Sept. 2, 2011
Site: Orem, Utah (Shurian Family Activity Center)
Event: La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational
Result: #24 Michigan 3, Utah Valley 0 (25-17, 25-17, 27-25)
Records: U-M (4-0), Utah Valley (2-2)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Sept. 3 -- vs. Santa Clara - La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational (Orem, Utah), 10 a.m. MDT
OREM, Utah -- Propelled by 19 service aces, one off a program record, the No. 24-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team defeated Utah Valley, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 27-25), in the opening match of the La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational on Friday evening (Sept. 2) at the Shurian Family Activity Center.
Freshman Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) recorded seven service aces to go with a career-best 40 assists and 10 digs for her first career double-double. Senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) put down a season-high 12 kills to go with two blocks and senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) had 12 kills, four service aces and three digs. Senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) once again anchored U-M's back line with 14 digs.
Trailing for the majority of the third, Michigan staved off three set points before taking a 27-25 win for the match. With the set tied at 22-all, UVU quickly gained a 24-22 lead. U-M used a back-row kill off the tape from Hunt to climb back within a point. Donhoff followed with an ace to tie the set again, but Utah Valley's kill on the next point put Michigan in a 25-24 hole. U-M responded with three straight kills -- from sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park), senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) and McElheny -- for the come-from-behind win.
Knotted at 6-6 in the second, a slide kill from sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) gave the Wolverines the lead for good in the frame. Michigan's lead swelled to as many as eight points en route to the 25-17 win for a 2-0 lead at the intermission. U-M, which hit .303 in the set, rode the hot hitting of Hunt, who found the floor six times, with fellow outside hitter Erwin going for four.
The Wolverines scored the first point of the match, keeping the lead for the entirety of the first set in a 25-17 victory. U-M took advantage of eight service aces in the first frame, including three each from Dannemiller and Fletcher. The Maize and Blue held Utah Valley to a .087 attack percentage, with Cross putting down four kills to lead the offensive attack.
The Wolverines are back on the court tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 3) for a pair of matches. U-M will take on Santa Clara at 10 a.m. MDT, followed by Cal Poly at 4:30 p.m. MDT.
N O T E S
Sloane Donhoff recorded at least 10 digs for the 22nd consecutive match. She has reached that plateau 79 times in her career.
Courtney Fletcher's four service aces were a career high.
Lexi Dannemiller's double-double was the first recorded by a Wolverine this season.
Michigan moves to 2-0 all-time against Utah Valley.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the team's serving ... "I was happy with the way we have adjusted since being here. It is a tough gym to serve and pass in. We struggled the first day in practice but got better in today's practice and then really came out great tonight. We were really aggressive in our serving at the beginning of the match and we really dominated in that area. In games one and two, we really controlled the serve and pass game. I thought they really came at us in game three and we had a tough time finding our rhythm again. We got loose in our passing and then they really took it to us. But we regrouped and closed it out when we needed to in game three."
On fighting off set points ... "We have done that a couple of times so far this season, so it really is nothing new. We don't want to keep putting ourselves in that position, but it is nice to see them fighting and competing well at that point in a match. Sometimes, you see teams who do exactly the opposite when the game is on the line. I love the fight that this team keeps showing."
On the offense ... "I thought that Lexi Dannemiller had a great match. She did a really good job setting our right side and our middles to get everyone involved. We keep throwing more of our offense in there and Lexi did a great job tonight of running a more diverse, balanced offense. I thought that Claire (McElheny) had a solid match. She just cracked her first ball and kept it a high level all match."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423