Sept. 17, 2011
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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Event: Michigan/adidas Invitational
Result: #18 Michigan 3, Texas A&M 0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-17)
Records: U-M (12-0), Texas A&M (10-2)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 23 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Paced by 13 kills from tournament MVP sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park), the No. 18-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team completed the non-conference season undefeated with a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-23, 25-17) of Texas A&M in the finale of the Michigan/adidas Invitational on Saturday night (Sept. 17) at Cliff Keen Arena.
Senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) was named to the all-tournament team after going for eight kills in the match, with senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) and senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) each putting down seven for the Wolverines. Fletcher added three service aces and three blocks to join Hunt and Erwin on the all-tourney team. Freshman Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) turned in her fifth double-double of the season with 33 assists and 11 digs. Senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) recorded 12 digs and sophomore Ally Sabol (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) picked up 11 for the Maize and Blue.
Michigan never trailed in the first set, as the two teams stood deadlocked at 23-23 after a Texas A&M kill on the outside. A McElheny kill on the right side on the ensuing point gave Michigan set point, forcing an Aggie timeout. Out of the stoppage, Fletcher recorded her first service ace of the contest as U-M grabbed a 25-23 victory. Hunt led the offense with five kills and Donhoff recorded eight digs in the set.
After falling behind 21-19 and forced to use a timeout of its own in the second set, Michigan scored the next two points on back-to-back kills from Erwin on the outside and Fletcher in the middle. Michigan took set point at 24-22, but the Aggies staved off the point with a kill on the outside. The Wolverines ended the set on the next point on the slide kill from McElheny to take the 25-23 victory.
Michigan grabbed a 4-3 lead in the third off a kill by sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) and never looked back in a 25-17 win for the match. Michigan forced Texas A&M into 12 attack errors in the frame as the Aggies hit -.024. Erwin led the charge with four kills, with Cross and Fletcher each putting down two.
Michigan begins Big Ten Conference play next weekend, traveling to the Hoosier State for a pair of matches. The Wolverines will take on Indiana on Friday (Sept. 23) in Bloomington, followed by a contest at Purdue on Saturday (Sept. 24) in West Lafayette. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start.
N O T E S
It is the fifth time during the Mark Rosen era that the Wolverines went undefeated during non-conference action -- 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Ally Sabol recorded at least 10 digs for the second straight match.
It was the first time Lexi Erwin has earned all-tournament honors.
Michigan is now 2-2 all-time versus Texas A&M.
U-M has won 21 straight against non-conference opponents in the regular season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the pressure of being undefeated ... "I don't think it is an issue. I don't think that they walk around the locker room worried about where we are ranked. Indiana is a really good team coming up; Purdue is a really good team. I thought that this weekend, I sensed that they had a little bit more pressure internally because of being at home. They want to play well here because they are playing in front of all of their friends and people they know really well. As an athlete, you always want to play your best, but there was a little more pressure there. I thought that tonight we finally let that go and got in a flow. That showed in our serving all weekend. We were just tentative with it until that third set tonight. We can go back there and get pretty aggressive, but I don't think we did that until the end. It was nice to see that come back."
On the confidence of the Lexi Erwin ... "I think the biggest thing we keep talking about with this group is to just trust yourself and believe in what you are doing. I think the biggest thing Lexi (Erwin) did this weekend was committing to her shot and going after it. I think that before she would sometimes second guess herself. This weekend, even if it was the wrong choice, she went after her shots and it normally turned out well. She has worked so hard in the offseason and I thought she just played great this weekend."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423