Michigan Tops Arkansas in Five-Set Thriller, Wins Own Tournament
Molly Toon

Sept. 1, 2012

Box Score | Highlights | Full Challenge Results

Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Event: adidas/Michigan Challenge
Score: #22 Michigan 3, Arkansas 2 (25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 18-16)
Records: U-M (7-0), Arkansas (6-1)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 7 -- vs. Wake Forest - Marquette Golden Eagle Classic (Milwaukee, Wis.), Noon CDT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 22nd-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team ended the adidas/Michigan Challenge with a thrilling five-set win over Arkansas Saturday night (Sept. 1) at Cliff Keen Arena. Set scores were 25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 21-25 and 18-16.

Sophomore and tournament Most Valuable Player Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had 59 assists in the win. Four Wolverines were in double figures in kills, led by freshman Kelly Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Walton) and junior Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) with 17 apiece. Junior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) had a double-double with 13 kills and 17 digs, while classmate Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) added 12 kills. Freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) had a match-high 27 digs.

The Wolverines fought back in the fifth set after being down 7-3. A kill from Murphy and three straight points off Dannemiller's serve knotted the set at seven. The set then went back and forth with 11 ties. Arkansas had match point at 15-14, but the Wolverines fought it off on a Murphy kill. An attack error from Roslandy Acosta gave Michigan match point, but Acosta came back with a kill to tie it at 16. Erwin then had a kill, and an Arkansas attack error gave the Maize and Blue the win and tournament championship.

Michigan hit .419 in the match's first set on its way to the eight-point win. Arkansas had the momentum early, taking a 6-1 lead on a Razorback block and an 8-4 advantage on a Wolverine service error. Michigan cut the Arkansas lead to 11-10 on an Erwin kill and went up 13-12 on a Murphy termination. Michigan built a 16-13 lead on Cross' kill and went up 19-14 on Cross' fifth kill of the set. Michigan scored the last two points of the set on Murphy's kill and service ace.

Arkansas came back to take the second set 25-21. Michigan got out to a 7-3 lead on a Dannemiller kill, but Arkansas scored the next four points to knot the set. The Wolverines again built a 13-7 advantage on back-to-back terminations from Toon, but Arkansas again tied the set at 13 apiece. Toon's kill gave U-M a 17-14 lead, and the Razorbacks came back to tie the set at 17. An Erwin kill gave Michigan a 20-17 lead, but Arkansas ended the set on an 8-1 run, evening the match at one set apiece.

Michigan used Cross' seven kills in the third set to take back the lead in the match. Murphy's kill gave Michigan a 7-5 lead. There were six ties in the set, the final one at 17-all. The Maize and Blue went on a three-point run after that, capped by a service ace from freshman Lindsey Lerg (Farmington Hills, Mich./Mercy). Toon's kill gave Michigan a 23-20 lead, and Cross ended the set with a kill to give Michigan a 25-22 win.

Michigan opened the fourth set with a 7-4 lead on freshman Krystalyn Goode's (River Falls, Wis./Nicolet) kill. Erwin gave Michigan a 12-10 lead on a kill, but Arkansas scored the next four points on a kill and three straight Michigan attack errors. U-M battled back to take an 18-15 lead on Dannemiller's kill and led 20-18 on a termination from Toon. Arkansas ended the set by scoring seven of the last eight points to push the match to a fifth and deciding set.

Michigan hit .224 in the win, compared to .217 for the Razorbacks. The Maize and Blue had 74 kills to Arkansas' 64 and recorded 79 digs on the night.

Michigan will take the road next Friday and Saturday (Sept. 7-8) for the Marquette Golden Eagle Classic in Milwaukee, Wis. U-M will open the tournament against Wake Forest on Friday at noon CDT.


Lexi Dannemiller was named the adidas/Michigan Challenge Most Valuable Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Lexi Erwin and Molly Toon. Dannemiller and Erwin earned all-tournament team honors for the second straight week.

• Michigan is now 2-0 in five-set matches this season. The Wolverines also defeated Virginia Tech in five set on Aug. 25.

• Junior Jennifer Cross had a career-high 17 kills in the win over Arkansas. Her previous career high was 16 on two occasions.

• Freshman Kelly Murphy had a career-high 17 kills in the win over Arkansas. Her previous career high was 13 against Virginia Tech on Aug. 25.

• Michigan has won all five appearances against Arkansas.

• This is the second time Michigan has had four players in double figures in kills this season. This also occurred against Virginia Tech on Aug. 25.

• Freshman Tiffany Morales had a career-high 27 digs, the most by a Wolverine since Sloane Donhoff had 30 digs against Northwestern on Nov. 18, 2011.

• Junior Lexi Erwin picked up her third double-double of the season with 13 digs and 17 kills.

• Michigan has now won nine straight in-season tournaments dating back to the 2010 season.

• Freshman Krystalyn Goode had a career high eight kills.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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