Site: Milwaukee, Wis. (Al McGuire Center)
Event: Ambassador Hotels Golden Eagle Classic
Score: #23 Michigan 3, #25 Northern Iowa 1 (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25)
Records: U-M (10-1), UNI (5-4)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 14 -- vs. Eastern Michigan - Coke/Michigan Invitational (Cliff Keen Arena), 11 a.m.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- The 23rd-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team picked up its first win over a ranked opponent in 2012, defeating No. 25 Northern Iowa in four sets (25-16, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25) on Saturday night (Sept. 8) in the Wolverines' final match of the Ambassador Hotel s Golden Eagle Classic in the Al McGuire Center.
Michigan had four players in double-figure kills for the third time this season. Junior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led the Wolverines with 19 kills on 53 swings. Freshman Kelly Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Walton) had 16 kills, while juniors Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) had 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) led Michigan with 19 digs, while Erwin had her second double-double of the weekend by adding 11 digs. Cross had six blocks and sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had 45 assists.
The Wolverines used an early 5-0 run to take a 5-2 lead, capped by a Toon kill. Erwin had a kill to give the Wolverines an 8-4 lead, forcing the Panthers to call timeout. Another kill by Erwin gave U-M a 13-6 advantage. Northern Iowa called another timeout after a Cross kill. Murphy's followed to make it 21-13 Michigan and the Maize and Blue took the first set, 25-16, on a Panther attack error. The Wolverines hit .281 in set one, with Murphy getting six kills.
There were seven ties and three lead changes in the second set. Northern Iowa got out to a fast start in the set, as a Toon error gave UNI a 12-4 lead. Northern Iowa led 16-9, but the Wolverines crept back into the game. Erwin's kill cut the Panther lead to 19-16. Two straight UNI attack errors made it 19-18. Cross had two kills in a row to tie the set at 20-all and a block by Toon and freshman Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) gave Michigan the 21-20 lead. UNI scored the next two points, but a block from Cross and Erwin tied the set at 22. The two teams traded points, but the Panthers scored the last two for the win as a service ace tied the match at one set apiece.
Michigan hit .353 in the third set in its 25-17 win. A service error and two Panther attack errors gave Michigan the 5-2 lead. Cross' kill made it 8-4, but the Panthers cut the lead to 11-9. Michigan answered with a three-point run off a Toon kill and two Panther attack errors. Michigan scored seven of nine points midway through the set, taking a 19-11 lead on back-to-back kills from Erwin and Cross. Murphy had a termination to give Michigan a 22-15 lead and the Maize and Blue scored the final two points of the set on a Goode kill and Morales service ace.
Michigan trailed for most of the beginning of the fourth set but fought back to take an 11-10 lead on an Erwin kill. Murphy's kill then made it 15-12 Michigan as UNI called time. Toon's termination gave Michigan a 17-12 lead and Erwin had a kill for a 20-16 advantage. Dannemiller and Cross combined on a block at 22-17 and Michigan had match point at 24-21 on a Murphy kill. Northern Iowa then reeled off four straight points and had a set point on the Wolverines. Toon fought that off with a kill and an Erwin kill and block from Goode and Toon sealed the match for U-M.
U-M hit .252 for the match and had 11 blocks on the night.
Michigan will now prepare for its final in-season tournament of 2012 next Friday and Saturday (Sept. 14-15) by hosting the Coke/Michigan Invitational. The Wolverines open play Friday at 11 a.m. against Eastern Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena.
N O T E S
Michigan had four players in double figures in kills for the fourth time this season. Michigan also had four players in double-digit kills in five-set wins over Virginia Tech (Aug. 25) and Arkansas (Sept. 1).
This is Michigan's 48th win over a ranked opponent since the 1982 season. Last year, Michigan was 4-9 against ranked teams.
Michigan has now won both meetings against Northern Iowa in the all-time series. Michigan also won in four sets on Sept. 5, 1992.
Lexi Erwin's double-double was her fifth of the season and 14th of her career. It also was her second of the tournament as she had 17 kills and 13 digs against Marquette.
Brittany Lee had a season-high 10 digs. She also was one dig off a career high of 11 set at Toledo on Aug. 28, 2010.
Molly Toon had five block assists, which tie a career high set against UMBC (Sept. 1, 2012).
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423