Michigan Outlasts Purdue for Big Ten Road Triumph

Oct. 23, 2010

Box Score | Notes & Quotes

Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Holloway Gymnasium)
Result: #13 Michigan 3, Purdue 2 (25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 16-25, 15-12)
Records: U-M (19-3, 8-2 Big Ten), Purdue (14-7, 5-5 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Friday, Oct. 29 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 7 p.m. CDT

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Behind a match-high 26 kills from junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph), the No. 13-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team hung on for a 3-2 win at Purdue on Saturday evening (Oct. 23) at Holloway Gymnasium. Set scores were 25-19, 25-19, 21-25, 16-25, 15-12.

Joining Hunt in double-figure kills was the middle blocking tandem of freshman Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ont./Birchmount Park Collegiate) with 16 and junior Courtney Fletcher (Duluth, Ga./Northview) with 10. Senior Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) recorded a double-double with 58 assists and 12 digs to go with five kills on the evening. Freshman Ally Sabol (Los Angeles, Calif./Marymount) led four Wolverines in double-digit digs with a career-best 15.

U-M jumped out to a 4-1 advantage in the fifth set before Purdue countered by scoring six of the next eight points to take a 7-6 lead. A tip kill from Fletcher on a long rally gave Michigan the lead for good at 10-9. Hunt's 26th kill of the evening ended the final set in favor of the Maize and Blue, 15-12. Cross tallied four kills, while Hunt and Fletcher chipped in three apiece.

Facing a 12-7 deficit early in the first set, U-M scored nine of the next 12 points, taking a 16-13 lead and control of the set. A kill by redshirt sophomore Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf Prep) started the run, as Michigan capitalized on four Purdue errors while getting two kills from Cross and a kill and service ace from Hunt. U-M kept the lead the rest of the way in a 25-19 win, outhitting the Boilermakers, .314 to .154, behind six kills from Hunt.

The Wolverines broke a 14-14 tie in the second set with a quick three points when Zimmerman found the floor, followed by two Purdue attacking errors to move on top, 17-14. U-M kept a lead the rest of the way, recording another 25-19 victory. Hunt and Cross both had five kills to pace the Wolverine offense.

U-M fell behind 15-8 in the third before slowly climbing back into the set. U-M cut the Purdue lead to three, 18-15, after McElheny and Fletcher combined for a block. Purdue then strung together three straight points to push the lead back to six at 21-15 and hung on for a 25-21 win. The Boilers found their offense in the frame, hitting .361 to U-M's .219.

Up 14-9 in the fourth, Michigan fell victim to a 16-2 Purdue run as the Boilers claimed a 25-16 win. Purdue hit .500 with only one attack error in the frame, while Michigan hit just .031, hitting into 6.0 Purdue blocks.

U-M remains on the road next weekend, first traveling to Illinois for a Friday evening (Oct. 29) contest in Champaign, Ill. Michigan will wrap up its four-match road swing at Wisconsin on Saturday evening (Oct. 30) in Madison, Wis. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. CDT start.


Alex Hunt recorded at least 20 kills for the eighth time this season and for the ninth time in her career.

• U-M has won three matches in a row over Purdue.

• Michigan is now 2-1 in five-set matches, with wins over No. 14 Minnesota and Purdue.

Jennifer Cross tied a career high with 16 kills.

Courtney Fletcher reached doubles figures in kills (10) for the second time this season.


Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the difference between last night and tonight ... "We got kills. Last night we were struggling to get kills. The first two games (tonight) we were doing what we had been doing all year, getting 15, 16 kills in a set. Our defensive intensity was really good from the beginning, after those first few points. I thought we played really well in that area of the game. We were able to put a lot of pressure on them because we were playing defense effectively tonight."

On the middle blockers Courtney Fletcher and Jennifer Cross stepping up ... "Without question, we are a better team when we are balanced offensively. We have to have balance to be effective in this league. Teams are going to key in on Alex (Hunt), so we need other players to perform. Lexi (Zimmerman) did a really good job balancing our offense and did not really overwork anyone tonight."

On the defensive backcourt ... "I think that everyone played well tonight and everyone deserves credit, but I thought Maggie Busch played really well. She passed really well, served tough and made some big digs when we needed it. Same thing with Ally Sabol. She started off a little rough, and we had to take her out of serve receive. She came back though, and really shored things up. The defense played great tonight."

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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