Oct. 15, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Result: #20 Michigan 3, Northwestern 2 (25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-11)
Records: U-M (15-5, 3-5 Big Ten), Northwestern (10-9, 1-7 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Oct. 19 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 8 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Sophomore Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) recorded 20 kills, 17 digs and six service aces and senior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) picked up a career-high 31 digs as the No. 20-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team snapped its four-match losing streak in a 3-2 win (25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 20-25, 15-11) at Northwestern on Saturday evening (Oct. 15) inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Joining Erwin in double-figure kills were sophomore Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate), senior/junior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) and senior Courtney Fletcher (Johns Creek, Ga./Northview), who each put down 10. Donhoff led a defense that recorded 84 digs, Michigan's second-highest total of the season. Senior Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) picked up 18 digs, while freshman setter Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) handed out 51 assists to go with five digs and four kills.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set and did not look back en route to a 25-15 win. Northwestern got back within two points at 16-14, but an Erwin kill ignited an 8-0 run as Michigan took set point at 24-15. NU broke the run only to miss its ensuing serve to give U-M the victory. The Maize and Blue hit .344 in the first frame, led by Erwin's five terminations.
The teams went back and forth in the early going of the second set as neither squad grabbed a lead larger than four points. Tied at 18-18, Cross found the floor to give Michigan the lead for good at 19-18. Michigan used two kills each from Fletcher and McElheny, a joust won at the net by Dannemiller, and an NU error down the stretch for a 25-21 win and the 2-0 advantage.
Michigan fell victim to 9.0 Northwestern blocks in the third set for a .047 hitting percentage in a 25-21 loss. Tied at 2-2 in the frame, NU rattled off five of the next six points. The Wolverines closed within a point at 20-19 off an NU service error, but a Wildcat kill on the outside pushed the lead back to two as Michigan scored just two more points the rest of the way.
The Maize and Blue grabbed a 4-1 lead to begin the fourth, but Northwestern chipped away before taking a 14-13 lead to force a Michigan timeout. NU's lead grew to as many as four and the Wildcats kept the lead the rest of the set for a 25-20 win, sending the match to a fifth set.
Deadlocked at 5-5 in the deciding frame, Michigan went on a five-point spurt, using three NU attack errors and two Erwin service aces for a 10-5 advantage. NU closed the gap to within two points at 10-8, but Hunt found the floor to stem the run. A Donhoff service ace, followed by an NU error put Michigan in control as U-M went on for the 15-10 win.
Michigan returns to action on Wednesday (Oct. 19), traveling to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. The match will begin at 8 p.m. and air live on the Big Ten Network.
Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423