Nov. 6, 2013
Site: Champaign, Ill. (Huff Hall)
Score: Illinois 3, #17 Michigan 2 (18-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-10)
Records: U-M (15-9, 5-8 Big Ten), ILL (11-12, 7-6 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Nov. 10 -- at Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), 1 p.m. CST
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The 17th-ranked University of Michigan volleyball team won the first two sets at Illinois but fell in the final three to lose in five sets Wednesday night (Nov. 6) inside Huff Hall. Set scores were 18-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-15 and 15-10.
Senior Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas/Woodlands College Park) had 20 kills for the second time this season, leading three Wolverines in double figures in terminations, as seniors Molly Toon (Middleton, Wis./Middleton) and Jennifer Cross (Scarborough, Ontario/Birchmount Park Collegiate) had 14 kills apiece. Sophomore Tiffany Morales (Redondo Beach, Calif./Redondo Union) had 22 digs, while Erwin made it a double-double with 12 digs. Junior Lexi Dannemiller (West Chester, Ohio/Lakota West) had 49 assists, while Cross added four blocks.
Michigan jumped out to an early lead in the first set and never looked back in a 25-18 win. Dannemiller's ace gave U-M an early 2-0 lead. Erwin and Cross combined on the block for a 7-3 lead and Cross' kill put the Wolverines up 10-4. Erwin's kill followed by her service ace made it 13-5. Michigan led 16-7 after a Fighting Illini service error, but Illinois cut the lead to 16-13 on a Maize and Blue attack error. That was as close as Illinois got as Erwin's termination put Michigan up, 18-14. Cross combined on two straight blocks for a 22-16 lead. Toon's kill followed by a Fighting Illini ball-handling error gave the first set to the Wolverines. Erwin had four kills and three digs in the set.
The Wolverines took a 2-0 lead after hitting .421 in the match's second set. Freshman Abby Cole's (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) kill put Michigan on top 3-1 on a termination. Cross had back-to-back kills for a 6-4 lead, then Toon and Erwin had back-to-back successful swings for an 11-6 lead. Illinois' Jocelynn Birks helped Illinois tie the set at 14 with three kills in a four-point swing. Michigan called a timeout and got kills from Cross and Erwin coming out of that break. An Illinois error made it 17-14 and a back-row kill from Erwin put the Maize and Blue on top 20-16. Sophomore Krystalyn Goode (River Hills, Wis./Nicolet) had two kills and assisted on a block in Michigan's last three points for the 25-19 win.
Although Michigan was awarded a point before the third set even started, it was Illinois who came out hot at the beginning, as a Birks kill gave the Fighting Illini a 6-2 advantage. A Birks ace made it 8-3 Illinois and Anna Dorn's kill put the Illini up 11-6. Cross had a kill to cut the lead to 12-9 but Birks had a kill to make it 14-9 Illinois. Birks' termination gave Illinois an 18-12 lead and Morganne Criswell's termination put them up 20-14. Toon had kills at 22-19 and 23-21 but a Birks kill and Liz McMahon solo block ended the set.
A Goode kill tied the fourth set at one, but the Fighting Illini led the rest of the way to force a fifth and deciding set. Back-to-back blocks from Illinois put the Illini up 5-2. Erwin's termination cut the lead to 7-5 but a McMahon kill made it 9-6 and another Fighting Illini block put them up 12-8. Criswell's kill gave Illinois a 15-10 lead and Michigan called timeout after a McMahon kill at 18-11. Birks had a solo block at 21-13 and a Michigan attack error put Illinois up 24-14. Illinois closed out the set on a Michigan attack error. Illinois hit .394 in that set with just one attack error.
The fifth set went back and forth until an Illinois block gave the Illini a 3-1 lead. Criswell's kill gave Illinois a 5-2 lead and her kill put the Fighting Illini up 7-3. Dorn's kill put Illinois up 9-4, but blocks from Goode and Toon cut the advantage to 9-6. A Michigan service error followed by an Illinois ace made it 11-6. Erwin's kill at 12-8 was followed by a Birks attack error as Illinois called a timeout. Cross' kill cut the Illinois lead to 13-10, but kills from Birks and Criswell gave the Fighting Illini the five-set win.
Michigan hit .224 on the night, compared to .274 for Illinois. The Fighting Illini won the dig battle, 76-75.
Michigan travels to Evanston, Ill., and Welsh-Ryan Arena for a Sunday afternoon (Nov. 10) match at Northwestern. First serve is set for 1 p.m. CST.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423