Oct. 12, 2011
Site: Champaign, Ill. (Huff Hall)
Result: #1 Illinois 3, #20 Michigan 1 (25-14, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20)
Records: U-M (14-5, 2-5 Big Ten), Illinois (18-0, 7-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 15 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 7 p.m. CDT
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The No. 20-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team began to rally, winning the third set and jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the fourth, but it was not enough as No. 1-ranked Illinois knocked off the Wolverines, 3-1 (25-14, 25-19, 21-25, 25-20), on Wednesday night (Oct. 12) at Huff Hall.
Sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led the Wolverine offense with 14 kills to go with nine digs and senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) chipped in 13 kills and seven digs. Sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) rounded out the trio in double-figures with 10 kills. Freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 44 assists, picked up 11 digs and recorded two service aces, while senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) went for 17 digs and two aces in the contest.
Tied at 5-5 in the first set, Illinois went on a six-point spurt to take control of the set en route to a 25-14 victory. Michigan hit just .028 in the first frame, committing 10 attack errors, while Illinois recorded 6.0 blocks and hit .321 to take the early lead.
The teams traded points again to start the second, before Illinois used a slide kill and a bad set to break a 6-6 tie for an 8-6 advantage. The Illini lead grew to as many as six points, before the Wolverines mounted a rally to climb back within three at 21-18 and force an Illinois timeout. The Illini responded out of the stoppage by scoring four of the next five points for the 25-19 win.
Deadlocked at 15-15 in the third, Michigan went on a 4-1 run, using an Illinois ball-handling error, back-to-back kills from senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview) and a termination by Erwin for a 19-16 lead to force an Illini timeout. Michigan kept the lead, grabbing set point at 24-19 when Dannemiller and Cross teamed up for a block on the outside. Illinois staved off the first two set points, before Hunt found the floor on the outside to give Michigan the 25-21 victory.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 5-1 lead on the serving of Donhoff, who recorded two service aces in the span, to start the fourth. Illinois climbed back into the set, taking a 15-13 lead when the teams hit the media timeout. Michigan tied the set at 16-16, before Illinois ran off three unanswered points for a 19-16 lead, forcing a Michigan stoppage. The Illini took set point at 24-18, but the Wolverines stayed alive for two points on an Erwin kill and Dannemiller service ace at 24-20. However, Illinois won on the ensuing point when Dannemiller was whistled for a bad set.
Michigan is back in action on Saturday (Oct. 15), traveling to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats. The match is slated for a 7 p.m. CDT start.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423