Michigan Takes No. 1 PSU to the Limit in Five-Set Loss
Lexi Dannemiller

Oct. 20, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Score: #1 Penn State 3, Michigan 2 (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 15-10)
Records: U-M (16-8, 4-6 Big Ten), PSU (20-1, 10-0 Big Ten)
Attendance: 1,252
Next U-M Event: Friday, Oct. 26 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 8 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Down 2-0 to the No. 1 team in the country, the University of Michigan volleyball team rallied to win sets three and four before falling in five (25-19, 25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 15-10) to top-ranked Penn State Saturday night (Oct. 20) in Cliff Keen Arena.

Junior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) led the Michigan offense with 22 kills and added a double-double with 14 digs. It was her fifth 20-plus kill performance of the season. Michigan had five players in double figures in digs, led by junior Ally Sabol's (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) 18. Freshman Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) and sophomore Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had 14 apiece and junior Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) added 10 to go with 12 kills for a double-double. Dannemiller had 55 assists to complete a double-double as it was her fifth 50-plus assist performance of 2012. Junior Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) led U-M with six total blocks and added 13 kills. Fifth-year senior Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Prep) added 11 kills on the night.

Michigan enjoyed a 7-6 advantage in the opening set on a PSU attack error and a Cross kill made it 9-6 Wolverines. Penn State came back to tie the match at 11 on a kill from Ariel Scott and a Scott termination made it 15-12 Nittany Lions, forcing U-M to call timeout. A McElheny kill cut the PSU lead to 17-15. Erwin made it 19-17 on a kill, but a Scott kill gave the Nittany Lions a 22-17 lead. Penn State then closed out the set on a Megan Courtney kill from Micha Hancock.

The Maize and Blue fell behind 9-5 in the second set on a Katie Slay kill and trailed 12-8 on a Wolverine attack error. The Nittany Lions went up 16-10 on a block from Courtney and took an 18-12 lead on an Erwin error. A Penn State service error cut the lead to 19-14, but Courtney's attack made it 22-15. Penn State took the 2-0 lead on a Courtney attack for the 25-18 set score.

A Courtney attack error gave Michigan the early 4-1 lead in set three. An Erwin kill off a Dannemiller assist gave Michigan an 8-5 advantage. Penn State tied it at 10 on a Courtney kill and took a 14-11 lead as Slay had a solo block. Michigan answered, tying the set at 15 on a Toon service ace and went up 18-16 on a Deja McClendon error. A McClendon kill made it 21-19 Michigan, but the Maize and Blue answered with a Cross kill and Courtney attack error. At 23-21, Michigan took the set as PSU had an attack error and Erwin had a kill off a Morales assist.

Erwin had eight kills and Michigan made a comeback to take the fourth set. A U-M attack error gave Penn State an 8-5 lead. Another error by the Maize and Blue gave PSU a 12-8 lead. Michigan tied the set at 12 on a Scott error, but the Nittany Lions scored the next three points, capped by a block from Slay and Scott. Penn State had a 17-14 lead, but Michigan scored the next three points as an Erwin termination tied the set at 17. Penn State went up 20-18, but the Maize and Blue tied it at 21 on a Toon kill. Erwin's kill gave Michigan a one-point lead, before an attack error tied it at 22. The Maize and Blue swept the final three points to take the set. Kills from Cross and McElheny and a Courtney error put the match in the deciding fifth set.

Penn State scored the first five points of set five off the serve of McClendon. Scott's kill gave PSU the fifth point. A Slay kill made it 10-5 Nittany Lions, but Cross' termination cut it to 11-6. Michigan was down 13-7, but freshman Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) had a kill and joined Toon on a block to cut the PSU lead to 13-9. McClendon's kill gave the Nittany Lions match point, before the teams traded service errors to end the match.

Penn State hit .232 on the night and had 21 team blocks, 12 coming from Slay. McClendon added 29 digs to go along with 16 kills and Scott led PSU with 18 kills. Michigan had eight blocks on the night and had a 79-70 dig advantage.

Michigan starts the second half of the Big Ten schedule Friday (Oct. 26) at Purdue. The match begins at 8 p.m. and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423

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