Oct. 1, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #7 Nebraska 3, #17 Michigan 0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-16)
Records: U-M (14-2, 2-2 Big Ten), Nebraska (11-1, 4-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Oct. 7 -- vs. Minnesota (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Playing without senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) for the second consecutive match, the No. 17-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team fell to No. 7-ranked Nebraska in three sets (25-17, 26-24, 25-16) on Saturday evening (Oct. 1) in front of a sellout crowd at Cliff Keen Arena.
Freshman Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 33 assists and recorded a career-best 22 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. Senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) paced the Wolverine offense with 11 kills on 22 attempts, with sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) chipping in 10 kills. Senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) ran her streak of at least 10 digs to nine matches with 12 digs in the contest.
Tied at 10-10 in the first, Nebraska ran off six unanswered points to take a commanding 16-10 lead. The Huskers kept at least a four-point cushion the rest of the way in a 25-17 first-set win. Nebraska held Michigan to a .103 attack percentage, as the Wolverines had nine attack errors and two service errors in the frame.
After falling behind 17-12 in the second set, U-M slowly chipped away at the Nebraska lead to eventually tie the set at 24-24 on a kill from sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate). Nebraska answered with a kill on the outside and an Erwin attack error on the ensuing point allowed the Huskers to take the 26-24 decision for a 2-0 advantage in the match. Sophomore Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) led the offense in the set with four kills as Michigan improved to hit .214.
U-M fell behind in the early going of the third and was forced to use a timeout facing a 9-3 deficit. The stoppage did not stem the momentum, as Nebraska increased its lead to as many as nine points en route to a 25-16 win. Fletcher put down six kills in the set, but Michigan once again struggled offensively with a .136 hitting percentage.
Tonight's match can be seen tomorrow (Sunday, Oct. 2) on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m.
Michigan will continue its homestand next weekend, hosting Minnesota on Friday (Oct. 7) and Wisconsin on Saturday (Oct. 8). Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.
N O T E S
Tonight's contest was the first-ever Big Ten contest between Michigan and Nebraska in any sport.
Nebraska is now 4-1 all-time against Michigan.
Senior Alex Hunt missed her second consecutive match with an injury.
Lexi Dannemiller set a new career high in digs with 22. Her previous best was 15 at Purdue on Sept. 24.
Sloane Donhoff has recorded at least 10 digs in 90 of her 118 career matches.
Courtney Fletcher went for at least 10 kills for the seventh time this season. She had reached that mark just six times in the last three years combined.
Molly Toon made her second consecutive start on the outside.
Michigan was held to less than a .200 hitting percentage for just the third time this season. U-M is 1-2 when hitting less than .200.
With an attack attempt in the second set, Michelle McMahon recorded just her second career attempt.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the match ... "Certainly, we are disappointed. We feel like we can compete at a higher level than what we showed tonight and that is frustrating. I thought our first-ball contact, our passing was really solid. Our statistics that we keep really backed that up. And that is a huge credit to our passers, especially playing without Alex (Hunt), who is one of our best passers. I thought that Lexi set the best match I have seen her set in the Maize and Blue. I thought she did a good job and made good decisions. She executed well and put the ball in good places for our attackers. I thought she allowed her personality to really come through tonight. That is a big thing, especially when you are a young player and your team is struggling. She did a really good job of infusing her personality into the team and that is a huge step for her. I don't think we attacked well enough tonight. There were times when we attacked well, but we were very inconsistent. I thought we had opportunities but did not take advantage of them. A lot of credit goes to Nebraska and what they do defensively. I still have a higher expectation of what our attackers can do and we need to get better at that. I thought our defense was good at times, but we had lapses at critical times in the situation. Some of that goes to Nebraska, but I think we can compete at that level. We have things to work on and will continue to get better."
On Molly Toon and Michelle McMahon playing for Alex Hunt ... "I think they did well. I think Michelle did really well. She didn't play in the whole match, but when she got her opportunity, she went in there and did what we needed her to do. She kept our ball control solid and gave us an opportunity to play faster with Lexi Erwin. They kept serving at Erwin and being able to pass two in serve-receive with Michelle gave us a chance to play a little faster and speed the offense up. I thought Molly did well. I thought that she did well in the second set and started to be a little more aggressive. I just think we need to be more consistent."
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423