blocks. Redshirt junior middle blocker Karlee Bruck (Elyria, Ohio/Elyria) chipped in 14 kills, while six Wolverines hit double-digits in digs.
Down 14-11 in the fifth and deciding set, Michigan reeled off four straight points to tie the set at 14. The Wolverines had match point at 15-14, before Toledo scored three consecutive points to win the five-set thriller.
Michigan stormed out to an early 13-7 lead in the fourth, but Toledo slowly climbed back into the set, taking a 20-19 lead. The Rockets kept the lead, winning the fourth, 26-24, and sending the match to a fifth set.
U-M trailed 20-18 in the third but regained a 21-20 advantage off a Hunt kill, forcing a Toledo timeout. After taking set point at 24-22, the Rockets scored the next two points to knot the set at 24. An attack error by Toledo, followed by a tip kill from Hunt, gave Michigan the 26-24 victory.
After falling behind 20-15 in the second set, the Wolverines closed the gap to two, 20-18. The Rockets responded by scoring five of the next seven points to hit the break with the match tied at 1-1.
The Wolverines never trailed in the first set, jumping out to a quick 10-4 lead off the Zimmerman solo block to force a Toledo timeout. U-M did not let up, taking a 25-18 first-set decision. Fletcher led the way with five kills, while Bruck recorded four in the opening set.
Michigan travels out west next weekend, heading to Corvallis, Ore., for the Active Ankle Challenge at Oregon State University. The Wolverines will first square off against UNLV on Friday (Sept. 3) at 4:30 p.m. PDT.
N O T E S
The Wolverines used their third different starting lineup of the young season. Tonight's starters were Sloane Donhoff, Karlee Bruck, Alex Hunt, Claire McElheny, Courtney Fletcher, Maggie Busch and Lexi Zimmerman.
Michigan used all three middle blockers from the third set on, with each player playing both on the right side and in the middle.
Lexi Zimmerman recorded her 27th career match with at least 50 assists. She also hit the 20-dig mark for the first time since her freshman year.
Courtney Fletcher recorded her first career double-double with 13 kills and 10 blocks. She is the only player on the current roster to achieve a kill-block double-double.
Michigan had six players with double-digit digs: Lexi Zimmerman (20), Maggie Busch (14), Alex Hunt (13), Sloane Donhoff (12), Ally Sabol (12) and Brittany Lee (11). Lee, Busch and Sabol all hit double-digits for the first time in their careers.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On whether there is a target on their back, being the No. 12 team in the country ... "You would have to ask the other team. I think there is no question that we played a little tight out there, while they were out there just playing. I have no doubt in my mind that it has to do with expectation. The team was playing to protect that (the ranking), and that is something we have to learn to play with. Also, we are really young; we had three or four freshmen out there a lot of the time. We are still trying to figure out our lineup, and there are a lot of things we need to get better at."
On the difference in the match ... "We missed 17 serves and only had seven aces. That is not a good percentage. They only missed five serves, which right there is 12 points. When you miss that many serves, you then have to serve to get it in. Toledo, when they are in system, is a really fast team. When we are serving softer, we are letting them run their system. They were really good in transition, and we were not. Any time a rally went more than one or two swings, they won it. They were running and were aggressive. They really came at us."
On the young players ... "We are certainly seeing some pieces that are really exciting. Ally (Sabol) really played well tonight, stepping in for Sloane (Donhoff) at the libero spot. She showed some great things that can fit into our system. Jen (Cross) has been playing really well and showing us some things that she can bring to the team. Lexi Erwin at times had some good moments. Brittany Lee played well. Yes, we are young, but that is not an excuse. We have a lot of work to do as coaches and as a team to figure out who we are, how we are going to play and how we are going to get better."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423