Rood Paces Michigan in Five-Set Victory Over Iowa

Oct. 9, 2009


Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Carver-Hawkeye Arena)
Score: #8 Michigan 3, Iowa 2 (25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 25-13, 15-11)
Records: U-M (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten), Iowa (9-8, 2-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 10 -- at Wisconsin (UW Field House), 7 p.m. (CDT)

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Behind a career-high 19 kills from senior Veronica Rood (Temperance, Mich./Bedford), the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team came from behind to upend pesky Iowa in five sets, 25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 25-13, 15-11, Friday night (Oct. 9) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Sophomore Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) was the only other Wolverine in double-figure kills with 10. Junior Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) added 46 assists and four Wolverines posted double-digit digs, led by sophomore Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) with 21.

In the deciding fifth set, the Wolverines stayed with the hot-handed Rood, who eclipsed her career-high in kills on the first point of the frame. Senior Juliana Paz (Porto Allegre, Brazil/Iowa Western CC) also heated up offensively, contributing a team-best three kills in the set as the Wolverines used an 8-3 run to begin the final frame en route to a 15-11 victory.

Iowa held a 2-1 advantage after the first three sets; however, the fourth set was all Michigan as the squad jumped out to a 12-2 lead and never looked back. The Wolverines led by as much as 14 points down the stretch and held Iowa to a -.148 attack percentage. U-M got five kills from Rood on seven swings in a lopsided 25-13 victory.

After holding a 10-2 lead in the opening set, Michigan let that lead slip away as the Hawkeyes seized momentum down the stretch for a 27-25 win. Rood was the bright spot offensively for Michigan contributing four kills on six swings but the Hawkeyes used a U-M attack error and a kill of their own to cap the scoring in the comeback.

Michigan bounced back from a disappointing 27-25 loss in the opening set to even the match with a 25-19 win in set two. Rood stayed hot, posting a six kills in the set with Hunt and Fletcher each adding three.

Set three saw Michigan squander a late 19-17 advantage as the host Hawkeyes reeled off the final five points in the set to expand a 20-20 tie into a 25-20 win over the Maize and Blue. Rood, Hunt and Fletcher each contributed three kills in the set, but the Michigan offense was held to a .106 attack percentage while Iowa hit .262.

The Wolverines head to Madison, Wis., to face the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday (Oct. 10) at the UW Field House.  First serve is scheduled for 7 pm (CDT) with providing a live blog and live game statistics.


• Michigan is now 29-26 all-time versus Iowa and have won seven of the last nine meetings.

• The 3-2 win over Iowa proved to be the third five-set contest for the Wolverines this season with the team now holding a 2-1 record in five-set matches.

• Veronia Rood set a career high with 19 kills, eclipsing her previous best of 18 set Nov. 9, 2007, at Wisconsin.  Rood also posted a season-high 31 attack attempts.

Alex Hunt set a career record with 16 digs, five more than her previous best of 11 set twice in her career, last versus Illinois (Oct. 3), earlier this season.


Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the five-set victory at Iowa... "I am very proud of the way our team battled tonight. We had moments where things were going really well for us, especially in set four, but there were other times where we just were spinning our wheels a little bit.  What makes me most proud is that we did not panic.  We stayed in our system and kept trying to do what we do best. Iowa is a really good team. It is pretty easy to see now why they took that set from Penn State last weekend. They are tenacious defensively and really do a good job of digging enough balls to force their opponent into making mistakes.  I am happy with the outcome, it is nice to get out of here with a win tonight."

On the play of Veronica Rood... "I thouht she was great tonight. We looked at the numbers this week and it was pretty apparent that we needed to make an effort to keep Veronica involved in what we were doing offensively. She did a great job of taking what the defense was giving and using her athleticism to make plays.  I am really proud of her development."

Senior Middle Veronica Rood
On her career-best night... "Lexi got me involved early in the offense and that really helped me to built momentum and confidence. I feel like Lexi did a really smart job of using me a lot in transition which helped to get their defense off balance and once we got going we just found a rhythm together.  It is nice to have a big night personally, but it wouldn't mean much if we weren't able to win as a team, so the credit here goes to Lexi and the rest of the team out there with me, they all did their job which helped me do mine."

Contact: Matt Fancett (734) 763-4423

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