Fifth-Set Comeback Propels Michigan to Victory over Duke
Kelly Murphy

Sept. 15, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Event: Coke/Michigan Invitational
Score: #22 Michigan 3, Duke 2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-25, 15-13)
Records: U-M (12-2), Duke (9-3)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 21 -- vs. Indiana (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Down 8-5 in the fifth and deciding set, the 22nd-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team rallied from that deficit to defeat Duke 3-2 in the sixth match of the Coke/Michigan Invitational Saturday night (Sept. 15) at Cliff Keen Arena. Set scores were 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 15-25 and 15-13.

Michigan had four players in double figures in kills, led by junior Lexi Erwin's (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) 18 terminations. Freshman Kelly Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Walton) and junior Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) both had kill-dig double-doubles. Murphy had 14 kills and 14 digs, while Toon had 10 apiece. Junior Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) had 11 kills and seven blocks. Sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had an assist-dig double-double with 56 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) led the Michigan dig parade with 15.

Duke opened the fifth set with a 3-1 lead and made it 7-4 on a Michigan attack error. Chelsea Cook's kill gave Duke a 9-7 lead, but Michigan started its comeback with a kill from fifth-year senior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Prep) and an assisted block from McElheny and Cross, tying the set at 9-all. Duke then went back up by two points (12-10), forcing U-M to take timeout. Erwin and Toon had back-to-back kills to make it 12-all and a big kill from Toon gave Michigan its first lead in the set. A Duke bad set then gave the Wolverines match point. Duke held off one match point on a Michigan service error, but Erwin's kill gave Michigan the 15-13 win and the match.

Michigan took the first set 25-20, hitting .345 and having four blocks in the game. Michigan went up 5-1 off the hot serve of Toon and took an 8-4 advantage on a Cross service ace. Blocks from Toon and freshman Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) made it 12-7 Wolverines and an Erwin kill gave Michigan a five-point lead at 16-11. Duke tightened the set late, getting to 22-20 on a Cross error, but she redeemed herself with a kill to end the set in Michigan's favor.

Duke hit .257 to take set two despite five kills apiece from Murphy and Erwin. Michigan led 11-8 on a Murphy service ace, but Duke took a 14-13 lead on an Elizabeth Campbell kill. Duke led by more than one point for the first time in the set at 19-17 on a block and went up 22-18 on a service ace. The Blue Devils closed out the set on a Jeme Obeime kill.

Michigan came out of the break and held the Blue Devils to .053 on the attack in a 25-20 win. Duke took a 12-6 lead on a block, but Michigan came back to tie the score at 12 on a Murphy kill. Michigan scored six straight points off Cross' serve to take its first lead of the set. Michigan then scored three straight points to go up 17-13 and a McElheny kill made it 20-15 in favor of the Wolverines. Duke cut the advantage to 23-20, but a Blue Devil service error and attack error put the Maize and Blue up two sets to one.

Duke forced the fifth set by taking set four 25-15. The Blue Devils went up 12-5 on an Emily Sklar kill. Duke scored five straight points in the middle of the set as a Cook kill gave Duke a nine-point advantage (19-8). A Toon kill on Michigan's side out made it 22-14, but the Blue Devils closed out the set on a block.

Both teams had 10 blocks on the night. Michigan hit .204, while Duke had a .213 hitting percentage. The two teams combined for 11 service aces and 21 service errors.

Michigan concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule and starts Big Ten play this Friday (Sept. 21) against Indiana. First serve at Cliff Keen Arena is at 7 p.m.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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