Wolverines Come Up Short Against No. 9 Penn State

Nov. 5, 2010

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Cliff Keen Arena)
Result: #9 Penn State 3, #15 Michigan 0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21)
Records: U-M (20-5, 9-4 Big Ten), Penn State (20-4, 10-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Saturday, Nov. 6 -- vs. Ohio State (Cliff Keen Arena), 6 p.m. (TV: Big Ten Network)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team fell to ninth-ranked Penn State, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21), on Friday night (Nov. 5) in front of a sellout crowd at Cliff Keen Arena. The game will air on tape-delay on Sunday (Nov. 7) at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.

Junior outside hitter Alex Hunt (Granger, Ind./South Bend St. Joseph) and redshirt sophomore right side Claire McElheny (Westfield, Ind./Brebeuf) both recorded eight kills to pace a Wolverine offense that was held to a .069 attack percentage on the evening, falling victim to 15.0 PSU blocks. Junior libero Sloane Donhoff (Louisville, Ky./Assumption) had a match-high 11 digs and senior setter Lexi Zimmerman (Barrington, Ill./Barrington) handed out 27 assists to go with six digs, three kills and a service ace.

Penn State led from start to finish in the opening frame, sprinting out to an 8-1 advantage. The Wolverines slowly made their way back, getting within two at 16-14 after a PSU attack error. The Nittany Lions responded with another run, scoring nine of the next 12 points for a 25-17 win. Michigan was held to a .030 attack percentage, hitting into 7.0 PSU blocks.

U-M held a 13-8 lead in the second set before a PSU kill, followed by seven consecutive points on the serve of Ali Longo put the visitors in front, 16-13. Hunt's kill from the outside ended the run and the Wolverines rebounded to tie the match at 18-all on the PSU service error. However, Penn State scored the next two points on back-to-back kills to take the lead for good en route to a 25-22 win.

Penn State never trailed in the third set triumph (25-21), racing out to a 5-1 lead. Michigan patiently chipped away at the lead, pulling within two points at 22-20 on a kill by freshman outside hitter Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park). U-M's ensuing service error pushed the Nittany Lion advantage back to three as the teams traded kills before a miss down the line ended the match.

The Wolverines wrap up weekend play tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 6) with a 6 p.m. contest against Ohio State. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network.


• Michigan is 9-1 at home this season and had its 16-match home winning streak snapped by the Nittany Lions. The last team to beat the Wolverines at home was then-No. 1 Penn State last season.

• Tonight's match marks the second consecutive sellout of Cliff Keen Arena this season. The other match that was sold out was a 3-1 win over No. 20 Northwestern on Oct. 15.

• Michigan has not beaten Penn State since a 3-2 victory on Nov. 2, 2002.

Sloane Donhoff has recorded double-digit digs in 10 consecutive matches.

Ally Sabol started her third consecutive match as a defensive specialist.

• The match will air on ESPN2 on Sunday (Nov. 7) at 1 p.m.

• U-M is 2-2 on national television this year, falling twice to Penn State while knocking off Purdue and Michigan State.


Michigan Head Coach Mark Rosen
On the match... "One of the things we talk about with our team a lot is applying pressure throughout the match. Who is applying pressure? I thought, from the very beginning of the match, they were applying the pressure. In our first rotation, we got forced into a lot of errors with their block. They just kept pushing us out of our comfort zone. It felt like we were playing from behind all match. The pressure was coming from them rather than from us. I actually thought we served well, really well. I thought we defended okay. We just gave up streaks in serve-receive and that was because of the pressure they were putting on us, especially with their block. We had to keep fighting from behind, and it is not a good feeling."

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (734) 763-4423

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