Maize & Blue Unable to Put Away Illinois in Five-Set Loss
Tiffany Morales

Oct. 5, 2013

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: Illinois 3, #14 Michigan 2 (25-18, 15-25, 10-25, 25-20, 15-13)
Records: U-M (11-4, 1-3 Big Ten), ILL (6-8, 1-3 Big Ten)
Attendance: 1,780
Next U-M Event: Friday, Oct. 11 -- vs. Nebraska (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The 14th-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team had convincing wins in sets two and three, but fell, 3-2, to Illinois Saturday night (Oct. 5) in front of 1,780 fans in Cliff Keen Arena. Set scores were 25-18, 15-25, 10-25, 25-20 and 15-13.

For the second straight match, senior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led the U-M offense with 19 kills. She also had nine digs and three blocks. Senior Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) added 16 kills and seven block assists, while freshman Abby Cole (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) was U-M's third player in double figures in kills with 11 terminations. Junior Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) was close to a triple-double with 53 assists, seven kills and eight digs. Sophomore Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) had a match-high 25 digs, while senior Ally Sabol added 13.

Michigan took an early lead in the first set, but the Fighting Illini controlled the play late to take an early 1-0 lead. Michigan went up 6-4 on a solo block from sophomore Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) and 10-5 after a Goode kill as Illinois called timeout. Illinois chipped away at the Wolverine lead, tying the set at 14-all on a Maddie Mayers termination. A Liz McMahon termination gave Illinois a 19-16 advantage, and a Maize and Blue error put the Illini up, 22-17. Illinois then closed out the set on a McMahon kill at 25-18.

The Wolverines held Illinois to a .030 hitting percentage to take the second set 25-15. With the set tied at four, Michigan went on a 5-0 run off Dannemiller's serve. The Maize and Blue then went on an 8-0 run on Morales' serve to take a 19-6 lead. Cross' kill put Michigan up 20-9, and a termination from senior Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) made it 23-14. The Wolverines won the set on Cole's kill at 25-15.

Michigan hit .500 while holding Illinois to .000 in the third-set romp. The Wolverines scored the set's first six points and built a 13-1 lead on blocks from Cross and Dannemiller. It was 16-6 after a termination by Dannemiller and 20-8 on Goode's kill. Two straight successful attacks by Toon put Michigan up 22-9, and the Wolverines closed out the set on another Toon kill.

Illinois went up 12-6 in set four. Michigan cut the Illinois lead to 15-13 after Erwin's kill and forced the Illini to call time after an Illinois error cut its lead to 19-18. Illinois scored the next three points after the timeout and won the set on a kill from Birks.

The Fighting Illini went up 3-1 in the fifth on a Birks kill, but Michigan battled back to take a 4-3 lead on back-to-back Cross kills. Michigan went up 6-4 after a Cross service ace and 8-6 on Goode's termination. Illinois tied the set at nine on a Birks kill. The two teams traded side out until a Michigan attack error gave Illinois a 13-12 lead. Dannemiller's kill tied it at 13, but Illinois scored the final two points to take the five-set win.

Michigan outhit Illinois, .268-.175, and had a 73-57 dig advantage. The Wolverines had 11 team blocks and four service aces.

U-M hosts Nebraska this Friday (Oct. 11) at 7 p.m. inside Cliff Keen Arena.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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