Sept. 18, 2010
Site: Tempe, Ariz. (Wells Fargo Arena)
Event: ASU Sheraton Tournament
Score: #21 Michigan 3, Pacific 1 (16-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-19)
Records: U-M (11-1), Pacific (7-4)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 24 -- vs. Iowa (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) recorded 23 kills and four service aces to propel the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team to a 3-1 victory (16-25, 25-11, 25-19, 25-19) over Pacific to win the ASU Sheraton Tournament title on Saturday evening (Sept. 18) at Wells Fargo Arena.
Hunt had her third consecutive match with at least 20 kills, putting down 23 on 43 attempts with only two errors for a .488 attack percentage. Her counterpart on the outside, freshman Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton), had a career-best seven kills, while freshman middle blocker Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) recorded six terminations. Junior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) dug up 16, with senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) chipping in 35 assists, nine digs, four kills and two service aces.
Michigan took the lead for good in the decisive fourth set at 12-11 off an ace from senior defensive specialist Maggie Busch (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Christian). The Tigers got within a point again at 16-15, but the Maize and Blue scored nine of the next 13 points for a 25-19 triumph. Hunt fittingly ended the match with a kill off the block, coming up one short of tying her career high.
In the third, U-M jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead on the serving of Busch and kept the lead throughout. The Tigers crept back in at 9-8, but kills from Cross and Toon pushed the Wolverine lead back to three. U-M's lead got no smaller than two the rest of the way out for a 25-19 victory.
Michigan rebounded to convincingly win the second set, jumping out to an 8-1 advantage and not looking back. The Wolverines once again relied on the offense of Hunt (six kills), but Cross (four kills) and junior middle blocker Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) (three kills) provided more offensive balance in the frame.
U-M dropped the first set, falling victim to seven attack errors and two service errors in a 25-16 loss. Hunt was the only source of offense in the set, tallying seven kills.
The Wolverines return home to kick off the Big Ten Conference schedule next weekend (Fri-Sat., Sept. 24-25), hosting Iowa on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday at Cliff Keen Arena. Both games will start at 7 p.m.
N O T E S
With 35 assists tonight, Lexi Zimmerman needs only 25 more to pass Linnea Mendoza as the career leader at U-M.
Alex Hunt recorded at least 20 kills for the fifth time this season and the sixth time in her career. She has three consecutive matches with at least 20 terminations.
Sloane Donhoff has recorded double-digit digs in each of the last seven matches.
Michigan is 4-0 in four-set matches this season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the weekend overall ... "I think that this was a perfect weekend for us leading into the Big Ten. These teams are more representative of what we are going to face the rest of the season. They have a bigger block and more physical than the teams we have played leading up to this. This is what we needed in our development as a team. All three teams were similar, but they were different too. Arizona State and Utah had a big, physical block, which is what we will really see in the conference. Pacific is a great defensive team that is super fast. We had to learn to adjust to all three styles of play, and I thought we did a good job with that."
On junior outside hitter Alex Hunt's weekend ... "She was just a rock star this weekend. She really put us on her back this weekend. The first two matches (against Arizona State and Utah), it was not like we were unbalanced and setting her all the time. She was just really efficient with her attempts. I think we set her a little too much tonight and went back to being a little unbalanced. But that started with (Jennifer) Cross not getting involved as much, not getting as much from Claire (McElheny) and our other left side position. Another part of it was just riding the hot hand."
On junior libero Sloane Donhoff anchoring the defense ... "Sloane made a giant step forward this weekend in what we want from her as a libero. We have been working with her in making that step. We need offensive balance and it starts with her controlling the ball in both the serve receive and defense. She came up with some huge digs at important times all weekend long."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423
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