Sept. 24, 2010
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #22 Michigan 3, Iowa 0 (25-11, 28-26, 25-11)
Records: U-M (12-1, 1-0 Big Ten), Iowa (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Sept. 25 -- vs. Minnesota (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) became the program leader in assists to lead the No. 22-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team past Iowa, 25-11, 28-26, 25-11, in the Big Ten opener on Friday night (Sept. 24) at Cliff Keen Arena.
With 36 assists on the evening, Zimmerman surpassed Linnea Mendoza's (1994-97) benchmark of 5,072 that has stood since 1997. The Wolverines used a balanced offensive attack, with junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) going for 11 kills, while freshman outside hitter Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and redshirt sophomore right side Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) both put down nine on the evening. The Wolverine defense, led by Zimmerman's 11 digs, held the Hawkeyes to a .057 attack percentage.
Michigan jumped out to a fast 9-1 lead in the first set, taking advantage of five Hawkeye miscues to start the set. The lead swelled to 22-9 off a Hunt kill as the Wolverines coasted to a 25-11 win.
Facing an Iowa set point at 24-23 in the second set, Michigan took two points off consecutive kills from Toon and Hunt for its own set point. Unable to convert, the teams traded match points again before a McElheny kill and subsequent block by junior middle blocker Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) and McElheny sealed 28-26 victory.
The Wolverines wasted no time in the third set, using the serve of senior defensive specialist Maggie Busch (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Christian) to race out to a 6-0 advantage and force an Iowa timeout. Michigan never looked back, holding Iowa to a -.097 attack percentage in another 25-11 win.
U-M wraps up weekend play tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 25), hosting No. 14 Minnesota at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.
Lexi Zimmerman now has 5,084 career assists. She broke the mark of 5,072 held since 1997 by Linnea Mendoza (1994-97). Mendoza and Zimmerman are the only Wolverines to break 5,000 in a career. Zimmerman snapped the record on Molly Toon's kill to tie the second set at 24-24.
Molly Toon had a career-high nine kills, improving upon her previous best of seven, coming against Pacific (Sept. 18).
Lexi Zimmerman recorded the 50th double-double of her career.
Sloane Donhoff had her seven-match streak of at least 10 digs snapped.
It was the 11th time in 13 matches this season that Alex Hunt led U-M in kills.
Michigan won its fourth consecutive Big Ten opener.
U-M has won six in a row and 15 of the last 16 against the Hawkeyes, last falling to Iowa during the 2007 season.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the match ... "It started with our serving. In game one, we came out and went right after them and got them off balance. We were able to set up our defense. In game two, we were just putting it in play. We were letting them run their offense and do whatever they wanted to do. Certainly that is not the change we wanted to make. We still sided out pretty well, but we did not play any defense. We put ourselves in a position where at the end of the set, it is tight. All of the sudden one bad call or one bad play and they are feeling more comfortable.
"We talk a lot about pressure; who is applying it? Are we putting it on them or are they putting it on us? I thought in game two we stopped putting pressure on them with our serve. In the middle of the game, when it started to get tight, we got a little nervous and all of the sudden, it is the 'Alex Hunt show' again. We just started throwing balls to her all the time because no one else was getting kills. Now Alex is not so effective. I thought for a 10-point period, we got out of balance. That is youth."
On the play of freshman outside hitter Molly Toon ... "I thought she played great. The first time that you are in at home can be a little nerve-wracking. She has not played a ton and this was her first start. She has been doing that in practice consistently the past three weeks and showing us there. She had an opportunity to prove it on the road. It seemed logical for us to see if she could do it tonight."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423