Michigan Loses Early Lead, Falls to Minnesota in Five
Courtney Fletcher

Oct. 7, 2011

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #14 Minnesota 3, #18 Michigan 2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-10)
Records: U-M (14-3, 2-3 Big Ten), Minnesota (9-5, 2-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 8 -- vs. Wisconsin (Cliff Keen Arena), 7 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite winning the first two sets, the No. 18-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team fell, 3-2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, 15-10), to No. 14-ranked Minnesota on Friday night (Oct. 7) in its annual "pink" match at Cliff Keen Arena.

Sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led the offense with a career-best 23 kills to go with 14 digs, with senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) recording a double-double of her own (21 kills and 11 digs). Senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) chipped in 14 kills and sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) went for 10 as Michigan hit .288 for the match. Freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) tied her career high with 65 assists.

The first set featured eight tie scores, but Michigan never trailed in a 25-22 victory. A McElheny kill on the overpass gave Michigan a 23-21 lead, but Dannemiller missed her ensuing serve as Minnesota closed to within a point at 23-22. A kill by Erwin and a back row block by Minnesota gave Michigan two straight points for the win.

The Wolverines jumped out to a 10-5 advantage in the second, forcing Minnesota to burn an early timeout. The stoppage did not stop the Maize and Blue, which increased its lead to as many as 11 points at 20-9. The Gophers started to rally, closing to within six points at 24-18, but a Hunt termination ended the set in Michigan's favor, 25-18.

Minnesota took control early of the third set, eventually grabbing a 19-12 lead. The Wolverines began to rally, scoring eight of the next 11 points to claw within two at 22-20. Minnesota scored two of the next three points for a 24-21 lead and set point. Michigan staved off two set points on back-to-back kills from Hunt, but senior Courtney Fletcher's (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) serve found the net as Minnesota took a 25-23 decision.

The Gophers hit .394 in the fourth frame as Michigan trailed for the majority of the set in a 25-19 Minnesota win. The Wolverines, down 18-12, once again tried to stage a late comeback to come within four points at 22-18. Minnesota responded by scoring three of the final four points of the set for the win to force a fifth set.

Michigan fell behind early in the fifth at 4-1 and had to use an early timeout. U-M got within a point twice in the frame, but Minnesota did not commit an error in the frame for a .714 attack percentage en route to a 15-10 triumph.

The Wolverines return to Cliff Keen Arena tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 8), hosting Wisconsin at 7 p.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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